Amazon has a new budget Echo and updated Show 5 smart speaker
Amazon has unveiled its latest range of Echo smart speakers and smart displays, with a host of new-generation entry-level products.
First on the list is the Amazon Echo Show 5 3rd generation. An update to the baby in Amazon’s smart display line-up, the new model has several improvements over the Echo Show 2nd Generation, which is good, as that product was barely an update on the original.
Echo Show 5 3rd Generation
Externally, the new version doesn’t look that different to the old one, and is available in the same three colours (black, white and blue). Inside, it’s a different story, and Amazon is promising that the new Echo Show 5 is 20% faster than the old version. That should make responses faster, and the screen a little quicker to update.
There’s also a new speaker system, which adds more bass (double, apparently), for clearer music. If so, that will make the Echo Show 5 a more compelling bedroom companion, acting as a smart clock and entertainment centre.
This new smart display has the AZ2 Neural Edge processor, which made its debut on the Echo Show 15. It’s designed to make it faster for the device to process voice requests, making Alexa faster to respond, plus a new microphone array.
Amazon says that the Echo Show 5 is Matter compatible, although this model doesn’t support Thread, so will work directly with Wi-Fi devices only. The new Echo Show 5 costs £89.99.
Echo Show 5 Kids
There’s been an Echo Dot Kids edition for a couple of years in the UK, but the Echo Show 5 Kids is the first time that Amazon has announced a smart display specifically aimed at children. Costing £10 more than the standard edition, the Kids version has a one-year subscription to Kids+ and a two-year worry free guarantee. It’s also got a funky space-themed design.
As with the Dot Kids, the Echo Show 5 Kids is built for children, giving child-friendly responses, filtering explicit lyrics and only showing videos suitable for children. Everything is controllable via the parents dashboard.
We’ve had the round Echo Dot, now it’s time for the semi-sphere (think of a Dot cut in half) Pop. It’s not half the price, although being £10 cheaper than the Echo Dot does make the Pop the cheapest Alexa-powered smart speaker.
Available in a wide range of colours, including black, white, purple and teal, there’s a version that will suit any home. This smart speaker has a front-facing directional speaker, which Amazon says is ideal for small spaces. It is available now for £44.99
There’s also a new version of the Amazon Echo Auto, replacing the old model that came out almost three years ago. Stylistically, the new version looks smarter than the old one, and has a new adhesive mount that makes placing the smart speaker easily.
A five microphone array is there to make sure Alexa can hear your requests over music, road noise and air conditioning. Aimed at cars that don’t have voice assistants built in, Amazon hopes that the new Echo Auto can add smarts to most existing cars. It’s available now for £59.99.