Amazon unleashes 5 new Echo products with crazy price tags


Amazon Echo Plus
Amazon's new Echo devices are ready to invade your home.
Photo: Amazon

Amazon revealed not one, not two, not three, not four, but five Echo-based products at a huge event today at its headquarters in Seattle.

The wave of gadgets, which also included a new TV dongle, is ready to take on Apple’s HomePod speaker and Apple TV 4K with some pretty impressive features. Even more impressive, though, are their incredibly low price tags. It makes you wonder how Apple possibly can compete.

Here’s all the stuff Amazon just revealed.

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Redesigned Amazon Echo smart speaker

The new Echo looks beautiful.
Photo: Amazon

It’s been three years since Amazon first released the Echo, and now it’s finally getting a big upgrade. The first thing you’ll notice is a redesign with a much smaller form factor.

Despite being smaller and shorter, Amazon says the new Echo sounds better. The updated smart speaker packs a dedicated bass tweeter for improved acoustics. You can also pair multiple Echoes together for multi-room audio, which means Sonos’ days might be numbered.

It looks way better, too. Buyers can choose from six different finishes, including some wood-veneer options so it blends in better with various home decors. And it’s cheaper than ever. The new Echo only costs $99 — or you can buy a three-pack for just $250.

Echo Plus smart speaker with home hub

Echo Plus
The Echo Plus is a beast.
Photo: Amazon

Why settle for the tiny Echo when you can go big? Amazon’s new Echo Plus smart speaker packs a lot of the same features as the new Echo and much more. It boasts the same 360-degree audio but also supports Dolby audio.

Not only is the Echo Plus a great smart speaker, it’s also a smart home hub that can connect to multiple wireless protocols to set up your smart appliances and other gadgets. Best of all, you don’t have to fiddle with apps. Amazon says it works right out of the box.

During today’s demo, Amazon told the Echo Plus to “discover devices.” The speaker immediately went to work, searching various wireless protocols. It found some Zigbee smart light bulbs and set them up without any fuss from the user. The Echo Plus costs only $149 and comes with an included Philips Hue smart bulb.

Echo Spot alarm clock

Amazon Echo Spot
It’s more than just an alarm clock.
Photo: Amazon

The new Echo Spot is a smart alarm clock that is kind of like if the Echo Dot and the Echo Show had a little bitty baby. It packs a 2.5-inch screen and can be placed around the house to serve a variety of functions.

Along with keeping you up-to-date on the time and weather, you can also use Spot to place video calls via the front-facing camera. It packs built-in sound but can also be connected to other speakers via Bluetooth or an aux cable. You can also stream music through it via Prime Music, Pandora and Spotify. It goes on sale later this year for $130.

Fire TV 4K

Amazon’s new Fire TV is tough to beat.
Photo: Amazon

Just days after the Apple TV 4K launch, Amazon delivers an answer of its own. Like Apple’s set-top box, the new Fire TV 4K supports 4K video as well as HDR video (but only HDR10 and not Dolby Vision).

With a 1.5Ghz quad-core processor, it’s the most powerful TV dongle Amazon ever made. It gives users access to thousands of apps, plus Alexa. There’s a new remote, but if you don’t want to mess with that you can just pair it to your Echo speaker and control it via voice. Best of all, it only costs $69.99 — less than half what you’d pay for Apple TV 4K.

Echo Connect

Echo connect
Plug in Echo Connect to your home phone jack and you’re ready to make calls on your Echo speakers.
Photo: Amazon

For those that still have landline telephones, Echo Connect is the perfect product. It’s basically a futuristic intercom that also doubles as an Alexa-powered smart speaker.

With the Echo Connect, you can hook up your landline or VoIP number to the box and use it to make phone calls to your friends and family or 911 in an emergency, all without touching a button.

You’ll need an Echo-supported speaker for it to work, but at $35 it’s so cheap it’s almost a no-brainer.

Echo Buttons

Echo Buttons
Echo Buttons are Amazon’s oddest new additions.
Photo: Amazon

The all-new Echo Buttons are kind of like the Dash Buttons Amazon released a few years ago, only instead of using them to instantly order products, you use them to play games over your Echo speakers.

The buttons light up and can be pressed. You use them to play different interactive games through the Echo and Echo Plus. Some of the first celebrity-based game titles include Sounds Fun With Mike Epps, Buzzer Beater Basketball Trivia With Karl-Anthony Towns and Fourth Down Football Trivia With Philip Rivers. You can pick up a two-pack of Echo Buttons for $19.99.


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