The $249.99 Echo Show 15 is Amazon’s latest, and largest, Echo Show up to now. And in contrast to its earlier iterations, this 15.6-inch large of an Alexa smart display was designed to hold on the wall relatively than sit on a counter or nightstand.
As a digital hub for the entire household, the Echo Show 15 impresses with a bigger display screen that can assist you effortlessly discover info of all types — from information to climate to calendar alerts. With the biggest display screen but, it has area to sprawl out and acts as an incredible display for taking in content material.
After spending high quality time with this new gadget hanging in our kitchen space, we consider that is one Show you received’t wish to miss. Here’s why.
A huge Alexa display for your wall
The Echo Show 15 is the largest Alexa display but and appears nice, although its giant design is not for everybody.
The who, what and the way
Who that is for: The Echo Show 15 is for anybody trying for an even bigger, Alexa-enabled display screen to raised navigate calendars, notes or reminders, management a smart residence or stream content material.
What you have to know: The Show 15 presents the biggest and sharpest display of any Alexa smart display screen, however the largest change right here is its capability to hold on the wall. However, this additionally means it could’t at all times hold the display dealing with you just like the Show 10 and doesn’t supply best-in-class audio high quality just like the Show 8, 10 or fourth-gen Echo.
How this compares: The Show 15 is powered by the newest processor from Amazon, making it even smarter than different Alexa-powered gadgets. Yet with its speedier completion time on any request, its new design means it’s finally meant to be held on your wall, although it can be paired with an adjunct stand. It’s not as countertop-friendly because the Show 5, 8 or 10, contemplating the sheer measurement, so when you do resolve to make use of the $30 stand, the 15.6-inch smart display could really feel too huge. The Show 15 excels as a house hub with an incredible display and glorious calendar, record and reminder performance, as long as you’ve the area for it.
The Echo Show 15 dwarfs the 10-inch Nest Hub Max, Show 10, Show 8, Show 5 and Nest Hub by way of easy measurement. And that’s as a result of it’s designed to be held on your wall, which implies it higher blends into residence decor. The Show 15 reminds us of Samsung’s The Frame TV with smaller bezels, and appears tidy in a black body, white matte bezel and 15-inch display screen within the center. And, like every Echo Show, the 15 has devoted buttons for muting the microphones, quantity up, quantity down and a shutter that you simply slide to dam the digital camera.
As for setup, you’ll must do some drilling or screwing earlier than you even utter the phrase “Alexa,” and the field features a mounting template, a wall mount, anchors and screws. All in all, as soon as we discovered a spot, selected the orientation of the Show 15 (you may select between vertical or horizontal), drilled 4 holes and securely hung the smart display, we have been performed in about 15 minutes.
If drilling right into a wall shouldn’t be your factor, Amazon’s third-party accent makers have a number of options. The aforementioned $30 stand is a chance, although it feels flimsy, particularly contemplating the general heft of the product. While the Show 15 is thinner than the Show 5, 8 or 10, it additionally takes up extra bodily area and carries a bit extra heft. Other stands can be found, although we haven’t had an opportunity to check them, together with one which mounts beneath a cupboard and permits the display to swivel.
Which brings us to 2 issues now we have with the wall mount resolution. Most folks putting in this may discover the ability twine dangling towards the outlet. To repair this, you’d should run the twine via the inside of your wall or get an outlet put in nearer. But let’s face it: Not solely is that not preferrred, it’s a complete lot of effort and time. Instead, we recommend a cable cowl to create a sleeker look.
The different factor is that as a result of the Show 15 can’t swivel, will probably be locked in whichever orientation you put in it in. Vertical offers you a bit extra room to scroll, nevertheless it does imply your content material can have black bars on the highest and backside. On the opposite hand, horizontal takes up an even bigger chunk of area however higher lends itself to watching exhibits and films.
The Amazon mount we have been despatched with our Show 15 didn’t embrace swivel performance, which we consider would ship extra worth for the $249.99 worth level.
The Echo Show 15’s full 15.6-inch full HD display means you’re getting an ultra-sharp, vivid and vibrant display screen. Amazon didn’t slim out the bezels right here, although, which we predict is an fascinating design determination given the truth that most fashionable tablets and laptop computer screens have very skinny borders.
This display presents a excessive quantity of particulars for each textual content and pictures. For occasion, we set the Echo Show 15 in image body mode whereas mounted vertically on our wall alongside artwork. Currently it could rotate between images from your Amazon account, a group of pictures in several types of galleries or images from your Facebook account. Sadly, no choice for Apple Photos or Google Photos exists. But on this mode, the gathering of winter-themed pictures it displayed rotated with ease and regarded sharp and vivid.
Similarly, interacting with buttons on-screen didn’t lead to any blurs or blooming. And as a result of it’s bigger, Amazon unfold out a few of the core parts. Buttons, whereas nonetheless taking a second or two to reply, are extra simply seen, and menus aren’t as cramped in comparison with different Echo Show gadgets.
The 15-inch display additionally makes this Echo Show uniquely able to performing like a TV. We at all times felt the smaller Show sizes have been a bit small to look at a full movie on. So, when the Show 15 is in panorama orientation, it feels extra like a contemporary kitchen TV. We loved watching an episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” streamed through Hulu; identical goes for content material streamed from Hulu with Live TV in addition to from Amazon Prime.
Amazon’s Visual ID facial recognition is already out there on the Show 8 and 10, nevertheless it actually feels at residence on the Show 15 and the Show 10. Once you strategy the system it tells you who’s within the body and tailors the display screen or solutions to their liking.
Visual ID can be solely non-compulsory, so that you don’t have to make use of this on the Echo Show 15 when you’re fearful about privateness. Here’s some excellent news, although: It’s all processed and authenticated on the system, which means your facial scans received’t be uploaded onto the cloud and stay solely on the Echo 15 itself.
Setting up Visual ID took two tries, however the entire course of is much like Face ID on the iPhone or iPad. You’ll rotate your head in a number of totally different instructions and make some round rotations. It’s additionally the primary glimpse at a disappointing and lackluster digital camera expertise. While the Show 15 prices $249.99, it solely includes a 5-megapixel digital camera, which means it lags means behind the Show 10 and even the Show 8. This left us scratching our heads since each of these characteristic a 13-megapixel lens that gives far more particulars.
If we put apart digital camera efficiency, nonetheless, Visual ID did curate the expertise that greatest match our wants. It knew our musical tastes and most popular information retailers, and works hand in hand with one other flagship characteristic right here: Widgets.
Widgets make it useful to depart a word for somebody, hold monitor of upcoming occasions and even get fast entry to controlling the smart residence. You may also get them in two sizes: small or giant, although when you go together with the larger ones, you’ll have fewer on the display screen. Right now you may select from 14 premade widgets that sit on the decrease half of the principle display screen in portrait orientation or on the fitting facet when you’re in panorama. Most of those included are easy — like calendar, sticky notes, climate, fast smart residence controls, purchasing and music. Strangely sufficient, the widget panel does have a bit of tab that ought to allow you to swipe it shut, however in apply it appears to be merely a design selection.
Our hope is that Amazon will proceed to develop on its Widgets and open it as much as third events, much like Alexa Skills. The smart residence widget is one among our private favorites since you may open picture-in-picture for cameras in your residence. For occasion, we might open up the view from our Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 or from a floodlight digital camera. With picture-in-picture, the footage will be overlaid on the principle display screen and even on one other window. It’s extraordinarily useful.
The Echo Show 15 works nicely as a communal calendar for your family. You’ll simply must be sure to have the fitting accounts related to it, and when you see an occasion that catches your eye, you may faucet it to open the complete calendar app. Same goes for the to-do lists and stickers, and you may even tag these to permit a particular consumer to work together with it. This may also hyperlink to Visual ID profiles, so if we go away a word for somebody in our household, it would present up when the Show 15 acknowledges them.
Good sound and loads of energy for Alexa
Unlike the $249.99 Echo Show 10 or the $99 fourth-gen Echo, which provide spectacular, room-filling sound, the Show 15 is much less spectacular on this division. This is because of the nature of the slimmer design. Like some flat panel TVs, the wall-mountable Alexa display solely has twin audio system powering the sound expertise.
In our testing, we had the Show 15 mounted proper close to the kitchen within the household room portion of our house, and fortunately, Alexa’s responses have been a lot clear and audible. It’s not omnidirectional just like the fourth-gen Echo or the Show 10, however relatively sound comes out either side.
We discovered the audio to be missing extra with music playback than with spoken phrase. When we performed “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen, we discovered a wall-of-sound monitor that opened with a big blare of guitars, piano, drums and sax however didn’t current itself as totally on the Show 15 as we’re used to on our go-to audio system and headphones. It was nonetheless a transparent, crisp combine however lacked the harrumph and robust bass. More useful use instances like listening to a recipe, a information briefing, reside TV or a favourite film are significantly better, with clear pronunciation and succinct audible vocals.
When it involves responses, each audible and visible, the Show 15 is the primary Alexa smart display powered by the newest chip from Amazon: the Amazon AZ2 processor. This not solely retains issues speedy, so far as smart shows go, but in addition ensures immediate Alexa replies. This ranges from easy asks, just like the climate, a math query or a metric, to the extra complicated, like smart residence instructions, Amazon.com purchases and solutions on what meals to purchase for a recipe.
As a complete, the Alexa expertise on Show 15 is on par with each different Alexa system. The AZ2 processor permits for parts of widespread requests or instructions to be processed regionally as an alternative of needing to be despatched off to the cloud. As with any Alexa system, the Show 15 should be linked to Wi-Fi, and the dual-band antennas labored nicely with our Eero 6 Pro check system. Just word that the Show 15 doesn’t characteristic a Zigbee hub just like the Show 10 does, which means that whereas it could management your smart residence gadgets, it could’t create a community for preserving them on-line.
We’d additionally prefer to name out the performance of the Show 15 as a digital residence hub. With the Show 15 put in in a central spot and Visual ID for relations, it’s an ultra-functional and customizable expertise. You can use it as a shared household calendar, to ship notes backwards and forwards to one another — “Please take out the trash tomorrow” or “Remember to pick up your dry cleaning” — and even ask for assist making a meal with recipes. And the bigger 15.6-inch display makes it simple to see all this info and to finish duties at one time.
The Show 15 is in contrast to some other smart display, and for that we adore it. It’s not the very best Echo Show available on the market by way of audio and digital camera high quality, nevertheless it greater than makes up for these shortcomings with a contemporary design and a complete new set of use instances.
The $249.99 worth of a Show 15 is an funding for a digital residence hub that’s half smart management panel, half picture body and half Alexa voice management middle. We’d simply be sure to have a spot for it and wish to decide to placing a smart speaker on your wall.