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videos | IST

New Echo Show comes with bigger display, better speakers

Amazon decided to house its smart assistant Alexa in a speaker a couple of years back. Since then Alexa has become a household name that sits insides the tech giant’s Echo speakers. Now, in an attempt to add a face to that name, the tech giant has launched a new Echo Show.
DESIGN
The new and improved second generation Echo Show from Amazon packs in a bigger display, better speakers and a modular design. Its predecessor, the first Echo Show was launched back in 2017 with a 7-inch screen. At first this might look like those digital photo frames in terms of design, but of course these babies are far smarter. Amazon has thrown in a 10.1-inch display this time around on the new Echo show and to maintain the aesthetics, the speaker has been fitted on the sides and back with a neat fabric finish. Great call by the design team here.
PERFORMANCE
The display is rich in terms of colours and supports great viewing angles. However, the lack of a full HD display on this device stands out after a point. In terms of performance, the speakers pack in a good bass and can easily fill up a large room.
DROP IN FEATURE
Apart from the audio and video capabilities, Amazon has thrown in a 5-megapixel camera on the Echo Show that lets you video chat with other Echo Show devices or actually anyone that has the Alexa app on their phone. At this point this is more like an additional feature rather than something you just cannot live without. But the thought of a camera staring into your home or anyone calling you on video or ‘dropping in’, as Amazon like to call it, is an unsettling thought. Of course you can choose to disable this feature completely via the Alexa app.
SKILLS
Now Alexa responds well to skills and apps that are built by Amazon like Prime video and Music. It also works well for hands-free communication, reminders and even to walk through recipes. But when it comes to third party applications, it is still a work in progress. For instance, getting Alexa to play a YouTube video could be an uphill task and once that fired up, I wasn’t a fan of the interface. Of course these are still early days of smart speakers with displays and apps will have to be made exclusively for devices like Echo Show.
VERDICT
The new Echo Show is available in India for Rs 22,999. If you are a smart speaker user, you know that sometimes apart from audio, a visual feedback can enhance the overall experience of a smart assistant. Now in terms of pricing, yes this is a tad bit expensive, but if you are really invested in diving into the world of smart ecosystems and internet of things, then the Echo Show could be a great addition to your world.