Amazon Echo Show Review: How will voice-controlled devices evolve? If someone had to look for an answer a year ago, a touch screen would have been among the last of their answers. But that is exactly what Amazon has added to its latest Echo device. The Amazon Echo Show is power by Alexa, but still has a 10-inch HD touchscreen which opens up the possibilites for a smart device.
Amazon Echo Show
The Amazon Echo Show looks like a small television. And that seems to be the idea, a small smart television which can be controlled by voice (too). It has an angled rear which allows for the speaker to have space. There is a camera on the front and on top you see the regular Alexa buttons to control volume and to kill its listening abilities. You can swipe from the top of the screen to access some controls like WiFi and brightness.
Set up is easy. Since this has a touch screen, you can do everything from select Wi-Fi to log in to you Amazon account on the screen itself — that makes life much more easier. However, to add new skills, you will need to resort to the Alexa app on the phone. In fact, you are constantly look for where there apps are on the device, and there are none. Just skills.
Once set up, the Show works like any other Alexa device. Ask it something and immediately she has an answer. However, the difference here is that she also has a screen. No, this is not the first screen Alexa has had as the Echo Spot put a small round display to aid the voice assistant.
So how is this different. Well, to start with you will not ask any other Echo device, not even the Echo Spot, to play a movie from Amazon Prime Videos. You will not hesitate throwing that query at Alexa on the Show and Alexa will not hesitate one bit to play the flick. It is a whole other question as to why you would want to watch a two-hour movie on a device this small and one that you can’t hold in your hand.
If you do decide to watch the movie, where will you place it? On the chest of drawers? On your coffee table? Or just hold it in your hand? No, Alexa will not help you with these queries.
But I would love to have the Show in my kitchen walking me through the recipe as I try to make a cream brûlée. Or just listening to songs from YouTube as I go about my chores. Even when you ask for a flash briefing from The Indian Express, the Show shows the headline on the screen. Even on the homescreen, top news cards keep appearing.
Everything has a visual, be it the weather or just a joke. Even when playing music, it now shows album art. I can live with that. But there is more you can do. Try using the Zomato skill and now you use a mix of touch and voice to order a crisp masala dosa from the nearby South Indian restaurant. You also set the Show to shuffle your photos on the screen so that you are not tortured by visuals of the Swiss mountains as you fry in the North Indian summer.
The fact that this has a camera also opens up the possibility of making video calls. I think someone like my mom would love this device as it gives her video connectivity without the hassle of technology. While it might be tough to find another person with an Echo Show at the moment, you can call pretty much anyone with an Alexa app on their phone.
There is something I really liked about the Echo Show and that was the sheer quality of the audio. I think this is the best sounding Echo with Dolby processing and drivers that are meant to give the best audio output for this format. In fact, when you are watching a video often you feel the display is not able to catch up to the audio.
Also, the Echo Show packs eight microphones and it hears your commands wherever you are in the house. The Echo Show can also control other compatible smart devices in house, again via voice or touch.
So should you buy this device? Well, if you are bored of your older Echo devices, this is a great upgrade. But think through whether you have the use for a screen. If you are sort who would like a smart mantlepiece then go ahead, the Echo Show won’t disappoint.