Amazon announced the latest entrant into its line of Alexa enabled smart devices, called the Echo Show. The new device comes in with a lot of familiar features like the Alexa assistant, and all the Skills that go with it, along with a unique feature in the form of a 7-inch touchscreen. The announcement of the new device has left a lot of people wondering what exactly is new with the new device. So, we compared the Amazon Echo Show vs Amazon Echo, and here’s everything that’s new:
One of the main differentiating factors in the new Echo Show is the presence of a 7-inch touchscreen slapped on the face of the device. This addition offers a host of new interactions that users can now make with the Echo Show, including things like watching YouTube videos, viewing photos, and lyrics for songs being played from Amazon Music. The screen can also be used to check supported, WiFi enabled security cameras and baby monitors.
The Echo Show also supports calling, a feature that’s available for all Echo devices. However, video calls will only be possible on the Echo Show, thanks to the camera on the top of the screen. The Echo Show also supports a new feature called “Drop In”. This is like a video call, except the user doesn’t need to call the recipient, and can just directly access their camera feed. To prevent abuse of this feature, Amazon has included functionality where users can specify which devices can access “Drop In” on their Echo Show.
Speaking of video calls, and “dropping in” unannounced, the Echo Show also comes with a camera positioned right in the middle, on top of the 7-inch touchscreen display. The Amazon Echo doesn’t have any such thing, and is a plain speaker with admittedly awesome sound quality. The 5 megapixel camera on the Echo Show is what enables the video calling and related features like “Drop In” on the new Echo Show.
Audio: Speakers and Microphone Array
The Amazon Echo was lauded by audiophiles and casual listeners alike for its amazing sound quality, which leads us to believe that the Echo Show should have matching quality speakers at least. However, while the specifications for the Amazon Echo are quite clear: 2.5″ subwoofer, and 2″ tweeter; the specifications for the Echo Show are a bit vague. The Echo Show is said to use “2-inch stereo speakers“. We can only judge the real world sound quality of the Echo Show once it’s out in the wild.
On the microphone side of things, the Amazon Echo has 7 far field microphones, and they work really well in real world scenarios. The Amazon Echo Show, on the other hand, will come with 8 far field microphones, which should offer an even better audio recognition ability in the new device. Whether or not the extra mic adds anything to the real world usage of the Echo Show remains to be seen.
The Amazon Echo Show and the Echo are two completely different devices, and while they’ll both be great, thanks to Alexa and its ever growing library of Skills, the Echo is priced at $179, whereas the Echo Show is priced at $229.99. Clearly, both the devices are meant for a very specific use-case.
Which One Should You Buy?
While I haven’t used the Amazon Echo Show yet, I do have an idea as to which Alexa device should you go for. Well, if you’re just looking for a smart speaker that can answer queries, keep notes, and control your smart home, the Echo is the better option. However, if you want to stay in touch with your loved ones with video calling, and Drop In, along with the ability to interact with the Echo from a touchscreen, the Echo Show is definitely the device you should get.
Amazon Echo Show vs Amazon Echo: Two Very Different Alexa Devices
There is no doubt that both the Amazon Echo, and the Echo Show are great devices. They’re capable of streaming music, finding recipes, controlling our smart homes, and answering queries. They have (at least the Echo surely does) great sounding speakers that can definitely work for your next party, and with the Echo Show, you can make standard and video calls, without having to pay for anything because the Echo uses your WiFi connection to connect the call.
The Amazon Echo is available right now, and is priced at $179.99 (on sale for $149.99). The Echo Show, on the other hand, is currently in the pre-order stage, and will be only available in the US to start with. The Echo Show is priced at $229.99, and will begin shipping by June 28.