Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Amazon Echo Show Review



Alexa, smarter and improved


The Echo Show was introduced as a useful extension of Alexa’s AI for your home and daily life. 
It is the descendant of a line of Amazon devices created for the same purpose.


Features at a Glance:

  • Weather, photos, shopping list
  • Calendar, alarms, timers, music
  • Front door camera viewing
  • Calling and “drop-ins.”
  • “Smart” lights, fans, thermostats, etc
  • Uber
  • Web surfing


Pros:

  • Video calling, a.k.a. “Drop-ins,” seem to work very well
  • Calling phone numbers via your own phone number but on the Echo device
  • Adding to or viewing your shopping list is easier, more accessible
  • Simple alarms, reminders, and tasks like asking about the weather can be done by voice


Cons:

  • YouTube not available due to a corporate disagreement between Google and Amazon, 
    which is considered frustrating and petty, and causing them both to lose a lot of 
    customer support and satisfaction (also means no free music)
  • Uses keywords to search for what you are asking, and often doesn’t pull up the right thing 
    (voice recognition is super buggy)


The Echo Show has been found highly useful among people who take care of elderly relatives, 
for the “drop-in” feature and the ability to access a front door camera. 
The Show doesn’t automatically access the camera when the doorbell rings, however. 
You must initiate the connection yourself, via a command, which limits its usefulness in elderly care. Also, specific features of this Amazon home device can prove creepy or annoying when Alexa mishears, listens in, or pops up frighteningly. Therefore, while the drop-in feature 
and camera connection is useful, the idea can be better carried out by other means, such as a 
microcontroller front door livestream and/or a tablet.


Our Opinion:

The Amazon Echo Show fulfills its main function as an extension of the Alexa AI, 
however not as well as previous versions of this device. Many functions are finicky or 
don’t work altogether. Using the device proves annoying as well, with many functions being 
difficult and far from optimal.


While this Amazon home product is a good idea, it is widely thought that the previous home 
Alexa devices were better than this “upgrade”. Though loyal and avid fans might have stayed 
along for the ride, Amazon topped off the cake when they caused YouTube to be unavailable 
as well - which was a promised feature of the app when it came out.




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Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. 
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