Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Amazon adds a half-sphere Echo Dot-like Pop

Not quite the full sphere of the Echo Dot, the latest to Amazon’s compact smart speaker range slices a bit of the circle off.

There are plenty of things smart speakers can do, from waking up the kids with a smart alarm to simply reading the news or even singing a song. In fact, you can rig up a variety of routines with them, connecting something as simple as a playlist and a word so your kids can listen to music, or something more complex like controlling a heater or lighting in your home.

How you use a smart speaker is up to you and your imagination, but there are also differences in design, cost, and size.

If you haven’t been lured to the world of smart speakers because you haven’t quite found a design or size you like, Amazon has another option on the way this week made for low price points.

The latest looks a little like the Echo Dot, but almost as if a samurai had sliced part of the spherical design off, coming in the almost satellite-style Echo Pop.

Different from the spherical look Amazon has been sporting for a few years, the Echo Pop is called a “semi-sphere”, which makes sense given it’s basically half of one at an angle, yet offers similar features to the more spherical Dot.

Priced at $79, it’s about $20 less than the $99 Echo Dot and $40 less than the Echo Dot with Clock we reviewed last year, with no clock found on the Pop whatsoever.

What you will find is a front-facing directional speaker, four colours, and even support for special bases, with a $49.95 USB charging base adding charging ports for devices, while a $64.95 battery base will allow the Echo Pop to be moved around, something Amazon’s Echo speakers don’t typically support.

The Pop comes alongside an Australian release of the 2nd-gen Echo Auto, which basically brings Alexa control to the car thanks to a combination of microphones, smarts and an auxiliary plug, which will allow you to hear what would normally be the sound from a smart speaker through your car’s stereo.

Priced at $99 in Australia, the Echo Auto is basically an update for cars missing built-in smarts, provided they’re happy talking to Amazon’s Alexa to make it happen.

Both look set to land in stores and online from May 31.

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