The all-new Amazon Echo Plus costs $149.99 in the USA, £139.99 in the UK. It's just plain bad luck that the second company out of the blocks wasn't an easily crushable (or buyable) rival, but rather the moneybag geniuses two states down at Google.
The original Amazon Echo Show looked dated when it came out in June 2017, so it's not surprising that the new model has a more modern design, much like Google may do with its rumored Google Home Hub. It's a clever AI that can understand your words and translate them into actions. You can also ask it pretty much anything you'd ask your Echo at home. If you link it up with your Google Photos account, it will also display your pictures. The screen could be used for watching video content on YouTube and other video streaming services.
Google has already partnered with the likes of Lenovo and JBL to deliver a Google Assistant smart speaker that comes with a display. A simple camera cover would've sufficed, but what do I know? And Amazon has made some off its cloud-based controls local to the Echo Plus, meaning lights can be controlled even when your internet is down. All of the devices will be powered by Alexa, meaning in-built voice assistant.
The new Echo Show promises better audio and more microphones.
Now, we're getting a look at what are allegedly the first images of Google's upcoming product courtesy of MySmartPrice. According to the report, the smart speaker is all set to be named Google Home Hub and is going to offer a 7-inch screen. Google Home Hub may not be as large as the Google Home Max, however it does harbor the same square-ish shape and design philosophy.
The next big tech event for the year is just around the corner.
The research firm said the market was rapidly evolving with more manufacturers entering.
ZDNet's sister site CNET will have a liveblog following all of the details of Amazon's announcements.
Trump & Trade: Feeling the pressure - ING
In theory, the tariffs will make US-made products cheaper than imported ones, and so encourage consumers to buy American. After Apple's comments, Trump said in a tweet said that there was an "easy solution" for Apple to avoid tariffs.
One surprising omission from the leaked shots is any kind of camera technology. Moreover, AmazonBasics Microwave will be the first gadget to use Amazon's Alexa Connect Kit to make it a smart device. Whether this is for privacy or cost-cutting reasons, we're not entirely sure.
One of the reports say that the Google Home Hub will be priced at $149 (Rs 10,500 approx) which is roughly the same price as the Google Home.
That's £113, but after sales tax and the general trend of upwards rounding on United Kingdom prices, I imagine it'll be closer to £149 if the original report is correct.
While it was no real surprise to see Google and Amazon at the top of the smart speaker sales list, their dominance was notable, particularly considering how quickly the home smart speaker market is growing.
The Google Home Hub release date is now unknown.
In our review of the original Echo Plus from a year ago, we liked that the device is better and cheaper than the original Echo.