Swimming in a sea of recently announced Amazon devices is the 2nd generation Echo Plus.
It costs $150, the same price as the original but comes with a totally redesigned look.
I got an echo device as announced this year.
The echo plus has a new fabric shell, and is available in charcoal, heather grey and sandstone.
It's also much shorter than the original Echo Plus and has upgraded Dolby speaker hardware.
A three-inch neodimian woofer and increased volume gives the smart speaker fuller sound and a better bass response than it's predecessor.
And when you compare the two side by side you can definitely tell the difference.
Some things stay the same though, like the Echo Plus' built-in Zigbee radio that serves as a smart home hub, so you won't need a hub plugged into your router to control Zigbee devices.
Amazon's new Wi-Fi Simple Setup makes this super easy too.
Simply plug in your device and ask the Plus to discover it.
There's also a new built-in temperature sensor, so you can set routines to trigger based on the temperature sensed by the Echo Plus.
And a new capability called Local Voice Control compresses commands locally on your device.
So if the wi-fi goes down, you can still your lights on and off.
With the Echo Dot at $50 and the Echo at $100 is the Amazon Echo Plus worth the extra cash?
If you're starting your smart home or want Amazon's voice assistant to control it and you need a smart home hub, then yes, the Echo Plus is a speaker for you.
The sound upgrades in the newest Echo Dot, and the redesign of the Echo Show means there's no shortage of Amazon speakers to choose from.
The Echo Plus makes some decent strides froward in this generation.
But if you already have a smart home hub, I'd recommend another smart speaker that either saves you money, or adds a screen to your experience.
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