Amazon Launches Refreshed Echo Dot, Echo Plus, 10-inch Echo Show And New Smart Plug

The Echo Dot has long been one of Amazon's most popular Alexa-backed devices, and it's getting yet another redesign. This time around, you'll find the same four-button control scheme atop the device, but the previous 7-microphone array has been replaced with just 4 microphones. We first reported on this change when the device leaked back in late July. We don't know if this was just a cost-saving measure for Amazon, or if it just feels that four microphones are more than enough for the device to hear your voice from across a noisy room.
echo dot
Echo Dot

On the design front, the hard-plastic exterior has been "softened" up a bit with fabric wrapped around its housing (a la the Google Home Mini). When it comes to the all-important aspect of audio quality, Amazon says that there have been improvements made and that it can now get up to 70 percent louder than the outgoing model. The new Echo Dot is available for preorder today for the same $49.99 price.

The Echo Plus has also been updated with a fabric-covered exterior, but still manages to retain its nifty built-in smart home hub. In a surprising twist, Amazon has included a built-in temperature sensor which can be tied into your Alexa routines. The new Echo Plus is available for preorder priced at $149.99.

echo show
Echo Show

But that’s now all that’s new with the Echo family; there’s an all-new Echo Show with a larger 10-inch display (instead of the first-generation model’s 7-inch display). We have to say, this looks a lot more attractive than the rather blocky, industrial-looking first-gen unit. Like all the new Echos, its back is now covered in fabric and it gets better sound as well. The new Echo Show also has a nifty trick up its sleeve; it can initiate and receive Skype calls thanks to a new partnership with Microsoft. There’s also support for the Mozilla Firefox browser, which we think that many would prefer over Amazon’s Silk browser. Priced at $229.99 (the same as its predecessor), the new Echo Show is available for preorder today.

amazon smart plug
Amazon Smart Plug

Then there’s a new Amazon Smart Plug, which as you might expect, is Alexa-powered. The device is similar in concept to devices that we've seen from TP-Link and Belkin, and only takes up a single outlet, so you can stack two of them if you want. The Smart Plug can be automatically setup to communicate with existing Echo devices, which should make it easier to control your routines. Amazon has priced the Smart Plug at $25, which is competitive with similar products available on the market.