Echo Show 15 review: Alexa at the top of his game?

Our opinion on the new connected screen Alexa

Amazon Echo show 15

Discover Echo Show 15 | 15,6 "Full HD connected display for home organization with Alexa

Price on: July 6, 2022 9 h 40 min

In a letter to his shareholders, Jeff Bezos described in 1997 the fundamental principles of his company: long-term vision, customer obsession and innovation. Principles that the teams ofAmazon seem to have had at heart to express through this new Echo Show 15 which is part of a global vision of what the connected home of the future will be like and meets several needs expressed by users ofAlexa, while bringing its share of innovations. Let's see how.

Echo Show 15: much more than just a connected screen

Discovery and presentation

It's in turquoise blue packaging familiar to users ofAlexa that is presented to us this astonishing Amazon Echo show 15.

On the front, a visual reveals the surprising lines of the device and its disruptive design with the rest of the Echo Show range. On the sides, we find without surprise the technical characteristics as well as the main functionalities of the product. In back, Amazon highlights the family vocation of his connected screen.

Upon unboxing, the device is quite impressive. It must be said that it imposes some with its rather unusual proportions of 25.2 x 40,2 cm neighborhoods, are the 3.5 cm thick and 2.215 kg on the scale. Like he usually does, Amazon made in quality, the matte black plastic of the frame of the screen is elegant and the finishes are irreproachable. Echo Show 15 is attractive.

«  Echo Show 15 is attractive. »

Did you say massive? Yes, Echo Show 15 is quite massive, but it is still elegant. This new opus is moreover in our opinion the most chic of the range thanks to that digital photo frame shape capable of displaying your favorite images in high definition. Her PLS slab of 15.6 inches (an improved version of the IPS produced by Samsung) offers a definition Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels and 141 dpi resolution. Not bad !

Some will regret a lower resolution than on Echo Show 8 (2021), but in the case of a screen that will generally be used at more than 50 centimeters, it is more than enough. The Wow effect! is once again present. We already love our Echo Show 15!

« The Wow effect! is once again present. "

The reflectance of the screen is rather well controlled. It is less than on the other devices in the range, the screen being much more readable than that of a Echo Show 2 or an Echo Show 10, to name a few. Adaptive brightness works well and is useful, just like the sunrise effect that we observed during our breakfasts. You could almost install it in a bedroom, especially since its screen hardly lights up once plunged into darkness, or even not at all if you ask. « Alexa, turn off the screen ».

In "photo frame" mode, we would almost forget that it is a camera Alexa and the result is very flattering. We will come back to it.

“This new opus is, in our opinion, the most chic of the range”

Designed to be wall mounted (the wall hook is provided) or placed on a stand (here, it's optional, but you can use a Vesa 100 mount), in portrait or landscape orientation, Echo Show 15 is first and foremost a device Alexa. A screen that intends to become the center of your connected home, offering a personalized experience to each member of the family.

It is indeed on personalization that the teams ofAmazon have focused their efforts and that lie the main innovations of this product. Equipped with the brand new processor Amazon AZ2 Neural Edge intended for its machine learning inference engine, Echo Show 15 relies on a (too?) discreet 5 Mpx camera to personalize the user experience using computer vision algorithms.

In summary, this means that on this device, Alexa is able to recognize a person without having to talk to him. To do this, you will obviously have to have created your facial identifier. We reassure you right away, this data is exclusively processed on the device, without calling the cloud, thanks to this new architecture. Amazon guarantees us complete confidentiality. And you can still use the camera cover if you don't trust.

Nevertheless, and this is probably the biggest flaw of this new Echo Show 15, the camera resolution of only 5 MP does not seem to us to be in line with the yet premium positioning of this connected screen. A choice that is difficult to understand even though the last Echo Show 8 (2021), almost half the price, got an excellent 13MP camera last year. Surprising.

“A somewhat disappointing resolution compared to the 13 Mpx of the latest Echo Show 8 […]”

Fortunately, it's much better on the main SoC side. The new Echo Show 15 carries a powerful Amlogic Pop1 octa-core processor allowing him to finally effectively manage the software part. Now in version 7.5.5.0, the operating system interface Fire OS has also received a major overhaul which also brings its share of innovation. In addition to an appreciable gain in fluidity, it offers the possibility of displaying widgets Alexa and customize its interface. A great first for a connected screen, we will also come back to this.

Voice recognition by requiring, we find without surprise four microphones, two being placed on one side, two others on the back of the device. The audio part is completed by two 41mm full-range speakers. Given the thickness of 3.5 cm of the screen, we did not expect much more. Echo Show 15 is not a connected speaker, it is above all a hub for your connected home, a central element that is part of an ecosystem Alexa already installed.

Note, moreover, the surprising absence of a home automation hub. No ZigBee protocol on the program, this is a first on a top of the range Amazon Echo, would it be a change of philosophy? Although the gateways integrated into other devices have hardly shone by their versatility, all that should soon change with the Matter updates…

TO READ :
Amazon Echo : Matter coming soon!

Finally, the most curious will be delighted to observe the back of this famous Echo Show 15 and to know that it is equipped with a DC type connectors non-proprietary intended to receive its 30W power supply and a micro-USB port at the still mysterious destination. That's all, no audio connector.

The power supply is exactly the same as that of its predecessor Echo Show 10, and everything is planned to hide it as well as possible if you ever choose to hang it on the wall, but we will still regret the short length of its cable. 1.5 meter. If you choose the wall tie, note that a 1.8 meter extension is offered at the price of 12.99 € on Amazon. Fr.

Information

  • Brand: Amazon
  • product: Echo Show 15
  • Processors: Amlogic Pop1 octa-core and quad-core SoC Amazon AZ2 Neural Edge
  • Screen: 15.6 ″ touch screen, i.e. a diagonal of 25 cm
  • Resolution: Full HD 1920 x 1080px,
  • Camera: 5 Mpix,
  • Sensors: ALS RGB + accelerometer
  • Audio: 2 x 41mm full-range speakers,
  • Connectivity: Wifi 5 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth (A2DP and AVRCP profiles),
  • Dimensions: 402mm x 252mm x 35mm,
  • Weight: 2.215 kg,
  • Other: 30W mains power supply with 1,5m cable.

Echo Show 15: a personalized experience for each member of the family

A personalized experience with Visual ID

Featuring the new feature Visual ID, Echo Show 15 implements for the first time the facial recognition Alexa. Once your visual ID is created, your voice assistant can recognize you without you having to speak to it and customize the information displayed on Echo Show 15 by displaying a greeting message, your personal reminders, your calendar events, the music you have recently listened to or your notes and reminders. It's very effective and quite fun.

Very useful widgets

To complement the ambient content, it is possible to customize the home screen using a widget gallery which allows you to choose and add the most useful information for you and your family.

Special mentions for the very useful calendar Alexa, which gives a new dimension to this feature, but also to Smart Home favourites. We would still have liked a large format for the latter, home automation occupying an important place in the use of a voice assistant. Moreover, if the “Connected Home” screen could also be organized in this way, that would be a very good point.

In short, this major evolution of the Echo Show interface is a success and widgets Alexa are promising, but unfortunately still too few. Amazon promises us that others will be added quickly and specifies that third-party developers can create them very simply to offer them to users of their skills. We are waiting to see.

 

A very nice photo frame mode

Amazon had the excellent idea of ​​adding a photo frame fashion to its new Echo Show 15. It must be said that its design lends itself to it more than ever. Whether you choose to display your personal photos (storage is unlimited with Amazon Premium, but you can also use your smartphone) or opt for different themes offered (seasonal, nature, travel, art, abstract shapes, minimal…), the rendering is excellent and the screen highlights your favorite images perfectly.

Our favorite goes to the art theme, already present on the other devices in the range, but which here allows you to enjoy master paintings with a 40 centimeters diagonal. Now you can enjoy great works such as Charing Cross Bridge of the father of the Impressionists, Camille Pissaro, without having to go to the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Alexa done in great art!

"Our favorite goes to the art theme"

However, we regret that this new photo frame mode is not more finely configurable, the parade of images being much too fast to give us time to enjoy it. If you particularly like a work, you can pause the slideshow, but you cannot leave it displayed for long. It is frankly unfortunate, but there is no doubt that the teams ofAmazon will solve these small defects of youth. We would also like to know the name of the author and the title of the work by simply touching the screen.

Correct audio, but nothing more…

Spread the word, Echo Show 15 is not a smart speaker, it is a screen. The stereo is appreciable, the spatialization effective and the equalization perfectly balanced, but the sound remains necessarily focused on the mediums, lacking, unsurprisingly, bass and depth. Were they full range, its speakers do not work miracles, but this is more than enough for a small room or for comfortably watching videos.

The sound reproduction is better in video playback than in music playback. Attention, however, it remains all the same better and more powerful than an Echo Dot or an Echo Show 5, or even the vast majority of televisions. However, if you are looking for a connected speaker with a screen and good quality sound for listening to music, Echo Show 10 will surely be more suitable.

“Echo Show 15 is not a connected speaker”

Our opinion on Echo Show 15

In summary, unsurprisingly, we are conquered by this new Echo Show 15 which ticks many boxes.

The design box, to begin with, with an attractive look which allows for the first time a smart to blend in completely with our interiors. The idea of ​​transforming this connected screen into Digital Photo Frame elegant when it is not used, which is more than 90% of the time, is really excellent and one almost wonders why no one had thought of it before.

Second box checked, that of entertainment. Echo Show 15 turns out to be a great backup screen. Practical, it allows you to consult recipes, but also to follow your favorite series on Netflix while cooking, to watch the France Info channel while drinking your coffee in the morning, or even to consult a website comfortably from the browser Amazon Silk. Unfortunately, the number of video skills has not changed much for 18 months and, with the problems encountered by Molotov with the TF1 and M6 groups, the number of television channels available for free has reduced considerably. We also still deplore theabsence of myCanal, but can we blame it on Amazon ? Not really. Apart from the public service, the French media are not yet up to speed with these new technologies.

Another checked box, probably the most expected by users ofAlexa, that of the Fire OS interface redesign. Finally fluid thanks to a powerful 8-core processor, it is now pleasant to use, the widgets Alexa bringing a real plus in terms of user experience. A personalized experience thanks to Visual ID, a very interesting innovation that allows each member of the family to use the device in their own way. Another very significant improvement, the possibility of displaying the videos of your cameras in overlay thanks to a Picture-in-Picture mode. It is even possible to choose the format and move the window.

TO READ :
Alexa : new connected home favorites

The Echo Show interface is therefore in clear progress, but the limited number of widgets offered is a bit frustrating, especially since the “connected home” display remains the same as on previous generations. If the teamsAmazon seem to have heard the users' request to be able to control their home automation from a touch screen, we have not still not the real dashboard HomeKit or Homey way we've all come to expect. Let's bet that a next update will eventually bring it to us because, it's surprising, but the favorites connected home found in the form of widgets are much more responsive than this interface. In the meantime, home automation box users will still be able to use the web browser to display their dashboard… We are studying the issue.

As for the defects, we will retain only two which are not likely to evolve.

The first concerns the mediocrity of the only 5 MP camera. For a screen that is supposed to make video conferencing more enjoyable, this is incomprehensible, especially when other models in the range do much better.

Although it should be put into perspective, the second defect concerns the audio part. Echo Show 15 certainly offers accurate and well-spatialized sound, but it lacks a bit of bass. Nevertheless, it does much better than most screens and televisions, and without delighting music lovers, it will satisfy the vast majority of users. In multiroom, however, we enjoyed being able to browse Amazon Music while enjoying the very good sound of our system Home cinema Amazon Echo.

In conclusion, if Alexa may not be at the top of its game yet, it comes a little closer with this device. Admittedly, we tell you this almost with every new model, but it is clear that this new Echo Show 15 is the best connected screen ever designed by Amazon. A notable evolution of the concept of smart display that makes it more useful than ever. It is certainly not perfect, but it offers the best experience Alexa to date, with in particular an undeniable comfort of use and a very appreciable personalization. Offered at € 249.99 on Amazon. Fr, it may seem a bit expensive to you, but its price / quality ratio is excellent. If you are already a convinced user ofAlexa, it can only delight you, believe us!
Fascinated by Alexa since the day I received it in beta test, I gradually became passionate about the subject, before deciding to go further by creating a site with Jean-Christophe. An activity that allows me to quench my thirst for new technologies and share my discoveries about the nicest of communities: Les Alexiens.