The Echo family grows and changes shape with this Echo Show 15, one of the most ambitious and original devices in its catalogue and the home automation market. This new form factor promises new uses and a much more discreet presence. We have tested it.
Design: Amazon “The Frame”
I’ve tried a few Echos, and my general feeling is that Amazon was looking for practicality and functionality over aesthetics: the Echos are plastic and mesh fabric and, while well-finished, creaked into the aesthetics of certain living rooms. Of course, you could always place them in the background as strangers.
However, the premise has changed with this Echo Show 15, which reminds the Samsung of The Frame, saving distances. Stay with this reference because we will come back to it later. It’s still made of plastic, but it doesn’t look like it: it has a thin and sober dark frame that could well be wood and a white border that emulates a Passepartout.
The design goal of the Echo Show 15 is to make it look like just another painting.
The design goal of the Echo Show 15 is to make it look like just another painting. One of the two characteristics that reveal its nature compared to mere decoration is that a cable hangs from it. In the frame, you will find a physical button to open and close the camera cover, a dot located in the upper left part of the passe-partout. Here is the second element.
Echo Show 15 Retro Photos
The screen is no longer an extra but the absolute protagonist. Its design and features are perceived with 15.6 inches diagonal and Full HD resolution, like many laptops.
As a quick review, in the upper frame, you will find the following buttons, familiar in Echo models with a screen:
A slider button to physically cover the camera.
Two buttons for volume up and down.
A button to mute the microphone.
The rear part is aesthetically much more modest: with a plastic chassis, in the central role, we find elements to hang it on the wall, either vertically or in the landscape. Another option: buy the tilt stand and place it on a surface. At the ends and distributed vertically, the sound comes through some holes.
A screen that exponentially elevates its functions
A “smart” speaker has in its voice assistant a promise of almost infinite functionality… at least in theory. In practice, for most users, it boils down to asking the time and the weather, solving existential questions that make us “win” an argument, turning off a light or other connected device and putting on music.
Alexa has two assets that place it in a privileged position: its extensive ecosystem and an adequate understanding of human language.
In this sense, Alexa has two assets that place it in a privileged position: a broad ecosystem of compatible devices and a proper understanding of human language, although with ample room for improvement.
But with the Echo Show 15, Amazon has left those features in the background – which are still there – to squeeze the most out of your screen.
First of all, some background on its features: it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, integrates a 5MP camera on the front and has the Amazon AZ2 Neural Edge processor, with machine learning and a quad-core architecture in charge of ‘ID Visual.’
What is ‘Visual ID’? A system that, once configured with our data, voice and image recognition (in the style of configuring Face ID) identifies us when we enter the room. This allows personalized greetings, reminders, calendar events, contemporary music, and notes from us to be displayed on the screen.
What’s the coolest thing you can do with the Echo Show 15?
Substitute for a secondary television (with nuances). Go ahead because of its benefits and diagonal, logically, it does not serve to replace the one in the living room, but it can do the job in the kitchen or the bedroom. After all, its screen is similar to that of many laptops we use to watch a series in bed. Thus, you can play content from platforms such as Prime Video, Netflix, and Atresplayer. Important: stand right before it, as the viewing angle is not comprehensive.
Photo frame, star utility with Amazon Photos as upload platform and Passepartout. It sucks.
Surveillance. A vital characteristic of a surveillance camera is that it goes unnoticed, and we’ve already seen the Echo Show 15 sneak in like a picture. Visiting the application to see and hear what is happening in the room at any time is a handy security extra (and a lack of privacy when you forget it is there).
You also have a calendar in the kitchen where you write down that you have a doctor’s appointment or a whiteboard where you write down your shopping list; you can replace both with the Echo Show 15. Just place it vertically and configure it with widgets such as the calendar, the shopping list or the task list.