Amazon unveils cheaper range of Echo smart screens and speakers
While we’re all busy getting familiarised with ChatGPT, Amazon wants us to spare some time for Alexa.
The online giant has unveiled a crop of more affordable Echo products that let you chat to its digital assistant, including two new smart screens and a cheaper speaker. You can pre-order all three devices today before their arrival on May 31.
Among the new releases is an updated Echo Show 5, alongside a model built especially for kids. Amazon says the new device is 20 per cent faster than its predecessor. It features a new and improved speaker system with double the bass.
Naturally, that means you could use it to listen to your favourite tunes. Meanwhile, the 5.5-inch screen should also come in handy for watching videos, checking your Ring doorbell camera, or making video calls.
Speaking of which, the new Echo Show also features a completely rearranged microphone array that should make calls sound even clearer.
Meanwhile, the Echo Show 5 Kids can entertain your tykes by playing child-friendly songs with explicit lyrics filtered out, telling jokes, and providing help with homework. The smart screen features a cool space-themed design and includes a year’s worth of Amazon Kids+. This is a subscription service that offers educational and entertainment content for children aged three to 12.
The Echo Show 5 and the kids model cost £90 and £100, respectively. That’s around £20 less than the Echo Show 8, which has a bigger 8-inch display and a better camera (13MP compared with only 2MP on the Echo Show 5). Amazon is always cutting the price of its gadgets during sales and shopping events, so you shouldn’t have to wait long for a discount.
If you don’t require a screen, however, you may want to check out the all-new Echo Pop. The dinky smart speaker features a quirky, semi-spherical design and colourful options including light purple and teal. Best of all, it costs just £45, making it the cheapest new Amazon smart speaker you can buy.
As for its audio, Amazon says the Pop’s front-facing directional speaker should deliver decent enough sound for small spaces, such as bedrooms or tiny London flats. So, if you’re looking for something beefier, you’re better off sticking with the Apple HomePod 2 or Sonos Era 300.
As usual, Alexa will be on hand to tell you the news, play audiobooks or podcasts, reorder household essentials and control compatible smart lights and plugs.
Finally, Amazon has also debuted a new £60 Echo Auto. This is a small accessory that puts Alexa in your car for hands-free music controls, step-by-step navigation and the ability to make calls.