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Smart Devices

Amazon’s new Echo smart speakers are faster, smarter and spherical

By Nadeem Sarwar September 24, 2020, 4:27 pm

Amazon has today launched a new lineup of Echo smart speakers with an all-new spherical design. The new smart speakers come in four variants – the vanilla Echo smart speaker, a smaller Echo Dot, an Echo Dot with a clock, and the Echo Dot Kids Edition. The new Echo speakers ship with a smarter Alexa and come equipped with the in-house Amazon AZ1 Neural Edge processor that performs on-device neural speech processing to make the virtual assistant more responsive.

This is because voice commands are no longer sent to the cloud for processing, and it is instead done locally to deliver a faster response. Additionally, all of Amazon’s new smart speakers now come with a Low Power Mode that helps save energy during periods of non-activity. Amazon says that the new Echo devices are made from 100% post-consumer recycled fabric, 100% recycled die-cast aluminum, and post-consumer recycled plastic. And oh, there’s also an LED light ring at the base of the sphere

Amazon Echo Dot

Starting with the standard  Echo smart speaker, it costs $99.99 and is now up for pre-order in Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue colors. Amazon has given the latest Echo speaker an audio boost by equipping it with a 3.0-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and Dolby audio support to deliver deeper bass and clear highs. Plus, it can now sense the surrounding acoustics and automatically adjusts the audio output accordingly. It also comes with a built-in smart home hub to help users set up new devices quickly and extend the working range of other smart home devices.

The smaller Echo Dot and the Echo Dot with clock retain the same design as the standard Echo smart speaker. They feature a less powerful 1.6-inch front-firing speaker. Plus, Amazon is finally adding support for the tap-to-snooze feature on the new Echo Dot series speakers. As for the Echo Dot with clock, its display will allow users to check time, temperature, timers, and alarms. The Echo Dot is priced at $49.99 and comes in Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue colors. On the other hand, the Echo Dot with clock goes slightly higher at $59.99 and is only available in two colors – Glacier White and Twilight Blue. 

Echo Dot Kids Edition

Amazon has also launched an Echo Dot Kids Edition that flaunts cartoon-inspired Panda and Tiger prints. On this device, the Alexa experience is tailored for kids and offers features such as extensive parental controls, the ability to set voice profile for kids, and comes with a 1-year worth of Amazon Kids+ subscription. It will set buyers back by $59.99 and is up for pre-order in two prints starting today in the US. 

As for the Indian market, the Echo Dot is now up for pre-order priced at Rs. 4,499 and will go on sale starting October 26. The vanilla Echo smart speaker carries a price tag of Rs. 9,999, while the Echo Dot with clock will set buyers back by Rs. 5,499 in the country.


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