I’ve never been much of a smart home person. Short of asking Siri what the weather is for the day, I’ve never had much use for one. However, the sheer amount of functions Amazon’s new third-generation Echo Show 10 may have just changed my mind.
It does things that you’d never even think to ask and it is by far the most extra smart home speaker I’ve ever seen.
From playing Netflix to telling jokes, Amazon’s Alexa assistant is there to make your day easier. But its defining feature is its amazing yet slightly creepy ability to follow you around the room (more on that later).
While the Echo Show 10 exists in the upper echelon of smart home displays it’s also pretty bulky and has a large price tag attached. So, do these features warrant your hard-earned cash?
Amazon Echo Show 10: Features
Smart home displays are designed to make our lives easier. While you could live your life just fine without an Echo Show 10, that is exactly what it does.
There are endless things the Echo Show 10 can do. Even months later I’m still getting emails from Amazon with new prompts for things I can ask Alexa that I would never have thought of.
They range from practical stuff like the news or weather, to the just plain odd — like asking Alexa to speak like Chewbacca or play fireplace noises. Just when you think you’ve run out of things to ask the display will pop up with a new prompt you didn’t realise was possible.
This is how I discovered the feature that let me make announcements. Alexa recorded my voice saying “lunch is ready” and then announced it loudly over the speaker with a bell.
You can also access this feature remotely via the Alexa app and send recorded messages through your Echo Show at any time of day, which I will definitely not be using to scare my unsuspecting family members, no sir.
It’s these random small features that make the Echo Show 10 great. However, I found the most useful ones were also the most obvious.
The Kitchen is hands down where most people will get the best use of an Echo Show 10.
You can ask Alexa to bring up recipes, set timers, add to your shopping list, or even play movies or music while your hands are busy. You can also take calls or video chat with your family while you’re prepping.
The motion tracking really shines here if you’re moving around the kitchen a lot and are trying to keep an eye on the screen.
Adding a home assistant to the mix really makes cooking so much easier.
Smart Home connectivity
Smart home displays are first and foremost designed to be the hub that connects all your devices. In the case of the Echo Show you can link a whole range of things like smart lights, security cameras and doorbells – provided you’re willing to pay for them, of course.
With a smart home display like the Echo Show 10, you have no need for light switches or intercoms. You can even use the inbuilt camera within the Echo Show 10 as a live feed to check on your house or pets while you’re out.
Like any product from a big tech giant they’re also designed to suck you into an ecosystem.
You can run everything connected to your Amazon account or Prime membership through your Echo Show. Alexa told me when a package was due for delivery, it picked up right where I left off in my binge-watch of The Boys and I could tell it to play any of the 70 million songs within Amazon Music.
That being said, the Echo Show does support some competitor apps, like Netflix, as well.
There are endless games, streaming platforms and skills you can add to the Echo Show 10 through the app store and you’ll have a hard time getting through them all.
One of the biggest selling points of the Echo Show 10 is its motion tracking.
The device features a rotating screen with a 360-degree radius.
The fact that the tiny camera in this screen can so easily track where exactly I am in the room, either via my movement or voice, is a wild feat of engineering. It’s also a little creepy.
It seems Amazon has considered this new feature might put a few people off so there is also an inbuilt slider that will completely cover the camera if you want to disable motion tracking.
While this feature is very neat I also found it to be incredibly inconsistent. Any time I moved the Echo Show 10 or it bumped into something it would throw the motion tracking off until I recalibrated it.
Recalibrating the device every single time it moves isn’t far from ideal. Maybe it was just my device, but if not hopefully Amazon can introduce a firmware patch or something to fix this issue.
The design of the Echo Show 10 admittedly looks rather strange, but it works.
The 10-inch HD display is a perfect size and displays pictures brilliantly. It’s a god-send for those who don’t want to squint at a screen all the time.
It is also quite reflective in bright environments, so keep that in mind if you’re planning to watch a video.
The speaker features a 2.1 system with 2 tweeters and a woofer to cover crisp, loud and bass sounds.
The interface itself is clean and easy to use but despite having Amazon’s AZ1 neural edge processor, I found the Echo Show 10 to be a little sluggish.
I noticed this most when trying to use the screen via touch, which was always a half-second behind what I was inputting.
This frontloads use of the Echo Show 10 to voice control. Most of the time this worked fine although, like any voice assistant, you really need to be close and clear in what you’re asking to get a response. It will also not like your Australian slang.
The actual processing of voice commands is pretty quick, but again a little slower than it could be.
One beef I have with smart displays is their need to be constantly plugged in, which is a trap the Echo Show 10 also falls into.
The Echo Show 10 is definitely on the larger and bulkier side at 2.5 kg and it doesn’t make for easy moving.
I found any movement of my device caused its motion-sensing to freak out. So you’re really better off finding a spot for it and sticking to it.
The regular price of the Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) is $399, but if you’re looking for a sneaky post-Prime Day deal you can still grab one for $50 off.
This puts the Echo Show 10 firmly up there with other premium smart home devices. It fits snugly between Apple’s pricier Home Pod (which has since been discontinued) at $469 and a Google Nest Hub Max for $349.
If you’re wondering which one to buy it might come down to which tech ecosystem you prefer. If you’re ingrained in the Amazon system then the Echo Show 10 makes the most sense to put your money towards.
Still, $400 is a lot to drop on a smart home device, even one with as many features as the Echo Show 10.
Quite frankly I don’t think my life is busy enough to warrant paying for the functions of an Echo Show 10 but I did see it make a big difference to my family at home.
Cooking became easier for my Mum because she didn’t have to constantly hold her phone to read recipes. Family debates at dinner were ended quickly by asking Alexa to fact check something for us. I constantly had a backlog of stories to pitch thanks to the Echo Show’s rolling newsreel.
It’s the little things, but they do all add up.