- 1st: 7.4” x 7.4” x 3.5” (187 mm x 187 mm x 90 mm) 41.0 oz
- 2nd: 9.7” x 6.9” x 4.2” (246 mm x 174 mm x 107 mm) 62.2 oz
Since the 2nd has a larger display, the 2nd is bigger and heavier than the 1st. However, it’s interesting that the height is actually shorter because of changing the position of speakers. Although it has a larger display, the 2nd looks more compact and stylish than the 1st.
- 1st: Dual 2” stereo speakers
- 2nd: Dual 2” neodymium drivers & passive bass radiator
Both have the same size speakers, but speakers of the 2nd have improvement on bass. The 1st has speakers facing to the front inside the circle-mesh panel, and the display is placed above them. Many people mocked that it looked like an old-fashioned portable TV.
You may have to care about the place to put the 2nd. Where you have to put the 1st is obvious. Just face it toward where you mostly are. It doesn’t matter you put all the way back to the wall. The 2nd, however, you may have to care about the place because of rear side-facing speakers. A wall or something similar may help the sound expand and fill your room, but you can’t place the 2nd too close to walls. It will block the sound.
Both have eight-array of microphones with far-field technology. But, the placements of them are different between the 1st and the 2nd. The 1st has eight microphones around volume and mic-off buttons on the top. This placement makes the device thick on the top, and Alexa sometimes has trouble catching your wake word while playing music or video. The 2nd has four microphones on the top (three buttons are between them,) and the other four facing to the front. This allows the device to be very slim on the top, and microphones performance is optimized.
The back plate of the 2nd is coated by fabric while the 1st is all plastic. The 2nd looks more modern than the 1st. The speakers of the 2nd are invisible inside the fabric-coated back panel. That is also nice instead of covering by the conventional circle-mesh panel.
There are two colors available on the 1st, Black and White. For the 2nd, there are the same colors, but it’s called, Charcoal and Sandstone.
- 1st: 7-inch, 1024 x 600
- 2nd: 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800
The 2nd has a larger display with a higher resolution. Thus, the 2nd is obviously better for you to see from a distance. What’s more important is that this upgrade is made along with other improvements such as the quality of speakers, the placement of microphones, and the compact design. In other words, there is no trade-off to have a larger display even the price.
Sometime in 2017, Google blocked Fire TV and Echo Show from accessing to YouTube videos. Before that, the 1st had no problem on YouTube, but now no YouTube. Fire TV devices are able to work around the issue by accessing YouTube through Silk or Firefox browser. The 1st can do a similar method, but its a long process, and its not stable. On top of that, you need to repeat the process every time you watch a video on YouTube.
Amazon made the 2nd work the same method as Fire TV devices. It works flawlessly. But voice commands don’t work.
Smart Home Hub
The built-in smart home hub is the new feature, which the 1st doesn’t have. The hub can connect Zigbee smart home devices such as Philips Hue and control them without needing an original hub from a manufacturer.
Visualize Smart Home control after a command
It’s also the 2nd-only feature. When you ask Alexa to do something, say turn on the light, not only does the 2nd turn on the light, but it shows a control panel of the light on its display. With it, you can easily adjust the brightness or change the colors.
As you see, the 2nd gen Echo Show is better in every aspect than the 1st gen Echo Show. And the original price is the same $230. But, it’s worth noting that the 1st gen Echo Show is now sold at a deeply discounted price after the release of the 2nd. If you accept in something inferior to the 2nd, the 1st may be a good deal now. If you want 2nd and you are not in a hurry, you may want to wait for a month or so, and you will find a good deal in a holiday season. Click here to see the latest price of the 2nd Gen Echo Show (2018.)