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3rd Gen Amazon Echo Show 5 Finally Available in Australia and New Zealand

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The latest version of Amazon’s Echo Show 5 is finally coming to Australia and New Zealand in July. The 3rd generation device has a redesigned microphone array and faster AZ2 Neutral Edge processor. It also has a better speaker system with extra bass for music and clarity for spoken word content.   

Echo Show 5 is the smallest Alexa-powered Echo smart display with a five-inch screen, making it ideal for bedside tables or tight kitchen spaces. The new Show 5 also comes with support for Matter, enhancing its compatibly with a growing number of smart home products.

The Echo Show 5 packs a lot of functionality into its small frame. You can interact with voice assistant Alexa, watch news clips, check in on your Ring doorbell camera, view shopping lists, learn from recipe videos and make video calls to family and fiends. 

When it comes to security and privacy users can manually turn the mic and camera off or delete voice recordings.  

It’s good to see Amazon looking after the environment by using fabric made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester yarn and aluminium made from 100% recycled aluminium. The device is packaged in a box made of 99% wood fibre-based materials from responsibly managed forests or recycled sources. 

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

The Echo Show 5 (3rd gen) is available for pre-order today (19 June, 2024) from Amazon.

It will be selling at leading Australian and New Zealand retailers from July 10 for A$169 and NZ$199 in white, charcoal and cloud blue.

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Amazon

Amazon Echo Spot Now Available

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Amazon has just released a new Echo Spot, its latest Alexa-enabled device for the home. It’s essentially a modern bedside alarm clock with way more functionality than my 1980s model.

I really like the Echo Spot form factor and display. It’s one of the best designed Alexa products in the Amazon catalogue. It presents the time, alarms, weather, or song titles in the top half of the device.

The colour screen can be customised to fit the mood of your room with the choice of orange, violet, magenta, lime, teal, and blue. You can also mix and match colours with a variety of custom-designed clock faces.

The Echo Spot includes a 1.73″ front-firing directional speaker, tuned to deliver crisp vocals and solid bass despite its small size.

As an Alexa-enabled device, you’ll be able to access all of your usual Amazon services.

“Customers care about the way they wake up in the morning and go to bed at night and the all-new Echo Spot will transform the way they start and end their day,” said Patrick Walker, country manager, Amazon Devices Australia and New Zealand.

“Thanks to customisable clock faces, personalised designs, new alarm sounds and colourful visual animations, Echo Spot is the best smart alarm clock designed for any bedside table.”

Echo Spot is available now in Black, Glacier White, and Ocean Blue for A$149.

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Amazon

Xbox Cloud Gaming Comes to Amazon Fire TV

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If you have the Fire TV Stick 4K Max (2023) or Fire TV Stick 4K (2023) streaming dongle then you also have a gaming device.

From this month (July 2024) Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will be able to access and play hundreds of cloud-enabled games directly through the Xbox Fire TV app. This will be a similar experience to the Samsung Xbox cloud interface introduced a couple years ago. I’ve played Xbox games on several Samsung TVs and it’s excellent.

If you’re already an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate member, you’ll have instant access to stream and play any of the hundreds of cloud-enabled titles in the Game Pass Ultimate library. If you’re not a member, you can sign up via the app. ‘Fortnite’ offers a free trial period without membership.

Once the Xbox app is installed, just sign into your Microsoft account and connect a compatible Bluetooth controller. You can use Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless Controller, Xbox Adaptive Controller, PlayStation’s DualSense or DualShock 4 controllers.

Some of the top titles you can get started with straight away are Starfield, Fallout 4 and Forza Horizon 5.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

Fire TV Stick 4K: A$79

Fire TV Stick 4K Max: A$119

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription: Starts from A$18.95/month (available on Fire TV Stick July 2024)

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Amazon

Take Control of Your Home: Amazon Echo Hub Available in Australia

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Whether you have a couple or a dozen Alexa enabled devices, you must consider the Echo Hub. Now available in Australia, the Echo Hub is an 8-inch touch-enabled display that acts like a ‘master control’ for all of your smart home devices.

Selling for A$329, the Echo Hub brings your security cameras, door sensors, lights, sound systems etc, etc into one neat and logical control unit.

As I explained in the Sky News segment above, essentially there’s no need for a really expensive bespoke smart home setup when you can just add the Echo Hub to your house tech. The control panel is just the right size to be located anywhere in the home. I’ve chosen in the kitchen next to coffee machine.. as that’s where I spend most of my time. You’ll see that and more in our comprehensive review video being shot right now.

ECHO HUB AT A GLANCE 

  • customisable dashboard for grouping devices, starting a Routine or organising widgets.See all of your routines on one screen from the left-side panel and initiate them with a tap, or by asking Alexa – for example, a routine which simultaneously locks the doors, dims the lights, and adjusts the thermostat. 
  • The ability to view multiple camera feeds from your security cams or doorbell. 
  • Adaptive content, which automatically transitions from a screen with a clock and photo display, to the customisable smart home control screen through infrared technology which detects user proximity. 
  • A built-in smart home hub, which means Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Thread, and Matter devices can sync seamlessly, allowing you to control compatible devices, such as lights, switches, and plugs. 
  • The ability to play music directly from your Echo Hub or connect your preferred speakers to control audio throughout your home. 
  • And, for further personalisation, the option to display curated collections—including new video backgrounds or personal photos. 

PRIVACY

Echo Hub includes a microphone on/off button, and customers have full control over their voice recordings and can view, hear, or delete them at any time. 

The is available now from Amazon.com.au and leading retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks and Bunnings.

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