The Amazon Echo Show had a pretty rocky start, when the first generation was announced back in 2017. It mostly looked like an old-school kiosk and the display was not good at all. Since then, Amazon has drastically improved the Echo Show lineup, and given us two more sizes (5-inch and 8-inch models are available now), and now the Echo Show 10 has been redesigned.
Amazon has taken a few cues from the Facebook Portal for the new Echo Show 10, mainly the fact that the display can follow you. And also taking some cues from the Nest Hub Max, in using the built-in camera as a security camera in your home. Which makes the Echo Show 10 a pretty interesting smart display, with Alexa built-in.
It looks like an Echo Studio with a Fire Tablet placed on the side
The design of the Echo Show 10 is pretty interesting, and I really like it. Essentially, it looks like an Echo Studio with a ring at the top that has a Fire Tablet on it, that spins around. This design was done on purpose, and I don’t think it was entirely because Amazon wanted the display to follow you.
Instead, Amazon wanted to improve the sound. That’s a feature that Amazon has been hard at work on, in recent years with the entire Echo lineup. And having a lot more room for a speaker in this type of design, means that the audio can be a whole lot better. Which we’ll get to in a minute. But this design also allows for the screen to follow you around the room. Which is great for doing video calls, while you’re walking around the room, or maybe cooking in the kitchen.
The display can also be tilted to your liking, which is a nice feature to have as well. On the Amazon Echo Show 10, you’ll find the usual controls at the top of the display. On the right side, above the camera, there is a shutter for turning off the camera. And it actually slides a white shutter, so you can easily see that the camera is covered. Then you have the volume buttons in the middle with the mute button for the microphone on the left side.
Honestly, I would have rathered Amazon to separate the mute and volume buttons a bit more. The three are pretty much identical in spacing. So without looking at the writing on them, it’s hard to tell which is volume down, mute and volume up. The mute switch should be with the camera switch, in my opinion. But it is something that you can get used to quite easily.
There’s a new 13MP camera too
Amazon has outfitted the Echo Show 10 with a new 13-megapixel camera this time around. It’s in the bezel, and looks to be a rather large camera this time around. That’s because it’s being used for more than just tracking you around the room and video calls. Amazon is making it pull double duty by being a security camera.
Within the Alexa app, you can see what’s happening live on the Echo Show 10. However, you do need to enable this feature on the Echo Show 10 for that to work. And when you do this, it’ll show that there is someone watching through the camera. So if you are using this to see what you’re kids are up to at home, they’ll be able to see that you’re watching them by looking at the screen.
The camera quality is actually really good. Whoever you are doing video calls with, likely won’t notice the difference between that and a really good webcam. Not the webcam that is built into most laptops, but a 1080p one you picked up off of Amazon.
Echo Show’s display is surprisingly good
I never got the chance to use the second-generation Echo Show, but I did use the first-generation model and it was not good. So when I opened the Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) and saw just how good this display was, I was really shocked. Especially since it is only a 1280×800 resolution. In 2021, that’s pretty low, but Amazon made it work here. That is also because this display is very bright and colorful.
The only downside to the Echo Show 10’s display, is actually the bezel. It’s still pretty thick. Now, yes it does need to be a bit thick for that 13-megapixel camera in the bezel, as well as other sensors around it. But Amazon should be able to shrink it down a bit.
The bezel size doesn’t really matter much for using the Echo Show, it just doesn’t look as great as a nearly bezel-less display would look.
As mentioned before, the screen on the Echo Show 10 does rotate, up to 175-degrees. When you first set it up, the Echo Show 10 will go ahead and spin around to make sure there’s no objects in the way, and you can adjust how far it spins. You can also choose to turn this feature off.
It spins to keep you in focus in video calls, as well as to keep the screen in your sight if you’re listening to music and such, and finally for using that camera as a security camera in your home. So it can keep an eye on your entire room.
The sound is almost as good as my Sonos Move
Before the Echo Show 10 arrived, I had kept the Sonos Move on my desk to play Spotify while I’m working. When the Amazon Echo Show 10 showed up, I moved the Sonos Move off the desk for the Echo Show 10. And the sound quality was surprisingly very comparable.
The Sonos Move is a lot bigger, though it also has a battery inside, and still the quality of audio out of the two devices were very similar. The Echo Show 10 offers up a very full sounding experience. With some very impressive lows, and crystal clear mids and highs. Even at higher volume, the Echo Show 10 does not distort the audio, which is honestly very surprising.
Amazon has been working with Dolby recently to tune its Echo devices, so it should come as no surprise that the Echo Show 10’s speaker was this good, but it was a surprise to me.
This is another advantage that the rotating screen brings too. Because the screen rotates to follow you, the speaker is able to change direction, and send music to you. So if I moved to the other side of the room, the screen would rotate and so would the audio. It’s honestly, a small thing, but very cool.
Alexa is as good as you’d expect
Alexa is built-in on the Echo Show 10, as you’d expect. And it’s pretty much the same experience as on any other Echo device out there. The Echo Show 10 is really good to use in the kitchen, with that big display (that follows you) for recipes and even timers. Alexa can also bring up your security camera live feeds too. Which can be very useful when you’re in the kitchen cooking and can’t pull out your phone to check.
I still much prefer to use Alexa on a device that has a display. Like an Echo Show or a Fire TV device. As it gives you a lot more information than an audio response would give you. Especially for something like the weather. You can see the whole week’s weather instead of just today and tomorrow.
Of course, Alexa gets much better with more skills. So make sure to download and use the Alexa app on your phone. To add skills to your Alexa account, especially if you have smart home products in your home you want to control with Alexa.
Should I buy the Amazon Echo Show 10?
If you’re already invested in the Echo/Alexa ecosystem, then the Echo Show 10 is definitely worth getting. Though, the Echo Show 10 feels like it was made for the pandemic, and launched at the end of the pandemic. Thanks to the spinning display for video calls. But it’s likely that we’ll continue to video calls even after we can go see our friends and family again.
The Echo Show 10 would sit nicely in the kitchen, or even in your office. But it may be a bit on the large size to sit in a living room or even a bedroom. And that’s where the Echo Show 5 might fit in better.