Amazon has announced its latest Echo device, called Echo Show. The new device will be the first Echo product to feature a screen and ushers in some new features previously unavailable on Echo devices.
Here's everything you need to know about it.
- Echo Show official: Amazon's home hub offers video calling and more, pre-order now open
- Amazon Echo tips and tricks: Getting to grips with Alexa
Amazon Echo Show: Design
- 7-inch touchscreen
- Built-in 5-megapixel camera
- Black and white colour finishes
- 187 x 187 x 90mm
The Amazon Echo Show is much larger than the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Look, but that's because it has to house a 7-inch touchscreen. It weighs just over a kilogram, so it's hefty bit of kit that will take centre spot in your kitchen, living room or bedroom.
Rather than adopt a cylindrical form factor of current Echo devices, the Echo Show is much squarer in shape, with the touchscreen at the top and a speaker underneath. There is also a 5-megapixel camera just above the screen which is used for video calls (more on that later).
The Echo Show will be available in black and white finishes when it begins shipping.
Amazon Echo Show: Features
- Smart home control
- Voice and video calls
- Possible fashion advice, similar to Echo Look
The Echo Show will of course arrive with Alexa onboard. It will be able to carry out the same functions as the current Echo devices, such as controlling smart home products, creating shopping baskets and telling you the day's news and weather.
It will also be capable of making and receiving voice calls and video calls, thanks to the camera in the top. You will only be able to call anyone with an Echo device or a mobile device with the Alexa app installed.
Calling will allow you to contact other Echo Show users via video, using a feature called "drop-in". This will allow you to alert the other person that you're calling, but video isn't shown until they agree to take the video call. They can answer via voice only if they prefer.
The screen can also be used to show you connected devices such as a Ring doorbell or Arlo camera. In that sense, the Echo Show is very much the centre of your smart home.
The screen can also be used to deliver quick news briefings in the morning, and rather than just speak the news to you, Echo Show can display video clips from news channels and it can also be used to bring up videos from YouTube, and all you have to do is speak a command.
As with the regular Echo, you can use the Echo Show to play music, and it has built-in access to Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora, Spotify, iHeart Radio and TuneIn. Sound and speech are delivered through the two 2-inch speaker drivers, with sound processing taken care of by Dolby. It can also show you the lyrics.
Amazon Echo Show: Hardware specs
- 7-inch full colour touchscreen
- 2x 2-inch drivers for Dolby audio
- 5-megapixel camera
- 8 microphones
- Bluetooth for speaker connection
- Dual-band a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor
Amazon Echo Show: Release Date and Price
The Amazon Echo Show is available to pre-order now in the US launch for $229.99, and will begin shipping on 28 June. If you buy two Echo Show devices you can save $100 with an Amazon code.
There's currently no word on a UK release.