All should be available in time for the holiday season. You can’t buy any of them just yet but here is what I know so far, what Amazon has revealed, and what I think, in my professional opinion, their best uses are. Let’s look at all six and see what might work for you.
Price – $99.99
Color options – Charcoal, Heather Gray, Oak, Sandstone, Silver and Walnut
Release date – November 8th, 2017
Amazon seems to be revamping their lineup significantly this time around. The new Echo is right in the middle between the current (and still available) Echo Dot and the old Echo, but this time it’s significantly smaller and almost half the price.
Most notable is the deceased tweeter size from 2” to .6”, while the 2.5” woofer is retained. The lower price and a solid build make this new Echo a great choice for kitchens and living rooms alike. It will likely be Amazon’s new best seller for Alexa in most homes.
Price – $149.99
Color options – Black, Silver and White
Release date – October 31st, 2017
The new Echo Plus is a bit confusing, it looks exactly like the old Echo, but it has a lower price and a lot more features, while now being positioned as the high-end version of the Echo. The most significant new feature is the addition of a built-in smart hub, to allow greater control over your home and devices. It also includes a Philips Hue Smart Bulb to add to its out-of-box usefulness, which is a nice extra value.
The hub’s communication protocols have not yet been fully released, but I would expect it to support at least IP, ZigBee, and Z-Wave. Compared to the new Echo above, this unit has a slightly larger .8” tweeter. I don’t expect it to sound a whole lot better, but Amazon may just surprise me with this one. You also get a 3.5mm jack on the Echo Plus to connect external speakers.
Price – $69.99
Color options – Black only
Release date – October 25th 2017
I am a big fan of the current Fire TV Stick so a new version is interesting to see so soon. It now offers Ultra HD resolution, HDR10, has a faster processor (1.5GHz vs 1.3GHz), double the memory (1GB to 2GB), and supports Dolby Atmos. I know that is a lot to take in, but Amazon seems to be holding nothing back with this release and oh, did I mention it’s only $30 more than the old Fire TV Stick at just $69.99? Pretty cool Amazon!
Price – $34.99
Color options – Black only
Release date – December 13th, 2017
Amazon really wants you to stay connected with friends and family, and now they’ve made it even easier with the Echo Connect, which requires a compatible Echo Device so you can use Alexa to call anyone using your home phone, landline or VoIP. It uses the Alexa app to store and use your contacts to make calls. Alexa will also announce who is calling and stay in sync with your phone. It’s a great concept, but an odd product from Amazon. I’m not completely confident it will gain market traction. The low price point is a plus if this is something you are interested in.
Price – $129.99
Color options – White or Black
Release date – December 19th, 2017
Personally, I think this is the best of Amazon’s new releases, I really like the Echo Show, but it’s expensive ($230) and is quite big. Amazon fixed this with the release of the new Echo Spot for just $129.99. It’s like a flipped-up Echo Dot with a screen. It’s seems like the perfect bedside Alexa device, becoming a clock when not in use, showing camera feeds on command, and in the morning, waking you up at the right time while briefing you on the latest news. It has a modern attractive design with simple practicality and lots of potential uses. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!
Price – $20
Color options – Unknown at this time
Release date – Unknown at this time
Amazon knows people like to play games with their Alexa devices, so naturally Amazon needed a better way to help interact with Alexa so it announced the Echo Buttons. Not much is known at this time but I assume they will be battery-powered and use multi-color LEDs. This could be a neat little product, but I have a feeling it will quickly find its way to the kids’ toy bin. Until more information and features are released I don’t have much else to say about this one.