Last year, Amazon introduced Echo Show, the first Alexa-enabled device with a touchscreen. And 2nd gen Echo Show (2018) is sleeker, yet with a larger screen than the 1st gen Echo Show (2017). The sound quality is improved, and new features are added. You can get this handy smart home device at $229, which is the same price as the 1st gen.
The 2nd gen Echo Show is a lot sleeker than the 1st gen. In any direction, it appears modern and stylish. Unlike the 1st gen, the speakers are not facing to the front. Amazon puts the speakers on the back, facing to the side. So, it looks just like a tablet when you face it directly.
The surface on the back is covered by fabric. And on the bottom, there are a power port, micro USB, and Kensington Security Slot. Three buttons are located on the top, a microphone and camera on/off, volume up/down. You can see a camera at the center of the top edge of the screen. And eight array of microphones are built-in in the same area.
Because of the new layout of speakers, the thickest part of 2nd is thicker than one of the 1st gen. However, it gets a lot thinner on the top. And rounded edges and fabric coating make the 2nd gen Echo Show look compact and modern.
- Size: 9.7” x 6.9” x 4.2” (246 mm x 174 mm x 107 mm)
- Weight: 62.2 oz. (1765 grams)
- Display: 10.1” touchscreen
- Camera: 5MP
Just like the 1st gen Echo Show, you can watch videos, music lyrics, security cameras, photos, and more. You can also make a video call to your friends and family who have Echo Show, Echo Spot, or smartphones with Alexa app installed.
The 2nd gen Echo Show has a 10.1-inch screen while the 1st gen has a 7-inch. Despite its larger screen, the height of the devices is almost the same (Actually, the 2nd is a little shorter.) because of the new placement of speakers. The resolution is 1280 x 800, which is considered a little low for a 10-inch screen. As a comparison, it’s the same resolution as the 8-inch Lenovo Smart Display, and it’s a little a lower resolution than the 10-inch version of Lenovo Smart Display (1920×1200, and it’s $20 more expensive.)
Here is a way to get around Google’s blocking Youtube videos from showing on Amazon devices. Open a web browser either Silk or Firebox, and you can go to youtube.com from there. Amazon’s Fire TV devices can play Youtube videos with the same method, but unfortunately, this method doesn’t work on the 1st gen Echo Show and Echo Spot.
It’s not perfect. Although you can watch any videos on Youtube with this method. Voice commands don’t work. You can’t open Youtube by voice or search videos. When you ask Alexa to search, results will be never from Youtube but Dailymotion, Vimeo, or Prime Video.
Built-in Smart Home Hub
The 2nd gen Echo Show has a built-in smart home hub so you can connect and control Zigbee devices such as Philips Hue products without a hub from a manufacturer. The built-in smart home hub, however, it may not be so important these days. Because there are many smart home devices on the market which are Wi-Fi enabled, meaning they don’t require a hub in the first place.
When controlling smart home devices, the 2nd Echo Show takes advantage of the screen. Let’s say you turn on the living room light. Echo Show displays the status of living room light with a slider for adjusting brightness. This is the feature that the 1st gen Echo Show doesn’t have. I believe it’s very convenient for all smart home devices users.
You can also use the screen as a display of video intercom and make a video call to other Echo Shows or Echo Spots as well as other mobile devices on which the Amazon Alexa app is installed.
The 2nd Echo Show (2018) has lots of improvements over the 1st gen Echo Show (2017). The screen gets larger, yet the overall design looks more compact and stylish than the previous model. There is also the improvement on the resolution of the display and sound quality of speakers. As a brand new feature, the built-in smart home hub can connect and control Zigbee devices without needing an original hub. Plus, you can watch Youtube video through Silk or Firefox web browser.
The Echo Show is for those who want a display to watch videos, music lyrics, security cameras, photos, or make a video call with hands-free voice assistance by Alexa. Click here to see the latest price of 2nd gen Echo Show.