The Amazon Echo is one of those products that truly kickstarted a whole category. The best smart speakers now come from far and wide, many using the same Alexa voice platform. Amazon wasn’t the first to bring a voice assistant to the world, in fact coming behind Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Alexa debuted in late 2014 on the original Amazon Echo. The Genesis moment. The rest is history. The competition is fierce but the Amazon Echo continues to not only exist but improve with each iteration. We’re now up to the 4th generation of the Amazon Echo and it looks a lot different from the first. The iconic cylinder is no more, Alexa as a platform has grown with each passing year, and in many homes, it’s become part of the family. My kids don’t really know of the Amazon Echo, they just know to talk to Alexa and ask for the Encanto soundtrack.
That ease of use is part of what has always made the Amazon Echo such a great device. Even if you’ve never owned one, you probably know who — or rather, what — Alexa is. It’s one of those technologies that transcended its hardware and found its way into the wider world. Now, the Amazon Echo is but a piece in the puzzle, Alexa is everywhere. On your speaker, on your wrist, on your TV, or in your car. But it all started on the Echo.
It’s now 2022, almost eight years on from the debut of the Amazon Echo. Google has some first-rate alternatives, Apple has its own, and third parties such as Sonos are onboard with voice assistants. Is there still a place for the Amazon Echo or has it been usurped by a younger, funkier alternative?
The latest generation of the original smart speaker continues to set the bar with a nice design, great sound and the sheer magnitude of possibilities from the Alexa ecosystem.
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Amazon Echo (4th Gen): Pricing and Availability
Amazon has pretty wide global support for both the Amazon Echo and Alexa, selling through its own store. Even those using “international versions” have varying services available if not full support.
The Amazon Echo (4th Gen) is, unsurprisingly, available primarily through Amazon with a regular retail price of $100. You get a choice of three colors, too, with white, blue, and charcoal all available. You can also find them at third-party retailers, such as Best Buy in the U.S., for the same price.
The real magic about shopping for an Amazon Echo is grabbing one at one of the regular discount events. The biggest ones are Prime Day and Black Friday every year, but there will also be sporadic sales throughout the year and Amazon isn’t shy about providing big price cuts on them.
Amazon Echo (4th Gen): Specs
|Specification||Amazon Echo 4th Generation|