Amazon on Thursday held its annual hardware-centric event, where the e-commerce giant showcased its sprawling array of next-generation Echo devices, new Echo-connected speakers, Alexa-powered devices (including a new Amazon-branded Smart Microwave) and other new products. Continue reading to see some Amazon's greatest new devices for 2018 and beyond.
9 New Echo Dot
Featuring a larger 1.6-inch driver capable of producing 70 percent louder and cleaner sounding audio compared to its predecessor, Amazon proudly claimed it “went back to the drawing board” when designing its second-generation Echo Dot.
The new Echo Dot won’t only cost the same amount as its predecessor, but also sports a slightly refined external design, while retaining the same Bluetooth and AUX output features for maximum connectivity while at home or on-the-go. You can pre-order the new Echo Dot for $49.99 starting today, with the first units shipping in early-October.
7 Echo Auto
Calling it the ultimate portable device for taking Echo with you on-the-go, Amazon announced a new entrant to its voice-driven personal assistant family: the Echo Auto.
This powerful yet pint-sized gadget allows you to carry-out the full suite of Alexa voice commands, is controllable 100 percent via your phone, and enables you to you to play audio back over your vehicle’s speaker system using a total of eight microphones to reduce in-cabin voice resonance and maximize recognition.
Echo Auto will be available on an invite-only basis, to start, costing $24.99. It will then be available to all other customers for $49.99 sometime thereafter, Amazon said.
6 Echo Input
Clocking in at just 12.5 mm tall, Amazon’s tiniest new product — the Echo Input — is a powerful device meant to bring Alexa-functionality to your existing home speaker system.
As Amazon notes, the Echo Input contains no audio source of its own, but relies on an in-built far-field microphone array to process Alexa commands from virtually anywhere you decide to place it in your home. Echo Input will be available later this year for $34.99, Amazon said.
5 Second-Generation Echo Plus
Much like last-year’s Echo model, Amazon’s second-generation Echo Plus boasts a soft-curved, cloth-covered design, but brings new features like better sound-quality and integration with Smart Home devices and accessories to the table.
The second-generation Echo Plus features a new in-built temperature sensor which can interface with your home’s existing Smart thermostat hardware.
Amazon also showcased the Echo Plus’ new local voice controls feature, which will essentially allow you to use the Echo Plus when there’s no internet connection.
The device is available to pre-order starting today for $149.99, and the first units are expected to ship in mid-October.
4 Echo Sub
As an extension to the existing family of Echo devices, Amazon also announced its new $129.99 Echo Sub — which is essentially just that: a large, standalone subwoofer unit designed to seamlessly interface with your other Echo devices and provide that much-needed, ear-tickling boost to your audio.
3 Second-Generation Echo Show
Boasting new features including a refined design, improved audio playback and a larger 10-inch LCD display, Amazon’s second-generation Echo Show features a ton of new enhancements, including a new octagonal microphone array, as well as advanced Alexa-powered Home hub capabilities.
Amazon has also added new internet capabilities to the second-generation Echo Show, including the ability to access to the internet via Firefox or Amazon's Silk browser, in addition to third-party video calling support via Skype.
Pre-orders for the $229.99 second-generation Echo Show begin today, with the first units shipping in October.
2 AmazonBasics Microwave
Amazon, under its proprietary AmazonBasics brand, will soon be launching its first Smart Microwave oven, which will come fully-equipped with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and access to the e-commerce giant’s Alexa Connect Kit.
According to Amazon, its latest Alexa Connect Kit update “includes a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE module that contains software — written and managed by Amazon — that automatically and securely connects to Amazon-managed cloud services.” Which means, in other words, the AmazonBasics Microwave will be able to connect to your Echo devices via Alexa Connect Kit.
The company also touts how the Microwave includes “dozens of quick-cook voice presets, so you can cook just by asking Alexa,” as well as a built-in ‘Ask Alexa’ button which can be pressed and held to issue simple commands like “three minutes on high”, which can help expedite your cooking process.
When it begins shipping later on this year, the AmazonBasics Smart Microwave will retail for a modest $59.99. Like all the new Echo devices, the Microwave can also be pre-ordered starting today.
1 Echo Wall Clock
Falling into the same new category as its self-branded Microwave, Amazon introduced its new Echo wall clock, which is fully compatible for connecting up with Echo devices to issue smart alarms, and even change the time, using Alexa and the sound of your voice.
The clock boasts a classic hour-minute hand theme, but allows for advanced functionality via its Bluetooth and Alex connectivity options.