Testing Amazon Echo Show 2 : a speaker connected to quality for a tablet that lack of skills

A speaker connected ? A digital photo frame ? A tablet ? To Amazon, choose is to renounce. We already know the family Echo and its many types of devices connected with the house assistant to Alexa. For 2019, the american giant has decided to revise the concept of its Echo Show and especially this time, do we send it. On paper, this display with built-in speakers is changing on all fronts : a faster processor, a larger screen, a good subwoofer, skills… To be a little better at this new product, we could describe it as an Echo Spot (radio alarm clock with lcd screen) improved.

A tablet with a speaker

If the first model proposed a screen of only 7 inches, the slab of the Echo Show 2 benefits from a diagonal measurement of 10 inches. For this type of product, one would expect no less, just a matter of comfort. The wide borders surrounding the screen are likely to wince more than one. The top hosts the camera of 5-Megapixel camera and four microphones. Note now that there are four other mics placed on the top, alongside buttons dedicated to the volume of the audio that activation and deactivation of the microphone and the camera. A feature which, by the way, is more than welcome.

Side connectivity, the device houses a port for the ac adapter, owner, micro USB (compatible with an Ethernet adapter to an Internet connection more stable) and a hub ZigBee to connect with ease to other connected objects, and smart. No jack, however, it is necessary to rely on the Bluetooth.

Amazon made the choice of the technology IPS LCD displaying an HD resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Nothing impressive, but it is not this that disturbs the readability of the device since you would not or little need to hold you too close to the camera thanks to the voice assistant built in. No, the real problems are on the side of the countless reflections and low contrast and brightness. Added to this are the traces of fingers that hook very easily, and angles of visions limited. In short, choose well the place you want them to have in your home for damage limitation.

Now we’ll look at his speakers, the other strong point of this Show 2. Located at the rear, they allow you not to over-expand the device and to let the place to a large screen. But in return, the device must be with a depth not negligible. The speakers are covered in a grey fabric, the image of the range Google Home. The audio quality makes the difference with the speakers connected to the competition. The volume may climb very high without any distortion or crackling. The highs remain pleasant and above all, the bass respond to these. To listen music rock, the Echo Show 2 completes his part of the contract. In addition, the parameters give you access to an equalizer to adjust to your liking the bass sounds, mids, and treble.

Features

The Echo Show 2 promises a bunch of features. You can watch BFMTV (and only BFMTV), and Amazon Prime Video to enjoy the catalog, as well as Premium Music. For the latest information, you can simply ask Alexa : “What are the news ?”. The wizard will pick the news on the side of France Info by default. You are free to go take a look in the settings to change the media from over 70 compatible. Moreover, the software part can boast of being easy to understand.

If you are used to products in the Echo you will not be surprised to have access to the entire ecosystem, but also other devices in the connected home compatible, such as Philips Hue or the bell attached RING for example. Create routines is also allowed. We will not entertain us to enumerate all the features of Alexa : it brings with it in France 1200 skills. The novelty, however, it is the ability to use Skype to engage in video conferencing.

But what is this ?

Yes, why yet another product that seems more difficult to define itself ? Knowing that he must accede to the services of Amazon to take advantage of its features by Wi-Fi directly, or go through a Bluetooth connection with your smartphone for example. Ok, ok, Amazon accepts Spotify and Deezer, but for Google Play Music and YouTube Music, you must use another voice. The same in its function as a welcome slide show of your photos is only compatible with Amazon Photo… From my side, I went through the mobile application, Amazon Alexa for uploader albums photo. The web browser allows you to divert a little from these limitations, but, o despair, Netflix does not work…

The number of skills is impressive, but the fort is to see that many of them are repetitions of repetitions or finding little of interest. If trouble comes to you, you can count on Alexa for you to distribute to tower of arm jokes null and void or quizzes, but the quality of audio that emanates from its speakers, it’s not going to revolutionize your evenings.

Where this type of device can really bring something, it is a part of the side of the kitchen. To follow a recipe or take advantage of its features when you have just the hands busy, this can be a real pleasure to use the Echo Show 2. To yesteryear more than Alexa usually includes rather well-the applications that we need to repeat or make an effort of reformulation. However, it does not receive any certification or seal of protection. A bit annoying if one wants to use it in the kitchen…

On the other hand, The Echos Show 2 can, if you have many connected products in your home, serve as a hub for home automation (for compatible products, of course), this allows you to interact more easily with them, but also not to use necessarily your smartphone when you are home to manage them.

Finally, another use is more marginal, because it requires to equip your family also : video calls. It is not think enough, but just like Amazon Echo Spot or the app Alexa, it is possible to make video calls between different devices Amazon. In practice, this works quite well and can be handy in some cases but the constraints are still numerous (not compatible with other services, only Amazon Alexa) to make it a “killer feature”. Damage.

Where to buy ?

The Amazon Echo Show 2 is already available in France at a price of 229,90 euros.

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