Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)
The original Amazon Echo was a weird device.

Did anyone really want a speaker with an always-on assistant waiting for your next command? As it turns out, people did—so much so that now there are more speakers, lamps, baby monitors refrigerators, and (soon) cars that have Amazon’s Alexa built in.
But even though Amazon opened up Alexa to other companies to integrate into their products, Amazon hasn’t stopped improving the original Echo.

The second-generation Echo just came out, and while the most obvious differences lie in the device’s design and its reduced price tag, Alexa has gone through a number of changes and improvements as well.
However, if you’re familiar with the Echo and Alexa in general, you might be disappointed to find that the new Echo doesn’t provide a drastically different experience from the original.

But that’s OK—the new Echo shows that updated devices don’t have to reinvent the wheel to be better than their predecessors.
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