This is the most upscale version of Amazon’s Alexa speakers. You could even say that it is no longer quite an enclosure. Its main feature is indeed to integrate a 10.1 inch screen. A device measuring 24 cm wide, 17 cm high and above all 10 cm deep is thus obtained to house a subwoofer and two side speakers.
This overweight has the merit of offering the Show a sound significantly improved compared to previous models; audio quality has so far been far from the strong point of Echo devices. Here this new device provides very present bass and rich midrange. It is thus an additional solution for listening to music and even more radio, even if we regret the lack of details in the higher frequencies. But it’s hard to hold it against it, Amazon never designed it as a hi-fi product.
Content adapted to the screen
With the appearance of a screen, the voice interactions have necessarily been adapted. When you start a radio, if a “Skill” (the equivalent of an app for Alexa) exists, the screen will display additional information. For example, if the assistant is asked to launch Europe 1 or UK Info, the video stream will be displayed, respectively the studio view and the TV channel rather than the radio. Some TV channels also already have their own Skill to watch them live. “Alexa, start BFMTV” will be enough for example to light the news channel continuously.
Other publishers have not hesitated to adapt their Skill using Amazon teams. This is for example the case of Marmiton. It would indeed have been a shame if the screen did not display some additional information concerning the recipes! No video here yet to show for example the cook’s actions, but photos and comments to detail each step of the preparation. The voice command “Alexa, relaunch the recipe” allows you to go to the next step without having to touch the device with your hands full of flour.
An honorable wide-angle webcam
The 5-megapixel front camera also allows you to make video calls. By default, the Amazon service is used. It is therefore imperative that your correspondent also uses the Alexa application; whether on another Echo Show or a smartphone.
However, to call people directly on their phone number, you have to use Skype. Microsoft’s video service must first be configured from the Alexa app on a smartphone, not in Skills, but in the “Communicate” section of the “Settings” menu. Suffice to say that we have known settings that are easier to access.
On video call, the quality is honorable. The 5-megapixel camera does not work miracles, but its wide-angle focal length allows at least not having to move the camera too much in all directions to be sure of being in the frame. Audio communication is quite adequate.
A screen that can be read in all circumstances
Finally, note that the quality of the screen is very good, even if it does not reach the heights now familiar with our smartphones and tablets. The 01net lab thus measured a brightness of 486 cd / m², which is quite correct for indoor use. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S10, a mobile whose screen refers, displays a brightness measured at 749 cd / m².
Regarding the contrast, it is obviously less important than that of the OLED screen of the smartphone since Amazon has equipped its Show with an IPS panel. We thus reach 1,246: 1, which makes the screen quite readable. Especially since it is not intended to be used outdoors in direct sunlight, but rather at home.
It is a good point not only to watch TV programs or cooking recipes, but also your photos. Indeed, if you use the Amazon photo hosting offer, you can ask “Alexa, display my photos” so that they launch as a slideshow on the Echo Show. Several commands also exist to pause the slideshow, search for photos from an album or even from a specific person if that person is already identified.
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