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Amazon’s Echo Spot is back with better sound and no camera

Amazon’s Echo Spot is back with better sound and no camera

Echo Spot | Image: Amazon

Ahead of Prime Day 2024, Amazon has launched an updated version of its Alexa-connected smart speaker / alarm clock, the Echo Spot. Similar to the one that launched in 2017, it’s designed to sit on your nightstand and offer control via a small touchscreen or with voice commands, but Amazon has addressed our biggest gripe about that device by removing the camera.

It’s also launching at a lower price. While the 2017 version cost $149.99 at launch, the 2024 Echo Spot has a $79.99 regular price, and from now through Prime Day (July 16th–17th), it’s available for $44.99 for Amazon Prime members.

Image: Amazon

Amazon promises that the new semicircle has upgraded hardware all over, with “even better visuals and improved audio quality.” It’s also able to set up and control Matter devices in your smart home, just like the Echo Dot and Echo Pop, plus connections over Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5GHz), Amazon Sidewalk, and Bluetooth Low Energy Mesh.

There’s a hardware button to turn the microphone off, too, along with physical volume control buttons, and this time around, it adds a blue color option to the mix, along with white and black. The display can be set in one of six colorways (orange, violet, magenta, lime, teal, and blue), along with customizable clock faces.

Image: Amazon

It also has a number of animations tied to responses to questions about things like the weather, saying good morning / good evening, and other prompts.

As usual, the Alexa tie-in is the star here, with routines that can trigger multiple actions among compatible smart home devices, audio drop-ins from other Alexa devices, and alerts from compatible smart doorbells.

The squared-off 2.83-inch, 240 x 320-pixel touchscreen display on this one isn’t built for things like videocalling or streaming video. However, it can still control music playback or pop-up some tap controls when you want to turn a light on or off with Alexa.

We’ll need to get our hands on it to know if this is a worthy return for the device that disappeared after 2019, but at least this time around, you don’t have to decide about putting a camera in your bedroom if you want to buy one.

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