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13 things Amazon announced at its September 2023 event, from Alexa to Fire TV

13 things Amazon announced at its September 2023 event, from Alexa to Fire TV

Well, Amazon has just made our Christmas shopping lists a little bit easier – at the tech giant’s Devices & Services event it announced updates to pretty much all of its biggest tech products, while also introducing some new ones like the new Amazon Echo Hub and the temptingly cheap Fire TV Soundbar.

Aside from the new Echo smart speakers and Fire TV Stick 4K updates, the biggest news was arguably that Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is getting an AI-powered upgrade. Yes, Amazon’s been dabbling with the likes of ChatGPT and made its own large language model (LLM) to help Alexa become more conversational, intelligent and, well, useful.

The bad news is this next-gen Alexa is only going to roll out slowly in the US as part of a preview program “in the coming months”. So in the meantime we’ll have to amuse ourselves with the hundreds of new gadgets Amazon just announced. Okay, hundreds is pushing it, but we did just see updates to its Echo Pop, Echo Show, Fire HD 10 tablet, Fire TV Stick 4K and lots more.

If you’re interested in a particular tech genre, use our jump links on the left to hop to the right section – or for a full digest of everything that was announced and all the pricing, dive straight into our list of Amazon’s new 2023 gadget lineup…

Amazon Echo smart speakers

1. Amazon Echo Pop Kids

Two Amazon Echo Pop Kids speakers on a bedroom side table

(Image credit: Amazon)
  • $49.99 (around £40 / AU$77)
  • Available for pre-order today, shipping next month

The fun little Amazon Echo Pop smart speaker now has a Kids version – which you can buy in either Marvel’s Avengers or Disney Princess versions.

The idea is that kids can chat with the speaker’s built-in characters by asking them for facts, jokes or even hidden easter eggs. You also get six months of Amazon Kids Plus (usually $4.99 / £3.99 per month) with the speaker, which gives you hours of Harry Potter, Lego or National Geographic content to keep your kids entertained.

Amazon says it’s also adding dozens of exclusive Audible audiobooks to Kids Plus, including Marvel’s Avengers and Disney Princess stories, which could be handy for playground boasting.

2. Amazon Echo Show 8 (3rd gen)

The Amazon Echo Show 8 on a table next to two jugs

(Image credit: Amazon)
  • $149.99 / £149.99 (around AU$230)
  • Available for pre-order now, shipping next month

The current Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd gen) arrived back in 2021 just when video calls were at their peak, but Amazon’s just announced a successor with one particularly nifty trick – the ability to recognize how close you are to the speaker and change its content accordingly.

For example, this ‘Adaptive Content’ feature can apparently show you a simple news headline from a distance, but then switch to a more detailed view with touch controls when you’re closer. It’ll also roll out to other Echo Show devices “early next year”.

What else is new with the Echo Show 8 (3rd gen)? It now runs your Alexa requests locally, which will apparently make its responses 40% faster. There’s also improved sound quality with spatial audio and a newly-centered 13MP camera to boost video calls. It could be a useful smart home hub too, thanks to support for Zigbee, Sidewalk, Thread, Bluetooth, and Matter.

3. Amazon Echo Show 8 Photos Edition

Amazon Devices and Services Event 2023

(Image credit: Amazon)
  • $159.99 (around £130 / AU$250)
  • Available for pre-order now, shipping next month

Looking for a smart digital photo frame instead? Amazon’s also made an Echo Show 8 Photos Edition, which is largely identical to the standard 3rd gen model above aside from a special photography mode and some bonus Amazon Photos storage.

This version apparently makes your chosen photos the main focus of its screen, rotating your snaps every 30 seconds. And you also get 25GB of free Amazon Photos storage, too. Prime subscribers already get unlimited high-resolution photo storage, but they could use that extra storage to back up videos, too.

This Photos Edition apparently comes with a six-month ‘PhotosPlus’ subscription which will renew after six months for $1.99 per month. We’re still clarifying what this subscription actually entails and will update this story when we hear back.


4. Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids and Fire HD 10 Kids Pro (2nd gen)

Amazon Devices and Services Event 2023

(Image credit: Amazon)
  • Both $189.99 / £199.99 (around AU$290)
  • Available for pre-order today, shipping next month

Despite its ridiculous name (a professional tablet for children?), we’ve long hailed the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro as one of the best tablets for kids. Well, it’s just been given an update alongside its non-Pro sibling.

Both are 10.1-inch tablets that are apparently lighter and 25% faster than their predecessors. Otherwise, the specs are largely the same as before, with a 1080p Full HD display, 3GB RAM and a 5MP camera all on board. 

The main difference between the two is who they’re aimed at – the standard Fire HD 10 Kids is for 3- to 7-year-olds, while the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro is for those ‘professional’ 6- to 12-year-olds. Actually, the “Pro” model gives your child more freedom with web browsing and apps, so beware before you hand it to a toddler. 

You also get 12 months of Amazon Kids Plus for free with both tablets, while a new AI-powered Music Maker mode (which lets kids create songs with various instruments) is “coming soon”.

Amazon Echo Frames

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A person wearing the Amazon Echo Frames smart glasses

(Image credit: Amazon)
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A person wearing the Amazon Echo Frames smart glasses

(Image credit: Amazon)
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A person wearing the Amazon Echo Frames smart glasses

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Amazon Echo Frames (3rd gen)

Don’t worry, Amazon’s latest glasses don’t bother with mixed reality or creepy cameras – the Echo Frames (3rd gen) are simply designed to be your wearable, voice-controlled audio player.

The improvements this time are a boosted battery life (now at a claimed six hours) and the ability to pair the glasses with multiple devices. They also apparently deliver improved bass and come in seven new styles, including a couple of pretty stylish options from those respected purveyors of face furniture, Carrera.

The Echo Frames don’t use bone-conduction technology, instead using little speaker drivers above your ears to pipe sound into them without covering them. This also apparently minimizes what those around you can hear, though we’ll have to see how that plays out in reality. 

You also get to choose from different lens options, including sunglasses lenses with UV400 protection, prescription-ready ones, or blue light lenses. There’s no news on a release date yet sadly, but you can head to the Echo Frames page to sign and be notified.

Amazon Fire TV sticks and soundbar

6. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (2nd gen)

Amazon Devices and Services Event 2023

(Image credit: Amazon)
  • $49.99 / £59.99 (around AU$77)

Just as we predicted earlier this month, Amazon has updated both of its Fire TV Stick 4K models. The standard Fire TV Stick 4K now supports Wi-Fi 6 (if you have a compatible router) and is apparently 30% more powerful than the last version, thanks to its updated 1.7 GHZ quad-core processor.

Like before, you can stream your TV and movies in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Atmos audio, and the Fire TV Stick 4K also offers broad HDR support in the form of Dolby Vision, HDR, HLG, and HDR10+. 

More exciting is the promise of Fire TV’s new ‘AI-powered search’, which offers more conversational voice searches to help you find what to watch. For example, a demo showed someone asking “find some action movies for me”, followed by “show me the ones I haven’t seen yet” and then “which of these are okay for my teenagers to watch”. It’ll arrive on Fire TV products as a software update later this year.

7. Amazon Fire Stick 4K Max (2nd gen)

The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max on a table next to popcorn

(Image credit: Amazon)
  • $59.99 / £69.99 (around AU$92)

We still rate the current Amazon Fire Stick 4K Max as one of the best streaming devices, and it’s just been given another speed and features boost with the second generation update.

The Max trumps the standard Fire TV Max 4K (above) with speedy Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, which means lower latency if you have the right router. It also now offers twice as much built-in storage (16GB) as its predecessor for storing apps and games.

Alongside the new ‘AI-powered’ Alexa voice searches mentioned above, the Max Stick also gets a ‘Fire TV Ambient Experience’ which effectively turns your TV into a smart display (a bit like iOS 17’s new StandBy Mode) or a piece of art, thanks to its free digital paintings. Amazon is also promising the ability to create AI-generated art, which will roll out in the US “by the end of this year.”

8. Amazon Fire TV Soundbar

Amazon Fire TV Soundbar on a wooden table under a TV

(Image credit: Amazon)
  • $119.99 (around £97 / AU$185)
  • Available to order now in the US (no word on UK / Australian release)

This one was a slight surprise – Amazon’s new Fire TV Soundbar is an incredibly cheap new option for anyone who wants to give their TV (from 32in to 50in in size) a healthy audio boost for not much cash.

As you’d expect for the money, it’s a pretty simple affair with two drivers and a 40W output, It also supports both Dolby and DTS audio formats and connects to your TV over HDMI ARC or optical, with Bluetooth on hand for music streaming.

So what’s the catch? It obviously won’t rival the best soundbars for audio quality and we reckon it’s a shame Amazon didn’t go fully wireless, considering it’s designed to work so well with Fire TV devices. Still, it’s definitely one to look out for in this year’s Black Friday deals.

Security and smart home

9. Ring Stick Up Cam Pro

The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro security camera mounted on a wall

(Image credit: Amazon / Ring)
  • Battery version: $180 / £160 (around AU$280)
  • Solar version: $210 / £180 (around AU$325)
  • Available for pre-order now, shipping on October 18

Amazon bought Ring back in 2018 and the latest of the company’s security cameras to get an upgrade is the versatile Ring Stick Up Cam, which now has a Pro sibling.

The Stick Up Cam range can be used indoors or outdoors. But because most people mount them outside, Ring decided to launch this Pro version with radar-powered 3D Motion Detection (the same kind you get on the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2).

That means you can pick specific zones for it to watch over with its 1080p HDR camera, and the Stick Up Cam Pro also offers two-way talk, dual-band Wi-Fi and color night vision. A promising new contender for the title of best home security camera.

  • Blink Outdoor 4: $119.99
  • Blink Sync Module Pro: $49.99 (available early next year)
  • Blink Outdoor 4 Floodlight Camera: $159.99 (ships October 17)
  • Blink Outdoor 4 Battery Extension Pack: $29.99 (ships October 17)
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Amazon Devices and Services Event 2023

(Image credit: Amazon)
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Amazon Devices and Services Event 2023

(Image credit: Amazon)
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Amazon Devices and Services Event 2023

(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon’s range of Blink security cameras have long been affordable alternatives to their Ring rivals – and now its flagship battery-powered model, the Outdoor 4, has just been given a range of new accessories.

The Outdoor 4 itself launched in August as the latest model in what Blink says is its best-selling camera line. But now it’s been given three new accessories to boost its powers. The Blink Sync Module Pro boosts its outdoor range, while the Blink Outdoor 4 Floodlight Camera is a wireless, HD floodlight cam.

Lastly, the Battery Extension Pack gives you even more battery life, although the Outdoor 4 is also renowned for its two-year battery life (from only two AA batteries).

11. Amazon Echo Hub

  • $179.99 / £169.99 (around AU$275)
  • No launch date yet, but later in 2023

The Echo Hub might just be the highlight of Amazon’s September 2023 launch event – particularly if you’ve been pining for a wall-mounted tablet that can control your smart home in a slightly sci-fi fashion.

A bit like a slimmed down Echo Show, this 8in touchscreen device can connect to pretty much every piece of smart home tech thanks to its support for Zigbee, Sidewalk, Thread, Bluetooth and Matter. 

That means the Amazon Echo Hub can effectively be your home dashboard, letting you view multiple live camera feeds simultaneously and, next year, serving up the very promising ‘Map View’, which is a simple visual way to see all of your smart home tech (it certainly beats the usual list).

Like the Echo Show 8, the Echo Hub also offers ‘Adaptive Content’ so that it can adjust what it shows based on how close you are to the screen. We can’t wait to try this one out ahead of its full launch later this year.

12. eero Max 7

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The eero Max 7 router on a table

(Image credit: Amazon)
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The eero Max 7 router on a table

(Image credit: Amazon)
  • One-pack: $599.99 / £599.99 / AU$599.99
  • Two-pack: $1,149.99 / £1149.99 / AU$1149.99
  • Three-pack: $1,699.99 / £1699.99 / AU$1699.99
  • Available to pre-order now

If you need an extremely high-end router with Wi-Fi 7 speeds, then the new Eero Max 7 could be your new networking powerhouse.

You can tell the Max 7 is a serious mesh router because it offers no less than four Ethernet ports (two 10GB ports, and two 2.5GB ports). It can also act as your smart home hub thanks to support for the likes of Matter, Zigbee and Thread.

With support for three wireless bands (2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz) and the ability to cover 2,500 square feet with only one router (or three times that with the three pack), this is a future-proofed option for those with massive homes.


13. Alexa AI

Amazon Devices and Services Event 2023

(Image credit: Amazon)

Tying all of Amazon’s launches together was the announcement that its Alexa voice assistant will be getting a big AI-powered upgrade, powered by the tech giant’s new large language model (LLM). Yes, Alexa is finally getting some ChatGPT-style smarts.

Amazon says Alexa AI will be “more intuitive, intelligent, and useful” and also less robotic, allowing you to have more natural conversations. It’ll also be able to handle multiple smart home requests (for certain devices) simultaneously, rather than you having to laboriously ask it each one in turn. 

Thanks to some new skills, courtesy of tools like Character.AI, you’ll also apparently be able to have conversations with historical characters and more. The downside? The new AI-powered Alexa will only be launching as a preview in the US initially and we don’t know exactly when that’ll be yet. But we’ll definitely be among the first in the queue to try it out, so keep your eyes-peeled for our first impressions soon. 

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