This is the newer, rounder $100 Amazon Echo – TechCrunch

Amazon kicked things off at today’s big (virtual) hardware event in Seattle by introducing a very new and very round take on the Echo. The biggest change appears to be aesthetic, turning the smart speaker into a big, fabric-covered ball. That’s a nice improvement from a sound perspective, doing a better job of offering fuller sound from all sides. It’s a design the company is carrying across the speaker line, including similarly shaped versions of the Dot.

Image Credits: Amazon

The new smart speaker automatically tunes itself to the size and layout of your room, according to the company. It also features Zigbee and Bluetooth low energy built-in, serving as a smart home hub and essentially negating the need for the Echo Plus. Amazon Sidewalk is also built-in now, so the speaker works with the company’s new home networking system.

Image Credits: Amazon

The blue light ring that lets you know the device is working has been moved to the bottom of the device, which appears to be a largely pragmatic choice, so as to not break up the all-over speaker design. The speaker ships in three colors at launch: Charcoal, Glacier White and Twilight Blue. It’s a subtle color scheme, not far removed from Google’s Nest/Home offerings.

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