Amazon has announced its largest Alexa smart display yet, the Echo Show 15. While it can be placed on a surface, using a stand, like previous Echo Show models, it is clearly meant to hang on the wall. The Echo Show 15 is meant to act as a central hub for your home, thanks to support for a new widget system to display customized information and controls.
The Echo Show 15 features a 15-inch 1080p HD touchscreen display. If you’d like, the entire screen can act just like other Echo Show models and display the usual assortment of information, like headlines, reminders, and photos. The real usefulness comes with a new widget functionality that allows you to customize what else the screen can display. However, only about half of the screen can display widgets, so you can’t, for example, just use it as a dedicated smart home command center.
The various widgets can be added, removed, and moved around the display. They include things like a calendar, agenda, shopping list, to-do list, and sticky notes. There is also a smart home favorites widget that gives you quick access to control various smart home lights and plugs, and to view security cameras.
Speaking of cameras, the Echo Show 15, can display a picture-in-picture live stream of security cameras when a video doorbell is pressed or motion is detected on a security camera. The device itself also has a 5-megapixel camera of its own for video calls and a new person detection feature. Of course, the camera can be closed off using a physical shutter.
When a known person is detected, the Echo Show 15 will display personalized information for that person. Person detection can also be used to identify children for parental control purposes. Amazon says that all face detection is done and stored locally on the device using its next-generation AZ2 neural edge processor.
Like other Echo Show devices, the Echo Show 15 can be used as a TV to watch streaming media services. Some of the streaming services that it will support include Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, RedBull TV, Sling TV, Tubi, and TikTok. Not all services mentioned will be available at launch and, unfortunately, it cannot act as a mini Fire TV with access to all of the Fire TV apps.
The Echo Show 15 will cost $249.99 but is not yet available to pre-order. It can be placed in either landscape or portrait orientations on a wall. Amazon says it will be selling a stand and an under-cabinet mount for the device as well.