Amazon all-new Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Show launched
The all-new Echo has all the familiar Alexa features but sports a new design, improved sound with Dolby processing, and a lower price of £89.99. The Echo Plus, meanwhile, has a built-in smart home hub to connect your smart devices—set up and start controlling lights, plugs, and more—for £139.99, with a Philips Hue smart lightbulb included while supplies last.
The Echo Show, however, is arguably the headlining product – it’s a smart speaker with the added bonus of a screen and it also introduces Alexa calling and messaging—which is Amazon’s ‘kinda’ answer to Face Time and iMessage rolled into one.
“We introduced the first Echo, powered by Alexa, with a goal to fundamentally simplify and improve the way customers interact with their homes,” said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “Today, Alexa can call people, play music in every room, turn on your lights, and even order you a pizza. But it’s still day one, and today we’re making Echo and Alexa even better. The all-new Echo and Echo Plus deliver better sound, all new far-field technology, and new features we think customers will love.”
With an all-new compact design, the all-new Echo comes in a variety of shell colours and finishes to fit into your home’s décor—choices include Charcoal Fabric, Sandstone Fabric, Heather Grey Fabric, Oak Finish, Walnut Finish and Silver Finish. It also features a new speaker architecture of a dedicated tweeter, a 2.5” downward-firing woofer, and Dolby processing to improve and sound quality and can play music from leading services like Amazon Music, Spotify, TuneIn, and more.
The new Echo uses Amazon’s second generation far-field technology, which features better wake word processing, improved beam-forming technology, and enhanced noise cancellation. The Echo far-field technology works to detect the wake word from across the room even in the noisiest parts of your home.
The Echo Plus is designed to make connecting to compatible smart home devices easy. Just say, “Alexa, discover my devices,” and Echo Plus will automatically discover and set up compatible lights, plugs, and more without the need for additional hubs or apps. This set-up works with a variety of ZigBee products from leading brands such as Philips Hue, Hive and more. To help get your smart home started, customers will receive a Philips Hue smart lightbulb with the purchase of an Echo Plus while supplies last.
The Echo Plus has enhanced 360-degree omni-directional audio, with Dolby processing and does all the streaming ‘stuff’ as the Echo.
The Echo Plus will be ideally suited to a new feature in ‘Alexa Routines’. Routines allow you to automate a series of customisable actions using a single voice command of your choice. For example, say, “Alexa, good night,” and Alexa will turn off the lights, lock the door, and turn off the TV. You can also create Routines based on the time of day – for example, you can create a Routine that has Alexa turn on the kitchen lights, start the coffee maker, and read the weather forecast at 6am every weekday and at 9am every Saturday and Sunday.
Routines are compatible with popular Works with Amazon Alexa lights, plugs and switches from leading brands like Philips Hue, TP Link and Wemo, and will be available for all Alexa devices including the all-new Echo, the previous generation Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, and Echo Plus starting next month.
The Echo Show is being used to bang the drum for Alexa calling and messaging. As an example, you can ask Alexa to call mum, and you’ll be connected via video to her Echo Show or the Alexa app on other devices. You can also enable a new feature called Drop In for the special cases when you want to connect with your closest family and friends or other Echo devices in your home. For example, you can drop in to ask what time dinner will be ready, see the family room, or check in with a close relative.
Amazon also introduced Echo Connect, a new Alexa accessory that turns your Echo into a high quality, hands-free speakerphone for your home phone line. Echo Connect will work with your existing home phone service – either landline or VoIP. Without touching a single button, ask Alexa to call anybody from your contact list – when you call, they will see your home phone number as the caller ID. When someone you know calls your home phone, Alexa will announce their name from your contacts list—just ask Alexa to answer to start the conversation.
The all-new Echo is £89.99. It is available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.co.uk/echo
and will start shipping next month. Amazon Echo is also available in a two-pack—buy 2, get £25.00 off—or a 3-pack—buy 3, save £50.00.
Echo Plus is £139.99. It is available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.co.uk/echoplus
and will start shipping next month. To help get your smart home started, customers will receive a Philips Hue smart lightbulb with every purchase of an Echo Plus while supplies last.
Echo Show will be available at www.amazon.co.uk/echoshow at £199.99
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