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If you are a smart home enthusiast thinking about finally getting an Amazon Echo device, your choice is clear: Echo Plus.
Unlike other Echoes, Plus has a ZigBee antenna built in. This antenna allows Echo Plus to work directly with certain smart home accessories, such as Philips Hue lights, which usually require plugging in an additional hub, which serves as a bridge to let smart lights and Echo work together.
First-generation Echo Plus is usually priced at $ 129.99, but is available only at $ 79.99 at this time. The $ 50 difference is enough to pay for four packs of Hue balls. Echo Plus also comes with an Amazon standard guarantee, so if something looks out of the box, you can easily restore it.
I have had the first generation Echo Plus to replace my original Amazon Echo, and it is the best smart home improvement I've ever made. The Plus has better loudspeakers, and prepares pre-existing smart home accessories very easily.
To install new accessories, all I have to say is "Alexa, find a device," and wait a moment for Echo Plus to scan my apartment. New accessories will appear, and I'm ready. Some smart home technologies, such as the Eufy 30C smart vacuum, still need to download separate applications for settings, but many can be found automatically.
Amazon recently released the second generation Echo Plus, but the price of $ 70 is more expensive and not too different. It has better speakers, the ability to be paired with a second Echo Plus for stereo sound, and a fabric-wrapped design that matches the Echo aesthetic redesigned by Amazon.
This improvement is significant if you use Echo as a stand-alone Bluetooth speaker, but they don't make a difference if you plan to pair your Echo with external speakers. There is no difference between first and second generation Echo Plus as a smart home hub.
I paid $ 150 for the first generation Echo Plus last year, and that is one of the best technology purchases I made in 2017. If you've been on a fence about Echo, or have tried planning the easiest way to start or expand your smart home, don't miss this deal.
Buy a certified new version of Generation-1 Echo Plus on Amazon for $ 79.99 (originally $ 129.99) [You save $50]