This year’s Amazon event held a slew of pleasant surprises. Astro is a smart home robot that combines various elements of Amazon’s technology portfolio into one companion device, including smart displays, video cameras, and the like, as well as an Amazon Glow toy for games beamed onto the floor in front of it.

In addition to more information about a Ring camera drone, a new security system and Wi-Fi 6 router was revealed in the Ring Alarm Pro, a Blink Video doorbell with an integrated screen, and more.

There were, however, a few notable absences. Despite Amazon’s reputation for building smart-home technology on the Amazon Echo speaker range, there were no new models to be found. Given previous releases of the Echo (with a light bulb-shaped orb that an audiophile would not feel embarrassed to be caught listening to), as well as an Echo Studio line of speakers that an audio enthusiast wouldn’t feel compelled to hide, it’s peculiar there was nothing announced in that sector this year.

But in the end, we all know that Alexa is a product still evolving and will continue to do so for years. So while it’s a great time to be buying an Amazon-made device like as the Echo Dot, there are bound to be some growing pains along with it.

Last year, we saw Amazon products drop in price, including the fourth-generation Echo Dot’s RRP of $20/£20, the Fire TV Cube’s RRP of $100/ £100, the Ring Video Doorbell’s RRP of $200/ £200, and the like.

We already see cheaper prices on the third-generation Echo Dot (now $40 / £40 instead of $50 / £50), and that gap is only going to widen during this sale period.

Everything from the core Amazon Echo to higher-end Echo Studio should see price cuts as well – and with no immediate hardware refreshes forthcoming, attention will be entirely on previous models.

There’s a lot of color in the world, but this gear is on fire…

We also anticipate seeing discounts on the Fire TV range. It was extremely unusual for Amazon not to announce any new Fire TV devices at a launch event, even though it’s likely due to the fact that previous versions of the device were already on the market.

The fourth-generation Fire TV Stick 4K Max has introduced a few weeks ago – perhaps to allow the September event to focus on different gadgets and first-time products, such as Astro’s smart home robot – while Amazon’s Omni smart TVs are already available.

Even the 4K Max model may receive a bargain if Amazon attempts to pique interest in the new dongle with a lightning-quick discount, and we could see something similar with the all-new Halo View fitness tracker, which builds on the Halo wrist gadget with a screen.

Where new hardware is accessible, it’s always worth comparing the newest model in a series to see whether there’s a discount – before you choose an older type for the same price.

The Astro robot does not appear to be discounted for Black Friday, albeit we don’t anticipate seeing huge savings on it since it’s part of Amazon’s “Day 1 Edition” program for pioneering items.

It is only available in the United States at present. However, if you’re thinking about purchasing the adorable (dangerous?) little scamp, we recommend checking out our review to make sure it’s the right purchase for you.


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