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Amazon Echo Show 10 Review: Alexa’s Generational Step Forward Is Expensive But Impressive

Amazon Echo Show 10 Review: Alexa’s Generational Step Forward Is Expensive But Impressive

The Amazon Echo Show 10 is indeed a big upgrade, with a display that moves around and can make a genuine attempt to track you as you’re moving around the room.

Before we start off, let me make this very plain and clear. The new Amazon Echo Show 10 is the smartest smart display, yet. The ingredients remain largely similar, and it is still very versatile, but this time around, there is a trick up its sleeve. A display that swivels. In a way, this tech wizardry will break the shackles of technology being stuck in a physical space, and this can follow you around during video calls which means you are never really out of frame. Much like the Echo Show that it replaces, the largest in the line-up till now, the Amazon Echo Show 10 can do a lot of things as it already did. A music player, video streaming hub, quick access to your calendar and shopping, connect with video calls and now also a security system. All this goodness sets you back by Rs 24,999.

“Alexa turn left” or “Alexa, turn right”: The simple thing to keep in mind with the new Amazon Echo Show 10 is that this isn’t meant for small homes or confined spaces. The screen, because of the motorized mechanism integrated in the base, allows this screen to swivel as much as 175 degrees in each direction. You can tilt the screen too, but that’s a manual setting as you’d need it. Whether it is for watching something on Netflix or Amazon Video, looking at photos on the display or in video calls, this screen can follow you, without the need to manually angle the display as you’d do with static tech products such as the older Echo Show smart speakers. There is the option to keep the motion enabled for certain tasks or turn them off entirely too. The importance of this motorized display mechanism is best understood as you set up the Amazon Echo Show 10. One of the first things you are asked to do is called Device Mapping and adjust how much you want the display to move depending on where it is placed. Amazon suggests you do this every time you reposition this to a different place in your home, to readjust it to the change in interior landscape and space. If it detects an obstacle later, one you didn’t tell it about, the Echo Show 10 will not be best pleased and will ask you to suggest if it should remember that and alter the swivel accordingly.

Image: Amazon

A Very Impressive Spec Sheet And Smart Design: The Amazon Echo Show 10 is all about two design elements coming together. The base, nicely rounded and covered in the traditional black fabric mesh that we’ve seen before as well, has the brushless motor for the swivel mechanism along with two speakers looking in opposite directions, as well as a 3-inch downward facing woofer. There is a 10.1-inch display which gives the illusion that it is floating, levitating around the base. There is a 13-megapixel front facing camera—and if you think about it, that is more than what most laptops manage these days, including the fairly premium ones. Good news for Zoom calls. There is the physical shutter that lets you block this camera when you don’t really need it. It isn’t exactly portable, and weighs around 2kg. The display moving around also means that unlike before, you really can’t put the Echo Show 10 in a corner. This demands and to be fair, deserves a placement front and center, to your life’s daily routine. It will, and there is a certainty about that, gather a lot of attention as friends and relatives start dropping in when the world becomes a better place.

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Image: Amazon

Home Monitoring Can Be A Cool Tool: You might get a bit jittery about cameras in your home, but there’s very good reason why the Echo Show 10 may just buck that trend. This can be a very capable home monitoring system. Place it right, in a living room, and that 13-megapixel camera up front can deliver a live feed to the Alexa app in your phone. You’ll be able to pan it around too, great if you must keep an eye on kids or pets. Or both. As you quickly step out for purchasing groceries. Amazon insists that the display’ data, including the panning and tracking, happens locally on the device and the data isn’t transferred to any servers. Inside the Amazon Echo Show 10 is the MediaTek 8183 chip working with the Amazon AZ1 Neural Edge, which is making its presence felt in a smart display for the first time. This may be assuaging, even the slightest, your very rightful fears of having big tech putting a camera in your home. And too one that’s smarter than usual. If you don’t need home monitoring at any point of time, simply slide the camera shutter to block it off.

Video Calls, Music, Netflix And Chill: The Echo Show 10 has a really nice display. The 1280 x 800 resolution along with nice colours and fairly crisp overall look make this great if you want to sit around this smart display, munch on some crisps or popcorn and catch an episode of whatever it is that you are currently watching on Netflix. You can give the Apple iPad some rest for a while. Netflix at long last has found a happy place in Amazon’s world of Echo Show smart displays and plays well alongside Prime Video for your video streaming needs. And if it is music that you want to catch up on and hear some of the recently released albums, you’ll be able to get this to play Amazon Music, Spotify or Apple Music—and specifically for India, there’s also JioSaavn and Gaana. I noticed that the Echo Show 10’s interface does video services better than Echo Show speakers before it, which is good for simplicity and quicker access, if you aren’t using voice at the time.

Image: Amazon

Can The Echo Show 10 Become My Default Rig For Zoom Calls? Not Yet: For work and equally for catching up with relatives, there’s the direct plug-in with Amazon Echo calls as well as Skype and Zoom. Unfortunately, Zoom isn’t available on the Echo Show 10 in India just yet, but from what I saw in short bursts in other video calls, this does the basics very well. Though automatic camera pan can be a bit jerky at times depending on how quickly you shuffle around the room. And zoom in, if you step further away into the distance, can also be a bit inconsistent. Weirdly enough, the ambient lighting does have a bearing on how this behaves—it works better in a nicely lit room, and the secret trick being to not have a light shining directly towards the Echo Show 10’s camera. This is an aspect that is filed under potential, as and when Zoom is available in India.

Image: Amazon

The Last Word: This Is Simply Too smart To Be Just A Kitchen Counter Companion

There has always been a little dose of eccentricity about smart displays, but all said and done, they do deliver on the smartness you’d want at your beck and call. Along with a display, to add a visual example to it. And that’s where Amazon has given the Echo Show 10 its biggest upgrade. A display that moves around as you need it to and can make a genuine attempt to track you in case you’re moving around the room. It is more than its share of serious and fun as you use it. Yes, you’re paying a lot of money for what is essentially a first-generation experience in a generational change. Yet it feels more polished than I expected it to be. There is definitely more to this Echo Show than something that can just be your cooking partner or an assistant for your shopping lists. This doesn’t deserve to sit on your kitchen counter. This deserves a place in the living room.

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