Amazon Review by Ni
1480 people found the following review helpful
Maybe I was expecting more...
Initially I gave the Echo Show a 3 star rating. In all fairness after about 20 days of use I've decided to change my score and here's why. First off Amazon reached out to me requesting feed back and advice. I appreciate the concern and their attempts to improve the device. I've also noticed quite a few updates in the short time I've had my Show and honestly things are changing for the better. I've been updating my review and will continue to do so as I've noticed updates and get more hands on experience. After separating my expectations from the actual capabilities of this device I've come to the conclusion that the Show still had me wanting more despite it's capabilities.
I currently own the original echo which is in my living room, a dot in my bedroom, and one at work. I have lights, fans, a thermostat, security cameras, surround sound, and TV all connected to my Alexa devices. Of course I had to buy one with a screen. I’m a big fan of Alexa, the products have become a routine part of my day. As soon as the Show was available to preorder I ordered one without any hesitation.
Initially I wanted to put my show on a 70 inch TV stand by my 60 inch TV where my original Echo was. I figured it wouldn’t look bad because I could use it as a digital picture frame also. I don’t have end tables and quickly came to the realization that viewing a 7 inch screen from 8 feet away wasn’t going to work for me. My Show now sits on my kitchen counter. I figured I’d get more use out of it in my living room because most of my Alexa enabled devices are in there and generally I spend more time in my living room than the kitchen. A few people mentioned why don’t you put it on your desk. I honestly don’t spend much time in my study, if I am at my desk I’m already on my computer and wanted the Show where I would get the most use out of it.
This device was marketed as a hands free companion in the kitchen for things like recipes. My frustration is when I ask it to pull up a recipe it’s inconsistent. Sometimes it wants to send the recipe to my phone, sometimes it wants me to swipe down on the screen to access the cooking directions and ingredients. Why can’t I just say Alexa scroll down? Why do I have to touch the screen? Why does it have to send the recipe to my phone for me to view it when the Show already has a screen?
As of now I’ve seen videos with CNN, Reuters, and Fox news during my flash briefings. There was a software update on 7/15/17 and now I’ve also seen CNBC videos. 7/19/17 I noticed today Bloomberg is now showing videos.
You can display a photo, but it doesn’t fill the whole screen, it has gray boarders which really make the picture look even smaller on a 7 inch screen and tacky. The slide show feature can be set through the touch screen. Apparently this depends on how you take your pictures IE cropping and landscaping modes.
Personally I think 7 inches is too small to watch a movie from any fixed location unless it was maybe a foot or two from my face so take that in to consideration when determining where you might put one. Update Some of Prime’s videos are widescreen meaning you only get to use about half of your already small 7 inch screen to watch them. I noticed this while trying to watch 13 Hours Soldiers of Benghazi while I was cooking. This is cellphone size small.
Navigating through prime videos can be a chore. You can’t say the word movie, you have to say video. When selecting options by number from the screen you have to be careful with what you say. I said something like play movie one thinking it would understand that the movie with a 1 on it would play. Instead it started playing a song. I had to say Alexa stop. And then go back through the voice navigation to Amazon Prime videos, then find my movie, then ask Alexa to play it.
The problem with Youtube it pulls the most popular video that is close to your description based off of key words. It doesn’t go to exactly what you are asking it to pull up. Example Alexa show me Donald Trump’s latest speech on you tube. It pulled a video from May 2nd which was 2 months ago. This is because the search uses keywords in this scenario Donald Trump and Speech. Then it pulls the most popular or viewed videos.
Update If you let it sit on the screen selection for a movie for more than a minute it will close out and take you to your home screen. This is frustrating because you have to go all the way back through the voice navigation to get back to Prime, find your movie from a selection of 3 choices per page, ask Alexa to get it to play, and if you say something wrong like Alexa play movie one you’ll end up listening to music or being navigated some where else and have to start the process all over again. Update There are now voice tips at the bottom of the screen to help you navigate.
One thing I love about my dots and the original Alexa devices is that they are intuitive I don’t have to use precise wording. My Show expects me to use precise wording to navigate and use quite a bit of features. I just left the kitchen trying to get it to go to the dim screen. I used multiple variations of turn off the screen which sometimes works.I kept getting the response sorry what device? After several attempts to get this command to work I gave up and walked out of the kitchen frustrated. Maybe it’s still learning from me? Update I am still having issues with it not always recognizing the turn off the screen command.I also find myself constantly having to ask the Show to turn the screen off. I don’t know why it keeps turning on without me using any wake words. I heard it wake when my dogs went in to the kitchen this morning 7/19/17, yet I can walk past it all day long and it doesn’t wake.
The show does everything you’ve come to love with your original echo devices, despite it’s beautiful display, you’ll still feel like you need a larger screen. If it was an option I’d buy one with a 10 inch screen.
The sound is hands down better than any other Alexa device. The show can put out some bass. For some reason when playing Prime movies any speech sounds a bit muffled and the sound output is significantly lower…
I placed an order with my Show and honestly it was fast and unlike my other Echos I could visually verify my order. I didn’t have to pull my phone out, fumble with a keyboard, computer or tablet. I knew what I wanted said the name and probably in less than 30 seconds placed my order.
I thought the drop in feature would be good to check in on my dogs but the camera sits high, with the Show now sitting on my kitchen counter that’s not going to work. If you want to use the Show to drop in on your dogs it would have to be a foot off the ground. With just a handful of family members using the Alexa devices the video chat probably isn’t going to be used much.
Being able to look at my lists calendar and reminders without having to pull my phone out is nice. I wish the calendar could show more than just one day at a time. Like my whole week or month. The show won’t display your whole shopping list only 3 to 4 items on the screen at one time then you have to ask it to scroll down. Update As of 7/16/17 the Show displays 2 days on the calendar now and will scroll through events two at a time.
If you are a shopper like me that likes to browse recommendations your show will only give you a total of 12 recommendations which were no where near as accurate as my interests on my Amazon account usually are, actually they were way off. You can only view one product at a time. Basically the Show is only good for ordering when you know exactly what you want. It’s not good with recommendations, and browsing items. You are limited to viewing items one at a time and then having to ask Alexa to scroll right or go right makes the process painfully slow.
I guess the best way to explain the show. Most of what the Alexa devices were using your phone for can now be done on the show’s touch screen. I still find myself listening to my Show more than looking at it, which kind of defeats the purpose of a screen. My biggest frustration with the Show is instead of operating Alexa from across the room with voice commands I find myself having to stand in front of it, or walk to it then hovering over it to navigate through the screens. I still find myself pulling my phone out of my pocket or reaching for a tablet to pull up information rather than getting up walking to the device and dealing with the frustratingly clunky voice navigation. Most of everything we use now a days is wireless, we aren’t used to being restricted to a certain area to use a device. I haven’t felt this way since the landline was the only way to make a call and there were no such things as laptops, tablets, bluetooth, smartphones and other smart devices.
Update I attempted to use the video chat today to call my Dad. He answered with his dot so I could not see him. I thought he might answer from his phone so we could test it. The Show gives you a full screen view of yourself before the call is connected and a smaller window like Skype once the call is connected. With the angle of the camera and my Show sitting on the kitchen counter I had to take a few steps back, maybe 5 feet from the device so that my head would show up on the camera. As a note I am 6" 2. When my Dad answered we could not understand each other because of a bad connection. I ended the call quickly and called him from my cell. I have a 60 mbps connection and he uses FIOs.
Why you might consider buying the Fire7 tablet before the buying the Echo Show
I bought the Fire 7 tablet with Alexa for $30.00 during Prime day, now $49.99 (Same price as a Dot!) Here are some noteworthy comparisons. The show is limited to being plugged in to a wall and although it can be easily moved it will require a little planning as to where you might put one. The Fire 7 is obviously portable and has none of these restrictions. Both have a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 touchscreen. The Show blows the Fire 7’s speakers out of the water. However you can use bluetooth with the tablet and compensate for the lack of sound quality on your device. In order to use Alexa on the tablet you have to hold down the home key for a few seconds then without using the wake word Alexa or Echo speak your command. This is a nice feature because it won’t wake my other Echo devices, it will also give those worried about the always listening peace of mind. Plus it’s one less thing to have to say in your list of commands. I found my tablet very responsive to my commands and could do ALMOST everything my Dot and Original Echo can do EXCEPT you can not use the newly enabled voice call feature, which to me is no big deal. Apparently you can not set reminders on the Fire 7. All of my home smart devices can be controlled from my tablet by giving the same commands I use on my other Echo devices. You can not use the Show’s video chat feature. Skype, Oovoo and a few other apps are options you can take advantage of. The Echo show when it displays cards and information the whole screen is filled, where as the Fire 7 you loose about 10% of the same image that is on the Show. However unlike the Show you can rotate your screen. For those that complained about the lack of HDMI output on the Show you can pick up a micro USB to HDMI adapter with the Fire 7 tablet and fix that complaint. For those that complained there was no way to cast to your TV with the Show and other Echo devices you can cast your Prime movies straight from your Fire 7 to your Firestick or Fire TV. Update As of 8/5/17 I’ve been able to use all of my Echo devices to control my Fire TV and Fire TV stick. You can access your tablet’s apps via Alexa with the Fire 7, The Show has no apps. The fire 7 also syncs instantly with your other devices in Amazon’s ecosystem. I find myself using my Fire7 significantly more than my Show. I don’t have to be in the kitchen hovering over my counter and lets just face it even a limited Amazon tablet can do a lot more than an Echo device with a screen. Think of the Fire 7 as the budget friendly tap version of the show for $80.00 less than a tap and $180.00 less than a Show. If you are on the fence about shelling out $230.00 but want to experience the Echo screen hype this may be the way to go.