Publication Date: 9/21/18 – Amazon’s new Alexa devices for 2018 include the widest range of functionality we’ve seen from Amazon yet. Not only are there new-generation versions of the Echo Plus, Show and Dot, new devices with Alexa built in include a budget-priced microwave, large wall clock, Alexa device for the car, and more!
Great news for readers outside the US: all of the new-generation, upgraded Alexa devices are being released not just in the US, but in the UK and Canada as well! I’ll cover these first, then move on to the brand-new devices that are initially being released in the US only.
The New Generation: Upgrades To Existing Alexa Devices
It’s easy enough to get all the technical details for existing Alexa devices on the products’ Amazon pages, so I’m only listing the specific upgrades you’ll find in the new Dot, Show and Echo Plus.
The third gen Dot offers the same features as the second gen, but with improved sound in a smaller, more curved form factor. Currently available for pre-order in three colors with a release date of 10/11/18.
Echo Plus: Second Generation, Bundled with Philips Hue White Smart Bulb (UK readers click here) (Canadian readers click here)
The second generation Echo Plus bundle includes a Philips HUE White Smart Bulb and has a built-in Zigbee smart device hub just like the first generation, but it adds new premium speakers powered by Dolby play 360° audio and the same curved aesthetic as the new Dot. Currently available in three colors for pre-order with a release date of 10/11/18.
The new Echo Show offers the same basic feature set as the first generation, and it adds premium speakers with Dolby processing and a significantly larger, vibrant 10″ HD screen. Currently available for pre-order in a black or sandstone housing, with a release date of 10/11/18.
Brand New Alexa Devices: Initial Release In The US Only
Amazon’s building Alexa into devices you can use in the kitchen, car, and in the case of the new Alexa clock and Ring Stick-Up camera, anywhere else in your home.
This compact (.7 cu foot, 700W) microwave comes with a bunch of pre-programmed cooking routines you can activate with voice commands, and supports Amazon Dash grocery re-order voice commands. Compact size saves counter space, plus 10 power levels, a kitchen timer, a child lock, and a turntable. Currently available for pre-order with a release date of 11/14/18.
The new Stick-Up version of Ring’s bestselling security cam onitors indoor or outdoor areas at home in 1080p HD video with a slim design that mounts almost anywhere. Lets you see, hear and speak to people from your phone, tablet or PC. Sends notifications to your device as soon as motion is detected. Lets you check in on your home any time with Live View on-demand video. Works with select Alexa devices (those with screens) to launch real-time video with your voice. Comes with all the tools you need to install and set up your device in minutes. Currently available for pre-order with a release date of 10/18/18.
The new Fire TV Recast aims to take on such competitors as Sling and TiVo with a DVR that includes integrated Fire TV streaming technology and compatibility with Alexa devices (the Alexa software is not built into the Recast device, to use Alexa commands with Recast you must have a separate Alexa device).
Fire TV Recast is a DVR that lets you watch and record over-the-air TV at home or on-the-go with a Fire TV, Echo Show, or compatible mobile device—with no monthly fees. Watch and record live sports, local news, and other programming TV from channels available through an HD antenna (sold separately). Record up to 2 shows at once, with enough storage for up to 75 hours of HD programming in the basic model, or go for the upgraded version that includes four tuners and twice as much storage space. With a compatible Alexa-enabled device, you can use your voice to search for shows, manage and schedule recordings, and help with other requests. Fire TV Recast delivers the most reliable video streams over Wi-Fi of any over-the-air DVR.
Currently available for pre-order, with a release date of 11/14/18.
Echo Sub delivers down-firing, 100W deep bass sound through a 6″ woofer. Pair with one Echo or Echo Plus (sold separately) to enjoy dynamic music that fills the room. Pair with two of the same Echo devices for rich left/right stereo sound. Simple to set up and use—just plug in, open the Alexa app, and wirelessly connect to your Echo device(s) to control music with your voice.
Currently available for pre-order with a release date of 10/11/18, the Sub is also available for purchase in a bargain-priced bundle with two of the new Echo third generation devices (see product page).
Amazon Smart Plug works with Alexa to add voice control to any outlet. Schedule lights, fans, and appliances to turn on and off automatically, or control them remotely when you’re away. Simple to set up and use—plug in, open the Alexa app, and start using your voice. Compact design keeps your second outlet free. No smart home hub required—set up routines and schedules through the Alexa app. Currently available for pre-order with a release date of 10/11/18.
Coming Soon – Amazon Can Notify You When These Products Are Released
The new Echo Auto connects to Alexa using your phone, is ready in seconds, and plays through your car speakers. With eight microphones designed for in-car acoustics, Echo Auto can hear you over music, A/C, and road noise. Supports all standard Alexa voice commands for things like date/time, music, audiobooks, local business information, factual inquiries, Alexa skills and more. Set location-based routines—automated actions Alexa can start when you leave the office or get home. Ask for directions and Alexa connects to supported apps like Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze on your phone. Includes Echo Auto Dash Mount.
Currently available for pre-order on an invitation-only basis (you can request an invite on the product page), with release scheduled for later this year.
Echo Wall Clock, an Echo companion to see timers and reminders at a glance, helps you stay organized and on time at home. Set timers on your paired Echo device with your voice. Just say, “Alexa, set a 12-minute timer” and your Echo clock will display the time remaining, as well as a countdown for the last 60 seconds. Sign up on the product page to receive a notification when Echo Wall Clock is available.
Upgrade your speakers with a built-in 60W x 2-channel amplifier, high-fidelity streaming music, and Alexa. Voice control music selection and playback with your compatible Echo device or the Alexa app. Connect Echo Link Amp to speakers and group with other supported Echo devices to play music throughout your home. Multiple digital and analog inputs and outputs ensure compatibility with your existing stereo equipment. Sign up on the product page to receive a notification when Echo Link Amp is available.