How to buy the latest Amazon devices: The $1,000 Astro, Ring's flying drone camera, more
Some of the latest tech is available by invite-only preorder. We'll tell you how to get on the list.
Dashia is a staff writer for CNET Money who covers all angles of personal finance, including credit cards and banking. From reviews to news coverage, she aims to help readers make more informed decisions about their money. Dashia was previously a staff writer at NextAdvisor, where she covered credit cards, taxes, banking B2B payments. She has also written about safety, home automation, technology and fintech.
Astro brings AI to your home, but puts bots to the test. Amazon's new robot is designed to follow voice commands and keep an eye on your home with its periscope camera. Astro can show a live view via the mobile app, so you can check on your home when you're away. Astro works with Alexa Together and Ring Protect Pro (and comes with a six-month free trial of the latter). Anticipating privacy criticism, Amazon offers privacy features with Astro that include:
Amazon partnered with the Honeywell Home thermostat team to create an Energy Star-certified smart thermostat that competes with Nest. Most customers may be able to get the thermostat for free after utility rebates. It's an Alexa-enabled thermostat that supports routines and automatically adjusts temperatures. It's available for preorder now and will ship starting Nov. 4.
Here are a few of the top features you can look forward to:
Control your thermostat using the Alexa app or voice commands
An energy dashboard to breakdown your usage on your Echo device or the Alexa app
Thermostat Hunches, which automatically adjusts the temperature
Amazon's new Echo Show is bigger than ever. It comes with a 15.6-inch display and in a single color: black. You can mount it on the wall or place it on a stand. The newest model also has facial recognition for personalized alerts and more when the hub recognizes your face, tightening the competition with Apple. It also comes with personalized to-do lists, like Google's Hub Max. But the Echo Show 15 comes with a few highly anticipated features.
Custom sounds that allow Alexa to listen to specific noises in your home (available in 2022)
Visual ID to give you more customized calendars and reminders
Customizable Alexa widgets
Echo will also get a few new features, including Hey Disney to give your device new voices with character-inspired games, books, skills and more. Alexa Together will also be available for loved ones with the Alexa Care Hub. You can sign up to receive an email when the Echo Show 15 is available for preorder.
The Amazon Glow is a brand-new kid-friendly smart device (yes, it's different from the Echo Glow night light). It takes after Osmo and other interactive learning gadgets. Kids can use the video screen to chat with long-distance family and friends. It includes a silicone mat to read, play and draw with loved ones. You'll also get a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus for access to digital books, games and more. The Amazon Glow comes with a two-year, worry-free guarantee if you happen to break it. You can request an invite to the Glow program today.
Games and activities from Mattel, Disney, Nickelodeon and Sesame Street
The Halo View is a new addition to Amazon's Halo family. The latest Amazon fitness tracker has a few new features, including an AMOLED color display screen. Halo View users can also look forward to Halo Fitness and Nutrition services that will help with exercise and healthy eating. It benefits the Halo user in several ways, including the movement, emotional tone and the camera's body analyses. And it still works with the original Halo band. But these new additions might be worth upgrading from Amazon's Halo.