Select Your Cookie Preferences

We use cookies and similar tools that are necessary to enable you to make purchases, to enhance your shopping experiences and to provide our services, as detailed in our Cookie Notice. We also use these cookies to understand how customers use our services (for example, by measuring site visits) so we can make improvements.

If you agree, we’ll also use cookies to complement your shopping experience across the Amazon stores as described in our Cookie Notice. This includes using first- and third-party cookies, which store or access standard device information such as a unique identifier. Third parties use cookies for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalised ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. Click ‘Customise Cookies’ to decline these cookies, make more detailed choices, or learn more. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie Preferences, as described in the Cookie Notice. To learn more about how and for what purposes Amazon uses personal information (such as Amazon Store order history), please visit our Privacy Notice.

Customise Cookies

Customer Review

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 November 2019
After over 2 years since the first Echo Show was released we get a new device with a shiny new exterior and a bigger and better screen. And that unfortunately is as much new and exciting about this product as I can say. The software, and all of the frustrations that have fallen on deaf ears, remains the same. The home screen is still mostly just a big useless empty space, unless you want to switch on the news and updates that are hand-picked by Amazon to remind you constantly to ask Alexa to try something you either already know about or have no interest in. The so called ‘news’ items bear no resemblance to real world news and why can’t we have the date on the screen – they added it to the Show 5 – why not this? The option to display weather, reminders and upcoming calendar events is quite useful but like everything else on this device it is presented in a very basic way – in fact as the screen constantly scrolls through these sections you are left wondering why can’t I just have it all on the one home page, along with other questions such as why doesn’t my calendar display the location of the event or the end time and why can’t I link my Big Sky Skill to the home page?
I’ll admit that some people will love this device for its ability to connect to security cameras and to make video calls but I think for most people its quicker just to get up and answer the door and the phone is sufficient for calling friends and family (also for my kids at least Skype has been replaced by either Face Time or WhatsApp). Music has always been the Echo’s biggest plus point across all devices, but here again it’s a very hit and miss experience in terms of the screen application. I used to be an Amazon music subscriber but switched to Apple as I found Amazon’s library limited – they also have a habit of removing tracks and albums from playlists and they decided to remove the best feature of being able to upload tracks not available in their library. That aside the price I pay for not being loyal to Amazon’s music service is that the Echo Show won’t show me my Apple playlists and it won’t display lyrics. Same restrictions for Video also – I do have a Prime account but I don’t really want to watch films and boxsets while pottering about in my kitchen – I want to have background TV on. It is possible to watch BBC iplayer on the browser but none of it is well executed and it offers no voice control. I have tried streaming freeview TV from other web sites and I can watch the likes of ITV and Channel 4 but only for 5 minutes, after which time the browser times-out and returns to the home screen. I can restart the browser but that’s not really ideal. I logged this issue 2 years ago and was told it was being looked into - I logged it again this week and got told the same thing – I am not holding my breadth and I can only assume Amazon are deliberately choosing when the screen times out and when it doesn’t to help increase their Prime subscribers. Netflix and Sky Q would be nice but I think we can assume that will never happen but some kind of Freeview skill is surely possible – they have a Freeview skill on the Fire TV stick so why not on the Show? We do get You Tube but despite Amazon and Google apparently patching up their difference we still have a basic looking version that sits in the browser. It is possible to open You Tube with voice and you can search with voice by clicking on the search option first and then clicking on ‘Return’ to action the search – all very clunky and half-baked.
Some functions I do like which take advantage of the screen are the ability to view and display my photos (via my Amazon Prime account), I can also search images online but unfortunately it uses Bing (despite setting the browser search engine as Google) – it doesn’t always work (try ‘show images of Ellen Page’ and you get images of pages). This is also frustrating as Amazon signed a major deal with Getty Images but these only appear occasionally which feels like a missed opportunity. The online video recipes and how-to’s is also good but you quickly find limitations with what it has to offer – a decent cooking skill is needed although a proper YouTube skill would fix that. I do also like the ability to search and watch music videos (but again You Tube skill could do that and better). I also like being able to view movie times and trailers and the TV Guide skill is probably one of my most and only used skills (but of course you can’t link that to any ability to watch the current TV programme – in fact 99.99% of all skills are useless – Amazon used to promote skills enhanced for the Show – they don’t do that anymore which tells you everything you need to know. And that is the main issue here - for a device that is supposed to be all about the screen there is just so little it does well. Here is just a few other examples of things I feel are missed opportunities:-
- Most radio players on Show wont disaply the track that is playing (but it will tell you if you ask)
- There is no enhanced skill to browse and play Podcasts
- Amazon Music will show your playlists but it doesn’t understand “show me new albums” or “show me the most popular albums” or “show me <genre> albums”
- Most people use screens to interact with e-mail or Social Media but other than the flaky browser there is zero voice activated skills linked to social media or e-mail accounts
- Online banking skills are non-existent
- IMDB is owned by Amazon and doesn’t feature as a fully-fledged skill
-Twitch is owned by Amazon but is not available for UK customers
-You can view and buy products on Amazon but you cannot read reviews of those products
-You can get an address of a hotel or restaurant but you cannot view it on a map, you can’t get detailed directions and you can’t read reviews
This is not a small device and for me to have such a large screen doing so little seems a waste of space on my kitchen counter - I also didn’t appreciate the power cable taking up almost an inch of extra depth at the back which limits placement against a wall – how hard would it have been to make it angled or flush? I have returned it for the Show 5 which has a decent speaker, gives me today's date and shows me my timers or album artwork – that’s all I need because that’s pretty much all the Show offers me that is useful. Maybe one day Amazon will get it right and make a Show the majority of customers want and need but at the moment there seems to be very little desire from Amazon to do that and judging by the instant price drop on the 8 they are only really interested in signing up new Prime subscribers.
2,861 people found this helpful
Report abuse Permalink