Amazon Echo Show – Second Generation
“With a bigger screen and stronger sound, the new Amazon Echo Show is better in every way.”
Impressive sound quality
Crystal clear display
Larger screen than the previous model
Built-in smart home hub
No Z-Wave integration
We felt that the Amazon Echo Show was due for an update. With competition from the Google Assistant over Lenovo’s gorgeous smart display and JBL’s Link View, both of which offer better sound and display quality, Amazon had to catch up.
The company shipped an Alexa screen speaker with the Amazon Echo Show (2nd generation), which was released in October 2018 with a starting price of $ 230. Needless to say, the market continues to grow with new entries vying for notoriety. Amazon’s own range consists of the Amazon Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 – both offer almost the same functions, but in smaller packages. It’s worth noting that last fall, the company announced its successor, the Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd generation), with a 10-inch display on a motor that can follow you through a room.
Alexa, show me movie times
Like the previous Echo Show, the new show looks a bit like a supported tablet. But the new show has a bigger, crystal clear 10-inch display (the old one was 7-inch). It acts as a smart hub, which means it can use the ZigBee protocol to connect to smart home devices.
Another difference between old and new devices is the shape. The older version resembled an old school blocky TV, while the new one is more streamlined and has a sandstone or charcoal backing. It’s ideal for a kitchen setting where you can ask Alexa to show you tutorials on how to make lasagna, for example.
Amazon improved the sound quality by adding two two-inch premium drivers, a passive bass radiator, and Dolby processing. In addition, you can adjust the treble and bass from anywhere in the room with just your voice. You can also use the show to set up Alexa’s multi-room audio feature.
You can adjust the treble and bass from anywhere in the room with just your voice.
The show features better integration with Ring security products (owned by Amazon), particularly the video doorbells. When your doorbell rings, you can see who is at the front door on the Show screen. You can also watch live TV and make Skype calls on the device with a Hulu subscription.
In addition, the show does everything a regular Echo speaker can do, such as: B. Add items to your shopping list, set timers or enter the square root of 52,000 (answer: 228.03508502). For those of you who let devices with a screen sneak into your home, there is a way to turn off both the camera and speaker for privacy reasons.
Alexa, play Cardi B.
We had the opportunity to tinker with the new show and were impressed with the improved sound quality. We mean significantly improved. We put the new Echo show next to the old one to do sound tests side by side and loved it. It is clear that Amazon moved the sound from the “Good Enough” category to the “Good Enough To Play During A Party” category.
We asked Alexa to play I Like It by Cardi B. who has a decent amount of bass. While our old Echo show sounds a bit muffled with songs with fat bass, the new show did the job well and features a grown-up, clear, bold, room-filling version of the song. We had a similar experience when we asked Alexa to go one step further with The Beatles’ Let it Be. The instrumentals and lyrics mixed well. And if you want more power, you can optionally pair the show with the new Echo Sub and other Echo speakers to double the sound.
We let both devices play uptown funk and found that the new show projected a bold, fuller sound across the room, creating a multi-dimensional version of the song that wasn’t there before.
Rich Shibley / Digital Trends
The improvements are also great for the display. We watched an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for a few minutes and again the clarity of the display was greatly improved. Sharp, clear images appeared on the screen and the device can definitely be used as a television if you so choose. While it doesn’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 would be a bit difficult to gather around the device like a television because it is supported at an angle. If you want to watch the game while you cook dinner, you will get a close-up look at what is happening.
Alexa, turn on the lamp below
We were able to get the show up and running in our smart home without any problems. After connecting, our Amazon Prime account information and WiFi password were requested and we were ready to go. We should note that we have already installed the Alexa app on our phone and connected the device to an already existing network of Echo devices. If this is your first echo, there are other tasks that you need to do in the front end, such as: For example, you can set up your preferred language, connect music streaming services to your account, and add smart home devices that you want your Echo to control. The Alexa app and show screen walk you through the steps for a painless setup.
We hooked up the show to our Nest camera and watched footage of it in no time. The new show’s bigger screen and clearer display made a huge difference: we could see if our son’s eyes were open or closed in bed – something we couldn’t before. We also connected our Noon and Philips Hue lights and smart plugs and were able to easily turn any device on and off with just the sound of our voice.
Otherwise, the Alexa voice assistant is the same one you’d find in any Alexa device – she can solve math problems for you, tell you what your favorite superhero is, set multiple timers, make calls, and much more. The benefit of a screen comes in handy when you need to view video, play movies or cook videos, make video calls, or even answer the ring of your ringtone with your voice. We will test this new feature when we get a ring doorbell installed.
A couple of things: While we’re excited about the integration of Zigbee, we would like Amazon to add Z-Wave functionality too, to make the show compatible with a wider range of smart home devices. Many hubs, like Samsung’s SmartThings Wi-Fi, offer both. If you want to use any of the 2,400+ devices that use Z-Wave, you may need to invest in one.
The fabric back is definitely an improvement.
In terms of price, it has improved over time and has generally dropped to $ 180. However, it currently rests at its normal cost of $ 230. By comparison, the 10-inch Lenovo Smart Display costs $ 180 while the Google Next Hub Max is $ 230.
Overall, however, we were impressed with the improvements Amazon made to the overhaul of the Echo.
The Echo Show comes with a one-year warranty and service. You can purchase a one, two, or three year extended warranty separately.
Check out these new features
Alexa is getting smarter and smarter thanks to frequent updates that expand her toolkit. You can try the following new features with the Amazon Echo Dot with clock.
Working from home has its challenges, especially when it comes to health and wellbeing. Alexa can help by providing some useful wellness tips. To hear them, just say, “Alexa, what’s my wellness tip of the day?”
Group conversation for all your devices
Getting someone’s attention in another room can be a challenge, especially if you have kids who routinely crank up the music in their rooms. You can now have group conversations using Alexa’s drop-in feature, which allows you to connect to other Echo devices. Essentially, it is an intercom.
Keep your memories on all devices
Thanks to a new feature that plays them on all of your Alexa devices, you can always stay up to date with your reminders. To activate this, you need to select the Announcement option on all devices in the Alexa app under Settings> Reminders.
Daily music selection
Tired of playing the same playlist or carousel of songs on your Alexa device? Then check out the Daily Music Picker which has Amazon Music daily music recommendations. All you have to say is, “Alexa, play the daily music selection,” and a new artist will automatically pick a track, album or playlist.
Overall, the new Echo Show is better than the old one in every way. With fat sound, a crystal clear 10-inch display, an additional Smart Hub, and a streamlined, softer appearance, we’re impressed that Amazon has taken so many steps to significantly improve the product.
Is there a better alternative?
Smart displays continue to be very competitive, and Google Assistant devices are the toughest competition. The Google Nest Hub Max ($ 230) is the ultimate smart display that adds a key element that you won’t find on other devices. It also doubles as a surveillance camera. This means that you can keep an eye on your home while you are away. The Lenovo Smart Display 7, which also has the Google Assistant, is a device with a compact design and an affordable price ($ 100). And even though it’s not out yet, it ismay also seem like a solid buy given the newer features.
With Echo devices, if you don’t need the screen, you can get a smart speaker with built-in Alexa voice assistant with an Echo ($ 100) or Echo Dot with LED Clock ($ 60). You will miss the ZigBee Smart Hub features, however, and without the screen it would be more difficult to get a tutorial on how to bake cookies.
How long it will take?
Amazon Echo devices and Alexa are both here to stay. Alexa just keeps getting better with firmware updates and additional capabilities. The Echo Show hardware feels sturdy enough to last for at least a few years, and support for the device should last for a long time.
Should you buy it?
If you’re looking for an Alexa-based smart speaker with a screen, this is the one to buy. If you’re not married to Alexa, check out the Google Nest Hub Max. Either way, you get a great device.