Amazon headquarters was buzzing with excitement as the company recently unveiled a slew of amazing gadgets. If you’re on a hunt for the coolest yet most practical tech deals this time of the year, you might want to listen up. Here’s the low-down on the new Amazon devices.
Quirky Echo Buttons
We’ll start off with one of the oddest of the new Amazon devices: Echo Buttons. For just $20/pair, you’ll get your hands on these smart buzzers that connect to your Amazon Echo in case you feel like playing a friendly game of trivia with family or friends.
With their use being a little too specific, a lot of folks were hoping to get more info on how else to use the handheld buzzer. Much to everyone’s dismay, Amazon didn’t give away any more details beyond them being used only for Alexa-powered trivia.
Upgraded Fire TV 4K
It sure took a while, but Amazon has finally given its Fire TV box some much-needed love. Not only that, the Seattle-based company is also pushing the right buttons.
The latest Fire TV can now handle 4K video at up to 60 frames per second (fps). It’ll be built with a 1.5 GHz quad-core CPU and an 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity, too. What’s more, it’ll come with a remote that supports Alexa voice control. This means you can control the new Fire TV remotely using any of the Echo devices you already own.
Even better than all these updates is the fact that it’ll come at roughly the same price as Google’s Chromecast Ultra ($70). It’s so much more affordable than the Apple TV 4K, too. Plus, the Fire TV 4K gets an edge in the accessories department right off the bat.
All-New Amazon Echo
Visual appeal hasn’t been the original Echo’s strongest suit. Amazon, however, took note of the criticism and got plenty of ideas from competing smart speakers. The result is a better-looking Amazon Echo that immediately impresses with its softer, homelier aesthetics, which may be reminiscent of the designs you see on both Google Home and HomePod. It’s certainly a welcome change.
Beyond aesthetics, the 2nd generation Echo got its audio hardware done better this time with the addition of a dedicated woofer and tweeter. It even adds hardware support for Dolby Surround sound. Eager to know more about the latest, $99 Echo? Read up on our initial review of the much-improved smart speaker.
Bigger, Better Echo Plus
It pretty much looks like the first-gen Echo, but with a trick up its sleeve. The Echo Plus is a dedicated smart home hub right out of the box.
With the likes of Google, Apple, and Samsung vying to become the sole ‘brain of your smart home’, Amazon looks to surpass them all by replacing the need to own a dozen other smart home hubs. The Seattle retailer claims that about 100 brands will readily connect to the Echo Plus. Theoretically, it would be compatible with most IoT devices you may already have at home.
Itsy-Bitsy Echo Spot
Combine the Echo Show and its attractive screen with the Echo Dot and its adorable size and you’ll get the teeny-weeny Echo Spot. You can get this cute, little alarm clock for just $130.
It’s no ordinary timepiece, though. The Spot does everything Echo devices can do, but having a built-in camera means it supports video calls. You could now be checking and monitoring loved ones with the Echo Spot sitting right at your bedside. Wouldn’t that be neat?
Fascinating Echo Connect
As it is, Echo devices can be tapped to make phone calls over VoIP. What if your home’s Internet connection suddenly bogs down and you need to place an all-important call?
In that case, use the brand-new Echo Connect to link to your landline and give someone a good ol’ fashion ring. For the most part, Amazon is pitching this box as a must-have for worst-case scenarios. And for just $35, that’s not such a bad deal.
Connected Fish Décor
In what turned out to be the weirdest of the new Amazon devices, Amazon revealed that Alexa may one day be able to command a motion-activated Big Mouth Billy Bass wall plaque.
They had a little discourse on their Gadgets API and how it’ll connect Alexa to external devices down the road. Now, imagine a future where the voice assistant could command the silicon fish (via Bluetooth) and make it lip-sync and dance whenever music plays. It’s an intriguing premise, at the least. It still has ways to go, though, before the concept translates into some practical, everyday application.
With all these new, exciting announcements about new Amazon devices, many were slightly dismayed that there was no word on a new Kindle e-reader. It’s been more than a year since Amazon released its latest Kindle and it’s about time we get new models or upgrades, at the least.Overall, it has been an eventful day at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters and we’re excited to see the company pushing its major innovations a little further towards perfection and ubiquity.
Overall, it has been an eventful day at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters and we’re excited to see the company pushing its major innovations a little further towards perfection and ubiquity.