Amazon Echo Show 15 Review

Amazon’s Echo Show 15 ($249.99) is the business’s largest & most unique smart screen yet: It resembles an image frame and hangs on the wall like one, while its widgets and face-detection features make it a good information hub for each person in your household. Having said that, its sound and camera quality are disappointing, widgets are not a lot of, and both widgets and face recognition will be rolled out onto other Echo Show devices. If you don’t specifically need a good screen to hold on your wall structure, Amazon’s other Echo Shows might last better. For instance, the $129.99 Echo Show 8 costs half just as much as the Echo Show 15 and will be offering superior speakers. As well as for $249.99, the Echo Show 10 is the best model for video calls because of a motorized base that allow its cameras to check out you around the area.

Created for Mounting

The Echo Show 15 measures 9.9 by 15.8 by 1.4 in . (HWD) and weighs 4 pounds, 4 ounces. It appears just like a framed, matted artwork. A 15-inches display screen with a 0.7-inch white border sit under a glass panel, surrounded with a 0.4-inch matte dark metallic bezel for a nice-looking, minimalist look.

A 5MP camera in the still left part of the white matte border is the only component that punctuates the clean aesthetic. The advantage of the body left of the camera homes pinhole microphones for hands-free Alexa use, as the advantage to the right of this part has a physical camera cover switch, as well as buttons for mic mute, volume down, and volume up.

The back of the Echo Show 15 has a square-shaped groove for the included mounting bracket, along with four screw holes. A circular recess houses the power connector and a micro USB port for service.

Amazon Echo Show 15 is a big smart display you can hang on a wall

(Photo: Will Greenwald)

The included installation bracket and hardware enable you to secure the Echo Show on your wall structure, either horizontally or vertically. However, due to its slim depth, you can’t just arranged it on the table like the majority of other smart shows. If you need a stand, you need to pay extra; the Sanus Tilt Stand costs yet another $29.99.

Amazon sent us the are a symbol of testing. It’s a straightforward, properly heavy stand with a rectangular matte dark foot that will keep the Echo Show 15 steady in either landscape or portrait orientation. The mounting arm of the stand has a hinge that lets you tilt it up to 30 degrees. It works well, but putting the Echo Show 15 on a table defeats its biggest appeal, which is the ability to hang it on a wall.

A Big Screen, With Widgets

The centerpiece of the Echo Show 15 is a 15-inch, 1,920-by-1,080-pixel touchscreen. It’s a little smaller and less sharpened than the Facebook Website+’s 15.6-inch, 2,160-by-1,440 display screen, but it still looks clear and sharp. We can’t measure its comparison and color like we can with Televisions, but anecdotally it appears bright and multi-colored enough for a good screen. Don’t expect the type of light or color result you get with a good 4K Television, though-just from eyeballing it, it obviously doesn’t try to present a higher powerful range (HDR) or a broad color space.

Amazon's Echo Show 15 goes up for preorder, shipping December 9th - The  Verge

(Photo: Will Greenwald)

The top screen helps drive the most recent Echo Show feature: at-a-glance widgets offering information and media access. You are able to arrange multiple tile-based widgets to pop-up when you go through the Echo Show 15, organized in two rows. Presently 14 different widgets can be found, including calendars, maps, reminders, shopping lists, smart home handles, sticky records, and weather reviews. It’s a humble but useful collection, though only some take full benefit of the touchscreen. For instance, when you can touch to choose a radio place on the Amazon Perfect Music widget or even to control lighting with the smart home widget, most mainly provide visible information.

No third-party widgets are available, and even Amazon Perfect Video is missing from the existing selection. The Amazon Perfect Music widget also seems very inflexible; it enables you to pay attention to Amazon’s suggestions, but not your preferred tracks or playlists. You can even only go for one large widget (spanning several normal tiles) simultaneously, which means you have to select from your calendar, a map, or music recommendations. Even widgets that simply serve as fast access to applications and services like Netflix or the net browser will be a welcome addition.

Facebook’s Portal shows offer a lot more touch handles for direct application and contact gain access to, however the Echo Show widgets provide more visible information. It’s a trade-off between your two systems, with Google’s Nest Hub lineup trailing both in this regard. It’s also worth noting that, while the Echo Show 15 offers the best way to show off widgets with its ample screen real estate, widgets are also being launched on other Echo Show devices, where they show up in just one row instead of two.

Each person in a household can set up custom home screens with different widgets, and the Echo Show 15 will load the correct screen profile when they approach. Aside from the Voice ID feature all Echo devices have, the Echo Show 15 adds face-detecting Visual ID, in which the camera will keep an vision out for faces it recognizes and react accordingly.

Setting up Visual ID is simple: The camera documents each user’s face at different angles and connects that data to the correct profile. If you don’t want the Echo Show 15 to always watch for you, you can disable Visual ID and actually close the camera shutter with the switch on the side. Visual ID isn’t exclusive to the Echo Show 15; it will be added to the Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 10 in a future update.

Alexa Remains Helpful

Every one of the usual Alexa-dependent tone of voice commands can be found on the Echo Show 15. Just say “Alexa,” provide a order, and Alexa can do what you ask. Amazon’s tone of voice helper can check your calendar, open up various apps, and offer general information such as weather reviews. The Alexa system works with more information on smart home devices, and we like its capability to directly draw up camera feeds from suitable home security surveillance cameras and video doorbells.

Alexa offers a lot of communication features. Amazon’s Drop In feature enables you to make tone of voice or video phone calls to a person with an Echo or Echo Show device or the Alexa application on the smartphone, including inside your household. Beyond Amazon’s platforms, you may make calls (to standard UNITED STATES and UK telephone numbers, but not superior or three-digit quantities including crisis services); initiate Skype tone of voice and video phone calls; and Move support will be added in early 2022.

You are able to expand Alexa’s tool even more with third-party skills. Most Alexa skills are for Echo smart audio speakers rather than Echo Show smart shows, however, and provide only audio-based information and handles. Additionally, unlike the applications on Website devices, you can’t search Alexa skills on the Echo Show 15 or arrange symbols to gain access to them by touch; you should employ your voice.

Not the Best Camera or Audio

The camera in the Echo Show 15 is surprisingly significantly less advanced than you enter the Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 10. It runs on the moderate 5MP sensor and lacks the auto-framing features of the 13MP camcorders on the other two devices (and, of course, the motorized monitoring of the Echo Show 10). You may get solid video call performance and picture booth pictures with proper light, but it’s unusual that Amazon skimped on the camera here.

Amazon drops Echo Show 15, Astro robot plus Glow, View, Blink and Ring -  CNET

The Echo Show 15 also lacks audio power, though this is more understandable, given its narrow design. It features two 1.6-inch drivers, which are smaller than the 2-inch drivers in the Echo Show 8 (not to mention the Echo Show 10’s 3-inch woofer paired with two 1-inch tweeters). Expect sound that is suitable for idle listening (despite its lack of bass power), but not appropriate for fully experiencing music or powering a party.

On our bass test track, The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the bass synth notes sound hollow and distant on the Show 15, while the kick drum hits pop with almost no force behind them. Fortunately, the drivers don’t distort at maximum volume.

Tracks with much less sub-bass, like Yes’ “Roundabout,” sound better. The acoustic guitar plucks in the opening sections get solid resonance and a pleasing sense of string texture. When the track fully kicks in, the balance clearly favors the mid-highs and highs, with the guitar strums, cymbals, and vocals all standing out. The bassline is audible, but suffers from a lack of low-end presence, for a pleasant, but slightly bright, sound.

This also comes through with The Crystal Method’s “Born Too Slow.” The harsh guitar riffs stand firmly in the spotlight, while the vocals sit a bit in the background. The backbeat sounds somewhat distant in the mix as well.

Echo, Echo on the Wall

The Amazon Echo Show 15 is a large, attractive smart display that easily mounts on a wall. We like its expansive screen and widgets, but it falls a bit flat in terms of audio and camera performance. If you have space on a counter, desk, or shelf, the Echo Show 8 sounds much stronger, has sharper camera quality, and costs half the price. For the same price as the Echo Show 15, meanwhile, the Echo Show 10 offers even better audio and useful mechanical tracking for video calls. And if you prefer Facebook’s services, the $199 Portal Go makes much better use of its app-driven touch screen and supports many more enterprise-level videoconferencing services. But if you’re looking for a smart display you can mount like a piece of art, the unique Echo Show 15 fits the bill.

Amazon Echo Show 15

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Large screen is capable of displaying lots of information
  • Widgets add new functionality

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Underwhelming camera quality
  • Middling audio performance

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