Echo Show 15: Amazon’s latest Echo hangs on your wall

Amazon has taken the wraps off its latest smart speaker at its annual autumn hardware event: the Echo Show 15.

Designed to look like a photo frame, complete with thick bezel and 5MP video camera in the top left corner, the Echo Show 15 can be wall-mounted and comes with – surprise surprise a 15.6in, 1080p display at its heart, instead of your latest holiday snap.

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That’s the biggest screen on any Echo device to date, but the display isn’t the only new thing about the Echo Show 15. Amazon has also taken the opportunity to revamp the UI, allowing users to choose from a series of “Alexa Widgets” to add to the home screen.

Those widgets include a household shared calender widget, sticky notes, to-do list and a list of your most-used smart devices for quick access. It can also show a picture in picture view of your video doorbell or security camera feeds.

Hopefully, it’s an improvement on the limited UI of existing Echo Show speakers like the Echo Show 10, 8 and 5 because that’s been a thorn in the side of the firm’s existing smart displays up until this point.

Elsewhere, the Echo Show 15 comes with the new AZ2 processor, which enables a number of new features. First up, there’s Visual ID, a feature that recognises you as you walk in front of the speaker and personalises onscreen content appropriately. Amazon says all the processing for Visual ID takes place on the device itself, and isn’t uploaded to the cloud or shared with other devices.

Amazon is also bringing a feature to Echo Show 15 that lets you teach Alexa to detect certain types of sounds and perform a predetermined action. Naturally, you’ll also be able to watch various streaming video services on the device and this in conjunction with the larger screen so you could use it as a Kitchen TV in a pinch.

The Echo Show 15 will cost $250 when it’s eventually released but Amazon hasn’t yet announced a date yet and hasn’t said anything about whether the new speaker will be available in the UK. As soon as details are confirmed we’ll bring you more details and, eventually, the full review.

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