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Amazon Astro home robot: How to preorder Amazon's $1,000 Alexa bot and all its new gear - CNET

3 months ago 5

Amazon announced several new additions during Tuesday's product launch, including this new robot, Astro. 

Amazon/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

If Amazon's invite-only product launch this week hinted at anything, it's that the tech giant isn't afraid to create an air of exclusivity. While the new Echo Show 15 and Halo View fitness band with a screen, some of Amazon's bigger surprises and out-there devices -- like the $1,000 Alexa-powered Astro robot and flying Ring drone Always Home camera -- may be harder to get, through sign-up emails rather than the typical on-demand click-to-buy offer we've come to expect.

There's a lot to unpack from Amazon's device-filled reveal. While Hey Disney for Echo devices (here's more on Echo wake words) and Alexa Together, a new subscription service for caregivers, play into the existing Echo speakers and Alexa assistant in general, Amazon Astro, which is an Alexa voice assistant, security camera and robot all in one, has already raised privacy concerns. And the Ring line has been subject to criticism about privacy issues for years. 

Still, if Astro, the flying drone and all the rest have captured your attention as they have ours, we'll tell you what you need to know to preorder and buy Amazon's top devices announced earlier this week. This story has been updated. 

Amazon/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

Astro is a new robot that brings AI to your home. You can sign up to request an invite today and Astro will ship later this year. It's an adorable robot that follows voice commands and keeps an eye on your home with its periscope camera. Astro can show a live view via the mobile app, so you can check on your home when you're away. Astro works with Alexa Together and Ring Protect Pro, and comes with a six-month free trial of the latter. Anticipating criticism, Amazon offers some privacy features with Astro:

No-go zones Do not disturb featuresAlexa's standard privacy features

Read more: Amazon's Astro: New details on price, privacy, battery, specs and more

Now playing: Watch this: Amazon's Astro robot is part home helper, part surveillance...


Amazon/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

Amazon partnered with the Honeywell Home thermostat team to create an Energy Star-certified smart thermostat that competes with Nest. Most customers may be able to get the thermostat for free after utility rebates. It's an Alexa-enabled thermostat that supports routines and automatically adjusts temperatures. It's available for preorder now and will ship starting Nov. 4. A few of the top features you can look forward to include:

Control your thermostat using the Alexa app or voice commandsAn energy dashboard to breakdown your usage on your Echo device or the Alexa app Thermostat Hunches, which automatically adjusts the temperature

Amazon/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

Amazon's new Echo Show is bigger than previous models. Now, it comes with a 15.6-inch display and only comes in one color: black. However, you can mount it on the wall or place it on a stand. The newest model now has facial recognition for personalized alerts and more when the hub recognizes your face, tightening the competition with Apple. It also comes with personalized to-do lists, like Google's Hub Max. But the Echo Show 15 comes with a few highly anticipated features. 

Custom sounds that allow Alexa to listen to specific noises in your home (available in 2022)Visual ID to give you more customized calendars and remindersCustomizable Alexa widgets 

You can sign up to receive an email when the Echo Show 15 is available for preorder.

Amazon/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

The Amazon Glow is a brand-new kid-friendly smart device (yes, it's different to the Echo Glow night light). Kids can use the video screen to chat with long-distance family and friends. It includes a silicone mat to read, play and draw with loved ones. You'll also get a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus for access to digital books, games and more. The Amazon Glow comes with a two-year worry-free guarantee if you happen to break it. You can request an invite to the Glow program today

Games and activities from Mattel, Disney, Nickelodeon and Sesame StreetPre-approved contacts using the Amazon Glow app Camera with privacy shutter 

Now playing: Watch this: Amazon Glow: An interactive projector for kids


Amazon/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

The Halo View is a new addition to Amazon's Halo family. The latest Amazon fitness tracker has a few new features, including an AMOLED color display screen. Halo View users can also look forward to Halo Fitness and Nutrition services that will help with exercise and healthy eating. It benefits the Halo user in several ways, including the movement, emotional tone and the camera's body analyses. And it still works with the original Halo band. But these new additions might be worth upgrading from Amazon's Halo. 

7-day battery life Water resistant down to 50 meters Skin and temperature tracking 
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