Amazon Echo Show

“Alexa, put find a gift on my shopping list.” The most tech-forward thing you can give, an AI assistant. Except this one has a camera to see you with and a screen to display your favorite Paul Simon lyrics.

December 1, 2017

the story

On the sixth day Bezos created Alexa. And on the seventh, he rested.

We all know Amazon, and we assume if you’re reading this you’re somewhat aware of Amazon’s Echo lineup and their talking assistant Alexa — hint it’s that tube-looking thing with the light up ring at your friend’s apartment.

But The Echo Show is new(ish).

And it’s the first Echo to feature a forward-facing camera and touch screen.

why we like it

The Echo Show combines everything we like about the original Echo, but with a screen and camera. It’s a somewhat logical step in the evolution of the product and, for us, really made the whole “smart home” vibe a viable reality.

Starting with the form, it’s not really a looker, but there are some nice touches. The angle of the screen is good for most people, but on shorter counters it forces you to take a few steps back. It comes in two colors, black and white — go with whatever your heart desires.

The sound quality is solid for its size. It’s no Sonos, but it delivers a richer, more bassy sound than the older Echo. The microphone is just as solid as the previous Echo too.

Now the screen. As far as specs go, it’s a pretty basic 7” touch screen. Resolution is good enough and the screen brightness is great. What sets it apart is the added context you get when interacting with Alexa. You can quickly see the weather, your upcoming meetings, news, everything — it’s just easier.

Another addition is the camera. We’ll admit, it’s useful for video calls, but you probably won’t be using it too often because it can only call other Echo Shows or users of the Alexa app. Maybe down the road the functionality here will get better, but for now, it is what it is.

When you consider all these parts together, you’re left with the most capable smart speaker on the market. Alexa is a sassy and smart as ever. The screen gives you needed context and the speaker slaps.

the competition

When it comes to competition in the smart speaker space it really comes down to which ecosystem do you want to get trapped in: Amazon or Google. Apple is too busy counting money at this point to even get in the race.

Google’s Home speaker and assistant are intuitive and definitely gives Amazon’s Echo lineup a run for its money.

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