Amazon’s Echo Show, a spruced-up version of the standard Echo smart speaker with a built-in camera and touchscreen, will be released in the UK this November.
The retail giant first launched the Echo Show a few months back, although this more premium device was initially only released over in the US. Apparently the Show must go on, however, as Amazon has just announced that this smart speaker will finally come to the UK at the tail end of 2017.
Check out our Echo comparison to see how the Show stacks up to the Dot, Spot, Plus and other Amazon Echo smart speakers.
What is the Amazon Echo Show?
The Echo Show is a new variant of one of the company’s connected home devices, which are powered by the Alexa virtual assistant. The Show mirrors much of the functionality already offered up by Amazon’s existing connected speakers, the Echo and Echo Dot. However, the biggest difference is that it features a 7-inch touchscreen display, dual forward-firing 2-inch Dolby-certified stereo speakers and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
Like the Echo speakers, the Echo Show will launch in both black and white colourways, sporting a decidedly utilitarian design. Its front measures just under 19cm tall and wide, it features an eight-microphone array for far-field voice detection (that’s one more than both Echo speakers), there are three physical buttons on top (volume controls and a power key for the microphones and camera) and it’s powered by an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor accompanied by both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.
What can the Amazon Echo Show do?
The Echo Show is designed to sit in your home, be it on your bedside table, in your lounge or on your kitchen countertop and do everything the existing Echo range can; like stream music from a myriad of services, answer simple questions and set timers. It’s the addition of that screen and camera that add a few new abilities into the mix.
The flash briefing, which collates news headlines with your upcoming schedule, can now be served up in video form courtesy of the likes of CNN and Bloomberg. Lyrics will appear on-screen when playing tunes using Amazon Music, weather forecasts and shopping lists can be viewed as well as heard, using Amazon Photos the Show can double as a digital photo frame and you can even ask it to play shows from Amazon Video or YouTube videos of kittens.
It also supports a host of connected home standards like WeMo and Philips Hue but also Ring and Arlo, so you can ask it to display your security camera feeds as well as switching your lighting and heating on or off.
The front-facing camera also adds in video-chat functionality, so you can call other Echo Show users in your contacts or those with the Alexa app on their phone or tablet. There’s even a short list of favourite contacts who, once authorised, can initiate a Drop In session, where they can call and initiate a video call without you needed to directly answer. When a Drop In call is placed the recipient can do nothing and have the call simply connect or choose to reject the call or switch to audio only if it isn’t a good time within the first ten seconds.
Want to know more about the powers of Alexa and the Echo devices? Check out our in-depth Amazon Echo tips, tricks and hidden easter eggs guide for lots of insider info.
Amazon Echo Show UK price and release date
Amazon has finally revealed that the Echo Show will be released here in the UK on November 16, for the asking price of £199. You can also bag yourself two of them at launch with a £100 discount, so for just £298. That’s a pretty good deal if you want to spread some Echos around the house, for full Alexa coverage.
The Amazon Echo Show was originally made available for pre-order in the US as of May 9, priced at $229 for one, or, as part of an introductory $100 discount, $358 for two. The device was then released in the States on June 28. So we’re only a few months behind, then.