Amazon has just had its big Hardware 2020 event and, while it didn’t feel like the release behemoth of last year, there was still plenty announced. Here’s everything Amazon unveiled.
Amazon’s event may not have had the volume of last year’s but there were still plenty of surprises. These ranged from ball-shaped redesigns of its smartspeakers to an airborne device that might give some the heebie-jeebies.
We also want to hear from you. After you’ve caught up on the latest announcements, head down to the bottom of this page to tell us which product you are most exciting for. Let’s dive into all the big reveals from the Amazon 2020 hardware event.
1. Amazon Echo 4th Gen
Starting with the early surprise of the evening, a big ol’ redesign for the Echo range. Along with going from cylindrical to spherical, the new Echo negates the need for an Echo Plus – which is being discontinued – as it comes equipped with ZigBee support and Amazon’s proprietary Sidewalk connectivity tech.
The new Echo still does all the same Alexa goodness along with improved sound in the form of a 3-inch woofer, Dolby processing and dual-firing tweeters. There’s also a new AZ1 Neural Edge processor on all the new Echo devices for enhanced machine learning capabilities – basically, Alexa has put some skates on.
The new Echo 4th Gen is available in Charcoal, Glacier White and Twilight Blue with a price of £99.99. Shipping starts on October 22 with pre-orders open now.
2. Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen (with Clock and Kids Edition)
The standard Echo wasn’t the only device that got a ball-shaped conversion, the treatment spanned the Echo Dot range too.
The update is similar, if less impressive, than the Echo. You’ll also get improved speakers in the form of a 1.6-inch speaker but ZigBee tech isn’t on board this one and it’s in the same colours as before (Charcoal, Glacier White and Twilight Blue).
The spherical redesign also comes to the Echo Dot with Clock and Echo Dot Kids Edition. The Kids Edition now comes with Panda and Tiger designs as well as a one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription.
Echo Dot will cost £49.99 while Echo Dot with Clock and Echo Dot Kids Edition are priced at £59.99. You can pre-order now and shipping begins from October 22.
3. Amazon Echo Show 10
Echo Show may have been one of the OG smart assistant with a screen devices but, with the Echo Show 10, the new Amazon product is giving off some Facebook Portal vibes.
The new device looks made for video calling, with a beefy front-facing camera that using a motor to follow you around so you can walk-and-talk when on a video call. Another signification addition is support for Netflix finally coming to the Echo Show range.
Echo Show 10 is listed as “coming soon” and will cost £239.99 come release.
4. Fire TV Stick Lite/Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen
The only device that had been reported on ahead of the Amazon event was a new Fire TV Stick Lite and it fully came to fruition. The new “Lite” model comes with a simplified remote and lacks the ability to control connected devices. However, you still get HD HDR playback, a new speedier processor and Dolby Atmos support.
Meanwhile, a revamp was in order for the regular Fire TV Stick. The changes fall inline with the new Lite, adding HD HDR playback, the faster processor and Dolby Atmos. On top, you can use the remote for control over connected devices.
Both devices will be launching in September. Fire TV Stick Lite will cost just £29.99 while Fire TV Stick pricing is £39.99.
5. Amazon Luna
The big surprise of the event was something that, had we had the wherewithal to look at the bigger picture, might have seemed inevitable. Of course, Amazon was going to launch a game streaming service.
The new service is called Amazon Luna and gives off some Google Stadia vibes, with a Wi-Fi-connected controller and a – somewhat – limited initial games library. The service is kicking off with 100+ games, with the key launch titles being Control and Resident Evil 7.
An early access Luna+ subscription will cost $5.99 per month for access to those 100+ titles and it sounds like you’ll be paying extra for access to “Channels” like the Ubisoft-dedicated channel that Amazon also announced. No word yet on when this service will venture over to the UK.
6. Ring Always Home Cam
Onto the product that may invoke the strongest reaction from commentators, the impressive yet kinda disturbing Ring Always Home Cam.
The Ring Always Home Cam is a security cam-sporting mini drone that flys around your home. The drone will map your home upon first use and, from then, you can set up routes for your new flying overlord.
Amazon has made the drone purposefully loud so you know when it’s active and has covered the propellers for the safety of both humans and pets. The cam can be used manually or to work in coordination with the rest of your Ring system.
The Ring Always Home Cam is set to be available in the US from 2021 for $249.99. No word on when the device will fly over to the UK.
7. Ring Car Alarm/Cam
Ring’s other big announcement during the event was the new Ring Car Alarm and Ring Car Cam. The alarm plugs in your car’s OBD port and provides smart connectivity alongside monitoring for crashes, break-ins etc. The cam also comes with Alexa onboard – because of course it does.
The Ring Car Cam includes similar features to the Ring Car Alarm with the added benefit of dual front-facing cameras. You can use Alexa commands to control recording and there’s also an LTE plan if you fancy it.
The Ring Car Alarm will cost $59.99 while the Ring Car Cam comes in at $199.99. There’s no pricing or release date for the UK just yet.