Amazon’s latest device in its growing Echo range, the Show 15, is a smart hub-tablet combo that aims to be the “digital heart of your home.”
With a 15.6-inch 1080p touchscreen, the Echo Show 15 is pitched a smart display suited for a kitchen – with new widgets for photos, to-do lists, calendar lists, music and weather, alongside for playing videos and viewing smart home feeds.
The previous model, the Echo Show 10, could track users as they moved around a room, but Amazon has taken a different approach this year – with a fixed frame that can either be wall-mounted or on a counter, in both portrait or landscape.
It looks neat, and the minimalist frame means it’s likely to fit in with a variety of home décor. While it’s essentially an ultra-modern notice board, it helpfully combines a lot of cool tech into one place – it’s a digital photo frame, a TV and smart hub in one.
The Echo Show 15 was showcased by Amazon on 28th September during a virtual event attended by RadioTimes.com. We also got a glimpse of some other existing tech – including the Halo View health tracker and the “Hey Disney” assistant.
Amazon rounded off the show with a glimpse of its new home robot “Astro” coming to the US this year, which is powered by Alexa and will initially cost $999.99.
Echo Show 15: specs at a glance
If you are interested in the Show 15 and just want a simple breakdown of its main specs, here’s a run-down of what you can expect from the new device:
- 15.6-inch, 1080p Full HD touch display
- Can be wall-mounted or placed on a counter
- Customisable Alexa widgets
- Visual ID will personalise content for you
- 5 megapixel (MP) front-facing camera
- Supports 1080p video streaming
- Can double as a digital photo frame
- New AZ2 Neural Edge processor
Echo Show 15: top new features
The Echo Show 15’s most intriguing feature is the new visual ID feature – an optional capability that lets the device recognise you when you walk in front of the screen. It means the display will automatically update to show your personal widgets, such as reminders, calendars and notes. Kids will only see “age-appropriate” content.
Other than that, the Show 15 does not aim to reinvent the wheel in terms of what a home smart display can do – but seems intended to simplify and centralise the entire ecosystem. For example, it will not only let you access a shared family planner but also act as a hub to control Amazon Echo accessories such as Alexa-powered lights, security cameras and plugs.
And for anyone with a Ring doorbell, you will be able to see live camera views even if you are on another app, such as watching TV or looking at a recipe.
Amazon said during its event that it thinks of the Echo Show 15 as a “kitchen TV”, as it can easily be used to stream content via Prime Video and Netflix. And as always, it was keen to stress privacy has been considered. The Show 15 has a built-in shutter to cover the camera, and users can view and delete any of their voice recordings.
Here’s the full Amazon event via YouTube:
Echo Show 15: price and availability
The Echo Show 15 will be available for £239.99 in the UK ($249.99 in the US) later this year. Amazon has not yet confirmed any exact dates for pre-orders, either. The company has said countertop stands and mount accessories will be sold separately, but the pricing of the add-ons has not been revealed at the time of writing.
On the Amazon page for the smart hub, it’s listed as “Coming Soon!” This article will be updated as we learn more about the Echo Show 15 in the coming weeks.