Amazon's New Echo Plus Controls Gadgets Without Internet

SEATTLE - Amazon’s Echo Plus has gotten even bigger.

The previous iteration was already Amazon’s biggest and loudest Alexa-enabled speaker. At a hardware event in Seattle, the company announced that a new and improved Echo Plus is on its way.

Credit: Tom's Gudie

(Image credit: Tom's Gudie)

Most noticeably, the device looks nice. While the old version looks like a stretched-out version of the first-generation Echo, the new one has taken on the sleeker look of the second generation Echo, with mesh material surrounding the outside, and Alexa’s signature blue indicator ring around the top. Amazon’s event showed three different color options, in various shades of black and gray.

MORE: Amazon Unveils New Echo Dot with Better Sound

The company said that the new Plus packs in a built-in temperature sensor as well as improved bass.

The most exciting new feature, however, is local voice control. The Echo Plus’s signature feature has always been its built-in smart-home hub, which other Echo devices lack. You’ll be able to use the new generation to control your smart home devices, even when your internet is down.

Amazon announced a number of Alexa-enabled devices at its Sept. 20 hardware event, including an upgraded Echo Dot, a speakerless Echo Input device, and an Alexa-enabled microwave and wall clock.

Monica Chin is a writer at The Verge, covering computers. Previously, she was a staff writer for Tom's Guide, where she wrote about everything from artificial intelligence to social media and the internet of things to. She had a particular focus on smart home, reviewing multiple devices. In her downtime, you can usually find her at poetry slams, attempting to exercise, or yelling at people on Twitter.