If you’re in the market for a smart speaker or a smart display with a digital assistant, you will be flooded with options. Amazon itself offers several Alexa-powered Echo devices ranging from budget to pricier options. Google has its set of Nest products, Apple has the HomePod and HomePod Mini, and there are plenty of third-party smart speakers and displays that come equipped with either Alexa or Google Assistant.
However, the Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd gen) is unlike any smart speaker or smart display you’ll find out there, as it’s the only one on the market right now that can follow you around. While the Echo Show 10 may be Amazon’s most innovative smart home device, it still has a few shortcomings. Find out if the device is worth your money in this Android Authority Amazon Echo Show 10 review.
What you need to know about the Amazon Echo Show 10
- Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd gen): $249.99/£239.99/€249.99/Rs. 24,999
The Echo Show 10 is Amazon’s answer to the Google Nest Hub Max. It’s a smart display and speaker with Amazon’s Alexa assistant baked in, and is the third generation of the Echo Show 10 line.
Apart from doing things like listening to music, controlling your smart home devices, and asking Alexa all sorts of questions, you can also stream content on it from apps like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. YouTube is also accessible from the device, albeit through Amazon’s Silk browser, not an app. Helpfully, there’s a YouTube browser shortcut in the videos section on the device for easy access. You can even use Alexa voice commands to search for videos on YouTube.
The biggest draw of the Echo Show 10 is its ability to follow you around. You can tilt the screen up and down manually and set the display to rotate 360-degrees automatically. The Echo Show 10 uses a combination of audio and computer vision to determine where you are in a room. When you move or talk to Alexa, the screen will automatically follow you around. This also enables the smart display to double up as a home security camera.
You have the option of buying the device in two colors: Charcoal (pictured in this review) and Glacier White.
The Amazon Echo Show 10 has a punchy 10.1-inch touchscreen display that’s bright enough for indoor use. Think of it like a tablet attached to a speaker. It’s good enough for watching videos on YouTube or streaming your favorite TV shows while you cook in the kitchen or move around in your living room. Text on the display is also sharp and easy to read. Of course, the experience is not comparable to a TV or monitor because of the size and low resolution (1,280 x 800), but it won’t disappoint. For the sake of comparison, the similarly-sized Fire HD 10 tablet has a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution. However, Google’s Nest Hub Max also has a 1,280 x 800 screen, so the Echo Show 10 is in line with the competition.
The sound is vibrant and bass-heavy.
The speakers include two one-inch tweeters and a three-inch downward-facing woofer. Together, they are loud enough for a house party or small gatherings. The sound is vibrant and bass-heavy and you can adjust it to your liking using the audio settings in the Alexa app. If you aren’t a serious audiophile and want speakers that are loud and attractive-sounding, you’ll enjoy the Echo Show 10.
Another great use of the Echo Show 10 is as a security camera for your home. The device has a 13MP camera that sits on the corner of the display. The picture quality is pretty good in brightly lit conditions, but come nightfall you can’t see a thing in the darkness. So if you want to monitor your home after sundown, you’ll have to leave a light on in the room where you place the Echo Show 10.
You can place the Echo Show 10 centrally in your living room and check on your house while you are away through the Alexa app. It won’t really work for discreet monitoring, if that’s what you’re hoping for, because the display shows a prompt saying, “A household member is viewing your camera” every time you start remote monitoring from the Alexa app. If you’re on the other end and don’t want someone dropping in on you through the Echo Show 10, you have the ability to physically close the privacy shutter (pictured above) and avoid unwanted surveillance.
The biggest draw of the Echo Show 10 is its ability to follow you around.
Overall though, the moving screen is the biggest attraction of the Echo Show 10. The settings of the device allow you to set the range of motion, customize it to when you’re doing certain activities like streaming, turn it on only when you request Alexa to follow you, or turn it off completely. I simply loved having the device in my kitchen while following recipes on YouTube or via an Alexa skill. I didn’t have to stand in one place and could freely move around while cooking. I even enjoyed watching and following workout videos because I didn’t have to worry about exercising in a single spot to keep the screen in view.
Related: The best skills and apps for Alexa
What’s not so good?
As handy as the screen motion is, the following action of the Echo Show 10 is a little slow. If you expect the screen to move with you instantly, you’ll be disappointed. It also doesn’t work 100% of the time. There were instances when the display just refused to follow me around, but I could always call out “Alexa” and it would turn its head in my direction. If there are two or more people in the room, the display gets easily confused as to who it should follow. The thick bezels around the display are also pretty reflective and can be distracting if you’re in a brightly lit room.
We wish Amazon would get more streaming partners on board.
Some streaming apps are sorely missed on the Echo Show 10. Between just Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, I found myself resorting to my iPad more often for watching stuff on other platforms. We wish Amazon would get more streaming partners on board, especially since it supports other services on Fire TV devices.
Another limitation of the Echo Show 10 is that it can only make and receive video calls via the Alexa app, Skype, or another Echo Show device. To test the device, I made a few Alexa video calls and it worked just fine. The image and sound were clear and there was no network disruption or unwanted call drops.
The motion following trick was useful during the video calls as I could move around the room while talking to someone. Unfortunately, it didn’t work in a dimly lit environment. The motion follow feature is unable to function when there’s not enough light in the room, and the device displays a prompt when that happens. Also, for a smart display that rotates, it would have been great if the device supported more video calling apps and services. The slow following action was also a little bit of an issue during video calls.
Amazon Echo Show 10 review: Should I buy it?
Whether the Echo Show 10 is the smart display for you depends on several factors. If Alexa is your preferred digital assistant then you’re in the right place. You would also be paying a premium of $249.99 for the device, so you should consider it only if you feel you need a moving smart display, as that’s the device’s biggest appeal.
However, if you’ve decided to spend that money and aren’t too hung up on having all the popular streaming apps, the Echo Show 10 is a solid buy. It’s certainly an eye-catching addition to your living room. It’s also a fun device to have around if you have kids as they can play interactive games, sing along with the lyrics displayed on the screen, and more.
If you want a smart display with Alexa, they don’t come any better than the Echo Show 10.
All-in-all, I quite liked having the Echo Show 10 at home. If you want a smart home hub that tries to do everything, this could be it. Our advice would be to try and buy the Echo Show 10 on sale if you think the price is too steep.
Alternatively, you could also consider the Google Nest Hub Max ($229) which offers more advanced security camera features, an excellent display, and good sound quality. It’s also slightly cheaper than the Echo Show 10. If you want to save even more money, the Echo Show 8 ($129) drops the rotating display but delivers similarly solid audio quality.
Alexa can show you more with a 10.1-inch HD screen that follows you around