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The Amazon Echo Show has always struggled with a mild identity crisis. So far, it’s been easy to dismiss it as an “Amazon Echo with a display,” even though new models in different sizes have appeared in recent years.
But the company has taken a big step forward with the third-generation Echo Show 10. Its new design and Amazon’s continued focus on improving the overall user experience have made this smart speaker feel fresh and differentiate itself in a crowded field.
As they say, the third is the charm.
Echo Show’s swivel base keeps the screen front and center at all times
The first thing you’ll notice about the Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) is its new design. The 10-inch HD screen is attached to a base that looks like a smaller version of your Echo Studio speaker. This new look feels modern and elevates the display off the ground, making it easier to see while standing. I’ve tested a couple of generations of the Echo Show and this is a very welcome upgrade.
Amazon didn’t make this change just for cosmetic reasons, it’s because the base of the Echo Show 10 can rotate, keeping the screen pointed at you at all times. This feature is enabled by the Echo Show’s 13-megapixel camera, which can track your movements and turn the smart speaker towards you.
In my experience, this feature worked surprisingly well. The Echo Show adjusted in real time as I walked around it, pausing when I paused and continuing when I took my next steps. If you’re concerned about privacy, don’t worry, you can completely disable this feature by closing the physical shutter on the Echo Show’s camera.
The rotation feature of the Echo Show was designed to support two of the great functions of the device: watching videos and making video calls. I’m waiting for an update from Amazon that promises support for video calling through Amazon Chime and Zoom to test that feature, but I have some experience with viewing videos on the device.
I admit, keeping the videos framed as I walked around the kitchen collecting and washing dishes was very helpful, and a better experience than trying to find the right place to hold my phone. Amazon’s smart speaker comes with pre-installed apps for services like Netflix and Hulu, so you can ask Alexa to watch your favorite shows without touching your screen.
If you want to watch YouTube, you will need to use the mobile version of Silk (Amazon’s web browser) or Firefox. You can still say “Alexa, open YouTube”, but the experience of tapping and typing on the screen is a bit frustrating. Still, some older versions of the Echo Show couldn’t play YouTube videos, so this is an improvement.
Overall, I’m a huge fan of the Echo Show 10’s new design, but I wish Amazon had opted to build a Full HD display rather than stick with a 720P display. It looks good, but I did notice a clear difference in the video quality of the TV shows and YouTube clips that I watched.
Your new audio system creates crystal clear sound that fills the room
The third-gen Echo Show has the same triple-driver audio system as the latest Amazon Echo, and it delivers in a big way.
Mid-size woofer and dual tweeters drove the beginning of Led Zeppelin Dazed and confused no problem. Robert Plant’s voice and John Paul Jones bass were clear and distinct. Pulp’s sharp guitar and synths Common people were equally clear, although the chaotic choruses could get a bit muddy at the highest volume setting
I generally kept the volume at 50% or 60% and had no problem listening to music anywhere in a large, open kitchen. If you plan on using the Echo Show in your bedroom or office, you could probably get away with listening to around 40%. Although it’s a single speaker, the Echo Show did a good job of showing stereo separation, which was a nice bonus.
While the Echo Show will play music from Amazon Music by default, you can link your Spotify or Apple Music account in the Alexa app on your phone. Once you’re connected, you can configure the Echo Show to use those services as your main music source. You also have the option of asking the Echo Show to enter Bluetooth pairing mode and connect your phone, tablet, or computer like any other speaker. I connected my iPhone and MacBook Pro to the Echo Show with no problem.
Amazon used to get a lot of criticism for making smart speakers that didn’t sound very good, but they’ve taken a big step forward recently. In the end, I preferred listening to music on the Echo Show over the Echo Studio, which is geared towards audiophiles. One of my favorite little features is that the Echo Show shows the lyrics of the song you’re listening to.
The Echo Show can be used almost completely hands-free thanks to Alexa
One of the Echo Show’s biggest selling points is that Amazon’s smart assistant Alexa is very capable. This smart speaker has a 10-inch touchscreen, but I hardly used it during my tests (except YouTube) because Alexa allowed me to handle just about anything hands-free.
You could set a timer, ask to play a specific TV show on a streaming service (Development arrested on Netflix and Sponge Bob Square Pants on Amazon Prime Video), download and install the Apple Music skill, get a news report, and view a five-day weather forecast without even a tap.
Alexa was so good at answering my questions that it was a bit frustrating when she fell short. I asked about local pizzerias, and the Echo Show brought up a list of local places. I kept asking for more information about the first restaurant on the list and was met with silence. Situations like that stand out because Alexa is usually very good at getting it right.
Although I didn’t need much to touch the screen, it worked great when I did. The Echo Show will display news clips with a giant play button on them, and they will start after a quick tap. You can swipe down from the top of the screen to access system settings such as brightness, and to the left from the right side of the screen to set a timer, access your music, or check your computer accessories. your smart home.
Alexa’s leadership over rival smart assistants keeps the Echo Show one step ahead of the competition. If you’re shopping for your first smart speaker, this is a big point in favor of the Echo Show. It’s capable out of the box, but you can extend its functionality by downloading third-party skills.
Bottom line: the Echo Show (3rd gen) is the best smart speaker with a display
The Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) eliminates most of the rough edges present in previous versions, while also introducing some useful features along the way. It will work well anywhere, but I had the best experiences with it in the kitchen, a central location where I spend a lot of time.
It’s probably a bit too big for a nightstand – that’s what the Echo Show 5 is for – but it will fit well on a medium-sized desk. If you’ve been hesitant about getting a smart speaker with a display and you already have an Echo speaker in your house, the Echo Show is a no-brainer. After spending time with it, I can also recommend it to anyone who is using a competing smart speaker and has been thinking about making the switch.