Amazon Echo Show 10 Review: Smartest Smart Speaker?

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The all-new Amazon Echo Show 10 is currently our favorite IoT gadget. Touted as the most advanced Echo smart speaker, it is the flagship model in the company's smart speaker portfolio. Priced at Rs. 24,999, the Echo Show 10 brings some significant upgrades over its predecessor.

 

Rating:
3.5/5

Amazon Echo Show 10 Review

The biggest change is the new 10.1-inch moveable display, which is the first-of-its-kind in the smart speaker category. Supported by a motorized base and a 13MP camera, the screen is capable of 360-degree panning to always face the user for display interactions and media consumption.

Further, the display is now capable of streaming content on Netflix and Prime Videos and there's a new three-driver speaker set up to improve the audio performance. Let's take a closer look at the Echo Show 10's features and performance in the following review.

Amazon Echo Show 10 Design

Amazon Echo Show 10 Design

The Echo Show 10 brings a major design upgrade. Unlike the previous smart speakers which combined audio-video units in a single body, the Echo Show 10 has a big 10.1-inch screen perched on a big speaker unit covered under the familiar mesh fabric in charcoal black color.

The combined unit is big and heavy (2,560 g) and isn't quite portable. And since the screen pans 360-degrees, you need to ensure a good space on the table; otherwise, it will keep hitting things that can affect the motorized setup. As expected from the Echo line of products, the build quality is top-notch and the speaker feels very durable.

Motion-Enabled 10.1-inch HD Display
 

Motion-Enabled 10.1-inch HD Display

A display that always keeps you in the focus! Isn't it interesting? This is achieved by a combination of a motorized base, an on-device neural engine (AZ1 Neural Edge Processor), and a front-facing camera that tracks you in real-time to keep you in the direct line of sight. The big screen automatically moves to face you in a given space when you video call friends/family members, watch videos, follow recipes, or ask questions from Alexa.

The tracking is spot-on and ensures you are always presented with the on-screen content, provided that there's no more than one person in the screen's vision. With a second person in the room, the smart display can sometimes act like a confused robot with a display mounted on its head. Also, the smart zoom-in and zoom-out for video calls could use some improvements.

Despite these minor shortcomings, the intelligent display comes in very handy in day-to-day operations. Amazon is heading in the right direction with the motion-enabled screen on the Echo speakers.

Screen Motion Is Easily Customizable

Screen Motion Is Easily Customizable

If you find the moving display a bit too technical or creepy, you have the option to disable the motion or customize its functionality for specific apps and functions. The device's settings menu has Motion Preference that allows you to control the screen motion for all activities or just for specific tasks like videos and calling.

You can also customize the range of motion and idle position with the help of a simple slider as per your convenience. Additionally, the screen can be tilted upwards and downwards manually to adjust the viewing angle.

Display Performance

Display Performance

The Echo Show 10's 10.1-inch screen serves well from a smart speaker's perspective; however, it isn't an ideal display for media consumption. You can stream movies and series on Prime Videos and Netflix but don't expect an immersive viewing experience.

The HD display can only serve as a secondary screen for video playback and media consumption. Amazon should have offered a full HD+ panel at this price point. Some improvements come in the form of better home screen customization options and better touch-screen response. The digital photo frame function is a good-to-have feature.

Audio Performance

Audio Performance

Let's talk about the audio performance, the core feature of the Echo Show 10. The sound is produced by 1.0-inch dual front-firing tweeters and a 3.0-inch woofer. The setup generates powerful sound and has plenty of bass to offer.

I did not notice any distortion even while blasting music at maximum volume. And while the Echo Show 10 can easily fill up a big room, thanks to its incredible soundstage, the sound quality isn't mind-blowing. The audio produced felt a bit muffled, which can be due to the big display covering the base speaker unit. Since the bass produced can be overwhelming, you must use the built-in equalizer to tweak the audio performance as per your taste.

If well-tuned audio is your priority, the Amazon Echo Studio is a great option. And if you want something affordable yet powerful, the Google Nest Audio (Rs. 7,999) is an excellent buy.

Amazon Echo Show 10 Smart Features

Amazon Echo Show 10 Smart Features

How smart is Echo Show 10? The Alexa-enabled speaker is powered by the MediaTek 8183 chipset with the Amazon AZ1 Neural Edge processor acting as its brain to offer smart functionality. The speaker can reply to most of your daily life questions, including traffic updates, weather data, set reminders, alarms, and reply to trivia questions. The response time is improved and the speaker now offers faster and better responses to questions asked.

It can also stream music from multiple apps (Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, JioSaavn, Gaana, and Apple Music), and videos on Prime Videos, Netflix, and even videos on YouTube but via the web browser. You can create routines from the Alexa smartphone app, enable/disable and launch various skills, and set the screen to show photos from Facebook Albums or pictures from your linked smartphone. Sadly, Google Photos app support is still not offered on the Echo Show speakers.

It is worth mentioning that the Alexa smartphone app is still one of the worst-performing apps in terms of speed and functionality. It needs some serious optimization, across the Android devices to perform better in the daily routine.

Smart Home Hub & House Surveillance

Smart Home Hub & House Surveillance

Moving on, the Echo Show 10 can serve as a hub for all your smart devices including smart lights, smart plugs, smart TVs, geysers, etc., provided that the devices are compatible with Alexa. For instance, you can turn on/off smart lights with simple voice commands. The built-in smart home hub also supports Zigbee smart home devices.

To use the Echo Show 10 as a home surveillance device, enable ‘Home Monitoring' from the camera settings and verify your Amazon account. The ‘Camera' option will start appearing in the device's settings menu in the Alexa smartphone app to show the live feed from the 13MP front-facing camera on the smart speaker. The live feed is viewable on the smartphone.

Verdict

Verdict

While most smart speaker manufacturers focus on improving the software experience with a few customary hardware changes, Amazon has introduced an innovative smart movable display that keeps users in the centre. The Echo Show 10 is an interesting piece of technology designed to serve more than one purpose, which is essentially the core idea behind a smart speaker.

There are some shortcomings, such as no native YouTube app, bass-heavy audio, low-resolution display, and a poorly optimized Alexa smartphone app; however, the Echo Show 10 is still the most intuitive smart speaker your money can buy in 2021.

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