Amazon presented new hardware on September 24th. With it a completely redesigned Amazon Echo and Echo Dot as well as a new Echo Show that follows the user. The Echo and Dot 2020 are now available in stores. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON has the details about the new devices from Amazon.
As part of its product launch, Amazon announced an environmental campaign. All new Echo devices are therefore made from 100 percent recycled materials. There is also a new low power mode, which means that the devices consume less power than before. But these are not the only innovations that Echos 2020 have to offer. We present the smart speakers with Amazon Alexa and tell you who is particularly suitable for which model.
New Echo Dot in Ball Look
Amazon has completely redesigned its Echo Dot and Echo Dot with clock. Instead of being tubular, they are now shaped like a sphere. Special designs for children are also available – but only in the USA for the time being. Instead of gray, blue or white, they come in a colorful design and are designed like animal faces. Also included is an annual subscription for Amazon Kids +, which provides access to child-friendly audiobooks and radio plays.
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The new spherical Amazon Echo Dot has the fabric cover that we already know from previous models. The model with clock also has a built-in LED display that shows the time. Both models have a glowing echo ring at the bottom that shows the status of the device. A 1.6-inch front speaker provides the sound output, which, according to Amazon, delivers a balanced audio experience with well-carved bass.
Not All Functions of the Amazon Echo Dot are Available
The processor inside is also new. For the first time, Amazon relies on the AZ1 Neural Edge Processor, which was specially developed to accelerate machine learning applications. It processes voice commands even faster and ensures quick reactions. Even more important, however, is the change to Amazon’s language assistant Alexa. It now sounds even more fluid and therefore more realistic and can communicate with the user even better than before. The faster processing of inquiries and the smoother Alexa output are initially only available in the USA, but could later also be activated for Germany.
The Dot is the smallest smart speaker that Amazon offers. It can be used to play music via Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer and other streaming services, among other things, and several compatible Echo devices can be connected thanks to multiroom support. In this way, several rooms in the apartment can be filled with stereo sound, for example. It is also used for voice control in the smart home and has Amazon’s new data protection measures, including the ability to switch off the microphone.
Amazon is now selling the Echo Dot for 58.48 euros, the Echo Dot with watch costs 68.22 euros and will be available from November 5th. The colorful Kids Editions are not available in this country for the time being. Pre-orders are now possible in Germany, the delivery will take place later in the year.
Who is the Echo Dot for?
The Echo Dot is the ideal device for users who operate their smart home cheaply using voice control or who want to expand their Echo multi-room system inexpensively. It does not offer as rich a sound as the large Echo or the Echo Studio, but is still suitable for music playback. However, the Echo Dot does not have a Zigbee hub for connecting smart devices such as Philips Hue and Co. Users have to integrate a separate hub into their home network here. If you opt for the model with an integrated clock, you can also use the Echo Dot as an alarm clock.
Amazon Echo – A Ball Full of Music
In addition to the Echo Dot, the Echo 2020 also has a new spherical design. As with the dot, the glowing ring is now at the foot of the echo. It is covered by fabric and available in the colors anthracite, blue-gray and white. The Echo offers all the functions that the Dot has, but brings some additional extras. Among other things, they include a Zigbee hub with which compatible smart home devices can be integrated into the home network without an additional device. Users no longer have to buy a separate hub.
The Amazon Echo has a stronger sound than the little Dot. Instead of just a 41 mm loudspeaker radiating to the front, the large Echo has a 76 mm woofer and a 20 mm double tweeter. It also supports Dolby Audio, automatically detects the acoustics of the room like the Echo Studio and fine-tunes the audio playback. As a result, it plays music more full-bodied than the Dot – with a balanced bass and clear highs. If you want, you can link the Echo with the Fire TV to output the sound from the TV.
Amazon sells the Echo for 97.47 euros. However, longer delivery times are currently to be expected.
Who is the new Amazon Echo Suitable for?
Music lovers should reach for the Big Echo rather than the Echo Dot. The better audio technology ensures a richer and fuller sound. In addition, the Echo has an integrated Zigbee hub and a temperature sensor and thus serves as the center for the home network – users do not have to create separate hubs. Zigbee can be used to integrate devices such as Philips Hue lamps, smart thermostats or sockets into the smart home.
Amazon Echo Show 10 Follows the User
The Amazon Echo Show 10 offers the ability to play videos. It has a 10-inch display, the orientation of which automatically adapts to the position of the user. Using a combination of audio beam technology and artificial intelligence, the device recognizes where the user is and automatically turns to him thanks to the integrated motor. So he can keep an eye on the display even when he is moving around the room. Amazon emphasizes that Alexa does not identify a specific person, but only a human figure. The movement function can also be deactivated.
The Echo Show 10 allows video telephony between different echo shows, for which it accesses an integrated 13-megapixel camera that can be closed with a slider if desired. Services such as Skype and later in the year Zoom are also supported. Thanks to the camera, the Echo Show 10 can also be used to monitor the apartment – for example, to keep an eye on children or pets. The screen and display can also be moved by remote control on the smartphone in order to capture the entire room. In the new Guard Mode, which does not yet exist in this country, the Echo Show 10 reports to the owner when it detects unusual movements.
According to Amazon, the integration of Netflix will follow later in the year, then owners of the Echo Show 10 or any other model with a display can access the entire catalog of the streaming service and watch TV directly via the Echo.
The Echo Show 10 has an integrated loudspeaker, the Alexa connection and supports smart home control via Zigbee. It makes it possible to control devices integrated in the home network via Zigbee by voice. The new Echo Show 10 in the colors anthracite, white and blue-gray costs 243.69 euros.
Who is the Echo Show 10 Suitable for?
Unlike the Echo and the Echo Dot, the Echo Show has a display and thus opens up other possibilities. Users can not only play videos via YouTube or Netflix, they can also make video calls and display texts. In the kitchen, the Echo Show 10 can, for example, serve as a cooking guide or digital recipe book. In other rooms, it can be used for surveillance thanks to its motor and camera. Customers who value the video and display function should therefore choose this model.