Amazon has released a range of new and upgraded gadgets this week, including a host of new Echo products.

Amazon Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Show are all available in the UK: we take a look at what they can offer you, and at some of the online giant's other products. 

[Read more: Amazon’s cute new Echo Spot is already stealing hearts]

What is Amazon Echo?

Amazon Echo is a smart speaker which features a microphone so that you can interact with it and control it using your voice.

This means that you can ask it questions, set reminders and tell it to play music.

[Read more: Amazon Echo: What is Alexa?]

So you could ask it to play a certain song, or tell it to order a product.

As with many Amazon products, integration with the web retailer’s other services, such as Prime Music, in built in.

All-New Amazon Echo 

The latest version of Amazon Echo has a more extensive sound offering than its predecessor.

As well as Prime Music, you can tell it to play tunes from Amazon Music, Spotify and TuneIn, and using multi-room music you can play music on Echo devices in different rooms.

[Read more: Amazon targeting smart homes as five new Echo devices unveiled]

The updated Amazon Echo also allows you to call or message anyone hands-free if they also have an Echo device or the Alexa app.

The Echo unit is also now available in six fabrics including metal, wooden and material finishes.

Check out the video below to find out more.

Price: £89.99
Available from: October 31

 

Echo Plus 

The Echo Plus allows you to make your house into a smart home through connecting to your other devices, and being able to control smart lights, thermostats, switches and door locks.

If you have smart household goods from Philips Hue, Hive and others, you are able to connect Alexa with these and so control your house temperature through just your voice.

Amazon Echo

It is now available in a choice of three colours – silver, black and white - and as a bonus it comes with a free Philips Hue smart lightbulb.

Price: £139.99
Available from: October 31

Echo Show 

Amazon Echo Show

Echo Show looks visibly different from the other Echos, boasting a seven-inch touch screen to show you video from the web, CCTV footage from around your home, weather forecasts and news.

For smart homes, you can ask Alex to show you the front door or monitor the baby’s room if you have a compatible camera.

Available in black and white. 

Price: £199.99
Available from: October 31

Echo Spot 

Amazon Echo Spot

Already stealing hearts is the little Echo Spot, which is the cutest offering from Amazon.

The small circular device that has a 2.5-inch screen that displays the time as well as short video news flashes and can be used for video calls has been mooted as the replacement for your bedside alarm clock.

[Read more: Amazon’s cute new Echo Spot is already stealing hearts]

Price: $129.99 (only available in US)
Available from: US launch in December

 

What is the Echo Dot?

Echo Dot is a slimmed-down version of the Amazon Echo, and has been available in the UK since last year. 

It will take commands for the same things as the main Amazon Echo, but comes without the large 360-speaker. Instead, you can connect it with an existing Bluetooth speaker if you already have one.

Amazon dot

Echo Dot is also useful if you want Echo in multiple rooms around the home. Amazon recently rolled out an update for homes with multiple Echo devices, known as Echo Spatial Perception (ESP). This means that the Echos work together and only the speaker that's closest to you will respond to you.

Which apps work with Amazon Echo?

A number of providers have developed versions of their apps especially for Amazon Echo. If you’re interested in music, you won’t be forced to use Amazon Music, and can also use Spotify or the TuneIn radio app if you prefer.

At the moment, the likes of Just Eat, Uber, National Rail, EDF Energy, Hive and Hue, are on board in the UK, giving you the ability to order a takeaway or a car with a voice command to Echo.

Several 'Internet of Things' devices connect with Amazon Echo too, such as Philips Hue to control lighting and Nest for your heating.

Amazon Echo can also interact with other systems even when you're away from the speaker. Ford's Sync Connect system for example can communicate with Amazon Echo from your car, meaning you can do things like open the garage door as you're turning into your road - however, this is only available in the US for the moment. 

 

How does Amazon Echo work?

Once you’ve connected to the internet and paired with the Alexa App, you’re ready to command Amazon Echo simply by calling the speaker by its name, ‘Alexa’, followed by your request.

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Where can I buy Amazon Echo?

Amazon Echo can be purchased from the Amazon UK website today, and the new products will be released on October 31. 

How much does Amazon Echo cost?

The latest Amazon Echo costs £89.99, the Echo plus costs £139.99 and the Echo Show costs £199.99.

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