Along with the Amazon Echo device and the Amazon Echo Spot, the company’s newest member to the family, the Alexa-powered Echo Show, offers a unique mix of voice control and visual cues via video.
We pit the Echo Show against two of its closest competitors, the Apple HomePod and the Google Home Max, to find out which is the best digital assistant-enabled home speaker.
The Echo Show is the middle child in Amazon’s home speaker family, sandwiched between the bigger and more popular Echo device and the older Echo Spot. With a 49-inch LCD screen and a 5-inch touch screen, the device boasts a sleek, minimalistic design that’s attractive and easy to use.
It ships with a single ‘Smart’ button located on the front, which you use to issue voice commands. When you first set up the device, you also need to choose which voice assistant you want to use – Google’s, Apple’s, or Amazon’s. Once that’s done, you can start talking to it like you would any other speaker.
Besides supporting the three major voice assistants, the Echo Show also allows you to run commands via SMS messages and Twitter. You can set up shortcuts to the most commonly used phrases for faster voice recognition. The device also learns from your behavior and becomes more intelligent over time.
The Echo Show provides a wonderful all-around experience by combining a high-quality speaker with advanced voice control, hands-free operation, and fantastic device pairing options. Furthermore, the fact that it works with almost all major retailers means that you’re bound to find a deal if you’re looking for one.
Although the Apple HomePod is still the clear market leader when it comes to standalone smart speakers, the Echo Show has all the makings of a compelling challenger. For those who want an easy way to listen to their favorite music and podcasts without having to spend too much time setting up their devices, the Echo Show is a no-brainer.
It’s also a great choice for those who want a speaker that can double as a tablet for watching videos and playing games. When it comes to smart speakers, the choice between the Echo Show and the Google Home Max really comes down to personal preference. The Google Home Max has the advantage of offering a bigger screen and better speakers, while the Echo Show ups the ante with its sleek design and Alexa voice service. Both devices are perfect for their intended use cases, but ultimately, it’s up to you which one you prefer.
Why not try both out and see which one you like better? We think you’ll love both.
The Echo Show is a sleek, minimalistic device with a white design that makes it look like a refrigerator on steroids. The bezels are minimal and there are no visible buttons or switches, making the entire unit appear clean and uncluttered. Even the ports are hidden, hidden behind thin black rings around the edge of the device.
There is indeed a lot of smart inside this little device. Under the hood is a quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage. It also has a microSD card slot that can be used to expand the storage up to 2 TB. Like all Amazon products, the Echo Show was designed with utility in mind and boasts enough power to make everyday tasks easy and enjoyable. The included speakers are good enough to fill a small room with high-quality sound, and the ability to play music and podcasts is a godsend for people who love their music.
For gamers who also love to listen to their favorite radio shows, the Echo Show is fully integrated with both Google Assistant and Alexa. You can do everything—from controlling the volume and switching songs—with your voice. Even better, you can use the device’s camera to monitor gameplay and adjust the settings on the fly. There’s also a dedicated Game Mode that activates whenever the device senses that a game is underway. During gameplay, the screen turns black, and all you see is the game.
As for the Apple HomePod, it doesn’t come with a game pad and has very limited motion sensing capabilities. It also doesn’t have a screen, so you won’t be able to use it as a tablet. For those who want a more traditional device that doesn’t require a smart phone to operate, the HomePod is perfect.
One of the main differences between the Echo Show and the Apple HomePod is how they perform under load. With just a single song being played, the HomePod is able to maintain a high level of performance, with only a slight decrease in overall quality. This is particularly noticeable when comparing the HomePod’s output to that of the Echo Show.
The Echo Show, however, struggles to keep up under the same test conditions. Even when playing music at a low volume, the device’s CPU usage shoots through the roof. Not only is this likely to cause performance issues for other tasks, but it’s also an important consideration if you want to buy the device solely for its audio quality.
The good news is that, even when under heavy load, the Echo Show is still quite lightweight and, as a result, extremely portable. This means you can take it with you wherever you go and use it at home or in the office. When traveling, you can also use the device’s built-in GPS to track your location and ensure the right voice responses are being given. The downside to this level of portability, however, is that if you have a lot of items coming in and out of your car all the time, you’re going to rack up quite a large electronic car charger bill in no time.
As for the design of the device, the Echo Show is shaped likes a pineapple with the pinched end forward. This allows the entire unit to be thinner than most other speakers of this size, while still keeping the right proportions. This, in turn, makes the Echo Show look great in your home and even in smaller spaces. When you bring the device to your desk at work, you want it to look as good as new—and that’s exactly what Amazon ensures with their 1-year warranty.
The overall build quality of the Echo Show is excellent, with only a few minor niggles. The most notable issue is the lid, which tends to come away easily during use. This is more of a problem when working with multiple devices, as the lids can become easily detached, resulting in spilled drinks and broken tablets all over the place. Similarly, the included smart plugs are of a very high quality and, when attached to the wall, provide a reliable and stable power supply for the device.
Overall, the Amazon Echo Show represents excellent value for money. The device is available for $129.99 from major retailers like Best Buy and Walmart, with discounts worth up to $80 available at the moment. This makes it one of the most affordable premium smart speakers currently available. Take into consideration that you’re paying not just for the device itself but also for the voice control services that Amazon provides, as part of the Alexa AI platform. With these, you have access to all the music, podcasts, and radio stations that the service has to offer. This puts the overall value of the product in the ballpark of $200 – a price that still makes it one of the more affordable smart speakers available. If you’re looking for a device that will serve as a reliable companion for your daily tasks, the Echo Show is a no-brainer choice and will certainly be held in high regard by its users.