The best smart display changes the way you interact with a voice assistant - it allows you to see, as well as hear, the information being served. Amazon was the first brand to launch one of these smart speakers with a built-in screen back in 2017, with the original Echo Show boasting a 10.1-inch display.
Since then, Amazon has expanded the Echo Show range with new iterations of the 10.1in form factor, the most recent of which is the Echo Show 10.
The Echo Show 15 went on sale in late 2021, and in a departure from previous Echo Show smart displays, the Show 15 is designed to be wall-mounted. It can be used as a freestanding unit, but requires a stand that comes at extra expense.
Given that the two smart displays have the same price tag of $249 / £239.99 / AU$399, is bigger really better? We pitted the Echo Show 15 against the Echo Show 10 to find out, so you can confidently choose the smart display that suits you.
Best Amazon Echo Show 15 and Amazon Echo Show 10 deals
Read on to find out just how these smart displays compare – or, if you know which Alexa smart speaker and screen in one you want, check out the best prices right now for both products below:
The Amazon Echo Show 15 and the Amazon Echo Show 10 will both set you back $249 / £239.99 / AU$399 - making them the most expensive smart displays the brand offers.
The Echo Show 10 is available worldwide, but while the Echo Show 15 is currently on sale in the US and the UK, in Australia it’s still being billed as ‘coming soon’, and Amazon was unable to confirm to us the exact date it will be made available for purchase.
As we’ve already mentioned, while the Echo Show 10 is freestanding, the Echo Show 15 is designed to be wall-mounted. An optional stand is available so it can be used on a surface or side, but this is priced at $29.99 / £29.99 / AU$49.99, making the Echo Show 15 slightly costlier if you don’t want it freestanding, or you live outside without any walls.
When it comes to rival smart displays, the Google Nest Hub Max, which also has a 10-inch screen, is slightly more affordably priced at $229 / £219 / $349. However, Google doesn’t offer any bigger smart displays that rival the Echo Show 15.
The screen sizes aren’t the only thing that differs between the Amazon Echo Show 15 and the Echo Show 10 - they actually look dramatically different. The Amazon Echo Show 15 is a rectangular smart display that can be used in either portrait or landscape mode.
In a style similar to a picture frame, the Show 15 has a thick black bezel, while the 1980 x 1080 15.6-inch display is positioned in the center of a white surround, with the camera lens located in the top right-hand corner of the screen (if it's used in Portrait mode).
As we’ve mentioned already, the Show 15 is designed to be wall-mounted but an optional stand is also available so it can be placed on a countertop for example.
The Show 10, meanwhile, is a freestanding smart display, with a cylindrical base wrapped in grey mesh fabric. The 10.1-inch screen, which has a resolution of 1280 x 800 is positioned on top of the base and can be titled to ensure it's at the best angle for you to see no matter where it's placed.
Given the large screen size, it's no surprise that the Amazon Echo Show 15 has a bigger footprint too, measuring 15.8 x 9.9 x 1.4 inches (w x h x d) compared to the Echo Show 10 which at 9.9 x 9 x 6.7 inches is more compact.
Both devices are mains-powered and when it comes to sound, the Echo Show 10 has two one-inch tweeters and a three-inch woofer, all of which are contained in the cylindrical base.
The Echo Show 15 doesn’t quite have the same audio capability and relies on two 1.6 inch speakers, which can be found in the back of the smart display.
The pair also differ when it comes to their built-in cameras too. The Echo Show 10 has a 13MP camera that will automatically pan and zoom, and the screen also rotates to ensure you’re always in the center of the frame during video calls, even when moving about the room.
The Show 15 doesn’t offer the same camera-tracking capability - the sensor is lower quality at 5MP and doesn't offer the same pan and zoom functionality.
However, both smart displays offer a privacy shutter that cuts the power to the microphone, while covering the camera lens for those that want the peace of mind that their every move isn’t being watched.
When it comes to the most basic tasks you’d use a smart display for, the pair are evenly matched.
Alexa is built into both, obviously, and on the test we had the same responses to the questions we posed to the voice assistant, although the Show 15 has Amazon’s latest processor - dubbed the AZ2 Neural Edge, which can recognize voices better meant. This meant we found requests were picked up a second or two faster than when using the Echo Show 10.
On test, the Show 15 also didn’t pick up nearly as many false activations (when Alexa starts listening without you saying the wake word) as the Echo Show 10.
Both smart displays also offer a visual interpretation on screen of any responses Alexa provides to your queries, as well as offering the ability to listen to music streaming services including Spotify and Prime Music or watch Netflix and Prime Video on the screen.
However, while the Echo Show 15 screen is higher resolution, which results in a sharper picture than on the Echo Show 10, neither is good enough to replace your TV for entertainment.
The Echo Show 15 is the only one of the two smart displays to offer widgets. These small blocks of information such as upcoming appointments, an update on how long your commute is for the day, a TV show you’re watching or even a to-do list for everyone in the household, can be added to the screen so they can be viewed at a glance. There are around 12 widgets available at present, although more are expected in the future.
However, we found that you weren’t able to adjust the size of the widgets, which meant, as they vary in size, some were not always immediately visible.
Widgets ensure the Echo Show 15 can double as a family hub - or digital pinboard that allows everyone in the household to see digital sticky notes, to-do lists or other information, at a glance.
As we’ve already mentioned, the Echo Show 10 is only one of the pair that has a moving screen. As you move around the room, it will follow you so it’s always within your gaze, so whether you’re following a recipe when cooking in the kitchen or staying in touch with friends and family by video call, the screen will never be out of your sight.
When it comes to choosing between the Amazon Echo Show 15 and the Echo Show 10, as both smart displays perform the most basic tasks equally and cost the same, it really comes down to how you plan to use it as to which you should opt for.
For those that want a smart display that offers the biggest screen possible or can be wall-mounted, the Echo Show 15 is the best choice. It’s also the better option for those that want a family hub, offering a way for everyone in the home to see important information such as the chores for the day, shopping lists, or even reminders about after-school clubs, parties, and other appointments.
However, for those that want a freestanding smart display for a countertop or other surface, or prefer a smaller device, the Echo Show 10 is the one to choose. This smart display is also ideal if you plan to make a lot of video calls on the device or use it in the kitchen to follow along with recipes, as the rotating screen will ensure it’s always in your eye line even when you move around.
Whichever Amazon smart display you plump for, it’ll be sure to make life a little easier, meaning you can see information at a glance rather than relying on sticky notes - whether that’s reminders, recipes or other information.
- Consider investing in a Ring Video Doorbell to go with a smart display? Then check out the best Ring Video Doorbell deals.
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Carrie-Ann Skinner was formerly Homes Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades of experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, stand mixers, and coffee machines. Carrie is now a copy editor at PWC.