Google vs. Amazon: Smart Display Showcase

Zoom in / Other than Amazon’s rotating base, the two main product lines look pretty much the same.

Google and Amazon are basically the only game in town if you’re looking for a plug-and-play smart display, but the companies have arrived at similar products from very different directions. The usefulness of Smart View mostly has to do with the ecosystem you’re committed to, making recommendations not a simple matter. If you’re using Team Apple, you’ll have to keep hoping Tim Cook announces the Siri smart show one day.

Both products are somewhat rigid and you are expected to adapt to it rather than the other way around. The Google Display will only work with Google Assistant and will push you towards Google products, while the Amazon Display will only work with Alexa and push you towards Amazon products. There are a few partners that offer various features like music and cameras, but these products aren’t as infinitely configurable as a smartphone. Smart displays often require commitment to an ecosystem.

echo show 10

The specific hardware doesn’t matter much since these smart displays all run the same Amazon or Google software across various screen sizes, with perhaps one major plus. I spent most of my time testing with the $249.99 Amazon Echo Show 10, which has a 10-inch screen and a very nice swivel feature. There’s also the stable Echo Show 8 at $64.99, the Echo Show 5 at $39.99, and if you want to get really wild, there’s the Echo Show 15 at $249.99, which has the form factor of a wall-mounted picture frame.

Specifications at a glance: Echo Show 10
Monitor 10.1 inches, 1200 x 800 LCD
OS four operating systems
CPU Octa-core Mediatek MT8183
Four Cortex A73 cores and four Cortex A53 cores
GPU Arm Mali-G72
networks Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 a / b / g / n / ac), Bluetooth, Zigbee
camera 13 mega pixel front camera
size 251 x 230 x 172 mm
Weight 2560 gr
Amplifiers 2 x 1″ woofers and one 3″ woofer
Starting price $249.99 (currently $185)
Other privileges Spins!

The Echo Show 10’s party trick is the ability to rotate, a feature Amazon calls “Smart Motion.” The screen sits on a heavy circular base disguised as a large speaker. There are three small speakers in the base, but no room-vibrating subwoofer, as you might expect from the size. Much of the bottom is a weighted spinning disc with a wide electric motor that lets the Echo Show 10’s entire body make a single 360-degree turn.

The engine can “lock” and “unlock” the screen at different times. At any time you can grab and move the screen, which will disengage the motor and allow it to spin freely. The Show 10 weighs an incredible 5.5 pounds, so it’s not going anywhere. If you talk to it, the engine will start and the screen will turn and point at you. You can also have it follow you creepily around the room by tracking from the front camera or control it remotely as a 360° security camera.

On the other hand, any additional functionality – such as using the 360-degree remote camera – is very welcome. On the other hand, mounting on a rotating base compromises the touchscreen experience somewhat. The mechanism that allows the screen to rotate has plenty of backlash, so even when the screen is supposed to be locked in one position, it never feels like a solid object under the tap of your finger. Every time you poke it, it will wiggle in one direction or the other.

#Google #Amazon #Smart #Display #Showcase

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