In short: Amazon has now announced a new version of its Echo Show. As this is an updated model it comes with a number of improvements including a larger screen and better sound quality. In spite of these improvements the new Echo Show is arriving at the same price point the older model launched for making it better value for money overall. Amazon has also confirmed that in addition to the $229.99 price tag, the Echo Show is available to pre-order starting today with shipping expected to commence next month.
Background: While smart displays are now proving to be big business, the Echo Show was arguably one of the first to arrive to market showcasing what a display-focused smart speaker could do. Of course while there is an upside to being first to market, the downside is the original Echo Show has become dated compared to newer display-first products. An issue Amazon no longer faces as the new Echo Show builds on the design of the previous model with improvements that bring it in line with newer products. For example, while the original model came with a 7-inch display the newer one boasts a 10-inch HD display with the whole front panel now effectively made up of the display. The use of the larger display has been partly achieved by Amazon opting to remove the front-facing speakers and replace them with side-firing ones. Speaking of which, the speakers are also of a better quality now thanks to the use of 2-inch Neodymium drivers, a passive bass radiator, and Dolby support. This is in addition to an new and improved 8-mic array which makes it easier for Alexa to hear the user. If all that was not enough, the new Echo Show also features a built-in smart home hub, as well as greater app and service support.
Impact: Display-equipped smart speakers are literally the in-thing now with Google already offering a number of its Assistant-enabled smart displays from the likes of Lenovo and JBL. Not to mention Facebook is also expected to announce its own solution in due course. This is market Amazon has led from the get-go with its Echo Show and this newer model will mean the company can maintain its presence with a version that is equal to, if not better than the current options from competing companies. Especially considering Amazon has managed to significantly improve the overall product without raising the price at all. A price which puts the Echo Show in direct competition with the likes of the Lenovo Smart Display and the JBL Link View.