Amazon Echo: Buy now or wait for the Amazon Echo 2?

The FOMO is real. You've been waiting on the sidelines on this whole Amazon Echo thing, but you're finally ready to buy one. Maybe. Because there's always something better on the horizon, right?

That brings us to today's question: Is it safe to buy an Amazon Echo today or should we wait for the Echo 2?

First, let's define terms. Because there's more than one Echo, and they're all different in their own special ways.

In this case I'm talking about the OG Echo — the black cylinder that's been widely available for a couple years now, which is downright ancient in terms of tech. So the expectation of a replacement isn't far-fetched.

There's not a whole lot of information, though, about when we can expect a new model. The only real report we've seen is from Engadget, which could only peg things to "later this year." That's not overly helpful.

Here's the part that should get you at least a little interested. From the Engadget piece:

The new Echo will be both shorter and slimmer than the original, almost as if it were three or four Echo Dots stacked on top of each other, our source claims. Amazon is also softening its design with rounded edges and a cloth-like covering, rather than the current Echo's plastic shell and flat ends. And yes, it should sound better, too.

Looks better, sounds better. More microphones to understand you better. Exactly what you'd expect a new full Amazon Echo to be like, right? Lots of unknowns still; most important among them: price and availability.

So let's answer the question:

Should you buy an Amazon Echo now or wait for the new one later this year?

If you really want an OG Echo right now, go for it. It sounds decent, and it'll continue to serve you long after the next model is out. (That's the cool part about the brains of Echo being cloud-based — it gets smarter as it gets older.)

But if I were you, I wouldn't pay more than $100 for it. That's not a horrible price for a decent Bluetooth speaker (which the Echo also serves as), and we've seen the Echo dip down to $90 in a recent sale. That's also a far cry from the $179 retail price Amazon still has the Echo listed for).

Repeat: Do not pay full price for an Echo right now. If you're going to pay that much, just go for an Echo Show instead, which gives you decent speakers and a touchscreen for an extra $50.

Phil Nickinson