Wednesday, January 19

Amazon Echo Show 15: Big on the Good (and the Not So Good) | Digital Trends Spanish


Amazon Echo Show 15: big on the good (and the not so good)

PVS $ 250.00

“A screen whose size and quality will not leave you indifferent. The ideal conjunction between Alexa, streaming and everything that Amazon can give you. ”

Pros

  • Bilingual English-Spanish (US only)

  • Good image quality

  • Quick responses and app activation

  • Visual ID

  • Good sound

Cons

  • Heavy

  • Base must be purchased separately

  • 5 MP camera

  • Plug connection cable could be longer

Along with the speed of connection and the growing capacity of the chips, one of the most constant trends in recent years has been the increase – gradual, but incessant – of the size of the screens in practically all the devices that have one. And of course: the New Amazon Echo Show 15 also gets on this car, although we already bet that there will not be an Echo Show 18 or 20. A New Echo Show 15 may arrive – thinner and with thinner bezels, we hope; lighter, almost certainly.

But growing larger than this is highly unlikely

Amazon Echo Show 15 (Left) next to a MacBook Pro 13 (Right) Daniel Matus / Digital Trends in Spanish

Using it for a few days you will reach several conclusions, and the first of them is that a bigger screen is no longer necessary. It is done. And just as there are laptops with 20-inch screens – 17 “is usually the maximum – an Echo Show with a larger screen would be a television, or smart board.

East Amazon Echo Show 15 It comes to crown a line that can only grow in capacity, performance and –of course– in intelligence. Because in size we are already fine, thank you …

Taking it out of the box

Typically Amazon Echo devices were taken out of the box, plugged in, and voilà, you were starting to enjoy them. Things change with the Echo Show 15, of course.

The first thing: it weighs a lot to be a “year 2021” device. Inside the box, in addition to the cable to connect it to the power outlet (too short), there is a metal piece that will make it very easy to install it on a wall.

But what if you don’t want hang it up? The base is not included: you must order it separately and pay an additional $ 30. This base weighs its own too, and once you ride the Echo Show 15 there, you realize you won’t be able to put it anywhere.

Why don’t you include the stand or base? Nobody at Amazon has confirmed this, but we are sure that the Echo Show 15 was “conceived” to be put on a wall, and not on a base. For its size, weight, sound and image quality.

It is important that you have the latter very clear before buying it. If you live in a small, crowded space, we daresay you won’t find a suitable place to put the Echo Show 15. It will have to go on the wall. If you live in a large house with a lot of free space on the furniture and shelves, you may not have that problem.

Let’s go to the good

At 15.6 inches wide and with a 1080p screen, all content is clearly displayed. You can watch Prime Video, Netflix, and Hulu on the device. You can also watch YouTube through Amazon Silk’s built-in web browser, and it actually works quite well. Responses are quick, and it goes from one application to another in just a few seconds. An on-screen keyboard facilitates your searches, although of course: you can ask Alexa for everything.

Spanish or English: it doesn’t matter!

This is perhaps best of all: if you are in the US, you can ask her in both English and Spanish, as she will understand you in both languages ​​and respond accordingly. This is especially useful in bilingual households, since until now only one language could be chosen.

You did not know? This feature is not unique to the Echo Show 15; was launched a few weeks ago by Amazon for all of their Echo devices within the US Customers can also change the activation word in the Alexa App and select one of the existing available activation words: Alexa, Computer, Echo or Amazon . The good thing is that in the Echo Show 15 you can activate it from the beginning, without having to go to the Alexa App.

Daniel Matus / Digital Trends in Spanish

Screen that asks for action

Many of us started using Alexa years ago, and we almost always asked her to give us the time, the weather forecast, or even to get us out of some question worthy of trivia. With the screen that the Echo Show 15 has, using it just for that would be an unforgivable waste, especially when you can watch Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu on it. In my particular case, in addition, I also linked it with Fire TV Recast, with which I could see open television channels with total clarity. If you can get this device and link it to the Echo Show 15, we would almost say that you will amortize the expense, since your smart screen will also be an HD extension of your television.

And for the office? For now, the Echo Show 15 does not work with Zoom. Amazon has told us that it will come “soon”, so you can make more sense of the 5 megapixel camera in the corner. And since we talked about this: 5 megapixels on a $ 250 gadget and in 2021 it is almost a joke. We use this camera little because we hardly want to use a 5 MP camera at this point in life. Obviously, we will not use the Echo Show to go taking pictures of our vacations, but double megapixels would be the minimum these days. We want to look good in our video calls, and not like in a 2010 Skype.

Widgets that are loves

The functionality of the widgets has improved, and on a screen of this size they shine in all their splendor. You can access them by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping “widget gallery” or just asking Alexa to open the gallery.

For now, the widgets are strictly those provided by Amazon. However, the company has released an API that developers can use. Over time, widgets can go the way of Alexa Skills. As we have already said: such a screen demands them.

As we already said, ideally the Echo Show 15 should be mounted – horizontally or vertically – on the wall. Given its compatibility with Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix and Fire TV Recast, it would be difficult for us to understand that you put it vertically, but hey: it’s a matter of taste. By not including the support to put on a piece of furniture or shelf, Amazon seems to suggest tacitly that it is a “wall” device. Ideally, the company would have included a longer cable, by the way.

Functions that are loves

Picture on picture

As it is. If you are watching Netflix, you can ask Alexa to show you one of your security cameras. The image will appear at the top right of the screen.

Visual identification

Use the Echo Show 15’s camera to identify individual family members and change the display according to what is relevant to that person. It will be useful is a house with several members, which is not the case of who writes this review. In a household with more than three people and of different ages, it is sure to be an excellent function.

Privacy & Security

Any device with microphones and cameras scares more than one. The Echo Show includes a button to turn off the microphone, in addition to a physical shutter that locks the camera. There are two buttons that control the volume. Beyond that, everything else is controlled by voice or by touching the screen.

conclusion

If you have a space on the wall in the kitchen or living room at home (and, above all, an outlet nearby) installing the Echo Show 15 will be quick, easy and very useful. Those of us who are already a certain age grew up with a television on our kitchen counters, and this product is the most serious –and smart– evolution of that old habit.

The image quality is quite good, and the sound is powerful. In a meeting or dinner with friends, you can use it to listen to your favorite playlist, be it from Amazon Music or Spotify, if you have the app linked to Alexa.

Daniel Matus / Digital Trends in Spanish

Everything that “involves” Amazon is included in the Echo Show 15. You can buy, watch movies, listen to music, watch over your house, and an increasingly long etcetera, using only your voice.

If there is to be a new generation of the Echo Show 15, it will surely have to reduce its weight (2.2 kg!), Since any fall can be fatal. The bezels and their thickness may also be reduced, as long as the sound quality is not affected.

Is it worth its price? Our criticisms are quite specific, and all refer to aspects that could be improved. Those of us who have enjoyed other Echo devices in the past know that they have a very long life. In fact, we almost always end up replacing them while they’re still running, so you’ll have the Echo Show 15 for years to come.

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