Alexa, meet your new family. Today, in a surprise announcement at its Seattle headquarters, Amazon rolled out a brand new lineup of products featuring its well-known voice assistant.
It's been about a month of major tech product releases — namely new phones from Samsung and Apple — but Amazon's release is primarily focused on its speakers. (In June, Apple announced its smart speaker, HomePod, which will go on sale in December.)
Ahead, a guide to the new Amazon tech products announced today.
The New Amazon Echo
If you held off on buying the old Echo because you didn't love the white or black options, Amazon has heard you and provided an answer. The new Echo is more compact and comes with colors that will blend in with your furniture more easily: Oak veneer, sandstone fabric, charcoal fabric, heather gray fabric, walnut veneer, and silver.
According to Amazon, the new Echo got an audio upgrade too with an improved speaker, as well as the ability to understand you better from farther away. Hopefully, you won't need to scream at Alexa anymore to get her to change the playlist. For this, and all other new Echo devices, you can add the $35 Echo Connect — which plugs into the wall and can be used to make calls.
Right now, you can't even buy the original Echo on Amazon anymore — you'll only see a pre-order option for the new improved and more affordable Echo, which retails for $99.99.
The New Echo Plus
For those with a smart home setup, or intentions to invest in connected lights, locks, and plugs, the Echo Plus will be the device for you. For $149.99, you'll get a device with all the features of the new Echo, plus the ability to automatically discover and set up your smart products.
The one downside with Plus is that you don't get the attractive new color options available for Echo: The colors are limited to white, silver, and black.
You can use the circular device to look at photos, music lyrics, or to make video calls. When you aren't using Spot, you can personalize its screen with a digital clock face.
At $129,99, it's slightly more expensive than the new Echo, but it's less than the Echo Plus.
Amazon is calling the new Echo Buttons an "Alexa Gadget." Unlike other Echo products, these are intended for playing games rather than everyday, practical use. The buttons, which aren't available for pre-order yet, cost $19.99 for a set of two. They can be used in sync with an Alexa device for game night.
Amazon Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and HDR
Just weeks after Apple introduced Apple TV 4K, Amazon unveiled that they're in the 4K competition — and its version is much more affordable. Compared to Apple's $179 little black streaming box, the new Fire TV 4K costs just $69.99.
According to Amazon, Fire TV will soon have voice controls via Alexa, as Apple has with Siri, and you'll be able to stream from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video.
If you're tempted to pre-order now, you might want to wait one more week. On October 4, Google is expected to announce its latest products, which may include a new version of Google Home. Once that's done, you can sit down and decide between all the new home tech options.