I have held off on picking up any of Amazon's Echo products thinking they were pretty much a novelty item. Then last month the released the Echo Show with the screen and I was kind of intrigued. Then I learned that the Alexa show works with Arlo cameras and now the Show was a must have product for me. I love my Arlo cameras but often wished there was some kind of monitor that came with then. My driveway and entry door in my home is just off my kitchen but there are no windows with a view of the driveway or door so if there is someone at the door I can't easily see them. The Echo Show solves this problem, all I have to do is ask Alexa to "Show my side door camera" and the feed pops up.
I do have quite a few other smart devices in my home that integrate nicely with the Echo. I can now easily control my Nest thermostats or check the temperature upstairs if the kids are complaining it is too hot. I can turn on and off my driveway lights that are connected to my WEMO switch. I can also control my Rachio sprinkler system by telling Alexa to water a certain zone for x many minutes. All pretty cool functionality but for me still pretty much a novelty.
Much has been made of the creepiness of the drop-in feature but it doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would and I actually find myself using it. I only have my wife and I enabled but if we are away and want to check on the kids we can just drop in and see what is going on in the kitchen.
Setup was pretty simple I had all of my connected devices set up in less than an hour. I find myself asking Alexa for the days weather more now than just checking on my phone. The device itself is kind of ugly, but I am not bothered by how it looks. I think the boxiness has to do with fitting in the fairly high quality speakers. The speakers are good but they aren't going to replace my Sonos speakers anytime soon. I am also not an Amazon Prime subscriber so I don't have access to any of the music or videos, so the functionality there is limited for me. The price of the product at $229 was a bit high but I was able to use a couple best buy discount certificates I had and got it for about $180.
This is the first generation of the show so there is lots of room for improvement. It has a touch screen but there is not a lot of functionality there. There is no web browser. With the Arlo integration it takes about 15 seconds to pull up the camera feed. The talk feature is also not available through the Echo Show. But I imagine that more and updated functionality will be coming in the future.
One piece of functionality that I am really looking forward to is the Echo integration with Sonos speakers. This functionality was announced a year ago and is expected soon. I will be sure to review how it works as soon as it is available.
Overall, I am pretty happy with my Echo Show. Looking forward to new functionality and getting new connected products and see how they integrate with my whole house system.