The original Echo Plus was a tall smart speaker with a hard outer shell and big profile. This time around, Amazon shortened the speaker and covered it with a fabric material similar to what we've seen from Google, Apple and other Echo products.
Like other Echo speakers, controls are still on the top and the blue Alexa ring stays the same. However, volume controls around the speaker are updated. There's no more physical ring to turn to adjust volume. That functionality has been replaced with buttons on the top.
The most recent version of the Amazon Echo (left) and the new Echo Plus (right) are roughly the same height, though the Echo Plus is a bit wider. Sound quality on the Echo Plus got an upgrade, with 3" neodymium woofers and increased overall volume.
Wi-Fi Simple Setup, now available on many Echo speakers allows you to skip tedious setup steps and simple ask, "Alexa, discover my devices". The Echo Plus includes a Zigbee radio, so it can act as a smart home hub for compatible devices.
The Echo Plus comes in charcoal, heather gray and sandstone. New features include a built-in temperature sensor and local voice control, so your smart home devices will still turn on and off even if your Wi-Fi is down.