It seems like lately there has been a never ending rush of new devices being launched with Amazon’s Alexa AI assistant embedded inside and now, Amazon has added a few new options to their own lineup. The new devices a focused on three different markets: high-end with a preference for the aesthetic, this who are looking for a device with a screen that is smaller than the Echo Show, and a more advanced version with improved technical features.
The “All New” 2nd Generation Echo targets the high-end market with a range of fabric and textured exteriors, improved audio quality, and a price of $99.99 USD it takes aim at what is probably the most competitive portion of the market for higher end audio and classier design.
The Echo Spot is the smaller, rounder sibling of the splashy Echo Show and is the second Echo device to include a screen. It features most of the same functionality as the Echo Show including video calling, watching video clips, onscreen lyrics, and a custom clock face for when it is idle. The Spot is to the Show as the Dot is the Echo – a smaller, cheaper (retailing for $129.99 USD on December 19, 2017) option. It has only one speaker and a smaller (2.5″) screen which, if the Dot is any indication, shouldn’t be a deterrent to buyers. We expect to see lots of these Spots flying off the shelves.
The Echo Plus targets the techie market with only the slightest nod to updating the look from the original Echo with some minor cosmetic changes and a few new colors. The main attraction and reason for the ‘Plus’ is all inside. Amazon has super charged the features and provided a built-in Smart Home hub with a ZigBee radio. The addition of the hub means that the Echo Plus can now take on a more advanced role and actually directly control and integrate a wide range of smart devices. When the Plus launches on October 31st, 2017 it will ship for $150 USD and will include a Phillips Hue smart bulb for no additional cost.