Amazon Echo Show – Second Generation
“With a bigger screen and louder sound, the new Amazon Echo Show is better in every way.”
Impressive sound quality
Crystal clear display
Bigger screen than the previous model
Integrated smart home hub
No Z-Wave integration
We felt the Amazon Echo Show needed to be updated. With competition from Google Assistant via Lenovo’s beautiful smart display and JBL’s Link View, both of which offer better sound and display quality, Amazon had to catch up.
The company delivered with the (2nd generation) Amazon Echo Show, an Alexa speaker with a screen when it was released in October 2018 with a starting price of $ 230. Needless to say, the market continues to grow with new entries adding new features that make smart displays valuable home gadgets. Amazon’s own lineup consists of the Amazon Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 – both offering almost the same features, but in smaller packages. It’s worth mentioning that the company just announced its successor last fall, the Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd gen), which features a 10-inch display on an engine that can follow you around a room.
Alexa, show me the movie times
Like the previous Echo Show, the new Show looks a bit like a raised shelf. But the new Show has a larger, crystal-clear 10-inch screen (the old one was 7-inch). It serves as a smart hub, which means it can use Zigbee protocol to connect to smart home devices.
Another difference between old and new devices is the shape. The old version looked like an old-fashioned TV, while the new one is more streamlined, with either a stoneware or charcoal stand. It is ideal for a kitchen environment, where you can ask Alexa to show you tutorials on, for example, how to make lasagna.
Amazon improved the sound quality by adding two high-end two-inch 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 the Show to configure Alexa’s multi-room audio feature.
You can adjust the treble and bass with just your voice from across the room.
The Show offers better integration with Ring security products (owned by Amazon), particularly its video doorbells. When your Ring doorbell rings, you can see who is at the front door on the View screen. With a Hulu subscription, you can also watch live TV on the device and make Skype calls.
Beyond that, the Show does everything a regular Echo speaker can do, like add items to your shopping list, set timers, or tell you the square root of 52000 (answer: 228.03508502). For those of you who are scared of devices with screens in your homes, there is a way to turn off the camera and speaker for more privacy.
Alexa, play Cardi B.
We had a chance to tinker with the new show and left impressed with the improved sound quality. We mean significantly improved. We placed the new Echo Show next to the old one for side-by-side sound testing, and we were blown away. It’s clear that Amazon has taken the sound from the good enough category to the good enough category to play at a party.
We asked Alexa to play Cardi B. I love it, which has a fair amount of bass. While our old Echo Show tends to sound a bit muffled with daring bass songs, the new Show handled the task well, delivering a grown-up, clear, daring, and room-filled version of the room. We had a similar experience when we asked Alexa to take it down a notch with The Beatles’ Never mind. The instrumentals and the lyrics go well together. And if you want more oomph, you can optionally pair the Show with the new Echo Sub and other Echo speakers to double the sound.
We played both devices Uptown Funk and found that the new show did a great job of projecting a bolder, fuller sound across the room, creating a multidimensional version of the song that wasn’t present before.
The improvements are also significant with regard to the display. We watched a few minutes of an episode The wonderful Mrs. Maisel, and again, the improvement in display clarity was glaring. Crisp and clear images appeared on the screen and the device could definitely be used as a TV if desired. While it doesn’t quite match the clarity of Lenovo’s smart screen 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 you would a TV because of the way it is propped up. But if you want to watch the game while you cook dinner, you’ll get a taste of what’s going on.
Alexa, turn on the downstairs lamp
We were easily able to launch the Show 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 the Alexa app is already installed on our phone and we have connected the device to a preexisting network of Echo devices. If this is your first Echo, you’ll have more front-end work to do, including setting up your preferred language, connecting music streaming services to your account, and adding smart home devices that you want your Echo to control. The Alexa app and Show screen will walk you through the steps for a painless setup.
We connected the Show to our Nest camera and were looking at some footage in no time. The bigger screen and clearer display of the new Show made a glaring difference: we could see if our son’s eyes were open or closed while he was lying in bed – which we couldn’t do. before. We also connected our Noon and Philips Hue lights and smart plugs, and were able to easily turn each device on and off with just the sound of our voice.
Otherwise, the Alexa voice assistant is the same you’ll find in any Alexa device – she can solve math problems for you, tell you who her favorite superhero is, set multiple timers, make phone calls, And much more. The benefit of a screen comes into play when you need to view video footage, play movies or cook videos, make video calls, or even answer the Ring doorbell from your voice, a new feature that we will test when we have a Ring Doorbell installed.
A few bugs: While we’re happy to see Zigbee’s integration, we’d like Amazon to add Z-wave functionality as well, to make the Show compatible with a wider variety of smart home devices. Many hubs, like Samsung’s SmartThings Wi-Fi, include both. If you want to use one 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.
As for pricing, it has improved over time now, generally dropping as low as $ 180. Currently, however, it sits at its normal cost of $ 230. In comparison, the 10-inch Lenovo Smart Display costs $ 180, while the Google Next Hub Max costs $ 230.
Overall, however, we left in awe of the improvements Amazon made during the Echo’s redesign.
The Echo Show comes with a one-year limited warranty and service. You can purchase extended warranties of one, two or three years separately.
Try these new features
Alexa continues to get smarter, with frequent updates that expand her toolbox. 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 wellness. Alexa can help you by providing helpful wellness tips. To hear them, just say, “Alexa, what’s my wellness tip for the day?”
Group chat for all your devices
Getting someone’s attention in another room can be difficult, especially if you have kids who regularly play music in their rooms. You can now conduct group conversations using Alexa’s Drop In feature, where you can connect to other Echo devices. Basically it’s an intercom system.
Receive your reminders on all devices
You can always stay up to date with your reminders with a new feature that will read them across all of your Alexa devices. To activate this, you must select the Advertise on all devices under Settings> Reminders in the Alexa app.
Daily music choice
Tired of the same playlist or same carousel of songs being played on your Alexa device? Then check out the daily music selection feature which will provide daily music recommendations from Amazon Music. All you have to say is “Alexa, play the Daily Music Pick” and a new artist will automatically choose a song, album, or playlist.
Overall, the new Echo Show is better than the old one in every way. With bold sound, a crystal-clear 10-inch display, an added smart hub, and a sleek, smoother look, we’re impressed that Amazon has made so much progress in improving the product dramatically.
Is there a better alternative?
Smart displays remain very competitive, and Google Assistant devices offer the strongest competition. The Google Nest Hub Max ($ 230) is meant to be an ultimate smart display that adds a key element you won’t find in other devices, it doubles as a security camera. This means that he can keep an eye on your home while you are away. The Lenovo Smart Display 7, also with Google Assistant, is a device with a compact design and an affordable price ($ 100). And even though it’s not released yet, it’smay also seem like a solid buy given its new features.
As for Echo devices, if you don’t need the screen, an Echo ($ 90) or Echo Dot with LED clock ($ 60) can provide you with a smart speaker with built-in Alexa voice assistant. . However, you will miss the capabilities of the Zigbee smart hub, and getting a cookie baking tutorial would be more difficult without the screen.
How long will it last?
The Amazon Echo and Alexa devices are both here to stay. Alexa is always improving with firmware updates and additional skills. The Echo Show hardware looks strong enough to last at least a few years, and support for the device is expected to continue 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 for you. If you’re not married to Alexa, take a look at the Google Nest Hub Max. Either way, you get a great device.