It’s always fun to compare notes with movies set in the future that released a few decades ago and the present. Not many of them would have predicted the cool trick that Amazon’s new Echo Show 10 has up its sleeve. The smart speaker (and the smart display almost soon after) segment has seen encouraging levels of consumer adoption in India. It’s encouraged folks like Amazon and Google to tweak their offering and localise to appeal to Indian consumers. The third generation Echo Show 10 isn’t just the flagship device for Amazon but in some ways, it also offers a sneak peek into the future.
It all starts with the set up. You get an alert for ‘Device Mapping’; take that seriously. It’s what makes this device stand apart and gives you bragging rights with your neighbours. It’s likely to freak you out a bit and yet it’s also likely to make you feel that this was money well spent. The display swivels to keep up with you; it can rotate almost 360-degrees. If you’re like me and follow recipe instructions to the tee, you will find it mighty handy in the kitchen.
The design language almost borders on quirky. Think of it as a tab mounted on a smart speaker. It certainly needs more elbow (moving room in this case) room than most other smart displays in your living room or kitchen. The 10.1-inch display has thicker bezels than most tabs out there and it’s certainly not in the same display resolution league as those tabs. But the special skills more than make up. Colours are quite vibrant on the 10.1-inch (1280 x 800 pixels) touchscreen; the adaptive brightness feature is handy too. You’re likely to be even more impressed with the speaker. This is the feature you’re more likely to use too.
At 70-80% volume levels, the Echo Show 10 can fill even a large room and double up as a party accessory. Two 1-inch, front-firing tweeters team up with a 3-inch woofer to deliver stellar sound. They’re good enough to become your ‘go to’ speaker for all the music you stream. The bass packs a punch while details are quite incredible for a smart speaker. It enhances your binge-watching experience if you decide to switch to this screen for Netflix.
I was able to set up streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify without a fuss as the default music service. It’s the same with apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video that you can enable with a ‘Hey Alexa’ voice prompt. The YouTube experience continues to be a dampener like its predecessors. You must access it each time via a browser that’s not much fun.
Smart features are an integral part of the Echo Show 10’s game. It’s an area where the device scores. Alexa has become smarter over the years and handles most queries, weather info and news requests with ease. You can also hook up other ‘connected’ devices and use Alexa to control devices like smart lights if that’s your scene.
The Amazon Echo Show 10 sits at the premium end of the smart display segment. This one’s for the seasoned smart speaker buyer who’s ready to take a leap. It’s a step up that doesn’t just reveal the possibilities for this category in the not-so-distant future but also delivers in the now. A seasoned smart speaker ecosystem comes together with great sound and a vivid display in a compelling advert for this category.
The Amazon Echo Show 10 costs Rs 24,999.