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Echo Show 10 in the test: Amazon's rotary thing can do that

2021-04-13T07:40:52.914Z

The new smart display from Amazon is constantly looking after you - if you let it and don't find this function rather creepy. The test clarifies what else the device can do.



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Not a moment of rest: Even if you don't want anything from him, the Echo Show makes suggestions of what you could do

Photo: Matthias Kremp / DER SPIEGEL

A computer analyzes your movements, follows you and aligns itself with you: If this idea disturbs, irritates or scares you, you can stop reading here right away.

Because exactly what is described makes the Echo Show 10 special.

With the help of its combination of camera and microphones, the Amazon device tries to understand who is where in the room and to orient itself towards it, at least within the scope of its possibilities.

Because the device is not a robot.

It doesn't have legs or wheels to move around, it just stays where you put it.

Only the screen that protrudes from the impressively massive loudspeaker housing can rotate almost all the way around if you let it.

If desired, the rotation function can also be switched off and if that's not enough, you have the option of pulling the integrated flap in front of the camera.

Then the Echo Show 10 is blind and the tracking function is deactivated.

Incidentally, reassures Amazon, the camera image for the function is converted into an abstract representation of corners, edges and colors and analyzed with artificial intelligence on the device itself.

Neither data would be loaded into the cloud nor original images would be saved.

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Do you want to watch TV while cooking?

May I help you.

Photo: Matthias Kremp / DER SPIEGEL

A screen that is always aligned with its user could be useful in everyday life, for example when you are in the kitchen and want to keep an eye on what is happening on the display.

And that can be a lot.

To stay with the example of the kitchen, recipes like those from Chefkoch.de and Kitchen Stories could be displayed and read aloud.

Or you could watch an episode of "Scrubs" on Prime Video while cooking.

Netflix, YouTube or Arte can also be controlled via the Echo Show 10 if you like the connection between television and cooking at all.

Sometimes it offends

Amazon also sees the possibility of moving freely in front of the device during video chat and still being able to stay in the picture as a big plus.

To do this, however, you have to rely entirely on Amazon devices and apps, because popular video chat apps such as Zoom and WhatsApp cannot be used.

In theory, Skype should work, but it failed on my test device, as did the address book, which crashed every time I tried to open it without an error message.

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Acts a bit like a cut arc: the Echo Show 10's set-up aid

Photo: Matthias Kremp / DER SPIEGEL

In any case, the use of the rotating mechanism needs to be well planned.

There is even a template in the box that you can use to mark out the radius the Echo Show 10 needs for a full turn.

In my unfortunately much too small kitchen there was not enough space for this, the Echo had to take a place on a shelf - and immediately offended.

Fortunately, you can limit your range of motion for such cases.

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Movement setting: Up to here and no further

Photo: Matthias Kremp / DER SPIEGEL

I did not find the automatic swiveling of the screen particularly useful anyway.

It may be different if you place it on a table or sideboard in the middle of the room and use it from one direction or the other.

Then you just have to put up with the fact that the Echo Show 10 rotates its display noiselessly, but also a little slowly.

This is nothing for hectic people.

It's just an echo

Apart from the rotating screen, the Echo Show 10 is just a typical Echo device, which you can use to address Amazon's artificial intelligence Alexa if you want to know how far away the moon is or how many grams a kilogram is.

The new Echo does such tasks in the usual good and just as bad way.

He can do a lot, but he doesn't understand what you mean when you ask for a recipe for Kokkinisto.

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You can read recipes yourself - but you can also have them read to you

Photo: Matthias Kremp / DER SPIEGEL

Smarthome devices can be controlled with the Echo Show 10 by voice command, and the device can also display images of electronic doorbells and surveillance cameras.

Always provided that the devices are Alexa-compatible.

A small Zigbee hub is also integrated, via which devices such as Philips Hue lamps can be networked.

The 10.1 inch screen shows strong colors and is bright enough for indoor use.

The loudspeaker system consisting of a woofer and two tweeters sounds pleasantly transparent and can be very loud.

It is noteworthy here that the two tweeters are always moved with the display, i.e. align themselves with the user.

As is no longer unusual with smartspeakers, the sound is automatically adapted to the respective room.

In addition to Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music and other providers can be used to listen to music.

Conclusion

Pros and cons

👍 Good sound


👍 Good screen


👍 Mechanical camera cover

👎 Large space requirement

The rotation function of the Echo Show 10 is above all a nice gimmick.

It is more important that the sound of the device is good, which makes it a very good kitchen radio that can also read recipes and look up the weather forecast.

Background: Product tests in the Netzwelt department

Which products are reported on in the Netzwelt section? Expand

We decide for ourselves which products we report in the Internet world and which we test or not. We do not receive any money or other consideration from the manufacturer for any of the test reports.

For various reasons it can happen that we do not report on products even though we have corresponding test products.

Where do the test products come from? Expand

We usually get test devices and review copies of games from the manufacturer free of charge for a certain period of time, sometimes even before the official release.

In this way, our test reports can appear in good time or shortly after the product is published.



We only test pre-release versions or devices from pre-series production in special cases.

We usually wait until we can get test devices or game versions that are identical to the retail versions.

In some cases we also buy products ourselves at our own expense if they are already available in stores or online.

Are the Netzwelt editors allowed to keep the products?

As a rule, test devices are sent back to the manufacturer after the end of the test.

The exception are review copies of games and so-called permanent loans: For example, we have game consoles and smartphones in the editorial office that we are allowed to use for a longer period of time.

For example, we can report on software updates, new accessories and new games or make long-term judgments.

Can companies invite the Netzwelt editors to travel?

DER SPIEGEL always bears the costs for travel to events, regardless of whether they take place in Germany or abroad. This also applies if, for example, a company takes over travel planning due to short-term appointments.



Events to which we travel at our own expense include the Ifa, CES, E3 and Gamescom trade fairs as well as events from companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft or Nintendo.

At conferences like the Chaos Communication Congress or the re: publica, like other press representatives, we usually get free press tickets because we report on the conference and are not traditional participants.

What about the Amazon ads in some articles?

Since December 2016, Amazon ads containing so-called partner links can be found in some Netzwelt articles.

If a user visits Amazon via such a link and buys online there, DER SPIEGEL receives a share of the sales in the form of a commission.

The ads appear in articles regardless of whether a product test is positive or negative.

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-04-13

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