Having released a number of Alexa speakers you might wonder what else Amazon could do to further the range, the Amazon Echo Show answers that by taking the Alexa speaker combination and adding a touch screen on top.
Available in black or white, the Amazon Echo Show has all the same abilities as the other Alexa devices, it’s voice controlled, it responds int he same way and can control your smart home features, but has the addition of a screen to give visual feedback.
It’s a chunky unit, under the screen is the speaker grill, on top are control buttons and round the back is where you plug in the power cable.
Setup was very easy, plug the Echo Show in and follow the on screen instructions. If you’ve ordered this yourself it’ll already be linked to your Amazon account. If someone else has ordered it you may need to remove their account and add your own.
If you’ve already got an Amazon Alexa device, such as the Dot, you’ll find the Show get’s added to your device list in the Alexa app. Having multiple Amazon Alexa devices gives you some very cool options, for example you can place calls between the devices or setup a multi speaker system so the same song plays out of all the speakers at the same time.
The screen looks good and is very responsive and as the Show has a built in camera it can be used to make video calls to other Amazon Show units. This is the only video calling option available at the moment, there isn’t an option to use more widely available services such as Skype.
Out of the box the screen displays generic photos, this can be changed to take advantage of your Amazon Prime Photo account and it turns the Show into a digital photo frame. Like the video calling option, video playback is limited to Amazon only services, you can’t use it to watch Netflix or YouTube.
Another use for the screen is to display video from Prime video, great if you have this in the kitchen and fancy watching something while preparing a meal. Or you could use the screen to help you prepare the meal, add the Recipedia skill and the Show gains access to a range of recipes and instructions on how to cook them.
Unfortunately the Show can’t be used to view your Kindle books. You can take a look at the books you own, but when you open one it gets read out loud by Alexa, at the time of review there wasn’t a way to view the pages, which would be great if you wanted to view your recipe books for access to a wider range of meals than Recepedia can offer.
The Amazon Echo Show is an interesting device, but at the time of review it fails to deliver that killer reason to get one. The other Alexa devices offer much the same experience, in fact they generally seem better in terms of voice recognition. The addition of a screen offers some new features, but not enough to make this a must have addition to the Alexa family, hopefully in time it’ll realise it’s full potential.
The Echo Show is available from:
Amazon Echo Show Video Review
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