Amazon has been steadily building a range of Alexa powered smart devices. Some of them have already made it to India. With new Echo smart speakers – Echo Dot (3rd gen.), Echo Plus and a new companion device the Echo Sub Amazon is looking to take the lead in AI-driven smart IoT devices market. The E-trailer seems to be hoping to get healthy business from India, which is why the company has launched these new devices globally and in India at the same time.
The new generation Echo speakers claim to bring a lot more to the table. If you are invested in Amazon’s smart ecosystem, you should naturally be curious about what improvements have been made in the new generation Echo devices. Well, we got a chance to have a closer look and here’s our Echo Dot, Echo Plus and Echo Sub first impression.
New Echo Devices Price in India and availability
The Alexa-powered 2018 Echo Dot, Echo Plus and Echo Sub have been priced at Rs 4,499, Rs 14,999 and Rs 12,999, respectively. The new Echo speakers will be go on sale with the start of Amazon’s Great India Sale. However, those of you who are really eager to get them can pre-order them right away.
3rd Generation Echo Dot Hands-on Review
If you have seen the previous generation dot than you will find the new Echo Dot design refreshing. With this new fabric design, the speaker looks more inviting and should fit well in your room decor. Even with the fabric exterior, the speaker retains the light ring on the top edges which looks cool. There’s a microphone mute button at the top as well.
Apart from the cosmetic changes, there has been a big upgrade under the hood. Amazon claims that the new Eco Dot is 70-percent louder than the 2nd generation model. Well, it did feel louder than the last generation during the limit time we got to spend with it. Alexa assistant also responded to my queries instantly, which is to say that the response time has significantly improved.
Connectivity options remain the same as last year. Well, almost. The Echo Dot 2018 packs a 3.5-mm audio jack, WiFi, and Bluetooth, but replaced the micro USB port with a standard charging port. All in all, the new Echo Dot seems to bring in the punch that was missing in its predecessor and will pose as a better competition to Google Home mini.
2nd Generation Echo Plus Hands-on Review
The Echo Plus is the most premium smart speaker that Amazon has to offer. Just like the Echo Dot, the 2018 model of Echo Plus has also has been given a makeover. The last generation Echo Plus (which will continue to retail on Amazon.in) was cylindrical and tall.
Its successor seems to look more compact and it too gets the soft fabric finish. The Echo Plus 2018 seems somewhat inspired by the Apple HomePod speaker in terms of design and aesthetics.
Just like the last year’s Echo Plus, the newer version will also have a built-in hub which will allow users to control all connected devices using voice commands. Is there any major improvements in audio out? Well, I am not sure at this moment as I didn’t get to test the audio extensively. We will surely try and review Echo Plus 2018 and get back to you with a detailed assessment of the product.
Amazon Companion: Echo Sub Hands-on Review
The Echo Sub is something new from Amazon and they prefer to call it a companion device. This is targeted towards consumers who are not content with just one smart speaker but want multiple options for comfortable access through their home.
Since it is a companion device it will only work with the new Echo Dot and Echo Plus speakers. Yes, due to hardware limitations you can connect it with previous generation Echo devices that you might already have with you.
When paired with Echo speaker/s it will act as A sub-woofer. It can be connected with one or two Echo speakers at a time to offer 1.1 or 2.1 channel sound. During the demo, it was connected with a couple of Echo Plus and together they managed to fill a large-sized room easily. Though the downside is that this won’t work with video playback. Let’s hope Amazon will fix that via an update in the future.
The e-commerce giant is confident audiophiles will embrace the Echo Sub.
Apart from these Amazon also showcased the Echo Show, Echo Input production devices which are currently under development and will hit the Indian shores next year.