Everything Amazon Launched At Its 2020 Hardware & Services Event
Yesterday Amazon held a closed online event where it announced a wide range of new devices including redesigned and more powerful Echo speakers, a new, smarter Echo Show, a cheaper Fire TV streaming stick, the Luna game streaming services, a flying security camera, new Eero Mesh Wi-Fi kits and more.
Here, in brief, is everything you need to know about the products, when they’re arriving and what they cost.
The Echo Plus and Echo have now been rolled into one device, so you get a Zigbee smart hub in the standard Echo.
There’s a new design, better speakers (and support for stereo Dolby Digital), plus a new AZ1 processor which makes Alexa better and faster.
Read more about the fourth-generation Echo.
Echo Dot 4
Like the Echo, the smaller Echo Dot gets a spherical redesign, along with upgraded software, lead primarily by a first-gen AZ1 Neural Edge chip. Expect faster, smoother performance from Alexa, along with better sound.
Read more about the Echo Dot 4
Echo Dot 4 with clock
Everything you get with the clock but with an additional LED time display – for an additional £10/$10.
Echo Dot 4 Kids Edition
- What: Amazon Echo Dot 4 Kids Edition
- When: Releases later this year
- How much: £59.99/$59.99
The Dot 4 Kids Edition feature new Tiger and Panda design skins along with additional parental control features and a (soon to be available) Reading Sidekick feature to encourage children to read, and to read with confidence.
- What: 10in smart display
- When: In time for Christmas 2020 (no UK release date)
- How much: £239.99/$249.99
Not a mere iteration on the previous Echo Show: the new model has a totally new design which rotates (silently) on its base so the screen, built-in camera and stereo speakers always face you.
Amazon says there’s also a new home screen experience, which will be rolling out to other Echo Shows, plus support for Zoom video calling as well as the new Alexa Group calling.
Read more about the Echo Show 10
A cheaper Lite alternative supports full HD streaming on Fire TV and comes with a new Alexa Voice Remote Lite for voice navigation. It’s also 50% faster than the previous-generation Fire TV Stick.
New Fire TV Stick
The new Fire TV Stick replaces the previous generation and introduces Dolby Atmos audio. It’s 50% faster, connects more reliably, 50% more energy-efficient, and easier to use.
Read more about the Fire TV Stick & Stick Lite
- What: Amazon’s new cloud gaming service
- When: Unknown (probably 2021)
- How much: $5.99 per month (introductory price) plus optional $49.99 controller
Amazon’s cloud gaming service has been in the pipeline for months, but Luna’s emphasis is be on gaming using the devices you already own, including PC, iOS and Fire TV.
A library of over 100 games will include the likes of Resident Evil 7 and GRID at launch, with a select few offering 4K/60fps support. Elsewhere, there’s integration with Amazon’s Twitch streaming service, while you can also pick up an Xbox-style controller. No release date has been touted, but expect Luna to launch in 2021.
Read more about Luna
Ring Always Home Cam
- What: An indoor drone with a security camera
- When: Some time in 2021
- How much: $249.99 (no UK price)
Responding to customer feedback, Ring is developing a flying camera so you can monitor your whole home, rather than having lots of individual fixed cameras.
You’ll be able to tell it where it can and can’t go in your home, and it will work with a Ring Alarm if you have one.
Read more about the Always Home Cam
- What: New mesh Wi-Fi routers
- When: 2 November 2020 (no UK release date) Pre-order now
- How much: $129 (Eero 6), $229 (Eero Pro 6), $89 (Eero 6 extender)
There are two new Eero mesh Wi-Fi systems, but both the same aim: making your home connection as fast and reliable as possible. Key additions include Wi-Fi 6 support across the range, as well as a built-in Zigbee hub for smart home support.
The dual-band Eero 6 is expected to get you at least 1,500 sq ft of range per router, while the Pro 6 should extend that to 2,000 sq ft.
Read more about Eero 6.
Ring Car Security
- What: A camera, a dongle and an API
- When: Sometime in 2021 (no UK release date)
- How much: $59.99 (Alarm), $199.99 (Camera), $199.99 (Connect)
Expanding outside of the home, Ring plans to launch a camera that will offer a similar set of features to its existing indoor camera. But it will also monitor for break-ins and bumps, and has a built-in siren. It will even notify the emergency services if you’re involved in a serious crash.
The Alarm is the cheapest device. It plugs into your car’s OBDII port, and also has a siren. It’ll notify you of bumps, break-ins and if your car is towed.
Finally, there’s the Connect which is designed for car manufacturers so they can make their cars (with built-in cameras) work with the Ring app.
Read more about Ring car security
Blink Indoor and Outdoor cameras
Finally, although not part of the launch event, Amazon also announced new Blink Indoor and Outdoor security cameras. These are effectively an evolution of the Blink XT2, but with separate models for indoor and outdoor.
Read more about the Blink cameras