Pros

Brilliant integration of three great products - a voice controller, smart display, and a Zigbee Smart Home Hub

Cons

Hard to find in stock!

Star Rating

Introduction

Echo Show 2nd Gen Review

We've tested nearly every Amazon Echo product ever released, as well as a few competitors, and our favorite product so far has been the Echo Show. But there was one thing Amazon really needed to add to it to assert full control over the Smart Home market, and it wasn't a bigger screen - it was a Smart Home hub! Well, with the Echo Show (2nd Gen), it has done that, and thrown in a bigger screen as a bonus! At least that's how we see it, but if you look at how Amazon is marketing this product, it's clear that the marketing team things the big screen is what will earn it sales. That's too bad, because the potential this device has to truly revolutionize the Smart Home industry is practically limitless. It's been a Wild West for far too long, and Amazon has the ability to bring this market to the masses by making it friendly, accessible, and reliable.

To be clear, we're big fans of voice control, and of the big screen as well, but neither of these are really "new news" at this point. Alexa, as amazing as it is, and as well as its weathered being the butt of so many jokes over the years, isn't revolutionary anymore. Of course, it does get better all the time as Amazon boosts its capabilities, but that's a very hard thing to market. How's this for an ad campaign: "hey, buy this product, and take advantage of undisclosed features we won't even think of until next year!" Yeah, that's kind of tough, but the Zigbee Smart Home hub built into the device is actually fairly easy to explain, even if Amazon does a great job at failing to do so. Controlling lights, locks, switches, outlets, you name it. Plus, of course you get control of most WiFi-based products, some of which are really just in the market because no one had an adequate Zigbee hub. We think small devices like outlets, bulbs and switches really shouldn't use a high-power communications system like WiFi, but again, this is what the market demanded in the absence of reliable alternatives.

Well, that alternative is here, and it only takes a little digging through the Echo Show's feature set to see it. Come along with us on a journey as we uncover the heavy-hitting capabilities of this Smart Home device!

The Review

To cover all that the Amazon Echo Show 2nd Gen has to offer, we've put together a full unboxing, setup, and review video, which you can see below:

Don't forget to like the video and subscribe to our YouTube channel to get in on all our content as soon as it goes live!

Conclusion

The Echo Show (2nd Gen) is a truly revolutionary product, not so much for its big screen (which gets all the attention, but honestly isn't much of a technological feat), but rather its ultra-slick integration of a Smart Home hub. Not only is it robust enough to work much more reliably that its competitors, it also adds the amazing option of setting up Smart Home integrations by voice. It really is a next-gen product, not just a 2nd Gen product, as Amazon would have you think! We're shocked that Amazon isn't pushing harder on the Smart Home aspect of this product - the Zigbee hub isn't even promoted on the packaging! We think that's because the Smart Home industry has had such a hard time breaking out of the hobbyist market over the past half-decade or so, and Amazon is afraid to rock the boat. It shouldn't be - this is the product that can take Smart Home to the next level, which means getting it into the homes of typical consumers, not just DIYers!

If you're willing to wait in line for one, get your order in at Amazon. The Echo Show (2nd Gen) retails for $230, and sold out over Black Friday at a price of $150. As of our latest update, it's at $170, and on backorder for a month! Trust us, it's worth getting on the waitlist for this one!

As always, if you're looking for guidance picking out the best Smart Home gear in every product category, see our Smart Home Buyer's Guide, updated on a regular basis.