Amazon Echo Show release date, price, news and features

The Amazon Echo Show's release date is Wednesday, June 28, and it's already seeing a $100 off deal if you buy two. To accompany the device's release, Amazon posted four videos that give us a look at how the Echo Show's UI will work and use its screen to respond to user inquiries and display information. 

Each of the videos concentrates on a different Show ability but what's very noticeable is how the device's screen is positioned largely as an information display rather than an input device. Despite the fact that the Echo Show will be touchscreen enabled, the video encourages the use of voice control only. 

The first video shows music function. The user asks Alexa to display albums by Sia on the Show's screen, from where they can then ask the device to play album number 3 on the list. When the music plays, the lyrics from each song is displayed on the screen in-time with the music, making a living room karaoke scenario much more possible. 

The second video shows how the Show can be used to display movie information. When asked "What movies are playing nearby?" the Show is able to display the posters and names of movies playing nearby. Once a poster grabs your attention you can take a closer look at it, ask Alexa to play a trailer or display the showtimes at your nearest cinema. 

Another feature shown is shopping lists. If you have a shopping list saved (or you want to set one up) simply ask Alexa to display it on the Show and you can scroll through it or add and remove items completely hands free. 

The final video focuses on alarms and shows features such as starting Do Not Disturb mode, setting a morning alarm and turning out the house lights all through voice alone. 

One feature that didn't get its own video but is still worth mentioning is the Echo's ability to be used as an intercom system in a home – it's called drop-in.

So here's a scenario: instead of shouting upstairs to call your kids for dinner, you can use any Echo device in your home to call a second Echo device, presumably upstairs in the bedroom where your kids are. 

Once you name each room in the house, all you'll need to do is say "Alexa, drop in on the upstairs bedroom" to see what the kids are doing. 

Now, these aren't the only features the Show will be capable of, but they provide a very good idea of what you can expect from Amazon's new smart speaker.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A video screen version of Amazon's voice-activated smart speaker
  • How much will it cost? $230 (rumored to be £220 in the UK, and AU price tba)
  • When is it out? June 28 and up for pre-order now on Amazon US with no official UK or AU release date yet announced

Amazon Echo Show release date

Confirming what was rumored earlier today due to a leak, Amazon has announced that the Amazon Echo Show will be released on June 28 in both the US and UK, with pre-orders open now in the US.  

That means you'll have to wait a month and a half to get your hands on the new speaker if you order it today in the US. 

Although the device is rumored to be coming to the UK simultaneously with the US, no official announcement about UK availability has yet been made. 

Since Australia is still yet to receive the Amazon Echo, we're not holding our collective breath for the Echo Show to make its way there anytime soon. 

Amazon Echo Show features 

As well as the Alexa voice assistant, which we've become familiar with thanks to its inclusion in existing Amazon Echo speakers and Amazon Fire TV devices, the Amazon Echo Show is equipped with both a screen and a webcam, which will allow it to both show you, as well as tell you, information. 

The screen is seven inches in size, and is touchscreen-enabled. It's capable of showing notifications, playing internet video, and showing lyrics on Amazon Music, among other things, and it can also facilitate conversations between different devices in the same house. 

It'll be interesting to see whether this functionality is expanded in the future to enable the Show to make voice calls outside of the home, as a pre-announcement leak from the WSJ suggested. 

The screen can also be configured to show a live video feed from elsewhere in the house through compatible third-party security cameras. 

In addition to the screen, the Amazon Echo Show is also equipped with a camera, as is the recently announced Amazon Echo Look. Amazon is pitching the Look as a style accessory, which will, for example, analyse your clothes in order to offer outfit suggestions. 

This functionality will presumably also be making its way to the new Amazon Echo Show, although this is yet to be confirmed. 

The Show is available in black or white color options. 

As well as this new screen and camera functionality, the Show is compatible with Amazon's existing library of skills, which range from ordering cabs with Uber to controlling smart lightbulbs and thermostats, although existing skills will be audio-only until they're made Show-compatible. 

The Show is equipped with eight microphones, which is one more than the existing Amazon Echo speaker. Given that the existing Echo is already pretty good at picking up our voice we're unsure why an extra microphone is needed, but it's a nice inclusion all the same.

Finally, the new device is equipped with Bluetooth, so even if your music app of choice isn't supported natively (such as Apple Music), you can still stream it to the Echo Show. 

UI videos

Ahead of its US launch, Amazon posted four videos that give us a look at how the Echo Show's UI will work and use its screen to respond to user inquiries and display information. 

Each of the videos concentrates on a different Show ability but what's very noticeable is how the device's screen is positioned largely as an information display rather than an input device. Despite the fact that the Echo Show will be touchscreen enabled, the video encourages the use of voice control only. 

The first video shows music function. The user asks Alexa to display albums by Sia on the Show's screen, from where they can then ask the device to play album number 3 on the list. When the music plays, the lyrics from each song is displayed on the screen in-time with the music, making a living room karaoke scenario much more possible. 

The second video shows how the Show can be used to display movie information. When asked "What movies are playing nearby?" the Show is able to display the posters and names of movies playing nearby. Once a poster grabs your attention you can take a closer look at it, ask Alexa to play a trailer or display the showtimes at your nearest cinema.  

Another feature shown is shopping lists. If you have a shopping list saved (or you want to set one up) simply ask Alexa to display it on the Show and you can scroll through it or add and remove items completely hands free.  

The final video focuses on alarms and shows features such as starting Do Not Disturb mode, setting a morning alarm and turning out the house lights all through voice alone.