I see that Amazon have released a new range of Echo devices available to pre-order today:
First, there is a new 2nd Generation version of the Echo - which seems to now have a range of fabric and textured coverings available now. Styles include Charcoal Fabric, Heather Grey Fabric, Oak Finish, Sandstone Fabric, or a Silver or Walnut finish. Personally, I’m liking the look of the oak.
At time of writing this, it is available to pre-order for £89.99. The Echo is the full unit with the build in speaker.
Next available is the new Echo Show… which does what it sounds like - It’s an Echo with a screen. I think the idea of this isn’t to be a mini-TV or anything, but more as an information panel. I quite like the idea that you can link security cameras through it and then just ask Alexa to show you different locations. I guess the question is, does it really do anything that a tablet doesn’t? At just under £200… it seems a little pricey compared to a tablet on a stand…
The Echo Plus has a built in Smart Home Hub - which expands beyond the normal features of Alexa to also control aspects of your home like your lighting, heating, switches, doorlocks and more. At £139.99 with a Philips Hue Bulb included (I guess so you can demo the features) it’s a pretty good deal. Available in 3 colours - I’m liking the silver myself.
There is a new Fire TV ‘stick’ launched today as well (it isn’t a stick lol) - This give you an Alexa remote along with 4K streaming capabilities. I’ve been thinking of changing my TV services in my living room - currently got NOWTV in there… but using it less and less. Might consider this, especially if I upgrade the TV soon to QHD or 4K. At just under £70 it is not a bad price either…
5th on the list of new things announced is the Echo Connect which connects your existing Echo to your phone - so you can basically use your Echo as a speaker phone. To me, it seems like a sizeable box for someone that is basically just a wireless bridge. Would be funky if not expensive I guess - but I bet someone makes a 3rd party alternative at some point.
Not available to buy yet, register for interest here: http://amzn.to/2yueOg8
Lastly, there are Echo Buttons - I thought at first these were similar to the ‘quick order’ buttons that you can buy on Amazon to easily order products around your house… but no, these seem to be quiz buttons… looks like fun and is something that Amazon is going to expand on over time. If they are programable then they could make some other fun uses I guess. No pricing available.
Not available to buy yet, register for interest here: http://amzn.to/2fAkrFy