Amazon managed to keep its Seattle launch event quiet but has announced a number of new products including new Alexa-enabled Echo smart speakers. Here's everything you need to know about the new Amazon Echo Plus, reviewed.
When is the Echo Plus release date?
The new Echo Plus will start shipping on 31 October and you can pre-order it now - see details below.
How much does the Echo Plus cost in the UK?
If you're keen on the Echo Plus then you can pre-order it now from Amazon. It's priced at £139.99 in the UK and $149.99 in the UK.
While stocks last, you can order the Echo Plus and get a free Philips Hue smart light bulb.
The Echo Plus has been unveiled alongside a new 2nd-gen version of the Echo which now has a lower price of £89.99.
What are the Echo Plus specs and features?
As the name suggests, the Echo Plus is a bigger and better version of both the original and the new 2nd-gen model.
The larger size is to incorporate better speakers so improved 360 sounds comes via a 2.5in woofer and 0.8in tweeter. There's also Dolby processing which should make your music sound better.
On the top of the Echo Plus are similar controls and seven far-field microphones. Combined with beam-forming technology and noise cancellation, Amazon says the Plus can hear you from any direction-even while music is playing.
Perhaps the biggest reason to get the Echo Plus over the other Echo models is its built-in smart hub. This means you can ditch the separate hubs that come with smart home products like Philips Hue, Zigbee and Hive.
You can say "Alexa, discover my devices," and the Echo Plus will automatically discover and set up compatible lights, plugs and more without the need for additional hubs or apps.
While the new Echo comes in a number of new finishes, the Echo Plus comes in just three colour options: Black, Silver and White.
There are also new Alexa features - also on the regular Echo - so the digital assistant can now
You can now call people with an Echo and you'll be connected to their Each or Alexa app. Other new features include Routines which allow you to automate a series of customisable actions using a single voice command.
For example, you can say, "Alexa, good night," and Alexa will turn off the lights, lock the door, and turn off the TV.
Improved smart home groups mean you don't need to remember the name of a device or group of smart devices. Now you can put your Echo and other smart devices into smart home groups, which enables Alexa to act intelligently on your request.
For example, you can walk into the kitchen and say "Alexa, turn on the lights" rather than "Alexa, turn on the kitchen overhead light."
You'll also be able to play various games with Amazon's new Echo Buttons including Dungeon Escape, Sounds Fun with Mike Epps and Beat the Intro from Musicplode.
"The buttons illuminate and can be pressed to trigger a variety of multiplayer and interactive game experiences," said Amazon.