Smaller, Cheaper Version of Amazon Echo in the Works

Alex Spencer

Amazon EchoAmazon is reportedly planning to launch a smaller and cheaper version of the Echo, its voice-activated smart speaker.

In its current incarnation, the Amazon Echo can play streaming music, take notes, search the web, act as a smart home hub and, of course, place Amazon orders, all controlled through a voice-activated personal assistant called 'Alexa'. It costs $180 (£125), a price that Amazon is apparently looking to undercut with the forthcoming model.

Currently going by the codename 'Fox', the new Echo model is set to "fit comfortably in the palm of a user's hand, like a beer can", according to the Wall Street Journal. It's identified as a 'portable' device, though this decision is slightly puzzling, given that most of its functionality is available on your average smartphone via Siri or Google Now, and battery power restrictions will mean that it lacks the 'always listening' selling point of the larger home edition.

The WSJ's sources weren't able to give a date for the device's launch or even announcement, and it's worth noting that the original Echo still isn't available outside of the US. For now, it's simply a case of 'watch this space'.