Top critical review
Absolutely missed opportunity
Reviewed in Australia on 15 May 2022
Update approx one month in;
THE BUGS ARE OUT OF CONTROL! Seriously the single most buggy device I have EVER owned. You press one button it does another. One minute it’s on the Home Screen, next it’s half stuck on something else. The absolutely completely useless half baked widgets constantly fail to load. Click on ring cameras (owned by Amazon) and they load 40% of the time. Sometimes they stream for 10 Seconds other times 5 mins, other times “something went wrong”. Then sometimes it goes to black screen crashes or goes to slide show. Tell it one thing it does another. Sometimes I want to see the time and it’s gone back into slideshow when I wasn’t watching. EVERY single time I’ve shown this to someone it has wigged out… every time!!
Amazon deserve MASSIVE credit for their integration with smart home devices, voice control is great… but whoever is on their software UI team for echo shows - absolutely every single one of them need to be fired and start again.. Im sorry. It’s 2022 - the shows are not new… every person I know who has one agrees. None of my shows have gotten any better. “Why are their UI’s soooo bad”.
- contact me and let me give you a bug list. Let me give you 20 ways this product could be phenomenal as a smart home hub.
Update on Music control…. A big visual interface totally wasted… Spotify widget will only show you recommend albums or recents - not even what’s currently playing or the ability to pause play or skip songs and ZERO way of searching for a song. Absolutely completely useless app to control or select music…. I thought I saw “current song” once. But I’ve never been able to get that screen again.
Let me explain how this product is yet another massive Alexa show failure. I own 60+ Smart home devices too many Alexa’s to count. I’ve been looking for a smart VISUAL interface to control routines and groups, see my ring cameras all by physical touch with an interactive calendar. I thought this was it. I was let down.
Let me start by saying this show is BUGGY as hell and nearly as disappointing as my echo show 5’s with more functionality for the price. Apps/ cameras fail to load, screen is jerky and slow. Things pop up on the home display even though we have them turned off. And I’ve only owned it for 24 hours.
WHY WHY WHY must you be forced to see 1/3 of the screen as a clock and photos/ or suggestions??!!!! Rolling information is not helpful, I doubt anyone wants to sit and wait for information to scroll at random on the screen surely?
I would like to see an option of utilizing ALL the screen Real-estate for home automation control (cameras, calendar, routines, groups and lists etc). Yet I am I forced due to lack of options - to have a photo wall paper or scrolling Alexa suggestions taking up 1/3 of the screen. If I wanted a photo frame I would buy a photo frame!!! PLEASE make the useless greedy background Home Screen optional!!!!!!
Spotify widget is USELESS. No basic audio control AT ALL. Just select random recommended songs or recently played. No play, pause, skip or search, or even speak group selection.
Severe lack of smart home control widgits
What’s most infuriating is that, I can’t have a routine or group widget or both. I would love custom light switches widget, ring camera widget , routines widget and light group widget/ fans as separate home control. What I’m asking for is literally an uncomplicated physical link to information your Alexa account already knows - but your not given a Home Screen control for it... your forced to dive into automation sub menus to turn on a routine.
Instead you have one widget choice - “favorites” with space for 4 buttons to pick! (You can’t turn on kitchen “group”, you can’t turn in the “all on routine”) but you can turn on 4 favorite bulbs individually!!!! Wow!
In short, Routines are the absolute bees knees of smart home automation and you can’t put a routine button permanently on the Home Screen. Ie “all on” or “all off” or “dinner time routine” or “bed time” routine. Why would you buy a 15” screen if you want to do this with voice.
Every digital calendar I’ve ever used has a dot over the day in a month display to say you have something on that day. The calendar does not have this. You must click on each day to see if your busy or not. Wasted opportunity. That being said it’s the ONLY part of this device that’s reliable.
Overall. If your looking to control your smart home with a physical LCD interface. Don’t bother with this product unless they release some practical updates and features. They are relying on voice control to fill the gaps of a visual display completely defeating its purpose. If you want an expensive janky interactive display with non practical visual ways to interact with your smart home. This would be perfect for you.
I’ll update this review if anything changes. I’m happy for amazon to contact me to improve this user experience for those who utilize Alexa to control their entire smart home with large numbers of devices! At this stage it’s very feature poor, disgustingly buggy and fails to deliver on a SMART DISPLAY for home automation interaction IMHO.