- Amazon just unveiled the biggest redesign to its Echo devices since 2014.
- The new Echo and Echo Dot, Amazon’s popular Alexa-enabled smart speakers, will now come in a spherical shape rather than the tall, cylindrical design of previous Echos.
- The new Echo devices will start shipping later this year and cost $100 and $50 respectively.
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Amazon just unveiled a redesigned Echo and Echo Dot, the biggest change to the device’s look and feel since its debut in 2014.
The ecommerce giant on Thursday hosted its annual product event, where it typically shows of the next generation of its Echo and Alexa-enabled devices. Unlike years past, this year’s event took place entirely virtually, with Amazon showcasing its new technology over a live stream from its Spheres in Seattle.
The new Echo devices mark a major shift in Amazon’s approach to design. Since its debut, the Echo has been a tall, cylindrical device initially encased in a hard outer shell. In recent years, Amazon has taken a cozier approach to the Echo’s design, giving it a soft, fabric exterior and more ergonomic shape.
Now, Amazon has totally revamped the device, giving it a spherical shape and a new steel blue color. The Echo will also come in dark gray and light gray — called charcoal and chalk — as in years past.
Like previous Echos, the new version will start at $100.
Amazon highlighted the fact that the new Echo will have many features of the Echo Plus, the more advanced and expensive Echo device Amazon unveiled in 2017. The Echo Plus was intended to serve as a smart home hub and have better audio quality than the regular Echo. But the new Echo will have Dolby stereo sound and smart hub capabilities, which could mean that Amazon is phasing out the Plus version of the device.
Amazon also redesigned the Echo Dot, the miniature Echo that’s a perennial best-seller for Amazon. The Dot will also have a spherical shape and come in three colors — charcoal, glacier white, and twilight blue. The standard Dot will cost $50, while the Dot with a built-in digital clock display will cost $60. Amazon says the new Dot will ship later this year.
In addition to the regular Dot devices, Amazon changed the design of its kids edition Dot. The new devices, which cost $60, will come in two versions: one with a panda face and one with a tiger face. Those devices will also ship later in 2020.