Amazon Echo Show brings new features and upgrades to the table, but are they enough to justify the new higher price than the other echo models and does the screen really do that much of a difference? How about the new Drop In -feature, is it hit or just a complete and creepy miss.
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The design for the Amazon Echo Show is very pleasing. The tilted smart speaker looks sharp and looks good on your desk. There is not really anything bad to say about it.
The smart speaker comes in two color variations black and white. With white, you still have the black ring around the screen, but this didn’t really bother us since it breaks some of that whiteness and makes it look more of a design product than a boring white box.
Dimension wise the Amazon Echo Show comes in 7.4″ x 7.4″ x 3.5″, 41.0 oz (187 mm x 187 mm x 90 mm, 1170 grams) meaning it’s not too big or heavy to move around.
The setup is as simple as it gets. Plug the smart speaker in and the screen will show you available Wi-Fi networks. Select the one you want and you’re ready to input your Amazon account details and start using the device.
After that, the Amazon Echo Show will check firmware updates that might be available.
At this point, you can also connect it to any additional devices like Bluetooth speakers if you wish to do so.
This might come as a surprise for some but you don’t do much with the Amazon Echo Show screen. Its main purpose is to show you things even though it’s a touchscreen and you can move between things by swiping left and right, but most of the things you will be doing with the device are by using your own voice and the help of the Amazons own voice helper Alexa.
You can easily set up alarms and ask the Amazon Echo Show to play music or videos which makes it a great little device without ever touching the screen.
The most disappointing part for some might be that the screen comes only in 171 pixels per inch (PPI) and the screen size is only 7″. In all honesty, the screen is almost the same as a mid-tier smartphone would have and it seems Amazon is using almost the same set up as they are on the Amazon Fire 7 tablet.
One thing that might also bother some users is (as we stated earlier), that you won’t be touching the screen mostly. There are no app stores or anything else like that. You will be mainly using the Alexa voice assistant to do everything for you, though you can still skip songs and change some settings on the screen by hand.
The smart speaker also features an adaptive brightness, meaning it can detect how ambient lighting the room and it will change the brightness up or down automatically. You can still change it by hand just by sliding it your finger from top to bottom, but don’t expect anything more from the controls, since you won’t be able to change the white balance or the contrast.
The Amazon Echo Show packs a decent 5MP camera for video communication between the echo devices or other smart devices thought its locked to be only available through Amazons own Alexa app. Some might see this kind of a hinderance considering there are tons of different communications apps out there these days.
The speakers are one of the strong points on the device. Now we are not saying they are better than a dedicated device made for listening to music but they are well suited for video communication, listening to some background music and even playing a story for your children. For music, you can use the Spotify or even Amazon Music Unlimited if you want even more music and stories.
The Drop In -feature has been called by many others a bit creepy. It’s a new feature created by Amazon which allows you to just “drop in” on anyone using the Amazon Echo Show device and see what they are doing and talk to them without them needing to accept your call.
We get it, it is creepy to find someone from your living room or kitchen just watching you through the device, but there are good things also about this device.
Some users have reported using the Drop In -features with their elderly parents who might have some dementia or other disabilities that make it hard to learn or even use other devices. With the Drop In -feature, they have managed to “Drop In” (pun intended) at their place and have a talk or just see how they are doing.
There is also an option to turn this feature completely off if you do not wish to use the Drop In -feature. We are going to keep a close eye on this feature and congratulate Amazon for thinking a step further in helping people who are not as tech-savvy.
As easy Alexa is to use, there still are some things that might feel a bit off or even infuriate from time to time. For example, some apps simply don’t work as you would expect them to do. Thankfully you can still use the inbuilt Amazon’s Silk browser or Firefox and use them with Alexa.
There is still support for Spotify and Amazon Music which both work great and feel great when used with Alexa. Unfortunately, if you want to use YouTube you are forced to open the browser to do so. Also, the Echo Show doesn’t support Netflix yet, so there is also that.
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What do other Amazon Echo Show users and owners say about it?
As a conclusion, we can only say that if you haven’t managed to get your hands on an Amazon Echo yet, then consider choosing the Amazon Echo Show. It might feel weird for the first part to control something with your voice, but after a while, you notice how easy and natural it is. The Drop In -feature is a must-have for those who want to “Drop In” on their children or other close friends to keep an eye and spend some quality time with them.
- The design is very pleasing.
- Alexa can now show things instead of me asking things all the time.
- Easy to use video / voice / text communication.
- You can't use video/ voice/text communication with Alexa unless people use the same software on their phones or own an echo device themselves.
Specification: Amazon Echo Show review