Today, Amazon launched two new Echo smart speakers on its official website: the third-generation Echo Show 5 and the Echo Pop. Both products include the Alexa voice assistant, which can be used to voice-control a range of functions, including playing music, managing smart home appliances, setting reminders, looking up information and more. According to Amazon, this will give Alexa access to more rooms and provide people with a more practical smart living experience.
Amazon Echo Pop
Priced at $39.99, the Echo Pop is Amazon’s latest budget-friendly smart speaker. It comes in four colors – purple, green, white and black – and is shaped like a globe. The Echo Pop has an AZ2 processor, which can process more voice commands locally and speed up response time, and has better sound quality than the previous Echo Dot. The Echo Pop also supports Sidewalk bridging technology, the Matter smart home standard and the Eero mesh network extension feature.
Amazon Echo Show 5
One of Amazon’s most popular smart speakers with a screen is the Echo Show 5. The latest third-generation model costs $89.99 and comes in black, white and blue. The Echo Show 5 has more processing power and better acoustics than its predecessor, and it also has an AZ2 processor. The Echo Show 5’s screen can be used for Alexa video conversations, watching videos, viewing compatible security cameras, and displaying additional information.
The Echo Show 5 camera video can be viewed remotely using the Alexa app, and users can use it as a motion sensor to launch Alexa routines. The Echo Show 5’s camera can be disabled with a physical shutter to protect users’ privacy. For an additional $26.99, Amazon offers an adjustable stand for the Echo Show 5, which includes a USB-C port for charging a phone or other device. Along with a two-year warranty and one year of Amazon Kids Plus, an ad-free program that provides kids with audiobooks, movies and games, Amazon is also selling the new Echo Show 5 Kids in a space-themed design for $99.99.
According to Dave Limp, executive vice president of devices and services at Amazon, the company is preparing to give voice assistants like Alexa access to generative AI and massive language models, creating “a very different experience”. The change, he says, is mainly focused on improving Alexa’s intelligence and conversational capabilities, while also helping consumers make better use of their smart homes. However, Amazon is currently working on integrating the technology in a way that won’t be confusing. So the feature won’t be coming to the Echo any time soon.
The Echo Pop and Echo Show 5 are currently available for pre-sale on Amazon and will start shipping on 31 May. Amazon also unveiled a new $49.99 pair of wireless headphones, the Echo Buds, and expanded the countries where its Alexa in-car system, Echo Auto, is available, including Australia, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan. While the Echo Buds will be available from 7 June, the Echo Auto went on sale today.