Of the new Echo devices announced by Amazon yesterday, I find the Echo Plus the most attractive. My interest lies in the smarthome hub claim, but I am a little skeptical.
The claim is that you can use the Echo Plus as hub for IoT devices like Philips Hue light bulbs. What I should be able to conclude from this is that you don't need to buy a Hue Hub to control the light bulbs because the Echo Plus provides that functionality.
The problem is that other IoT applications that I have seen, like SmartThings tell you that you control other devices like Hue light bulbs, but what they mean is that the app talks via the SmartThings hub to the Hue hub. You need both hubs connected to your network to control all of the devices, and Alexa also expects to see the hubs on the network in order to control the devices.
So, if it is true that the $150 Echo Plus can replace the Hue hub and the SmartThings hub so that you can directly control the associated devices, then this is a great deal. However, I need to find out whether you can truly get rid of these IoT-specific hubs.