Amazon Echo Show 15 Review: Bigger Means Better? – Man of Many
Smarthome hubs have hardly changed in the last three years. There’s a very good chance that if you were an early adopter of the connected lifestyle you’re still holding onto that first device with open arms. And why not? It still turns the lights on, starts timers, and you really only use it for four or five different phrases anyway, so what’s the need?
What would it take for you to upgrade?
Like you, we’ve stuck with the trusty old device for years, however, we’re a sucker for upgrading tech and the idea of better speakers, more functions, and a bigger screen that looks like a picture frame is very tempting, isn’t it? Amazon thinks so and with the release of their latest Amazon Echo Show 15, we almost agree with them.
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Design and Screen
The Smarthome hub can act as a digital notice board or pinboard in the household and none has looked more promising than the Amazon Echo Show 15 for this use case. Much larger than the other devices in the Echo lineup – measuring in at 15.6-inches and weighing a healthy 2.2kg – the device is priced at $399 AUD.
If mounting the heavy device on the wall with screws isn’t your style, then a stand (pictured) can be purchased alongside the device. Personally, we’d prefer to mount the device on the wall as it’s quite large, rather bulky, and takes up a lot of kitchen bench real estate in either portrait or landscape. Unfortunately, the power supply hardly lends itself to being hidden and the barrel connector should really be a USB-C type, some users have reported the power supply does not fit the standard recessed receptacle commonly used for wall-mounting TVs (images below).
For the purpose of this review, we mounted the device on the stand and in our most productive workspace (office) but it would be best suited to a shared space like the kitchen.
In terms of the touchscreen, its decent quality at 1080p with crisp Amazon graphics that fit the ecosystem. Brightness is automatically adjusted depending on the location and time of day so you don’t have to worry about turning the device off at night if using it in a bedroom. It’s also plenty bright enough for use in front of windows or in open plan living spaces with large glass sliding doors. Two 1.6-inch speakers provide the sound (which is not a highlight of the device), and there’s a camera (with privacy shutter) and microphone (with mute button). All in all, it’s a great looking and functional design.
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If you’ve used any other Amazon Alexa smart hub in the past this will look very familiar. All the usual favourites are inside such as “Alexa, turn on the lights,” “Alexa, set a time for 5-minutes,” and “Alexa, show me the front door camera”. The list goes on and on, but to make this device worth the upgrade it has to elevate …….