Speak Up!
Stuff Magazine|April/May 2021
The latest smart speakers have all had a style upgrade, while adding new functionality to command your high-tech habitat

Amazon Echo (4th Gen) R2 000 / superbalist.com

Amazon has swapped the old ‘Pringles tube’ trim for a new spherical style. This means the latest Echo looks like a sci-fi crystal ball – especially as it now illuminates from underneath, giving it a vaguely ethereal feel when you ask Alexa a question.

But the real magic is inside: the Echo now comes with a Zigbee smart hub. This means you can hook up smart devices such as Philips Hue lightbulbs without having to install a separate bridge, which makes using the speaker with smart home tech even easier than it was already– ideal if you just want a simple plug-and-play setup.

You’re also able to take greater control of your devices with Amazon’s companion app. The new Routines automation feature lets you schedule different actions, such as your office lights turning off when it’s time to stop working. Handy. This builds on top of the 100,000 third-party Skills that you can download to really power up what Alexa can do.

THERE GOES THE SPHERE

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