Amazon Debuts New and Improved Tech for Holiday Shopping Season

Photo by Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Amazon.com has introduced a trio of entirely new or upgraded Echo smart speakers as well as an upgraded Fire TV media player.

They are all part of the popular family of electronics known as “Amazon devices” because they’re both created and sold by the e-commerce giant.

Amazon sold millions of these types of devices during the 2016 holiday season — more than twice as many as the company sold during the 2015 season. And now the new and improved models have debuted in time for the impending holiday shopping season.

Even if the newest members of the Amazon device family don’t suit your fancy, someone on your gift shopping list might love one. You never know — my family is still in awe that Grandpa is in love with the Echo Dot device he insisted on last Christmas.

As for the prices of the new and improved Amazon devices, they currently range from around $69.99 to $149.99. If price is paramount for you, perhaps wait and check out the deals Amazon offers around Black Friday. If you’d rather ensure you’re among the first to receive the new devices, though, you can pre-order one now.

For movie and TV buffs

All of the Amazon Fire TV devices are essentially digital media players. As such, they enable you to stream video content from the internet — think Netflix, Hulu and such — to a TV. Competitors include Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast devices.

The particular Fire TV device known simply as “Fire TV,” which is actually a media player and remote control, is the one Amazon just updated.

This next-generation Fire TV device (currently $69.99) is compatible with TV screens that have 4K ultra HD resolution or HDR resolution, “giving you true-to-life picture quality and sound with vivid color,” according to Amazon.

The remote control is an Alexa Voice Remote, so you have the option to control the media player with your voice instead of your fingers. (Learn more about Alexa in the next section.)

If you or someone on your shopping list would fancy this doohickey, you can pre-order it now from Amazon. The company will start shipping them out on Oct. 25.

For tech buffs and busy (or lazy) folks

All of the Amazon Echo devices are so-called “smart” speakers — essentially, internet-connected electronics that you can interact with by simply speaking to them. In other words, you can control them with your voice instead of your hands, which is possible because these devices are equipped with Alexa.

Alexa is what’s known as an intelligent personal assistant — just like Apple’s Siri, for example. If you simply ask Alexa (by talking at an Echo device), it can do all kind of handy things for you, from getting your local weather forecast to playing the song of your choice to checking your bank or credit card balance.

The new or improved Echo devices that Amazon just debuted are the:

  • Upgraded Echo (currently $99.99): Its improvements include a compact design and overhauled sound system.
  • All-new Echo Plus ($149.99): Its distinguishing features include a built-in smart home hub, which enables it to easily connect with other smart devices.
  • All-new Echo Spot ($129.99): Its distinguishing features include a screen, which is a big deal considering that the only other Echo device with a screen costs $100 more. The Echo Spot is also compact, making it “ideal for use on a nightstand or desk,” according to Amazon.

You can pre-order all three of these devices now on Amazon. The company will start shipping out the Echo and Echo Plus in October, and start shipping out the Echo Spot in December.

What do you think of the newest Amazon devices? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021
5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

These adjustments will affect both workers and retirees in the new year.

How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes
How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes

Here’s how to strengthen your nest egg before or even during your golden years so these missteps don’t ruin your retirement.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

7 Surprising Ways Retirees Waste Their Savings
7 Surprising Ways Retirees Waste Their Savings

You can make your retirement money last a lot longer by avoiding these costly mistakes

29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day
29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day

Sometimes, you’ve got to spend to save.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect
Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect

Your third coronavirus payment will be the biggest yet — and possibly even bigger than you realize.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.