Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation) review

We've tried and tested the Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation) and it's impressive. Here's what else we thought...

Amazon Echo Show
(Image credit: Amazon)
Real Homes Verdict

The Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen) is equally as stylish as it is practical. A great addition to kitchens and living areas, this Alexa device boasts a large screen and it makes controlling other smart home tech a very easy job.

Reasons to buy
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    Modern

  • +

    Easy to use

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    Great for controlling other smart home tech

  • +

    Screen for video calls, watching TV + more

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Needs to be plugged at all times

  • -

    Quite large

Looking to buy the Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation)? Smart idea. This Alexa device is best placed in a kitchen or living room, and it makes controlling all of your already-owned smart tech a breeze. Boasting a large 10-inch HD screen, the Echo Show can be used to watch TV, play games and even video call family and friends.

Currently, this is Amazon's largest Echo Show device on offer, just in front of the Echo Spot, Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8. We've spent quite a while reviewing this device and have been using it in our home for the last year or so. Here's how we've been getting on with it and if we still think it's worth all of the fuss...

Looking for more advice? See our guide to the best smart speakers for your home.

Amazon Echo Show: specifications

Amazon Echo Show 2nd Gen

(Image credit: Amazon)
  • Weight: 1755 grams
  • Dimensions: 24.6cm x 17.4cm x 10.7cm
  • Screen size: 10.1in 
  • Speaker size: Dual 2n drivers with a passive bass radiator
  • Camera quality: 5MP
  • Included in the box: Echo Show, power adaptor/cable (1.8 m) and guide

Who will the Amazon Echo Show suit?

The Amazon Echo Show is suitable for just about anyone who wants to make their life easier at home. We recommend placing your Amazon Echo Show in your living room or kitchen to make the most of its features. 

Those who have newborn babies can use it to view their baby monitor, or ask it to play soothing music to help the baby sleep. You can order formula just by asking, and thanks to the screen you can make sure it's the right one.

A toddler will be entertained for hours talking to Alexa, with a copious amount of games to play, and stories and jokes to tell. Teenagers can use it to blast their music all day every day, and to check on their favourite football team to see how they played in their last game, or to help with their French homework translation.

Young adults can use it to see easy-to-follow recipes to help prevent cooking fails, set reminders to remember bin day, check their local cinema for screenings and take group photos at parties. Adults can do their oh-so-fun finances using Alexa, view their commute to work, whether it be by plane or train, and make announcements to the kids' devices. It's also a huge help when it comes to purchasing last-minute gifts. 

The elderly can ask Alexa for updated news stories, information on local shops and their closing times or what the weather will be like in a week's time, and for those who are hard of hearing, subtitles can be turned on, so the device works just as well. It can also play the role of someone to talk to if you're lonely, and most importantly, you can connect with other family members so easily, whether it be through messaging, audio call or video call.

Amazon Echo Show: where should I put it?

For those who are thinking of placing this smart home product in their kitchen, the Echo Show can set timers, show you videos of recipes, order your food shopping (or a cheeky takeaway), play music and even set a reminder for you to take your rubbish out every week. 

If you're thinking of placing your Echo Show in your living room or even bedroom, then each morning you'll be greeted with updated traffic information on your route to work, weather information and the top news titles will be displayed on screen. The kids will be kept happy with the games they can play, and during Christmas, there's even an open-an-advent-calendar every day if you ask.

If you currently own other Alexa devices, then you can sync them together, so you can tell everyone that dinner is ready or turn off all devices while watching a family film, to ensure that family time isn't disturbed.

Amazon Echo Show: how to use it

Amazon Echo Show 2nd Gen

(Image credit: Amazon)

The Echo Show is happily easy to set up, especially if you're using the quick manual which comes in the box. For those who are newbies to Alexa, you can download the Alexa app to your phone where you can see recent activity on your device(s), and essentially control your Echo Show from afar. This is also where you can add other smart devices such as a smart doorbell or smart thermostat. 

Similar to other smart home devices, the Echo Show needs to be plugged in at all times in order to work. This is one point which is a slight disadvantage, especially if you want to move the device from room to room as the product will turn off each time. However, if you just want the Show in one room as you're decked out with other Alexa products in other rooms, then this isn't a problem.

The beauty of the Echo Show is that it really does make boring or stressful tasks less painful, such as cooking new recipes, as you can see a step by step video to ensure you don't miss a step, you can ask Alexa to re-order bin bags when you discover that you've only got a few left,  you can ask how to say 'how are you?' in Japanese, and even watch the morning news while you're waiting for the kettle to boil.

There are three buttons on the Echo Show: the first one is a mute button for when you don't want Alexa to respond or listen, and also to turn the camera off; the other two buttons control the volume of the speakers – although you can also control the volume by saying 'Alexa, turn the volume down/up'. 

Operation is easy – if you want the device to go on standby, you say 'Alexa, goodnight' or if you want to turn it off completely, you can simply just switch off at the wall or unplug it.

Amazon Echo Show: how I use it

How have I been using the Echo Show? 

Setting timers when cooking
I started off with the basics, like setting a timer, which is very handy when you have 10 things going on at once while cooking and aren't sure if your roast potatoes have been roasting for long enough. You can set several timers at once, as well as reminders. Now, we never forget to put our bins out!

Asking for recipes
A lifesaver for those who have a sparse collection of cookbooks, I am always asking Alexa for a recipe whether it be for dinner or dessert. It's also handy for us to have in the kitchen when it comes to converting measurements. And, the Echo Show can tell you food replacements should you not have something you need for a recipe.

To listen to music
The Amazon Echo Show connects Spotify so I can play my own playlists and control everything from the volume, to which song is playing and more, all hands-free.

For a morning greeting
First thing I did after receiving my Amazon Echo show was set up my daily routine, so that every morning when I say 'Alexa, good morning' or 'Alexa, start my day', she tells me any information I may need to know about my commute to work, she tells me the weather and also if there has been any breaking news. I've also connected my calendar so that if I have something on – work or home life – I'm aware.

To control other smart devices
I also use my Echo Show to be notified when someone knocks on my door – thanks to my Ring Doorbell 2 – and I can use it to control my Dyson Pure Hot + Cool, as well as the smart bulb and smart plug in my bedroom. In other words: it's a great way to control smart tech in other rooms without actually having to move. 

Games
After a few too many Proseccos, we sometimes like to play Alexa's song quiz (I highly recommend). You can also entertain little ones with the huge range of Alexa games available to download on your device.

Amazon Echo Show: screen

Amazon Echo Show 2nd Gen from front and behind

(Image credit: Amazon )

It's true: the Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen) boasts a huge 10-inch HD screen – perfect for watching and playing. This screen works by touch so you can control your Alexa by touch or voice.

Amazon Echo Show: pros

Well, other than the fact that all of my friends are absolutely amazed by a smart-home device which has a screen and it makes me feel slightly cool, I really like the fact that the Amazon Echo Show really can be used by anyone, at any age. 

Now when I have guests over, I'm more often than not in less of a rush thanks to the Echo Show. I'm used to following a recipe from a tiny phone, but now I just ask Alexa to show the recipe, play some music and set a timer for when I need to start cooking or take food out of the oven. 

All-in-all, the Amazon Echo Show has an answer for nearly all of my questions and queries, and when you get one, you'll wonder how you ever survived without the help.

Amazon Echo Show: cons

The need to be plugged in constantly is a big disadvantage for me, because I'm used to having wireless devices, and because our Echo Show is in our kitchen, when we move into the dining area to eat, I always want to take it along for music, but unplugging and plugging back in can be a hassle. 

Amazon Echo Show: how is it different to other Amazon devices?

All Amazon Echo devices are different – the Echo Dot is their most affordable, the Echo Spot the smallest with a screen, the Echo Show 8 is a mini version of the Amazon Echo Show 2nd Gen and so on. Simply enough, all Alexa devices can pretty much do the same thing, with the exception of those with a screen. The one you buy should depend on what size you want or need, as well as who will be using it and how much money you have to spend. See all Echo devices below.

Amazon Echo Show: where to buy

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