Following its 2019 Autumn showcase, Amazon truly has an Amazon Echo speaker for every occasion. And it’s not been afraid to create some casualties along the way, making the line primed for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the Amazon Black Friday page.
The regular Amazon Echo has been given an upgrade to bring its sound quality in-line with that of the Amazon Echo Plus, while the Amazon Echo Studio features even better audio with spatial surround features, as well as offering the same smart home hub functionality as the Amazon Echo Plus, too.
But what does that mean for the Amazon Echo Plus? For all intents and purposes, the Amazon Echo Plus is dead... unless you’re a bargain hunter, that is.
What happened to the Echo Plus?
The Echo Plus, not getting a 2019 refresh for itself, now sits slap bang in the middle of the Echo and Echo Studio in terms of both functionality and pricing: The Amazon Echo costs $99.99 / £89.99, the Echo Plus costs $149.99 / £139.99 and the Echo Studio costs $199.99 / £189.99.
The new Echo has the same sound as the Echo Plus but not its smart home hub functions, while the Echo Studio has superior audio to the Echo Plus and also nabs its smart home functions – so while the Plus has a feature here or there, or price advantage, that the regular Echo or Studio respectively can’t meet, it doesn’t have a unique function any more.
While Amazon has yet to confirm our hunch, we believe this could therefore be the twilight days for the Amazon Echo Plus. It doesn’t offer the value of the Echo, or meet the audio capabilities of the Studio, so we expect all ‘high-end Echo’ efforts to go into the Studio going forward.
Should you buy an Echo Plus or wait it out?
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals bonanzas just over the horizon, and Amazon Black Friday deals discounts among the most aggressive, we’d bet our bottom dollar that its the Echo Plus that Amazon pushes with the hardest discounts.
There will be stock to shift for starters (not only to make way for the Studio, but as the Plus has never been the most popular of Echo products despite its great features), and the home hub features give Amazon an opportunity to ‘upsell’ with some of its other devices. An Echo Plus with a Ring Doorbell, for instance, would be quite an attractive package at a discount price.
Remember that for Amazon, loss leading on almost all of its products, the value of the hardware itself is almost a moot point. If it can get you tied to its Alexa-based services, reap your data and connect you to its hardware partners (gleaning ever more data on your lifestyle), it’s done its job.
The Amazon Echo Plus may fade into obscurity, but its value to Amazon lives on much longer in your home, whether it was sold at a discount Black Friday deal price or otherwise.
- Want to know more? Read our hands-on Amazon Echo Studio review