Amazon Echo vs. Lenovo Smart Display

Comparison between the Amazon Echo Show and the Lenovo Smart Display

The Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display are smart speakers and smart home hubs featuring touchscreens. These devices display information and provide smart home capabilities through voice interaction (Alexa for the Echo Show and Google Assistant for Lenovo).

Here's a breakdown of the differences between the two devices to help you decide between the Echo Show vs. the Lenovo Smart Display.

Information in this article applies broadly to the various models of the Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display.

Overall Findings: Echo Show vs. Lenovo Smart Display

Echo Show
  • Works best with other Amazon Alexa smart devices.

  • Superior audio quality.

  • More robust smart home controls.

Lenovo Smart Display
  • Works best with other Google smart devices.

  • The 10-inch model offers a higher resolution display.

  • Better for making video calls.

If you are an Amazon Prime member or have other Echo and Fire TV devices, the Echo Show is the logical choice. The Echo Show features Alexa Skills, and it's compatible with Zigbee smart home devices.

The Lenovo Smart Display has many built-in features that the Echo Show lacks. For example, it works with Google Home, Chromecast devices, and Roku devices through Google Assistant. The Lenovo Smart Display also works with the smart home devices that Google Home supports.

Amazon Echo Show 2nd Generation Design Example
Amazon

Product Design: It Depends on Your Tastes

Echo Show
  • The fabric-covered back houses the speaker system and serves as a stand.

  • The camera, microphones, and volume controls are located on the top frame.

  • The Kensington Lock Slot provides physical security.

  • No physical video or audio outputs to connect to a larger screen or audio system.

Lenovo Smart Display
  • The stylish design is suited for a kitchen or office.

  • The back provides a platform for horizontal (landscape) or vertical (portrait) positioning.

  • Portrait mode only works for video calling.

  • No physical video or audio output connections.

The newer Echo Show models have an improved design over the original. A 10-inch LED/LCD screen covers the entire front. The back features a fabric cover that gives it a warmer look as opposed to the previous cold plastic look. The Echo Show comes in charcoal gray or white.

The Lenovo Smart Display has a unique style. The front has a speaker mounted on the left and either an 8-inch or 10-inch LED/LCD touchscreen covering the rest of the front. The back features a curved design that allows for vertical (portrait) positioning when making video calls.

Lenovo Smart Display Design Example
Lenovo

Voice Interaction: Alexa Responds Faster

Echo Show
  • Alexa voice assistant response is fast.

  • Responds to whispers and responds in whispers when Whisper Mode is activated.

  • More language context errors than with the Lenovo Smart Display.

Lenovo Smart Display
  • Voice command text displays on the screen before execution.

  • Follow-up question suggestions sometimes display on the bottom of the screen.

  • You can perform two successive tasks, such as turn on living room light and turn on Roku TV.

  • Voice assistant response is slower than the Echo Show.

The Amazon Echo Show provides the same voice interaction as other Alexa-enabled devices. Responses are quick and brief. For example, when commanded to turn lights on and off, Alexa responds with "OK."

The Lenovo Smart Display is good at understanding and executing commands. Still, it's slower than the Echo Show. Also, the Smart Display provides longer responses. For example, when asked to turn off the lights, it might say something like, "Turning off hue white lamp light 1."

Screen and Display Quality: The Lenovo Smart Display Shines

Echo Show
  • The 10-inch screen is viewable from a distance.

  • Less effective off-angle viewing than the Lenovo.

  • The screen exhibits glare from room light reflections.

  • Lower resolution than the Lenovo 10-inch screen model.

Lenovo Smart Display
  • Two screen size options.

  • Control the brightness setting using voice commands.

  • The screen has similar glare issues as the Echo Show.

Newer Echo Show models feature a screen size upgrade from 7-inches to 10-inches and a resolution upgrade to 720p.

The Lenovo Smart Display is available with either an 8-inch 720p or 10-inch 1080p resolution screen. The screen is bright, displays vivid colors, and has better off-angle viewing quality than the Echo Show due to the incorporation of IPS technology.

Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display — Screen Savers
Lifewire / Robert Silva

Speaker and Audio Features: The Echo Show Sounds Better

Echo Show
  • Outward-facing speakers provide a wide stereo sound field.

  • Bass, mid-range, and treble controls are available in the settings menu.

  • The overall sound quality is better than the Lenovo.

  • The Alexa voice is often louder than the music playback level.

Lenovo Smart Display
  • Has sufficient volume for listening to music and hearing voice responses.

  • Since only one speaker produces sound directly, stereo audio is not provided.

  • No other audio settings or additional audio processing are provided.

The Echo Show features a stereo sound system combining a 10 watts-per-channel amplifier with two speakers and a single passive radiator for enhanced bass response. Dolby Audio processing also aids in a fuller music listening experience.

The Smart Display also includes a 10-watt amplifier that provides a suitable volume for music listening, but only one speaker is provided.

Bluetooth Capabilities: Both Offer Compatibility

Echo Show
  • Stream music from a smartphone to the Echo Show.

  • Stream music from an Echo Show to a compatible Bluetooth speaker or headset.

  • Occasional pairing issues.

Lenovo Smart Display
  • Stream music from a smartphone to the Smart Display.

  • Stream music from the Smart Display to Bluetooth-only speakers or headsets.

  • Occasional pairing issues.

You can stream audio from the Echo Show to other Echo devices and Alexa-enabled wireless speakers from a variety of brands, including Sonos. The Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display provide Bluetooth, so you can stream music from the Lenovo Smart Display to Google Home and other compatible smart speakers.

Music Streaming Features: It's a Tie

Echo Show
  • Compatible with Spotify Connect for premium account users.

  • Supports Apple Music and Spotify Connect.

  • Only displays music lyrics for Amazon Music selections.

  • Doesn't support YouTube Music.

  • Displays song titles, album titles, and cover art.

Lenovo Smart Display
  • Compatible with Spotify Connect for free and premium account users.

  • Displays song and album titles, along with cover art.

  • Direct access to YouTube Music videos.

  • Doesn't support Amazon Music and Apple Music.

The Echo Show has a primary emphasis on Amazon Music. It also includes services like Pandora, iHeart Radio, Spotify, TuneIn, and more. Lenovo provides access to music from Google Play, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube Music.

If you're an Amazon Prime member, the Echo Show is the best option. If you desire more comprehensive Spotify and YouTube Music support, consider the Lenovo Smart Display.

Video Streaming: Lenovo Supports YouTube

Echo Show
  • Control Fire TV devices with an Echo Show.

  • Watch over-the-air live and recorded TV using Amazon Fire TV Recast (TV antenna required).

  • No direct access to YouTube or Netflix.

Lenovo Smart Display
  • Control Chromecast, Roku, and other streaming devices.

  • No direct access to Netflix.

The Echo Show provides access to Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, CNN, and NBC, which you can watch on its screen. It can also be used to control other video streaming features. The downside is that there's no YouTube integration, so you have to access the YouTube website from a web browser.

The Smart Display allows you to watch YouTube, Facebook Video, Google Play Movies, HBO Go/Now, and more on its screen. Similar to the Echo Show, it has additional video streaming and control capabilities. 

Video Calling Features: Lenovo Is More Flexible

Echo Show
  • Alexa Drop-In allows the Echo Show to be used as a video intercom.

  • Make audio-only calls by asking Alexa to dial a phone number.

  • Take still images and selfies with the camera.

  • Video calling is only supported through the Alexa app (the person you call must also have the app).

  • Can't mute the camera and mics separately.

Lenovo Smart Display
  • Make audio-only calls by asking the Smart Display to dial a phone number (except 911).

  • A sliding cover for the camera enables privacy.

  • Video calling is limited to Google Duo app users.

  • Can't use the camera to take still images or selfies.

  • The microphone and camera can be muted separately.

The Echo Show provides a 5 MP camera for video calling. You can also make audio-only calls.

The Lenovo Smart Display also has a 5 MP camera. You can make video or audio-only calls. The ability to cover the camera and mute the mic separately gives the Smart Display a slight edge over the Echo Show with regards to privacy options.

Smart Home Control: Echo Is the Way to Go

Echo Show
  • Control some devices by both voice and touchscreen options.

  • Set up routines using a single command to initiate several tasks.

  • Display video streams from compatible security and doorbell cameras.

  • Searching for Alexa skills can be a challenge.

  • Can only control Roku devices directly by going through an additional app.

Lenovo Smart Display
  • Turn on and control some features of Roku devices directly.

  • With voice commands, you're told which device is being controlled.

  • Set up routines to execute a series of tasks with a single command.

  • Select smart home devices provide touchscreen and voice control options.

  • Displays video streams from compatible security and doorbell cameras.

Through Alexa Skills and Zigbee, the Echo Show can control many smart home devices, including lights, thermostats, doorbells, locks, and other appliances. Alexa is compatible with more smart home devices than Google Assistant. However, if you have a Google Home, Chromecast, or Roku device, the Lenovo Smart Display might be a better match. 

Cooking Assistance: Lenovo Takes the Cake

Echo Show
  • Food Network and All Recipes provide a good selection.

  • Recipe images are large. 

  • Proceed through ingredients or steps at your pace. 

  • Access recipe videos on YouTube through a web browser.

Lenovo Smart Display
  • Access several sources for recipes and cooking videos, including YouTube.

  • Repeat ingredient lists or steps as many times as needed.

  • Doesn't display initial recipe choices as large as on the Echo Show.

The Echo Show sources recipes from Food Network and All Recipes. You can view cooking videos or recipes on the screen. Once you select a recipe, use voice commands or touchscreen prompts to guide you through the ingredient list and preparation procedure.

The Lenovo Smart Display sources recipes from Food Network, Betty Crocker, Delish, and King Arthur Flour. Say, "OK Google, show me recipes for (food) from (source)." Then, use touchscreen prompts or voice commands to go through ingredient lists and preparation steps.

Although both devices are great kitchen helpers, the ability of the Lenovo Smart Display to access recipe and cooking videos from YouTube makes it a better choice.

Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display — Recipes
Lifewire / Robert Silva

Maps and Directions: Lenovo Is the Clear Leader

Echo Show
  • Doesn't display maps.

  • Tells how long it will take to drive to a location and the location's address. It doesn't send that information to your smartphone.

Lenovo Smart Display
  • Displays maps and precise directions on the screen upon request.

  • Send maps and directions to your smartphone.

  • Can't send maps and directions to a printer.

The Echo Show can answer a lot of questions and provide a lot of information (for example, weather, news, reminders, and shopping lists). However, with maps and directions, Amazon dropped the ball. The Lenovo Smart Display, on the other hand, takes full advantage of access to Google Maps.

Final Verdict

In comparison to the Lenovo Smart Display, the Echo Show has faster voice response, fuller sound, bi-directional Bluetooth, and more comprehensive smart home control capability.

In comparison to the Echo Show, the Smart Display has a better screen, better video streaming access, more flexible audio and video privacy, plus it's better with maps and directions.

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