At their hardware event for 2020, Amazon has announced a slew of new products including a new Echo, Echo Dot and eero 6 series.
Echo (4th Gen)
The main Amazon Echo is now in its fourth generation and it brings a new spherical fabric design, that is reminiscent of the Nexus Q.
“These are the best Echo devices we have ever made,” said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “Echo and Echo Dot look beautiful and sound even better, and Echo Show 10 completely reimagines Alexa with a screen—the display moves with you, staying in view as you move around. It’s as natural as having a conversation. Plus, Alexa continues to get smarter—just ask to watch Netflix or video call your friends and much more.”
The new Echo has a 3-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters and Dolby processing for delivering stereo sound with clear highs, dynamic-mids, and deep bass.
The speaker can automatically sense the acoustics of your space and fine-tunes audio playback, just the Echo Studio.
The device is also made from 100% post-consumer recycled fabric, 100% recycled die-cast aluminum and the box is made entirely from responsibly managed forests or recycled sources.
The new Echo will be available on October 22 for $129 CAD and come in Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue colour options.
Echo Dot & Echo Dot with clock (4th Gen)
The new Echo Dot and Echo Dot with clock have the new spherical fabric design as the new Echo but just in a smaller package.
The new speaker features a 1.6-inch front-firing speaker that should produce crisp vocals and balanced bass.
The new Echo Dot comes in Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue colour options. While the clock version is available in Glacier White and Twilight Blue.
Echo Show 10
The new Echo Show 10 brings a new design and upgraded specs. The smart display features a 10-inch adaptive HD display that will move so it’s within view when you talk to Alexa.
The device has a 13MP wide-angle camera which should be great for video calls. For speakers, the Echo Show 10 has dual front-firing tweeters that “premium, directional sound that automatically adapts to your space.”
The device’s screen can rotate to fit the content you’re watching.
And in the coming months, you’ll be able to watch Netflix on the Echo Show devices, including the ability to search, browse, and stream the entire catalogue, by voice.
“Improving our member experience includes making Netflix available where people want it. We’re excited to partner with Amazon on bringing the Netflix experience that people know and love to Echo Show, making it easier for our members to browse their favourite shows and films using their voice,” said Barry Smith, Partner Engagement Manager, Netflix.
For privacy, all the queries are processed locally and securely on-device, there’s also a camera shutter and you can turn off the motion.
The Echo Show 10 will be available soon but Amazon hasn’t announced when it’s launching other than allowing customers to sign-up to be notified.
The device will retail for $329 CAD and come in Charcoal and Glacier White.
Fire TV Stick & Fire TV Stick Lite
Amazon also announced two new Fire TV Sticks. The first is the Fire TV Stick, which now features a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor that is 50% more powerful than the previous model.
The new Fire TV Stick supports video output at up to 1080p at 60fps with HDR support, along with dual-band and dual-antenna Wi-Fi support (including for 5GHz networks). There’s also support for Dolby Atmos.
The Fire TV Stick Lite is basically a more affordable version of the Fire TV Stick, with HDR support and an Alexa Voice Remote Lite.
In addition to the new streaming sticks, Amazon’s Fire TV experience is getting a redesign that is more intuitive, simple and customizable.
According to Amazon:
The Main Menu is at the center of your screen and makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. You can now jump into your favourite streaming service directly, or scroll over supported apps to quickly peek at what’s inside and begin playback. A brand new Find experience makes it easier than ever to discover great movies, TV shows, and more. Alexa is at the core of the new Fire TV experience, featuring improved voice controls that give you greater control of your entertainment.
The new Fire TV experience is rolling out globally later this year.
The new Fire TV Stick launches on September 30th for $59 CAD and the Fire TV Stick Lite also ships next week for $49 CAD.
eero 6 Series Mesh Wifi systems
Amazon has now added a Wi-Fi 6 version of its eero Mesh WiFi system with the new eero 6 Series.
“Customers need reliable home wifi now more than ever. Many of us are working from home, helping kids with online learning, keeping in touch with friends and family, and streaming and gaming in 4K—often at the same time,” said Nick Weaver, Co-Founder and CEO of eero. “The eero 6 series is the fastest eero series yet, giving our customers the speed and reliability of Wi-Fi 6 at an affordable price.”
The eero Pro 6 is a tri-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 router with two Ethernet ports and a built-in Zigbee smart home hub. One eero Pro 6 node covers 190 square meters (around 2045 sq ft), two-pack covers 320 sqm (around 3500 sq ft) and a three-pack cover 560 sqm (around 6000 sq ft).
The eero 6 is like the Pro model but is only dual-band. One eero 6 node covers 140 square meters (around 1500 sq ft), two-pack covers 280 sqm (around 3000 sq ft) and a three-pack cover 460 sqm (around 5000 sq ft).
All of eero’s devices come with their TrueMesh technology “to intelligently route network traffic to avoid congestion, buffering, and drop-offs.”
The eero 6 Pro is launching on November 2nd and costs $299 CAD for a one-pack, $539 CAD for a two-pack or $799 CAD for a three-pack.
The eero 6 is also releasing on November 2nd and costs $179 CAD for a one-pack, $279 CAD for a two-pack and $399 CAD for a three-pack.
Amazon also unveiled its own cloud gaming service called Luna.
“We created Luna to make it easy to play great games on the devices customers already own and love,” said Marc Whitten, Vice President, Amazon Entertainment Devices and Services. “It’s Day One for Luna—we are excited to work with gamers, streamers, and publishers like Ubisoft and Remedy Entertainment to build a great gaming experience for everyone.”
Luna uses the power of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to stream games to your devices including, Fire TV, PC, and Mac as well as on web apps for iPhone and iPad, and Android.
Just like Google Stadia, you’ll be able to play games at up to 4K/60fps on Luna, if you subscribe to Luna+, which cost $5.99 USD per month during the early access period.
You can play games on Luna using a keyboard & mouse, a Bluetooth controller or the new Luna Controller. It has Alexa built-in and has Wi-FI and Bluetooth support.
“We’re proud to be working alongside Amazon on Luna, utilizing the power of cloud gaming to provide our players with another way to access our games, wherever they are,” said Chris Early, SVP of Partnerships and Revenue, Ubisoft. “Ubisoft’s channel on Luna will allow players to experience our new releases along with many of our catalogue games while enjoying player-friendly features like Alexa and Twitch integrations.”
According to Amazon:
Players who subscribe to this channel will have access to their favourite Ubisoft titles in up to 4K resolution, mobile gameplay, and access to new titles when the channel launches like Assassins Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Immortals Fenyx Rising the same day they release. This is the first of multiple Luna game channels in development, where customers can play games from their favourite publishers and genres.
Amazon will also be integrating Twitch with Luna, meaning if you see your favourite Twitch streamer playing on Luna, you could instantly start playing the same game.
Those in the US, you can request an invite to Luna’s early access, where you’ll be able to provide feedback for future Luna features and development.