Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Amazon’s bigger Echo Show comes home for $399

If you love a smart display but wish it could be a big picture frame, Amazon’s larger Echo Show 15 could be for you.

The world of smart displays is growing, and not just in the assortment of choices out there. While the category is an easy entrance into the world of talking to a virtual assistant and getting news, recipes, and controlling music solely with your voice, the category of smart displays is growing not just in choices, but also in size.

It’s a move we’ve seen thanks to the support of pictures in digital frames, something you can attribute not just to the classic photo frame, but to smart displays, as well. These can link up to photo libraries in services such as Google Photos to turn a screen into a shuffling picture frame, giving you a good 7 or 10 inches of family images, or even some art.

But what if a 10 inch screen isn’t enough? If the 10 inch Echo Show isn’t big enough, there may be something more on the horizon.

In fact, if you find yourself wanting more, you might have been curious about something Amazon launched last year, a variation on its Echo Show smart display that hit a staggering 15.6 inches, but missed out on release in Australia at its launch

Fast forward several months, and that’s where we are, as Amazon’s Echo Show 15 launches in Australia with a Full HD display, supporting Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant and all the things an Amazon smart display can normally do.

Powering it is the Amazon AZ2 processor, a chip that sports machine learning to process speech recognition and know what you’re asking out, plus computer vision technology to track your visage thanks to a camera built into the design. Aside for video chats, the camera can be used for a “visual ID” to match information on the display, providing reminders meant solely for the person in front, and even using that to send alerts to other people who live in the house.

Like previous Echo Show models, there’s support for video services in Australia, such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, as well as the ABC, and yes, it can load photos, as well.

Amazon did confirm to Pickr that while, sadly, its Family Photo Vault feature is still missing in action in Australia, you can still load photos personally on the device using the Alexa Photos app. Family Photo Vault is a little different, offering the ability to share photos to family and friends much like you can with Google Photos on its smart displays, but that is still missing in action locally.

However the Echo Show 15 will support your photos, plus other backgrounds, including art, travel, and seasonal images, as well.

“With a redesigned home screen that acts as a smart home control hub, it brings everything that makes your household tick into one place,” said Patrick Walker, Country Manager for Amazon Devices in Australia and New Zealand.

“You can easily customise your Echo Show 15 experience to display your connected devices, shared household calendar, manage to-do lists and reminders, and even find meal inspiration,” he said.

“Whether it’s on an open plan kitchen wall, or placed on a living room shelf to be shared and accessible across the household, we’re sure this new framed form factor will help bring households together with the benefits of home organisation, smart home control and entertainment in new ways.”

Of course, to check out the Echo Show 15, you’ll want to set aside a few hundred dollars, with the biggest Echo model fetching a local price of $399, while a model with a tilt stand costs $448.95 at both Amazon and JB HiFi.

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