E-retail giant on Wednesday went on a launch spree to unveil the new Fire TV streamer and five new Echo devices. All the newly introduced gadgets will go on sale over the coming months in US, UK and Germany.
New Fire TV with 4K
Let’s start with the new Fire TV. As rumoured, the new Fire TV streamer packs 4K and HDR support. It looks like Google’s Chromecast but with a boxy rectangular design. It also comes with Dolby Atmos integration for better sound and new Alexa voice remote.
In terms of raw specifications, the new Fire TV is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and includes dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 2GB of RAM, with 8GB of internal storage.
According to Amazon, it is now on pre-order in the US, UK & Germany for $69.99, £69.99 and €79.99 respectively. Shipping will start October 25.
Amazon is upgrading the original Echo with a new cheaper version, which comes with a dedicated woofer, bass tweeter and Dolby audio as well as a new design with changeable shells. It also support multi-room audio, making it a competitor to the likes of Sonos.
The company has also added a new set of far-field microphones to better hear what users are saying. Additionally, Amazon is adding calling support to phone numbers with Alexa on Echo devices. The new calling feature offers free outbound calling to US, Canada and Mexico. You won’t be able to make emergency calls though.
It will cost $99 in the US, £89 in UK and €99 in Germany. The company is also offering a discount of $50 if you want a set of three. The pre-orders are now open in US, UK and Germany. Shipping starts October 31.
A high-end version of the company’s Echo smart speaker, Echo Plus sports a design similar to the company’s original Echo. In addition to all the Echo features, the Plus version also acts as a smart home hub. According to company, it can seamlessly connect to your existing smart home products without any need for apps or complex skills. It currently supports over 100 smart home devices from third-party manufacturers.
The Echo Plus will retail $149 in US, £139 in UK, €149 in Germany. Pre-orders are now open in US, UK and Germany. Shipping will begin October 31.
Amazon wants to enhance your landline phone with the convenience of hands-free inbound and outbound calling with the new Echo Connect device. The device plugs into your existing landline socket and Echo smart speaker, in turn giving the latter ability to make or receive phone calls including calling emergency numbers. These calls will be routed through user’s existing landline number, so the receiver will know who is calling them.
Echo Connect costs $35 and will go on sale in Q4 in US, followed by UK in 2018.
Echo Spot is a cute little gadget, which offers the power of Alexa and the convenience of a circular display to the users. It packs the same second-gen far-field technology that powers the microphones in new Echo and Echo Plus. Additionally, Echo Spot also comes with a front camera to make video calls like on the Echo Show. You will also be able to use it to control your smart home appliances.
The Echo Spot carries a price-tag of $129.99 and is available for pre-order in the US. It will begin shipping in December. UK and Germany availability is scheduled for early next year.
The weirdest of today’s Amazon launches ae the Echo Buttons. According to Amazon, the Echo Buttons deliver new ways for the customers to play games with friends and family using Alexa. The buttons illuminate and can be pressed to trigger a variety of multiplayer and interactive game experiences.
The Echo Buttons will be offered in a two-pack, priced at $19.99. They will arrive in time for the holidays in the US, UK, and Germany.