Amazon’s maiden Alexa-powered smart speaker series Echo, including Amazon Echo Dot, Echo and Echo Plus are now widely available in India – online and offline for all, without need of an invitation.
Amazon recently launched its smart speaker series, embedded with its benchmark virtual assistant Alexa. The entire series consists of three variants – Amazon Echo Dot, Echo and Echo Plus, which were launched for sale in India back in October. Since launch, these smart speakers were available to selected invited customers and prime members of Amazon. Also, the launch sale was bundled with 30% discount for Amazon Prime members. However, Amazon has finally removed the privileged invitation system and have opened up selling of the speakers via online as well as offline retailers. This means, if you want either of the three Alexa-powered speakers, you will not require to be a prime member or be invited – they are now open for everyone to purchase.
Amazon Echo Dot, Echo and Echo Plus are now available at more than 350 offline retail stores across 20 cities at megastores including Croma, Reliance, Vijay Sales and Crossword. Since these speakers are now openly available for all, this means, the perks of special membership will no longer be available. The Echo Dot will cost you Rs 4,499, the Echo will cost Rs 9,999 and Echo Plus comes at Rs 14,999. Apart from offline, the speakers will be available online on Amazon’s official website, of course. This will boost the sales of the virtual-assistant configured speakers, which are available in variants that fit everyone’s budget.
All three speakers are powered by Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa and the wide-broad rollout comes with new features added too. Now these aren’t really new as they are already available in other parts of world, but they are new in Indian subcontinent. So the new features include multi-room music, communications, and routines. Multi-room music feature means, you will be able to listen to your music in any of your rooms, or you can have a setup where there are multiple Echo speakers in the same room for bigger sound. And communication feature lets users send messages from one Echo speaker to another – connected ones, obviously. With routine, you can set off multiple operations in just a single command. For example, you can say “Alexa, good morning” and the speakers will respond with a greeting in kind, before reading out the weather, turning on the connected Philips Hue lights, and then running through the headlines in two news apps. Cool, right?