We tried everything Amazon announced today here's what we thoughtGet the Full StoryAmazonIt's been a while since we've seen so many products announced at one time from any company.
Amazon announced a slew of new products on Wednesday, including new Echo devices that house Amazon's smart voice-activated assistant Alexa, as well as some nifty new features.
Business Insider's Matt Weinberger got some hands-on time with all the new devices, which replace and refresh some older Echo models while also adding brand-new members to the Echo family.
The company also announced a new Fire TV that will make the most of the latest video standards.
Plus, Alexa was also added to a very special fish-related product, which you'll see at the end of this roundup.
Here's what we thought of all the new Amazon products announced on Wednesday.
The all-new Amazon Echo
This new Echo is way smaller — it's only slightly taller than a soda can, and the base fits in your palm. It's hard to gauge in the controlled conditions of an Amazon demo area, but the sound quality does seem noticeably improved from the old model. It also sports a faster processor, which Amazon says makes Alexa's voice recognition better and more reliable.
It also sports a pair of nifty side-perks:
First, you can choose between six casings for your Echo, including a wood veneer and a full fabric covering. If you get bored, you can swap. The casings seem to be high-quality when we looked at them in-person, which is nice if you're going to place the Echo in your living room. Second, unlike the old Echo, this new one sports an auxiliary jack to plug in your own speakers.
How to get it: The new Amazon Echo is available for preorder Wednesday for 99 down from 199 for the previous model . Check out more details about Amazon's new Echo.
The new 149 Echo Plus keeps the original Echo's design, but it comes with better sound, as well as a built-in smart home hub to control your smart home devices, like smart lightbulbs, smart door locks, and smart thermostats.
The original Echo could also control your smart home devices, but you needed to install the appropriate app, or skill. "There's no apps, there's no skills, it just works out of the box," said Dave Limp, Amazon's senior vice president in charge of Alexa.
While we didn't get to try out those smart home smarts, we can attest that the device looks great up close, and wouldn't feel terribly out of place in your kitchen or on a bookshelf. Also, like the all-new Echo, the Plus sports an auxiliary jack for external speakers.
How to get it: It's available starting on Wednesday at 149, in silver or black. Check out more details about Amazon's new Echo Plus.
The new 130 Amazon Echo Spot is a small device with a circular 2.5-inch display that's a mixture of the Echo Dot and Echo Show.
With the Spot, you'll be able to make video calls with its built-in camera and speakers, and it can be connected to speakers using a 3.5mm AUX cord or via Bluetooth. It looks like it could make a great, albeit expensive, bedside alarm.
The Echo Spot also supports certain screen-based apps: You can check your calendar, watch Amazon Prime video, or even read restaurant reviews on Yelp, among other things.
Importantly, Amazon tells us that the Echo Spot will have better sound quality than the Echo Dot — but you'll still want a 99 Echo or 149 Echo Show if you want the music to fill a room.
And yes, you'll be able to dim the screen at night so you can sleep.
How to get it: The Spot will go on pre-order on Wednesday, and will become available to buy in December.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider