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Amazon’s Echo family expands with an on-wall hub, smart glasses, and more

Another year, another batch of new devices from Amazon’s fall event. This year’s showcase had plenty of newly announced gear and improvements to some much-loved Alexa-powered products. From an all-new interactive touchscreen display for controlling all your smart home devices to a fresh set of Echo shades, many of these cutting-edge gadgets are already available for preorder. Here’s all the hardware we found out about today.

The all-new Echo Hub

The Echo Hub.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

The all-new Echo Hub is being billed as the ultimate smart home control center. Could we call it a wall-mountable Echo Show? Perhaps, but where the Echo Show divides attention between device management, web searches, and entertainment, the Echo Hub is designed to handle home automation above all other activities. It’s almost like a revamped and miniature version of the Echo Show 15, actually.

Available for preorder at $180, the Echo Hub has an eight-inch touchscreen that gives you access to a fully-customizable smart home dashboard. Upon walking up to the Echo Hub, a feature called Adaptive Content automatically kicks in. This automatically switches the main screen from a clock to a dashboard of smart home controls and settings. When you’re using the dashboard, you’ll be able to do everything from arming your home security system to launching a routine or widget. You’ll also be able to pull up multiple camera feeds from both indoor and outdoor lenses.

When we saw tried the Echo Hub in person, it was wall-mounted, but you’ll also be able to set it on a table. Compatible with over 140,000 different smart home devices, the Echo Hub can also be used as a hub for Zigbee, Sidewalk, Thread, Bluetooth, and Matter. And as far as networking this bad boy, you’ll be able to do so over Wi-Fi or with Ethernet and a Power Over Ethernet (PoE) adapter.

Priced at $180, the Echo Hub will be available later this year.

The Echo Show 8 (3rd Gen) has arrived

Amazon's Echo Show 8 is a smart home control center and media device in one.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

The Echo Show 8 is coming to smart homes soon, and we’ve already had an opportunity to go hands on with latest generation of Amazon’s tried-and-true smart display. Available for preorder at $150, the Echo Show 8 sports improvements both inside and out, with one of the biggest differences between this iteration and the 2021 model being an edge-to-edge glass screen and subtle curvatures that definitely make the new smart display feel more modern.

There’s also an upgraded audio pipeline that helps to filter out background noise for clearer sound during video calls. The Echo Show 8 also boasts a room-sensing mic that will calibrate audio based on the listening environment, allowing your Echo Show 8 to deliver exceptional sound in kitchens, bedrooms, offices, or wherever else you’d like to place the smart display.

The Amazon Echo Show 8 at the Devices Event 2023.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Oh, and that Adaptive Content feature we talked about on the Echo Hub will also be available on both the new Echo Show 8 and the second-gen model next month (Amazon claims Adaptive Content will be added to other Echo devices early next year).

The latest Echo Show 8 also includes Zigbee, Sidewalk, Thread, Bluetooth, and Matter support, allowing Alexa to control a wide range of smart home devices. And speaking of everyone’s favorite voice assistant, the new Echo Show 8’s upgraded processor delivers up to 40% faster response times for local controls. This means when you ask Alexa to turn on your smart lights, there should be very little delay to contend with, as low as 300 milliseconds.

The Echo Show 8 is available for preorder and will sell for $150 in both Glacier White and Charcoal. The device officially hits shelves October 25. Fans of the smart display can also look forward to the Echo Show 8 Photos Edition for $160, which should be available later this fall. The Photos Edition also comes with six free months of PhotoPlus that will auto-renew at $2 per month after the trial period.

An Echo Pop just for kids

The Echo Pop for Kids on a bedside table.

Amazon’s Echo Pop is the company’s smallest smart speaker, and now kids will get to enjoy the bite-sized smart home savant, too. The all-new Echo Pop for Kids is loaded with fun Alexa-powered games, kid-friendly audiobooks, exciting themes, and many more features. The speaker is also shipping with two exclusive themes: Marvel’s Avengers and Disney’s Princesses. Fans of either Disney-owned property will also be able to hear hidden Alexa phrases by asking just the right superhero and princess questions via the digital companion.

Priced at $50, the Echo Pop for Kids is available for preorder today and also comes with six months of Amazon Kids+ for free.

The new-and-improved Echo Frame

The Amazon Echo Frames on display at the 2023 Amazon fall devices event.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Amazon’s next-gen Echo Frame glasses come in five unique styles, including sunglasses, prescription-ready, and blue light-filtering. A total redesign also gives us glasses that are 15% lighter and engineered with premium materials for better wear-and-tear protection. When we tried the new Echo Frames, we found them remarkably comfortable.

The new Echo Frame will also deliver up to six hours of battery life, bring improved audio architecture for better sound clarity and improved bass, and enhanced Alexa learning tech for faster responses when you’re on the move.

Carrera Eyewear has also partnered with Amazon for the Carrera Smart Glasses. Powered by Alexa, these new glasses will be available in two designs: Carrera Cruiser and Carrera Sprinter.

Both the new Echo Frame and Carrera Smart Glasses will sell for $270, and if you’re interested in signing up for preorder alerts, you can do so right through Amazon.

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Michael Bizzaco
Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from…
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