Amazon had a huge hardware event yesterday where it debuted plenty of new products and services. I won’t be covering everything individually from the event due to time constraints, but I did want to at least go over what Amazon unveiled during the event. I’ll include links to all of their respective product pages so you can see and learn more about them.
Let’s start with the Echo line. Amazon went spherical with its smart speaker array this year, giving basically the entire lineup a face lift. The standard Echo speaker has taken ball form with a flat base and LED light to indicate when Alexa has been activated. The same goes for the new Echo Dot, Echo Dot with clock, and Echo Dot Kids Edition.
The new Echo also sounds better thanks to a new 3.0-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and Dolby processing. The Echo Dot line should sound similar to the previous-gen hardware, but that’s not all that big a deal since those speakers sound fine for what they are.
Alexa is getting upgraded on the standard Echo so it responds quicker to commands. It’s thanks to a new AZ1 Neural Edge processor Amazon developed with MediaTek. You also get support for Zigbee, Bluetooth low-energy, Tile trackers, and Amazon Sidewalk which can aid smart home accessories like Ring Smart Lighting that might be out of range from your home’s Wi-Fi connection. Those features aren’t a part of the Echo Dot lineup, unfortunately.
Next on the list: the Echo Show 10. This one’s really interesting since Amazon didn’t just give it a redesign. It also threw in a motor so that the device’s screen could follow you wherever you are in a room.
Using various different sensors and echolocation, the Echo Show 10 can tell where you’re located and redirect its screen towards you so you always have a good view of the display. This might be helpful for following recipes while in the kitchen or watching Netflix which is now possible on the device. Notably, the screen won’t follow you in real time – it’ll move when it thinks it’s necessary. During video calls, however, the screen will follow you in order to keep you centered in the frame.
If you want to turn these features off, you can simply say “Alexa, turn off motion,” flick a switch in the Alexa app, or slide the built-in cover over the 13MP camera.
The Echo Show 10 comes powered by Amazon’s new AZ1 Neural Processor and includes BLE support, Zigbee support, and Amazon Sidewalk support. It packs dual front-firing tweeters and a woofer for improved audio, Alexa Group Calling for group video calls, improved security, and the same 10-inch HD display as previous Echo Shows. It’ll retail for $249.99 when it launches this holiday season.
Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite
Amazon also updated its Fire TV Stick lineup with a new base model that’s 50 percent faster than the previous model. It supports streaming at 1080p 60fps in HDR, 5GHz Wi-Fi, Dolby Atmos sound, and it only needs half the power to operate as the previous version. It’ll retail for $59.99.
Meanwhile, Amazon has also introduced a cheaper version of the Fire TV Stick called the Fire TV Stick Lite. It has the same processor as the baseline Fire TV Stick but it doesn’t get the faster Wi-Fi, Dolby Atmos audio, or improved power efficiency. On the other hand, it’ll go for just $29.99 which is quite a deal.
In addition, Amazon has redesigned the Fire TV UI to be much more user-friendly and easier to find content. The UI will roll out to other Fire TVs later this year.
Both the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite begin shipping next week.
eero 6 Wi-Fi routers
Amazon introduced new eero 6 mesh Wi-Fi routers which offer Wi-Fi 6 coverage for more than 75 devices all at once. There’s the standard eero 6 which is designed for connections up to 500 Mbps in speed. It offers two Ethernet ports, a built-in Zigbee smart home hub, and up to 5,000 feet of coverage with the right package. Meanwhile, the eero Pro 6 is designed for Gigabit connections with its tri-band setup. It also comes with two Ethernet ports and Zigbee. It can cover up to 6,000 square feet with the right package.
Amazon will sell the eero 6 for $129 for a one-pack, $199 for a two-pack (one router, one extender), and $279 for a three-pack (one router, two extenders). The eero Pro 6 will go for $229 for a one-pack, $399 for a two-pack, and $599 for a three-pack. Both models go on sale later this year.
Ring in your car and mailbox
Amazon’s Ring security division also unveiled new products, with two of them being designed for your car. The Ring Car Alarm plugs into your OBD-II port and alerts you when it detects a bump, break-in, tow, and more. When an event’s detected, you get notified and given the option to sound the car’s alarm.
Then there’s the Ring Car Cam. It’s a security camera for your car that can detect bumps and attempted break-ins. It’ll also alert you and give you the option to look around inside your car to see what’s going on. The camera can also detect serious crashes and call emergency services for you. there’s also the ability to say “Alexa, I’m being pulled over” and have the camera record the interaction and store it in the cloud.
I’d also like to mention Ring’s new Mailbox Sensor which literally just tells you when you received mail and when your box is open. I guess it’ll be relatively helpful for the most forgetful of us.
The Ring Car Alarm will cost $59.99, the Ring Car Cam will go for $199.99, and the Ring Mailbox Sensor is priced at $29.99. All three will go up for preorder October 8th.
Ring Always Home Cam
Finally, there’s the Ring Always Home Cam. It is a camera attached to a drone that literally flies throughout your home so you can keep tabs on things when you’re going. It’ll cost $249.99. Need I say more?