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Amazon

From Kindle to Echo: the best Amazon devices of 2018

  • Amazon is the biggest e-commerce platform, and it has a growing list of its own manufactured products
  • Here is a list of Amazon’s best devices for reading, security and home tech
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2018, 4:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2018, 4:03am

For years, Amazon has been the one-stop shop for almost every kind of brand or product you need. But in the past few years, Amazon has started to create its own products.

With the huge popularity of smart home and other devices, Amazon has provided its own competition that rivals other brands such as Google, Roku and more.

So if you’re going to that one-stop shop, here are the best devices in smart home, reading, tablets and security that Amazon has to offer.

SMART HOME

Amazon Echo (2nd Gen)

The Amazon Echo is far and away the best smart home device for anyone looking to bring an Alexa-enabled smart speaker into their homes. It has great sound quality thanks to Dolby audio, a 2.5-inch woofer, and a 0.6-inch tweeter. And it has an auxiliary input and Bluetooth if you want to connect it to a larger speaker. The Echo also uses far field voice recognition so Alexa can hear you even if you’re in the next room.

Every Echo device has access to the same Alexa skills and features, but the second-generation Echo offers the best blend of quality performance and value. It costs twice as much as the Echo Dot, but it sounds 10 times better. It doesn’t act as a hub for devices that require their own bridge like the Echo Plus, but it costs $50 less. And it may not have a screen like the Spot or the Show, but you really don’t need a display or a camera to fully enjoy Alexa.

US$69.99

Amazon Echo Dot

The Echo Dot is the perfect entry-level smart speaker. It gives you access to all the standard Alexa features at half the cost of the Echo. But with the price break, you do have to sacrifice sound quality.

Chinese workers at Amazon Echo factory overworked and underpaid, watchdog says

The speaker is 0.6 inches, less than half as powerful as the Spot’s and well below the quality of the larger Echoes. However, there’s an AUX input on the back and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can easily connect it to any existing speaker for a boost in sound quality.

US$24.99

READING

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

With its 300 pixels-per-inch touch screen display, adjustable backlight, and excellent battery life, the Kindle Paperwhite is the best bang for your buck. The price tag is super reasonable at US$120, with a sale price that typically hovers around US$90. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Amazon’s most premium e-readers, but it gets the job done.

The bezels are great to give hands a natural place to rest, while the device itself lasts about three weeks on a single charge. One drawback may be that the screen doesn’t sit quite flush with the device.

US$129.99 for the latest Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

US$79.99 for Amazon Kindle 7th Generation

TABLETS

Amazon Fire 7

We have not yet tested the Fire 7, but judging by its 3.9/5 rating on Amazon after over 40,000 reviews plus a can’t miss price, we think it’d be a great addition if you’re looking for a tablet.

The 8GB version comes in at just under US$50, while the 16GB is around US$70 and they are both Alexa enabled. You can also stream all your favourite films, songs, shows and more with apps for each major streaming site and can download them as well.

Lastly, it’s thinner and more durable than the last version, and the improved battery lasts up to eight hours with a full charge.

US$49.99 for Amazon Fire 7 Tablet 8GB

SECURITY

Amazon Cloud Cam

Amazon’s Cloud Cam starts streaming very quickly, but even at 1,080p, the video doesn’t look as good as other cams. The app makes it easy to dial in the right amount of notifications, and it can automatically shut off the camera when you’re home and turn it back on when you leave. Set up is a snap too.

Unfortunately, the two-way audio feature was glitchy in the iOS app, although it worked well on the Android side. The US$7 per month fee is on the higher side, but it comes with extra features like person detection and motion zones.

US$119.99