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The Amazon Echo family gets a redesign and new features

By Ken Wong - on 25 Sep 2020, 2:23pm

The Amazon Echo family gets a redesign and new features

At their 2020 Hardware event, Amazon introduced an all-new Echo family featuring a spherical redesign, a fabric finish, and improved audio.

“These are the best Echo devices we have ever made,” said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “Echo and Echo Dot look beautiful and sound even better, and Echo Show 10 completely reimagines Alexa with a screen—the display moves with you, staying in view as you move around. It’s as natural as having a conversation. Plus, Alexa continues to get smarter—just ask to watch Netflix, make group calls, join video meetings on Zoom, upgrade your smart home with Alexa Guard and Amazon Sidewalk, and much more.”

We’ll start with the Echo for the youngest in the family.

 

The Echo Dot Kids Edition

Kids now can get reading help from Alexa. Image courtesy of Amazon.

The Echo Dot Kids Edition has the new spherical shape with new Panda and Tiger designs and animal-themed alarms. Parents can create Alexa voice profiles for their kids, too, so Alexa can automatically recognise them so if a child talks to Alexa, she will provide kid-friendly responses, games, music, and more.

It comes with a one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription, giving access to hours of kid-friendly Audible books, interactive games, and educational skills. Children will have access to an Alexa feature called Reading Sidekick, which will help them with reading. Just say, "Alexa, let's read." Alexa and the child will take turns reading from the book—when the child is reading, Alexa will provide encouragement and offer support.

 

The Echo Dot and Echo Dot with clock

This is the most basic Echo solution. Image courtesy of Amazon.

The Echo Dot comes with the same spherical design and fabric finish. It features a 1.6-inch, front-firing speaker that Amazon says produces crisp vocals and balanced bass for full sound you can enjoy in any room of your home.

The Echo Dot Clock has an LCD screen. Image courtesy of Amazon.

The new Echo Dot with clock comes with the same enhancements as the new Echo Dot, plus a simple LED display so you can glance at the time, temperature, timers, and alarms. It also automatically adjusts its brightness throughout the day.

 

The Echo

The new Echo works faster thanks to its improved processor. Image courtesy of Amazon.

Combining the previous Echo and Echo Plus, the next-generation Echo loses the cylinder design to join the rest of the family in a spherical form, fabric finish and an LED Halo at the base.

Inside, the new Echo packs a 3.0-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and Dolby processing for stereo sound. It can fine-tune audio and match the acoustics to suit the space it is in like the Echo Studio. It's powered by Amazon's first-generation AZ1 Neural Edge processor, so Alexa will be more responsive, and can process requests faster.

It also comes with a built-in smart home hub, with support for Zigbee, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and the new Amazon Sidewalk. Amazon Sidewalk can help you set up new devices quickly, extend the working range of devices like Ring Smart Lighting that may be beyond the range of your home Wi-Fi, and offer new support for devices like Tile to locate misplaced items.

 

The Echo Show 10

The new Echo Show 10 can swivel the screen automatically. Image courtesy of Amazon.

Enjoy the all new Echo Show 10 that has a powered 10-inch, adaptive HD display and a built-in 13-megapixel, wide-angle camera that pans and zooms to move around automatically and silently to keep you in view when you interact with Alexa, make video calls, or watch videos.

One new feature is Alexa Group Calling that allows you to create a group of up to eight friends and family members. To contact them, simply say, “Alexa, call my family.” Later this year, Echo Show devices will also support Zoom and Amazon Chime video conferencing. Say, “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting,” or “Alexa, start my Chime meeting,” to join a video call.

Alongside the dual, front-firing tweeters and powerful woofer, providing premium, directional sound and video streaming from Hulu and Prime, the Echo Show 10 will soon be able to stream from Netflix simply by giving Alexa a simple voice command.

Like the Echo, the Echo Show 10 uses the AZ1 processor and also offers smart home capabilities via Zigbee, BLE, and Amazon Sidewalk.

Protect your home with the new Echo Show 10. Image courtesy of Amazon.

For the security conscious, with a new Alexa Guard is in Away Mode, the Echo Show 10 can pan the room and send you an alert if it detects movement.

 

Pricing and availability

Echo (US$99.99) and Echo Dot (US$49.99) will be available in Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue. Echo Dot with clock (US$59.99) will be available in Glacier White and Twilight Blue. Echo Dot Kids Edition (US$59.99) will be available in Panda and Tiger animal designs. Pre-order starts today, with devices shipping later this year.

The all-new Echo Show 10 (US$249.99) will be available in Charcoal and Glacier White and will start shipping in time for the holidays. You can sign up to be notified when the all-new Echo Show 10 is available here. All new Echo Show features announced today will be available by the end of the year.

We have yet to receive local pricing and availability but will update this article when we receive it.

 

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During the same event, Amazon announced new Wi-Fi 6 Eero mesh networking routers, a home security drone, and a new streaming gaming service and controller.