"The redesigned Echo Show is bigger, better and still not the best"
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CNET First Look
CNET First Look
The redesigned Echo Show is bigger, better and still not the best
This is the new Echo Show, it's the second generation and it costs $230, we just got it in so we're gonna open up the box and see what we think.
Let's see, get it out of this packaging.
So, as you can see it,s quit a bit bigger, the display is larger, I think the first installation had like a seven inch screen, this is a ten inch screen diagonally so it's quit a bit more screen Real estate and that's awesome because it also means there's no ugly speaker on the front.
The first generation had that boxy speaker grill and the design almost looked like a mini projection TV so this is an improvement.
I like the screen better.
You can also see on the back.
it's covered with a fabric so it's still kind of deep, it's not really a flat display but this depth is covered with a fabric that looks pretty good, it looks a lot like what we saw in the Google Home speakers and in the Apple Home Pod, so i like that.
As far as controls go you still got your volume and your power buttons on the top there And you still got ports and power in the back.
So this one also has an eight array microphone set up just like the first one.
They are a bit different than they were so you can see they're arranged a little differently.
And the front camera is still a five megapixel front facing camera.
So now that we've got it out of the box we're gonna take it into the scene of SmartHome and test it out.
Right off the bat, one of the things I really like about the 2nd gen Echo Show, as opposed to the first, is the way it handles smart home commands.
So on the original Echo Show, if you say something like.
Turn off the bedroom lamp.
You just get an okay and nothing shows up on the screen.
You don't really get any indication that something has happened.
But in the 2nd generation, if I mute this one.
Turn on the bedroom lamp.
You get a display that shows you the name of the device.
And then you have this little power button and I came and turn it off and on with the touchscreen.
If I do something like a set of lights that have an adjustable brightness.
Turn on the living room lights.
You get a toggle bar where you can select the brightness level.
So that's something we didn't see in the original Echo Show and so far I really like it.
There's also a new lights and more icon in the dropdown menu.
So if I swipe down here, I'll see this light bulb.
And if I touch that I get a list of lamps, plugs, and switches that are connected to my platform.
And that's not something we saw in the first generation Echo Show.
And so far I think it's a good addition.
So here we've got the second gen and the first gen side-by-side.
And you can already tell there are some pretty significant differences.
The screen, for example, is a whole lot bigger.
It's 10.1 inches diagonally, versus the 7 inches of the first generation.
And it's 720p, so you're getting a better resolution.
Some quality also got an upgrade.
The new Echo show features dual two inch neodymium side-firing drivers and better base.
If you listen to the sound comparisons we did, you can definitely tell the difference.
Something else that's different about the second generation echo show is the way you can see YouTube videos.
In the first generation there wasn't really any native integration and there's not this time either, but there is a work around.
Amazon has added the Firefox browser and Amazon Silk browser to the Echo Show.
If you say something like, open Firefox.
Go get a browser and you can tap to view a mobile version of the YouTube site.
If you ask her for video results in general, you'll get clips provided by Bing and this work around isn't perfect but it's better than what we had before which was no YouTube integration at all.
For all the improvements on the new echo show there are still a few things that are disappointing and maps is one of them, for instance if I ask, where is the clossest starbucks?
I found the starbucks it's 6.5 miles away on taylosylle road in [UNKNOWN] business hours for this location are not available
How do I get there?
At the moment, traffic to Starbucks at 12605 Taylorsville road looks good.
The fastest route takes about 11 minutes via KY-1531 31 and KY 155.
So there is no map displayed here and there are no an interactions either.
And Alexis can't send those directions to your phone.
So what she told you how long will take to get somewhere you really don't have a clue about anything else.
And given it is a smartest display that's something I really wished that it had.
After spending some time with the 2nd gen Amazon Echo show, it feels much improved from the first version.
The screen is bigger, the sound is better and Amazon even added some Smart phone controls.
When it comes to YouTube Amazon added browsers so you can access the site in a sort of mobile version.
And for all the ways Amazon improved the Echo show there are still parts of it that feel underwhelming.
The visualizations for things like maps and directions still aren't there and it leaves me feeling like there are still a lot of untapped potential.
If you'll use your Echo Show for monitoring cameras, answering the doorbell or even cooking in your kitchen, it's a capable smart device at the same $230 price tag as the original.
But if you're looking for a more conversational assistant, native YouTube integration, and more informative visuals, I'd still recommend a Google Assistant enabled device like the Lenovo Smart Display.
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