I have been a hater of the Amazon Echo Show since it was first announced. I always thought it was a step backward to add a screen to something that has so much voice control power. I can not really explain it I just did not like it and also thought it was pretty ugly. While I still think it is ugly, I do now have an appreciation for the Amazon Echo Show and it has a place in my Alexa Family so let’s talk about what changed.
I have always written for IoTRant on a laptop while sitting in my living room. Well recently I decided I needed a creative space of my own to write and after talking with my wife we decided to take the table I had made her for sewing and turn it into a desk. This quickly led to me setting up a desktop computer and the need for another Amazon Echo Device. Now this table is down on the first floor of my house and we have an almost three-year-old who’s bedroom is one floor up so a way to keep an eye on him that did not involve using my phone would be good. With that on my mind and knowing that I had a Wyze Cam in his room, and Wyze Cam recently getting am Alexa Skill I decided why not try out the Amazon Echo Show, I mean I have been hating on it for some time now so we should see if that hate was justified. They also happened to be on a pretty good sale for back to school so the decision was easy.
First things first the Echo Show is ugly, I think everyone knows that to me it looks like old technology and is shaped almost like a rear projection television (for those of you who do not know, once upon a time TV’s existed that you could not mount on a wall) for some reason. I really like the look of all of my Amazon Echo Devices and I even have an Echo Spot which has a screen but I never once disliked that and even ordered one the first day the pre-orders went live. That really made me realize that my hatred for the Echo Show was not because it had a screen (even though that is what I always said but more so because it was just downright ugly.
Looks aside the Amazon Echo Show is actually a very nice piece of hardware and in my application, it works very well. I have it sitting on my new writing desk, opposite my monitor and I can have the live feed from my Wyze Cam in my son’s room up and running on it so I can easily check in on him even when I might not be able to hear him. The only downside to this is that the live feed is limited to ten minutes at a time so I find myself asking Alexa pretty often to show me Dominic’s Bedroom Camera. That, however, I can not hold against either the Echo Show or Wyze Cam as most people use case for live view is not to sit and have it running constantly.
Out of the box, the display on the Echo Show I find to be very bright and colorful which is good during the day but I do most of my writing at night in low light so I did need to tweak that a bit to make it fit better in my environment. When I am not watching my sons Wyze Cam I do like the default clock weather and scrolling news feed and have even gotten a few ideas for blog posts from it. Swiping the screen back and forth between items is very snappy and I could not be happier with the display.
Now one of my main uses for all of my Amazon Echo Devices is listing to music. While I do consider myself a bit of an audiophile, I am excepting of the sound quality from my Echo Devices as I go into it with the understanding that I am listing to compressed audio on small speakers. That being said the sound quality from the Echo Show is on par with the full-sized Amazon Echo which works perfectly fine for me when streaming from Pandora or Amazon Music. Even though I had read the specs on the speakers for the Echo Show and could see that they were decent I was partially expecting sound quality similar to that of the Echo Dot and was pleasantly surprised with the quality I got with the Echo Show.
While I do not see myself adding any more Echo Shows or even placing this one in other areas of my house I think in a home office setting the Echo Show fits in nicely. I know another popular use for the Echo Show is on a kitchen counter but I prefer (my wife prefers) a clean-looking counter without anything cluttering it up so for us an Echo Dot mounted to the underside of a cabinet works better so it is not seen only heard. Aside from the office, I am just not sure where in my life I can see an Echo Show fitting in but I am sure many of you with an Echo Show have gotten them fitted in nicely with your home and your lifestyle.
The Echo show while expensive is a nice piece of hardware and if you can come up with a use for the display on it I would not hesitate about picking one up. I would absolutely go into it, however, knowing that you are buying something that looks like a television from the early nineties and I would also recommend waiting for it to go on sale as it does a few times a year because in my eyes the hardware does not support its normal price tag.
Any of you have an Echo Show? How are you using it? Let me know in the comments below.
I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.