Amazon has just announced a total of 15 new products, and while the Echo Buds, Echo Frames, and Echo Studio are the main attractions, it also refreshed or released new products across its Echo and Ring product lines.
New Echo Products
One of those new products is the Echo Dot Clock, which is a third-gen Echo Dot with a simple LED clock in the front of it. Amazon says it built this product because people constantly ask Alexa for the time, and now they won’t have to.
It also can be used as a voice-controlled smart alarm clock for those that were intrigued by the Echo Show 5, but don’t want a smart display or camera in their bedroom. You can smack the top of the Echo Dot Clock to silence an alarm instead of hunting for a specific button or using a voice command, and the dot-matrix display can be easily seen at night.
Aside from that, it’s the same Echo Dot as announced last year, and it puts out an impressive amount of sound and volume from its compact package. The Echo Dot Clock costs $59.99, about $10 more than the standard Echo Dot, and is available for preorder today with shipments expected later this year.
Along with the new Echo Dot Clock, there’s a new standard Echo, which adopts the design and sound quality of last year’s Echo Plus, but drops the built-in Zigbee smart home hub. The new Echo looks better and, more importantly, sounds way better than the second-gen Echo that came out in 2017. Amazon has ditched the wooden panel trims and is going all-in on the fabric covers, which are now available in four different colors. The new Echo is priced at $99.99 — same as the prior gen — and is available for preorder starting today.
There’s also a new Echo Show — a mid-size model called the Echo Show 8. The 8 has a similar design and features as the Echo Show 5, but with a larger and brighter 8-inch screen. It’s also louder and better for listening to music than the Show 5, but has a smaller foot print than the Echo Show, which has a 10-inch screen. The Show 8 has a front-facing camera, but adopts the physical shutter switch first seen on the 5. Perhaps most significant is the price: at $129.99, it’s $100 less than the Echo Show and just $40 more than the notably smaller Show 5.
A completely new product is the Echo Flex, a tiny little Echo speaker that you plug directly into a wall outlet. The purpose of the Flex is to give you easy access to Alexa in any room of your home, without the need for a larger Echo or Echo Dot. The Flex doesn’t have a very loud speaker — it’s not designed for listening to music with it — but it does support all of the Alexa features found on the larger models, including multi-room audio.
Cleverly, it has a USB-A port on the bottom of it, so you can use it to charge your phone. Or you can plug in one of Amazon’s new modules, which add either a nightlight or a motion sensor that you can use to trigger Alexa routines and control other smart home gadgets. he Flex is going to cost $24.99; the add-on models will be available for $14.99 each.
Perhaps the most whimsical of the new Echo products is the Echo Glow Lamp, which is basically a glowing light orb that can be controlled by an Echo. You can make it pulsate to the beat of music, flash through different colors, mimic a candle or fireplace, or just tap the top of it to change the color. It’s cute and at $24.99, will probably be quite popular.
New Ring Products
Amazon’s Ring brand announced three new products today: a less expensive outdoor camera, an all-new indoor camera, and a device that lets you integrate legacy home security systems into the Ring Alarm system.
The new Ring Stick Up Cam is a lot like the one released last year, and it works on either battery or wired power. The big difference is its price: at $99, it’s 30 percent cheaper than before. The company also teased the release of an Ethernet-powered camera called the Stick Up Cam Elite for $199, but we did not get a demo of that today.
Perhaps more interesting is the new Ring Indoor Cam, a shrunken version of the Stick Up Cam that’s Ring’s first camera designed for indoor use. It’s a much more compact camera than the outdoor models, but only works with a wired connection — no battery power here. It’s also aggressively priced at $59.99.
Ring showed off a new feature coming to its doorbells next year that will allow Alexa to answer the door and interact with visitors for you, but we were not able to get a demo of that today. It’s expected to first arrive on Ring’s Elite doorbells, which require constant power.
For the Ring Alarm, the company announced the Retrofit Alarm Kit, which will let homeowners connect existing, legacy wired home security sensors into a Ring Alarm system. It supports contact sensors — door and window sensors — and up to eight “zones” of sensors. It will be available for $199 or as a bundle with a Ring Alarm set for $379.
A new, lower-cost Eero
Finally, Amazon announced a new Eero mesh router system. This new Eero is simpler and cheaper than prior models, starting at just $99 and available in a three-pack for $249. It’s designed to be cheap and easy to set up — it’s not going to compete on the other Eero models for speed or coverage, but it’s also considerably less expensive than those, which run over $300.
Amazon also announced that it would be expanding the APIs for Alexa voice control with mesh router systems to include more specific and granular controls, such as enabling a guest network or shutting off internet to specific devices. This API won’t just be for Ring, though, as other mesh router makers will be able to tap into it, as well.
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