AMAZON ANNOUNCES NEW RANGE OF ECHO SMART DEVICES
In a significant expansion of the Echo range, Amazon today launched four new models in Australia with added features, enhanced capabilities and better sound. All look smarter than their ancestors, are more compact designs, and two include Zigbee hubs for added home automation,
As Amazon says:
When paired with compatible smart home devices, the new Echo range allows Australians to transform their home with smart lights, locks, sensors, plugs, switches, and more.
The Four New Echo devices are:
- Echo Show: An all-new design, with upgraded speakers, a 10-inch HD display, and an embedded home hub, for a pretty reasonable $349.00
- New Echo Plus: Start a smart home with the built-in Zigbee hub, upgraded speaker, and a new design, It's still only $229.00
- New Echo Dot: The easiest way to bring Alexa into your home, a new speaker for better sound, an updated fabric design, and just $79.00
- Echo Sub: An Echo companion device, that adds deep, rich bass to music playback on Echo devices for $199.00
The Echo Show, available for the first time in Australia, is a brand new design with a vibrant display for video, movies and accessing all Alexa content. A 5MP front camera enables high-definition video calling to friends and family who have an Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App. 'Drop In' on supported Echo devices makes for a great baby monitor and coming soon, customers can connect around the world with Skype calling and video calling.
For better sound, the screen is flanked with dual, side-firing 2 Neodymium drivers, a passive bass radiator and Dolby processing. Just ask to play Amazon Music, Spotify, TuneIn, and more.
We love the auto-discover feature in the embedded Zigbee smart home hub. Just say “Alexa, discover my devices,” to automatically discover and set-up compatible light bulbs, plugs and switches without the need for additional hubs or apps. Once set up, ask Alexa to turn on the lights or use the touch-screen to turn devices on and off.
As well as sounding better and looking neater, the Echo Plus now includes an embedded temperature sensor, so you can set temperature-based routines using other smart home devices. For example, when the living room reaches 30 degrees, Alexa can send a notification to your phone and turn on a fan connected to a smart plug. Sounds 'smart' to us.
The new Echo Dot plays music louder than before with richer sound, all in a sleeker compact design. At $79 you can put an Echo Dot in every room to ask for the weather, play your music, set timers and alarms, and control compatible smart home devices. "Alexa, dim the lights and play seductive music," we say.
Echo Sub is a wireless subwoofer for bass heads. Connect it with compatible Echo devices to create a 1.1 or 2.1 pairing for stereo. With the equaliser, users can adjust the bass, mid-range, and treble of the pairing simply by saying, “Alexa, turn up the bass.”
GadgetNET says: These are some great upgrades to our favourite smart devices and the Echo Show with video calling is certainly going to find a way into our office.
The new Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, and Echo Sub are available for pre-order on www.amazon.com.au starting today and will start shipping next month.
Rob Follis has been writing about tech on and off for over 40 years, is a designer, photographer, information omnivore, gadget-head, Hi-Fi afficionado, owner of far far too many things and sadly an unsuccessful app developer. A born & bred Londoner now happily living in Melbourne. Email Rob.
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