Echo Show 15 was first published in December 2021 Most of the initial conversation around the smart display was that it was a big innovation – a huge display that didn’t have the same functionality as the Echo Show 10. It was released in the middle of a wave of work from home, and without video conferencing capabilities, the Echo Show 15 doesn’t seem to have much to offer.
It couldn’t be further from the truth. The huge amount of screen real estate has introduced many utilities that were not in previous models. Widgets make it one of the most useful smart displays I’ve ever used and it says a lot for someone who works with these devices on a regular basis.
I have Echo Show 15 on my desk, and a nest home hub remains in the far corner.
I review a lot of smart devices. Lots. Most of them are not used terribly for the first few months. If it doesn’t fit into my daily routine or benefit my workflow in any way, it’s boxed and put in storage.
The fact that Echo Show 15 still holds a place of pride on my desk says a lot about its usefulness. The smart display offered a lot when it was first launched last year and now it’s even better.
Widget. Widgets everywhere
I have My Echo Show 15 always features four widgets: my to-do list, my calendar, day recipes, and my shopping list. Two related to work, two related to home. I cook in my home, so dinner ideas are always welcome when you need to look away from the monitor and focus on something else. I can always add items to my shopping list as demand increases.
My to-do list is linked via Todoist, so I have easy access to my browser or anywhere else to go. I can even cross out items directly from Echo Show 15. My Calendar widget helps me stay on top of meetings, upcoming deadlines, and more.
There are several more widgets (and Amazon has added more), but these four I always use myself.
My Echo Show 15 screen Divided into two sections. Half of it is for widgets, the other half is a digital photo frame. I keep putting pictures of my wife, my cat and family and friends on a constantly rotating slideshow.
It’s a touch of home in an office space that is otherwise work-centric. Below the photo display, the Echo Show also shows 15 times, current weather and outside temperatures. Because of the summer here in Georgia, this number is not always something I want to see.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, or so they say. Eco Show 15 is a great tool for entertainment and its video options from YouTube to Hulu, Prime videos, and more.
For the most part, I use it for YouTube. It’s good to have a visualized soundtrack in the background (yes, I’m old enough to miss the visualizations of Windows Media Player), and I almost never work without music. Even a picture of rain falling through a window while playing music is better than beating out a lifeless speaker.
But it’s also nice to catch an episode of whatever my current binge-watch is at lunchtime.
Smart home control
My whole house goes to Alexa. Although I have both Google Assistant and Siri set up for testing purposes, I use Alexa to control my security camera, lights and more. The Smart Home Control section of the Echo Show 15 lets me take a look at the current status of each connected device.
I can turn things on and off with just a few taps, dim the lights and much more. This is ideal for turning on the lights in the middle of a meeting when I don’t want to give Alexa a vocal command. The rest of the time, having a smart display on my desk makes it incredibly easy to tell Alexa to do what I have to do.
The ultimate reason I keep the Echo Show 15 on my desk is in the interest of safety. As long as you have a Compatible security camera, you can ask Alexa to show the feed via picture-in-picture on her display.
When I hear my doorbell, I ask Alexa to show me the feed. If it’s a solicitor, I can safely ignore it, especially in the middle of a busy working day – but if it’s a delivery person, I can go and sign up for the package. It is also effective for testing any motion that triggers the security camera without reaching my phone.
The Echo Show 15 is one of the first truly useful smart displays, at least in my opinion. It only goes beyond one display – it provides a lot of utility for the daily workflow. Combined with its facial recognition features (which allow it to distinguish between me and my wife and show each of us our personal to-do list), it is a powerhouse for the whole family.