5 reasons why I still use the Echo Show 15 every day
The Echo Show 15 was first released in December 2021. Much of the initial talk about the smart display was that it was a big novelty — a huge display that didn’t have the same functionality as the Echo Show 10. The rise of work-from-home and no video conferencing capabilities seemed to the Echo Show 15 just doesn’t have much to offer.
That couldn’t have been further from the truth. The large amount of screen real estate brought with it a lot of utility that previous models didn’t have. Widgets make it one of the most useful smart displays I’ve ever used, and that’s saying a lot for someone who works with these devices on a routine basis.
I have the Echo Show 15 on my desk and a Nest Home Hub relegated to a far corner.
I review many smart devices. A lot of. Most of them are not used very much beyond the first few months. If it doesn’t fit into my day-to-day life or benefits my workflow in any way, it’s boxed up and put away.
The fact that the Echo Show 15 still holds a proud spot on my desk says a lot about its usefulness. The Smart Display had a lot to offer when it was launched last year and now it’s even better.
widgets. Widgets everywhere
I always see four widgets on my Echo Show 15: my to-do list, my calendar, the recipe of the day, and my shopping list. Two are work-related, two are home-related. I cook at my house so dinner ideas are always welcome when I need to look away from the monitor and focus on something else. I can always add items to my shopping list as needed.
My to-do list is linked through Todoist so I can easily access it on the go, in my browser, or anywhere. I can even cross out entries directly from the Echo Show 15. My calendar widget helps me keep track of meetings, upcoming appointments, and more.
There are several other widgets (and Amazon has added more), but these four are the ones I use all the time.
The My Echo Show 15 screen is divided into two areas. Half of it is for widgets while the other half is a digital photo frame. I keep pictures of my wife, my cat, and my family and friends on it in a constantly rotating slideshow.
It’s just a touch of home in an otherwise work-oriented office space. At the bottom of the photo display, the Echo Show 15 also displays the time, current weather, and outside temperature. Given that it’s summer here in Georgia, I don’t want to see that number all the time.
All work and no play makes Jack a boring boy, or so they say. The Echo Show 15 is a great entertainment tool, and its video options range from YouTube to Hulu, Prime Video, and more.
Mostly I use it for YouTube. It’s nice to have a visualized soundtrack in the background (yes, I’m old enough to miss the Windows Media Player visuals) and I almost never work without music. Even just a picture of rain falling out of a window while music plays above is better than a lifeless speaker blaring beats.
But it’s also nice to catch an episode of what’s my current binge watch over lunch.
Smart home control
My entire home runs on Alexa. Although I set up both Google Assistant and Siri for testing purposes, I use Alexa to control my security cameras, lights, and more. With the Echo Show 15’s smart home controls, I can see the current status of each connected device at a glance.
With just a few taps, I can turn things on and off, dim the lights, and more. This is ideal for turning on the lights in the middle of a meeting when I don’t want to give voice commands to Alexa. The rest of the time, the smart display on my desk makes it incredibly easy to just ask Alexa to do whatever I need her to do.
The final reason I continue to keep the Echo Show 15 on my desk is for security. As long as you have a compatible security camera, you can ask Alexa to show your feed on your display via picture-in-picture.
When I hear my doorbell, I just ask Alexa to show the feed. If it’s a lawyer I can safely ignore it, especially in the middle of a busy day at work – but if it’s a delivery man I can sign for the package. It’s also useful for checking every movement that triggered a security camera without reaching for my phone.
In my opinion, the Echo Show 15 is one of the first really usable smart displays. It’s more than just a display – it offers a lot of usefulness for the daily workflow. Combined with its facial recognition capabilities (which allows it to distinguish between me and my wife and show us our individual to-do lists for each), it’s a powerhouse for the whole household.