We had a feeling that the Amazon Echo Show was about to be updated. With competition from Google Assistant via Lenovo’s gorgeous Smart Display and JBL’s Link View, which has both superior sound and display quality, Amazon needs to catch up.
Distributed with the company (2nd generation) amazon echo show, an Alexa speaker with screen when released in October 2018 with a starting price of $230. Needless to say, the market continues to grow with new entries that include new features that make smart displays a valuable gadget in the home. Amazon’s own lineup includes the Amazon Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 — both offer nearly identical features, but in smaller packages.
Of course, you might want to consider its successor in the Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd generation), which is notable for its 10-inch display connected to a motor – so that it can follow your movement around a room. Plus, it also doubles as a security camera with Alexa Guard enabled. There’s no denying the usefulness of Alexa-powered smart displays, especially when you uncover some neat things they could do.
Like the previous Echo Show, the new Show looks a bit like a prop-up tablet. But the new show has a bigger 10-inch crystal clear display (the old one was 7-inch). It functions as a smart hub, which means it can use the Zigbee protocol to connect to smart home devices.
Another difference between older and newer devices is size. The old version resembled a blocky, old-school TV, while the new one is more streamlined, with a sandstone or charcoal fabric backing. It’s ideal for kitchen environments, where you can ask Alexa to show you a tutorial, say, how to make lasagna.
Amazon upped the sound quality by adding dual two-inch premium drivers, a passive bass radiator, and Dolby processing. Plus, you can adjust the treble and bass with just your voice from across the room. You can also use Show to set up Alexa’s multi-room audio feature.
You can adjust the treble and bass with just your voice from across the room.
The show has better integration with Ring’s (Amazon-owned) security products, particularly its video doorbells. When your doorbell rings, you can see on the show screen who’s at the front door. With a Hulu subscription, you can also watch live TV and make Skype calls on the device.
Plus, the Show does all the things a regular Echo speaker can do, like adding items to your shopping list, setting a timer, or telling you the square root of 52,000 (Answer: 228.03508502). For those of you who shy away from screened devices in your homes, there is a way to turn off both the camera and speakers for privacy.
We got a chance to tinker with the new shows and were impressed with the better sound quality. We mean that; we understand Enough Improved. We set the new Echo Show next to the old one to test it side-by-side on the sound, and was blown away. It’s clear that Amazon bumped the sound from the good enough category to the enough-to-play-while-a-party category.
We asked Alexa to play Cardi B I like this, which has a decent amount of bass. While our old Echo Show sounded a little dimmer with bold bass songs, the newer Show handled the task well, providing a bigger, clearer, bolder, room-filling version of the song. We had a similar experience when we asked Alexa to take it down a notch with The Beatles. Let it be. The instruments and lyrics were well mixed. And if you want more oomph, you can optionally pair the Show with the new Echo Sub and other Echo speakers to double down on the sound.
We had both devices running uptown funk And found that the new show did an excellent job of introducing a bolder, fuller sound to the entire room, creating a multi-dimensional version of the song that didn’t exist before.
The improvements are even bigger when it comes to the display. We watched a few minutes of an episode Wonderful Mrs Maisel, and again, the improvement in performance clarity was evident. Clear, clear images appeared on the screen, and the device can certainly be used as a TV if you wish. While it didn’t quite match the clarity of Lenovo’s Smart Display with Google Assistant, it was a huge improvement over the previous Echo Show.
Obviously, it will be a bit difficult to assemble around the device as you would a TV because of the way it is held up at an angle. But if you want to watch the game while you’re cooking dinner, you’ll want to take a strong look at what’s going on.
We were able to easily get the show up and running in our smart home. Once plugged in, it asked for our Amazon Prime account information, our Wi-Fi password, and we were good to go. We should note that our phone already has the Alexa app installed, and we’ve connected the device to the Echo device’s pre-existing network. If this is your first Echo, you’ll need to do more work on the front end, including setting up your preferred language, connecting music streaming services to your account, and adding the smart home device you want to control your Echo. The Alexa app and show screen will walk you through the steps for painless setup.
We hooked up the show to our Nest cameras and were watching footage of it in no time. The new show’s big screen and clear display made a big difference: We could see whether our son’s eyes were open or closed while lying in bed—something we hadn’t been able to do before. We also paired our Noon and Philips Hue lighting and smart plugs, and we were able to easily turn each device on and off with the sound of our voice.
Otherwise, the Alexa voice assistant is just what you’ll find in any Alexa device – she can solve math problems for you, tell you what her favorite superhero is, set multiple timers, make phone calls, and more. some. The advantage of the screen comes in handy when you need to watch video footage, play a movie or cook a video, make a video call, or even answer the Ring Doorbell with your voice, a new feature we’ve tested on the Ring Doorbell. But will do. Ringed the doorbell.
A few dances: While we’re happy to see Zigbee integration, we wish Amazon added Z-Wave functionality as well, to make the show compatible with a greater variety of smart home devices. Many hubs, such as Samsung’s SmartThings Wi-Fi, include both. If you want to use any of the more than 2,400 devices that use Z-Wave, you may need to invest in one.
The fabric backing is definitely an improvement.
Price-wise, it has now gotten better over time, generally going as low as $180. Currently, however, it sits at its usual $230 cost. In comparison, the 10-inch Lenovo Smart Display costs $180, while the Google Next Hub Max costs $230.
Overall, though, we were impressed with the improvements Amazon made in its overhaul of the Echo.
The Echo Show comes with a one-year limited warranty and service. You can purchase one-, two- or three-year extended warranties separately.
Alexa continues to get smarter, thanks to frequent updates that expand its toolkit. You can try out the following new features with the Amazon Echo Dot with Watch.
Working from home has its challenges, especially when it comes to health and wellness. Alexa can help by offering some useful wellness tips. To hear them, just say, “Alexa, what’s my wellness tip of the day?”
Group conversations for all your devices
Getting someone’s attention in another room can be challenging, especially if you have kids who regularly crank up the music in their room. You can now hold group conversations using Alexa’s Drop In feature, where you’ll be able to connect to other Echo devices. Essentially, it is an intercom system.
Get your reminders across devices
You can always be up-to-date with your reminders, thanks to a new feature that will play them across all of your Alexa devices. To enable it, you need to select Announce on all devices under which Settings > Reminders Within the Alexa app.
daily music pickup
Tired of having the same playlist or carousel of songs playing on your Alexa device? Then check out the Daily Music Select feature which will provide daily music recommendations from Amazon Music. All you have to do is say “Alexa, play Daily Music Pick” and a new artist will automatically select a song, album or playlist.
Overall, the new Echo Show is better than the old one in every way. With bold sound, a 10-inch crystal clear display, Smart Hub, and a streamlined, soft look, we’re impressed that Amazon has taken several steps to improve the product.
Is there a better option?
Smart displays remain highly competitive, and Google Assistant devices offer the strongest competition. The Google Nest Hub Max ($230) tallies up to be the ultimate smart display that adds a key element you won’t find in other devices, it also doubles as a security camera. This means it can keep an eye on your home while you are away. The Lenovo Smart Display 7, which also features Google Assistant, is a device with a compact design and affordable price point ($100). And even though it’s not out yet, itsGiven its new features, it might seem like a solid buy.
For Echo devices, if you don’t need a screen, an Echo ($100) or Echo Dot with LED clock ($60) can provide you with a smart speaker with Alexa voice assistant. However, you’ll be missing out on Zigbee Smart Hub capabilities, and getting to cookie-baking tutorials will be more difficult without the screen. And finally, its successor in the Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) for $250.
How long will it last?
Amazon Echo devices and Alexa are both here to stay. Alexa is always getting better through firmware…