Amazon Echo Show 15 Review: A great tool for a small audience
Amazon's Echo Show line has been around for four years, but so far screen sizes have ranged from five to 10 inches, making it ideal as a bedside multi - alarm or companion screen. chidsin. The 15 - inch Echo Show, now available, is the largest size that Amazon has tried, and it's also specifically the first Echo Show you can put up on your wall. Because of this, the company promises that some people will use it not only as a digital photo frame, but also as a family information board. If that’s especially what you want out of a sleek show, the Echo Show 15 might be a unique but well-deserved game. Somehow, however, we suspect that is not the case with most people.
Gallery: Amazon Echo Show 15 review | 25 Illustrations
Gallery: Amazon Echo Show 15 review | 25 Illustrations
Designed as a painting
The Echo Show 15 seems to belong in a gallery. The 15.6-inch screen is surrounded by a 0.7-inch white bezel (similar to the rug around painting), which in itself is encased in elegant black metal. It is also very thin at just 1.4 inches thick. If you told me that this was a picture frame, from a distance I would believe you. The only reputation that tells you is the camera on the top left corner. You can hide it with body shutters by using a toggle at the top edge of the frame, where you also get volume controls and a microphone mute button.
- Beautiful picture frame design
- Large and bright screen
- Widgets are useful
- Average camera quality and audio quality
- Desk material sold separately
- Limited widget library
Since the Show 15 was designed to be wall-mounted, it comes with a climbing bracket along with the necessary hardware. (You have to provide your own electric drill of course.) Amazon only offers a five-foot electric drill, however, so you'll want to set up the device reasonably close to a revolution. . Alternatively, you can also route the wire through the wall as you would with a TV, but that's a more complicated situation.
You can choose to mount the Show 15 horizontally or vertically, but you cannot turn it while it is still on the wall. You have to turn it off, turn the brake on, and turn the display back on. The same goes for desk standing; you must select your preferred direction before launching the Show 15.
I did not want to drill into my walls (especially not to include a tool that I just borrowed for this story), so I chose the Sanus Tilt Stand which sent me Amazon for review. It is very hefty and bulky, taking up a lot of space on my kitchen counter. As the name suggests, the stand allows you to tilt the Display up to 30 degrees for better viewing angles. It's a good alternative to wall hanging, but if I'm going to get a Alexa-powered desktop display, I might want to choose one of the other Echo displays because they're smaller.
However, the 15.6-inch screen here is the best of the Echo Shows, with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. The display is so bright and sharp that I can see it clearly all over the room (about nine feet away). When displaying full-screen photos and illustrations, the frame actually looks like a piece of art. It reminds me of the Lenovo Smart Frame we saw at CES 2020, and even Samsung's The Frame TV, except that they're both much bigger - the Lenovo Smart Frame has a 21.5.-inch display while and Frame TV's lineup ranges from 32 to 32 85 inches. Moreover, the Smart Frame only showed pictures, while The Frame TV is an art-show TV, and both lack Amazon’s sleek display capabilities.
Speaking of sorts, one of the main advantages of the big screen is Amazon's latest Echo Show feature: widgets. In addition to the usual range of rotating home screen content such as headlines and weather updates, part of the display can now be tiled. Options include a calendar, shopping list, sticky notes, to-do lists, weather forecasts, maps and an Amazon package delivery manager. There is also a “What to Eat” widget with recipe suggestions, restaurant delivery options and Blue Apron food kitchen tips.
This widgets feature will eventually be rolled out to all Echo Shows, but only the Echo Show 15 will keep them on the home screen. You can add as many widgets as you can, though the Echo Show 15 only shows up to six at a time, depending on tile size. It also pushes the ones you use the most to the front, and you can rearrange them to your liking.
I thought the widgets were useful for looking at all my information. I've made the most of the "smart home favorite" widget, which allows me to see my security cams and control my smart lights with a single tap. I also liked the picture-in-picture live camera view, which let me see who is at the front door while watching a video.
Unfortunately, there aren't many third-party widgets right now - only 14 right now. The company has said that it has built an API for developers to build their own widgets, but it's unclear if more are coming soon. I would love to see a Spotify widget in addition to the one for Amazon Music, for example. Browser shortcuts for easier access to my favorite websites would also be useful.
Visual ID face recognition
Another feature making its debut on the Echo Show 15 is Visual ID, which is similar to Face Match on Google's Nest Hub Max. It is a face recognition feature that shows you information and widgets that are personalized for you, such as your day's meetings or to-do list. When I arrived, the Echo Show 15 featured greetings such as “Good morning, Nicole. "He's smart enough to separate me from my husband, who knows him well too. Visual ID allows you to send messages; When my husband told Alexa “leave a note for Nicole that says' I love you '', I saw him appear on screen later in the day.
This feature will not be unique to the Echo Show 15 for long; Amazon says the second-gen Echo Show 8 and third-gen Echo Show 10 will get Visual ID through a future update. Regarding privacy concerns, the company says that data for both Visual ID and Voice ID (which is already on all other Echo devices) is stored on the device, with nothing going on to the cloud. But if you still feel unbalanced, you can turn those two features off altogether. Additionally, you can view and delete your voice recordings on the Alexa app, if that's making you feel better.
Decreasing the quality of the camera
Many of the other features of Echo Show 15 are similar to what Amazon offers over the rest of its sleek display line, including the ability to set timers, stream music, control keep Alexa-responsive smart home appliances and make video calls. In addition, it has plenty of streaming video options including Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu and even less prominent services such as TikTok and Sling TV. That said, YouTube is only available through the browser, and Show 15 does not support Disney + or HBO Max (offered by Google's Nest Hub).
Even if Amazon supports video calling via Skype, the Alexa app or anyone with an Echo device (Zoom support is coming in 2022), the Echo Show 15 is apt to use a subpar camera that isn’t as sharp as the 13-megapixel sensors on the Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 10. Plus, the Show 15 doesn’t offer Amazon’s auto-frame feature that keeps you fixed in the scene.
Given that the Echo Show 15 is so slim, it's no surprise to me that the audio quality is so mediocre. It was ok for the occasional cell playlist, but there's almost no bass, so I wouldn't use this for guest guests.
Nothing like the Echo Show 15 in terms of size. The closest is Portal + Facebook, which also measures 15.6 inches. But the Portal + can't be mounted on a wall and has a lot of Echo Show apps and features. It also costs an extra $ 50. That said, the Portal + has a better camera with excellent video chat features, so it's better for calls.
The closest competitors at the Echo Show 15 are the sisters themselves, the Echo Show 8 and the Show 10. They all have the same features, but again, again the size of the wall. And yes, its larger display is better for widgets on the home screen. That’s about the only real benefit, though, since Visual ID and widgets come to the smaller Echo Shows as well. The Show 8 and Show 10 also offer much better camera and audio quality. Yes, you need to swipe to see the widgets, but that's not a big deterrent. The Show 8 is also cheaper at $ 130 (the Show 10 is closer to the price at $ 250).
The main advantage of the Echo Show 15 is that it can be mounted on a wall, and in fact, that is the only reason to get it. Yes, the screen is beautiful and makes for a very digital photo frame, but the rest of its features are no better than the smaller Echo Shows. Plus, its camera is a bit worse than on smaller Echo Show devices. Unless you're really into the idea of having a stylish display on your wall, you're better off with one of Amazon's other Echo Shows.
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