Amazon held a press event on Wednesday, where it debuted several new products in its popular Echo lineup of smart devices. Unveiled were an improved $99 Echo, the smart hub-enabled Echo Plus, and the petite Echo Spot, which includes a 2.5-inch display.
The updated Echo carries a new price of $99.99, and is available for pre-order right now, shipping on October 31. The new smart speaker includes dedicated tweeter and woofer units for better sound, is Dolby-certified, and offers improved far-field microphone technology. The new device is available in six different colors with wood, fabric, or metal shells. Wood and metal units are a bit pricier, at $119.99.
The Echo Plus, which also is available for pre-order for October 31 delivery, will regularly sell for $165, but is available for pre-order at an introductory price of $149.99. The device will operate as a ZigBee smart home hub, allowing it to quickly discover and configure compatible smart devices. The Echo Plus also includes a Philips Hue lightbulb in the package. It is available in black, white, and silver.
The Echo Spot is a tiny, round screened version of the Echo Show, and runs $129.99. The little 2.5-inch display device is available for pre-order, for delivery on December 19. The Dot includes a basic internal speaker, Bluetooth connectivity, and can also use 3.5mm speakers for better sound quality, ala the Echo Dot Users can display clock faces, place and receive video calls, view video clips, stream from compatible security cameras, and view song lyrics. The Spot is available in back and white.
In addition, the $34.99 Echo Connect is available for pre-order with delivery on December 13, which allows connecting a landline phone to your Echo, allowing for voice-controlled speakerphone calls to other landlines and cellular phones.
Also unveiled on Wednesday were the retailer’s $20 Echo Buttons, which can be used to play games with friends and family in conjunction with an Echo device.
Last but not least, Amazon unveiled their new dongle-sized Fire TV, which supports 4K, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos. The $69,99 device will likely prove to be a formidable competitor for Apple’s new Apple TV 4K, which goes for more than twice the Fire TV’s price. The new Fire TV is available for pre-order now, for delivery on October 25.