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Echo Show review – Not perfect but Amazon’s new smart speaker is one to watch | Tech | Life & Style

EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS

Amazon Echo Show review

  • PROS – Decent sound • Screen offers a more interactive experience • Amazon’s Alexa assistant continues to improve
  • CONS – Could do with more visible content • Ugly design • Expensive compared to the £89 Echo

The smart speaker revolution appears to show no signs of stopping.

All the major tech brands, including Apple and Sony, are launching intelligent music makers but there’s a new device which adds an extra dimension to this growing market.

Amazon’s all-new Echo Show not only listens to your every instruction but can also display oodles of information on its bright 7-inch touch display.

The latest movie trailers, news reports and Amazon Prime videos can all be watched via this neat little screen with Amazon’s clever Alexa personal assistant finding content via simple voice commands.

The Echo Show has been available in the US for a while but it’s now arrived in the UK.

But is this new device really worth its £199 price tag? Here’s Express.co.uk’s full review.

Amazon Echo Show review EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS

Amazon’s Echo Show is not the most attractive of devices

DESIGN & DISPLAY

Unlike the newly designed and massively improved Echo speaker, the Echo Show isn’t going to win any design awards.

With a chunky and excessively angular plastic case, the Show is certainly NOT the best looking gadget we’ve ever popped on our kitchen worktop.

Giving the Show an adequately sized screen and decent speaker has meant design aesthetics have been compromised and that might be enough to put some people off.

It’s also worth noting that this is not a portable device, and needs constant power, so it will need to be positioned on a shelf or worktop that has a socket nearby.

It’s a shame it doesn’t look better, or have an internal battery, but if you’re not too worried about its styling the Show offers a good experience.

The 7-inch touch display is bright and vibrant, with it just about big enough to view content and interact with your daily tasks.

The physical controls on the top of the Show are neatly laid out and the swipe commands on the screen work well.

Design may not be its strongest point but usability certainly is and you’ll be surprised by how quickly you actually begin enjoying its screen.

SPEAKER AND SOUND

Although the main point of the Show is the fact it has a display, this is also a smart speaker.

So, to help boost the sound are decent dual 2-inch stereo speakers which include Dolby processing.

These are tucked underneath the 7-inch display and they actually sound pretty good.

Audio quality is crisp and clear and there’s a reasonable amount of bass pumping from this new Echo.

The Show probably won’t power your New Years Eve party into the early hours but it’s perfectly adequate to listen to your daily playlists and morning fix of radio.

Amazon Echo Show reviewEXPRESS NEWSPAPERS

Amazon Echo Show can reveal lyrics for songs on its screen

Amazon Echo Show reviewEXPRESS NEWSPAPERS

Amazon Echo Show allows shows and news briefings to be shown on the display

CONTENT

All of Amazon’s Echos are able to play the latest tracks from Amazon Music Unlimited and Spotify, plus there’s a huge number of stations available from TuneIn Radio.

But the Show also offers a whole lot more with video beamed to the display via Amazon’s vast library of content .

Ask the Show for the latest movie trailers or Amazon Prime videos and you’ll see them instantly displayed on the touch screen.

It all works well especially if you’re fully embedded in the Amazon ecosystem.

Sadly, if you want to view anything else you might be disappointed.

YouTube recently stopped its services on the Show which is a massive shame and content from other providers, such as the BBC, is limited.

If you have an Amazon Prime account the Show makes sense as you’ll be able to watch shows, such as The Grand Tour, via a simple command but Amazon could certainly do with adding some extra content to make full use of the Show’s potential.

Amazon Echo Show review AMAZON

Amazon Echo Show review

WHAT ELSE DOES IT DO?

Along with playing videos there are plenty of other uses for the in-built display.

And perhaps one of the best examples is the ability to make free video calls.

Just ask Alexa to phone a family member and you’ll be instantly connected – as long as they also have a Show of course.

Our experience of these calls has been excellent with a fast connection and decent enough video quality.

This feature is great if you live away from family and want to make quick and easy video calls to them.

Amazon Echo Show reviewAMAZON

Voice calls can be made via the Show

Owners can also use Echo Show to display live footage if they happen to have internet connected cameras dotted around the house.

We’ve not tested this feature but Amazon says the Echo will connect to baby monitors or video door bells so you can keep an eye on your kids or check when your evening takeaway arrives.

Echo Show is even able to display lyrics from songs being played via Amazon’s music services which is a nice touch and can lead to some spontaneous karaoke.

Other nice features include the ability to view timers, reminders, calendar events and even your weekly shopping lists.

There’s also plenty of third-party apps available on the Show including Uber and National Rail which all make use of screen to show the very latest information.

PRICE

The Echo Show will set you back £199 which doesn’t sound too excessive.

However, there is a problem with this price and that’s due to the award-winning 2017 Echo speaker.

This updated device now only costs £89…

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