Amazon Echo Show
October 11, 2018(Second generation) February 25, 2021 (Third generation)
|Operating system||Fire OS (Android-based)|
|Input||Voice command, Touchscreen|
|Connectivity||WiFi and Bluetooth|
|Website||Amazon.com product listing|
Amazon Echo Show is a smart speaker that is part of the Amazon Echo line of products. Similarly to other devices in the family, it is designed around Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa, but additionally features a 7-inch touchscreen display that can be used to display visual information to accompany its responses, as well as play video and conduct video calls with other Echo Show users. The video call feature was later expanded to include all Skype users.
The Echo Show was unveiled on May 9, 2017 and released in the United States on June 28, 2017. New generations were unveiled in 2018, June 2019 and November 2019. It has received positive reviews, with critics noting its improved sound quality over the standard Echo speaker, its simplicity, and how the screen is used to supplement Alexa rather than act as a full-featured tablet. Critics have also noted that many third-party Alexa functions have not been updated to fully utilize the screen.
The Echo Show was unveiled on May 9, 2017, and released in the United States on June 28, 2017.
A second generation of the Echo Show was unveiled at an Alexa-themed product event by Amazon on September 20, 2018 for release the following month. This device has a 10-inch touchscreen, improved speakers, and mesh casing.
The first-generation Echo Show (released in June 2017) contains a pair of two-inch speakers and is distinguished from other Echo products by containing a 7-inch touchscreen. As with other Echo devices, it can conduct voice calls, as well as video calls to other Echo Show users and through Skype with its 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
The second-generation Echo Show (released in October 2018) is completely redesigned from the first generation. The new device replaces the black plastic with a mesh casing while keeping the same device shape. The speakers were moved to the side and back of the device to allow a 3-inch larger display. Amazon claims that the new version will have better sound quality. It also integrates a Zigbee hub, similar to the Echo Plus.
Echo Show 5
The Echo Show 5 is a variation with a 5.5" display.
Echo Show 8
The Echo Show 8 is a variation with an 8" display, announced in September 2019 for shipment in November 2019.
Echo Show 10
The Echo Show 10 is the biggest Echo Show yet.
|First Generation||Second Generation||Echo Show 5||Echo Show 8||Third Generation|
|Released||June 2017||October 2018||June 2019||November 2019||February 2021|
|Microphone/camera off button||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Speakers||2 x 2"||2 x 2.2", 10W||1 x 1.7", 4W||2 x 2.0", 10W||2 x 1.0” tweeters + 3.0” woofer|
|Processor||Intel Atom x5-Z8350||Intel Atom x5-Z8350||MediaTek MT 8163||MediaTek MT 8163||MediaTek 8183 + Amazon AZ1|
The screen on Echo Show can be used to display visual output for Alexa assistant responses. The devices contain motion sensors to automatically wake its screen when someone enters a room; in this state, it can also display prompts regarding news headlines, suggested Alexa commands, and other information. Alexa can also be used to request the playback of videos on its screen, such as Amazon Video content.
The Echo Show initially supported YouTube videos; on September 26, 2017, it was revealed that Google (who manufactures Google Home, a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo line) had blocked the device's access to the service, citing violations of its terms of service and ongoing negotiations. While Amazon later worked around the restriction by using the web version, Google announced that it would block YouTube from the Echo Show, as well as the Fire TV platform, citing Amazon's ongoing restrictions against the sale of products which compete with its own video ecosystem, and refusal to support its own video platform on Google devices. At the launch of the second-generation Echo Show, Amazon claimed that the issue was now fixed. YouTube searches are now performed using the Silk or Firefox web browsers on the device.
The Verge compared the Echo Show to previous "internet appliances" such as the 3Com Audrey and Chumby, but acknowledged that neither of them was equipped with a voice-activated virtual assistant, and both were built with too much functionality. In comparison, Amazon was praised for having intentionally limited the amount of touchscreen-oriented functionality on the Echo Show, so that the device would not be complex. It was noted that few third-party Alexa Skills actually took advantage of the screen, and there were limited options for video services that integrated with Alexa. The sound quality of the Echo Show was perceived as being superior to the standard Echo, but lower than other dedicated speakers at the same price point. The camera was also panned for being angled upwards (thus making it harder for shorter people to use), and for not handling backlighting well. In conclusion, it was felt that "from nearly any other company, adding a screen would have resulted in feature-itis of the worst kind. By holding back, the Echo Show feels like it does more. Its strength is in its simplicity."
Pocket-lint felt that the white model had an "air of modern", but the black model looked "kind of dated, oddly boxy, and just downright blah to us". The updated mesh fabric covering on the second-generation product addressed these complaints. Its sound quality was praised for being able to "fill your entire room and then some", and the ability to look up and view YouTube videos was "not the fastest experience", but "quick enough and has yet to glitch out on us." The "Drop In" feature was praised as being potentially useful for checking on "elderly loved ones". The device was also praised for integrating with smart home products (such as home security cameras, which can display their feeds on the screen). However, it was felt that the "unfinished" Alexa still hampered the experience (noting an error where it played the film Creed when asked to play music by the band Creed), and that some Skills had not been updated to fully support the screen, but that "if nothing else, it is fun to poke around and explore what else Alexa can do." In conclusion, it was argued that at its price point, it could have featured higher-quality speakers and a full OS with an app store, but the sound quality alone justified its higher price over the original Echo.
In a review of the second-generation model, Pocket-lint praised its improvements to audio quality (albeit being "bass-heavy"), screen size, Zigbee support, and "neater" design. The display was panned for being too reflective and having a near-720p resolution. In addition, it was noted that optimization of third-party Skills for the Echo Show was still inconsistent.
- Johnson, Khari (20 September 2018). "Skype will finally make Echo Show video calls worthwhile". VentureBeat. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Walton, Mark (May 9, 2017). "Amazon Echo Show: Alexa-powered touchscreen speaker launches June 28". Ars Technica. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
- Sullivan, Mark (20 September 2018). "Here's everything Amazon announced at its big Alexa event in Seattle". Fast Company. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Lee, Nicole (29 May 2019). "Amazon unveils the $90 Echo Show 5". Engadget. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
- "Introducing Echo Show 8 - HD 8" smart display with Alexa". amazon.com. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
- Hartmans, Avery (20 September 2018). "Amazon is releasing a redesigned Echo Show with a larger screen and better speakers". Business Insider. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Griffin, Andrew (29 May 2019). "Amazon Launches New Version of Echo Show Alongside Feature to Delete Alexa Voice Recordings". The Independent. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- Goode, Lauren; Calore, Michael (20 September 2018). "Is There an Echo in Here? All the Hardware Amazon Announced". Wired. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- "Amazon unveils new Echo Show, Dot, and much more". Android Authority. 20 September 2018. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- "All New Echo Show 5". amazon.com. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
- "Amazon Echo Show review: Alexa is even better on a screen". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
- "Amazon's Echo devices can now call mobile numbers and landlines for free". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
- "Amazon Echo Show review". TechRadar. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
- Betters, Elyse (August 11, 2017). "Amazon Echo Show review: Alexa steps into a touchscreen future". Pocket-Lint. Archived from the original on October 12, 2017. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- "Google is pulling YouTube off the Fire TV and Echo Show as feud with Amazon grows". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
- "Google pulls YouTube off the Amazon Echo Show". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
- Perez, Sarah. "Google is pulling YouTube from Echo Show and Fire TV, as feud with Amazon continues". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
- Lee, Nicole (20 September 2018). "Amazon's 2018 Echo Show finally gets it right". Engadget. Oath Inc. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Fingas, Jon (November 10, 2019), Amazon Echo Show falls victim to an old flaw at hacking contest, TechRader, retrieved November 14, 2019
- Whittaker, Zack (November 9, 2019), Two security researchers earned $60,000 for hacking an Amazon Echo., TechCrunch, retrieved November 14, 2019
- Moore, Mike (August 12, 2019), Amazon Echo vulnerable to old security flaws, Engadget, retrieved November 14, 2019
- Grabham, Dan (2019-06-07). "Amazon Echo Show (2018) review: King of the Kitchen". Pocket-lint. Retrieved 2019-08-06.