Amazon Echo devices started arriving as promised on December 5th and are now available at many Canadian retail outlets including Best Buy, The Source, Staples, Bed Bath & Beyond, TSC: Today’s Shopping Choice and Telus. The three devices can also be purchased directly on amazon.ca.
For an introductory price, the Echo Dot is priced at $49 CAD (regularly $69), the 2nd Gen Echo is $99 (normally $129) and the Echo Plus is $169 (regularly $199) on Amazon.com. Amazon is offering this introductory pricing on each device and it’s unclear when that price cut is set to end.
The Echo Dot is Amazon’s lowest end smart speaker option, while the 2nd Gen Echo, on the other hand, is similar to its predecessor, though it features a new fabric (three colour choices: Charcoal, Heather grey and Sandstone) covered body and upgraded internals. Finally, the Echo Plus is Amazon’s high-fidelity option and features higher quality sound along with a built-in ZigBee smart home hub.
1st Gen Echo does not support ‘Canadian English’
This week Canadian early adopters discovered that the 1st Gen Echo doesn’t support ‘Canadian English’. Additionally, Canadian skills are not supported by the 1st Gen Amazon Echo, 1st Gen Echo Dot and 1st Gen Echo Show, or the Amazon Tap. Canadian English language settings also do not seem to be an available option for Alexa-enabled devices like the Ecobee 4 or the Fabriq Chorus smart speaker either, despite the fact that the devices are now officially available in Canada. The new Echo devices officially released in Canada, which include the Echo Plus, 2nd Gen Echo and Echo Dot, support Canadian English language settings.
It’s not clear why Amazon made this decision as it seems purely to be software and not hardware related. Amazon notes that customers switching countries may lose access to content purchased from other countries, as well as the ability to utilize certain region-specific skills.
Examples of Canadian specific skills include Air Canada, BMO, TD, Telus, Sportsnet, theScore, CBC, The Weather Network, and Yellow Pages.