Amazon Echo, the voice-controlled smart home gizmo that "inspired" Google Home, is finally coming to Australia! Here are the pricing, model and availability details for the local market.
What is Amazon Echo?
If you've been reading our extensive Google Home coverage, you know what to expect from Amazon Echo. It's a smart home gadget powered by a voice-activated digital assistant dubbed 'Alexa' (which has a better ring to it than 'Google', we're sure you'll agree.)
Like the Google Home, it responds to your voice in a variety of ways, offering hands-free access to music, weather, news and information. Out of the box, it's basically a stationary Siri clone for the bedroom or kitchen. But when linked to other smart gadgets it can be transformed into the central hub of your smart home, allowing you to control almost anything in your house via voice command.
The Echo has been available in the US for years - well before Google entered the market - but this is the first time the gadget has been officially sold in Australia via Amazon's freshly-launched Aussie website.
The local version of Echo will come with a "localised experience" specifically designed for Australian customers. Presumably, this means an Australian accent for Alexa and bespoke responses for Australia-specific queries.
There are three separate models to choose from: the Echo (2nd generation), the Echo Dot (which can connect to an external speaker) and the Echo Plus (which is compatible with any Zigbee-enabled smart home product.) To get you started, Amazon is throwing in a Philips Hue smart lightbulb with the Echo Plus (while stock lasts.)
The Echo is available in a choice of three colours: sandstone, heather grey or charcoal.
Amazon Echo: Australian Availability
The Amazon Echo range can be ordered online from early February. It will also be available at JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Telstra and Myer. You can pre-order the device from today.
Amazon Echo: Australian Pricing
Here's how much each Echo device will set you back:
However, Amazon is also offering introductory pricing . For a limited time, you can get the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Plus for $119, $49 and $199, respectively. Click here to get the cheap price!