Amazon Echo Pop is a cute smart speaker, Echo Auto gets 2nd gen

Amazon Echo Pop smart speaker Alexa

Smart assistant Alexa is everywhere, from living rooms to kitchens, and even cars. Now, there’s a new smart speaker from the global megastore: the Amazon Echo Pop, a semi-sphere-shaped audio device available in multiple appealing colours.

Plus, the company also revealed the Amazon Echo Auto (2nd Gen) as an upgrade to its car-compatible smart device. Both will be available in Australia in the coming weeks for your smart assistant needs.

As with any smart speaker, both devices offer hands-free control of a range of features all via your voice.

Amazon Echo Pop, a stylish new smart speaker

Adding to a wide range of Echo devices, the Amazon Echo Pop looks sort of like a Dot sliced in half diagonally. The petite speaker is also slightly cheaper than the Dot, coming in at $79 compared to the latter’s $99. On the inside, the Pop houses a 1.95-inch front-facing directional speaker made for smaller spaces, such as bedrooms and apartments.

Echo Pop | Full sound compact Wi-Fi and Bluetooth smart speaker with Alexa | Lavender Bloom
  • ECHO POP - This compact smart speaker with Alexa features full sound that's great for bedrooms and small spaces. Small enough to blend in and mighty enough to stand out.
  • CONTROL MUSIC WITH YOUR VOICE - Ask Alexa to play music, audiobooks, and podcasts from your favourite providers like Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, and more. Connect via Bluetooth to stream throughout your space.
  • MAKE ANY SPACE A SMART SPACE - Easily control compatible smart home devices like smart plugs or smart lights with your voice or the Alexa app.
  • LIFE JUST GOT EASIER - Have Alexa set timers, check the weather, read the news, make calls, answer questions, add to your shopping list and more.
  • ALEXA HAS SKILLS - With tens of thousands of skills and counting, Alexa can help you do more or do less - like playing relaxing sounds or testing your music knowledge.

Aside from a more affordable price, the Pop also comes in two new colours: Lavender Bloom and Midnight Teal, in addition to standard Echo colours Charcoal and Glacier White. With Alexa, you can use voice commands to play music, control other smart devices, and more via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Matter connections.

Available to pre-order now, the Amazon Echo Pop arrives in Australia starting on 31 May 2023. Extra accessories and mount options are available, too. Alongside the device’s colour options, there are also seven optional silicone sleeve variants to choose from, including a glow-in-the-dark sleeve, each of which cost $27.95. If you prefer your speakers wall-mounted, the shelf wall-mount also costs $27.95.

Another couple of helpful accessories come in the form of Amazon Echo Pop bases. One functions as a USB charging hub ($49.95) so you can charge additional devices, while the other is a battery base that lets you position the speaker away from a power outlet for up to six hours at a time.

2nd Gen Echo Auto slims down

Also coming to Australia is the Amazon Echo Auto (2nd Gen), an upgraded version of the vehicular smart assistant. An alternative to the popular Motorola MA1 wireless car adapter, the 2nd Gen Echo Auto is slimmer than its predecessor and comes with a new adhesive mount designed for greater flexibility.

Echo Auto (2nd Gen) | Add Alexa to your car
  • HANDS-FREE ALEXA ACCESSORY - Slim design that's easy to place in your car with 5-mics built-in so Alexa can hear you over music, air con, or road noise. Includes a fast car charger to charge your phone on the go.
  • LISTEN TO YOUR FAVOURITE MUSIC - Ask Alexa to stream playlists from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify and more, or listen live to radio stations. Use Follow Me Music to resume media playback.
  • CALL AND MESSAGE WITH YOUR VOICE - Use your voice to make calls, reply to text messages, drop in on Alexa-enabled devices in your home or broadcast announcements.
  • GET YOUR FAVOURITE ENTERTAINMENT HANDS-FREE - Binge a hot new podcast, catch up on the news, or listen to best-selling Audible books.
  • CONTROL YOUR SMART HOME FROM THE ROAD - Ask Alexa to turn up the air con, turn off the lights, check if your front door is locked, and more while you're away from home.

Ideal for older cars with limited smart functionality, the Amazon Echo Auto (2nd Gen) houses five microphones to give you hands-free Alexa functionality. The idea is that you can use your voice to control music, podcasts, calendar items and more in your car, all while keeping your eyes on the road.

How it works is that the device, a small microphone and speaker module, connects to your car via either Bluetooth or an aux cable. From here, you can make hands-free calls, stream media and more via the Alexa app on your phone. Echo Auto also comes with a fast car charger so you can charge your phone while driving.

Amazon Echo Auto (2nd Gen) Alexa car assistant
The slimmer Amazon Echo Auto (2nd Gen) device.

Out 31 May 2023, the Amazon Echo Auto (2nd Gen) costs $99 in Australia. You also have the option of bundling a car vent mount for a total of $112.95. Both the Auto and the Pop come with privacy features including the ability to manually switch the microphones off.

Both devices come at a time when the smart speaker market is expanding, according to Patrick Walker, country manager of Amazon Devices, Australia and New Zealand.

“[Consumers have] now purchased well over half a billion Alexa-enabled devices globally, with use of Alexa around the world increasing 35 per cent last year,” Walker said. “And as with every Echo we’ve shipped, these devices will only continue to get better as we add even more generative AI-powered experiences for Alexa.”

One of our trusty reviewers is checking out both of Amazon’s new devices, so we’ll have full reviews of the Echo Pop and Echo Auto (2nd Gen) soon.

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