Like the new Amazon Echo, the recently debuted fourth-generation Dot sports a spherical shape. Previous versions looked more like a hockey puck. The new aesthetic is nice, but it didn't blow me away to the extent that Amazon might have been hoping.
The fourth-gen Dot also didn't do much to innovate over previous versions. The sound quality is slightly improved, but it's otherwise the same as it was before. That's disappointing given that Amazon added a few extras like a Zigbee receiver to the full-size model.
Nevertheless, the Dot has long been one of our favorite smart speakers and the latest Dot didn't do anything to lose that title. The sound quality does distort a little at high volumes, but is otherwise great for its size. It's just not at the same level as the HomePod Mini.
Amazon's assistant, Alexa, is much more competent than Siri. Alexa responds to a wider variety of questions and Amazon works with the most smart home gadgets of any of the three platforms. Amazon also works with the most music streaming services, making the Echo Dot the most versatile of the bunch.
I'm disappointed the Dot doesn't do more. It doesn't have a wall mount, and you have to pay $10 more for a version with a clock, but I'm only really disappointed because Amazon sets expectations so high. As you'd expect, it works great with other Amazon products, including synced audio and stereo playback with multiple Amazon speakers and playing the sound for Amazon's Fire TV.
In general, the Dot is a great choice if you're not already committed to Apple's or Google's ecosystem.