Comparison Between the Amazon Echo Show and the Lenovo Smart Display

Compare side-by-side to determine which one will work for your lifestyle

Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen) and Lenovo Smart Display
Amazon, Lenovo

The Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display are smart speakers and home hubs with touchscreens. They can display information and provide additional control capability that complements voice interaction (Alexa for the Echo Show and Google Assistant for Lenovo).

There are many similarities between the two, but also some differences. To find out which one might be right for you, let's compare some of their capabilities.

The Amazon Echo Show in the following comparison is the 2nd Generation Model.

Best Product Design

Amazon Echo Show 2nd Generation Design Example
Amazon

Amazon Echo Show

The 2nd Generation Echo Show has an improved design over the previous model. A 10-inch LED/LCD screen covers the entire front while the back features a fabric cover that gives it warmer look as opposed to the previous cold plastic look. The Echo Show comes in charcoal gray or white.

What We Like

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

  • The camera, microphones, volume control, and speaker/camera mute buttons, are located on the top frame.

  • A Kensington Lock Slot is provided for physical security.

What We Don't Like

  • There are no physical video or audio outputs to connect to a larger screen monitor or TV, external powered speaker or audio system.

Lenovo Smart Display

Lenovo Smart Display Design Example
Lenovo

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

What We Like

  • Stylish Design is especially suited for a kitchen or office.

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

  • The bamboo color on the back of the 10-model is especially pleasing.

What We Don't Like

  • The vertical (portrait) position only works for video calling.

  • Just as with the Echo Show, there are no physical video or audio output connections.

Our Pick: Both — Each as a visually pleasing design, the choice here depends on personal taste.

Best Voice Interaction

Amazon Echo Show 

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

What We Like

  • Alexa voice assistant response is fast.

  • The Echo Show will respond to whispers, but will also respond in whispers if Whisper Mode is activated.

What We Don't Like

  • There are more language context errors than with the Lenovo Smart Display.

Lenovo Smart Display

The Lenovo Smart Display is very good at understanding and executing commands, but is slower than the Echo Show as it doesn't respond until a text version your voice commands are "typed" on the screen.

Also, whereas the Echo Show might respond to a command with a simple "OK", the Lenovo provides longer explanations. For example, when asked to turn lights on an off, the Lenovo will say something like: "Turning off Hue White Lamp Light 1 (2,3, etc...) off".

What We Like

  • A text version of voice questions and commands is displayed on the screen before execution.

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

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

What We Don't Like

  • Voice assistant response is slower than the Echo Show due to the time it takes to display the text version of a question or command on the screen.

Our Pick: Amazon Echo Show — Fast response and whisper mode is a really great feature.

Best Screen

Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display — Screen Savers

Lifewire / Robert Silva

Amazon Echo Show

The 2nd Echo Show gets a screen size upgrade from 7 to 10-inches and a resolution upgrade to 720p. However, there is more to consider. 

What We Like

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

  • Manual and Automatic Brightness (adjusts to room light) settings via touchscreen.

  •  The touchscreen response is similar to a tablet.

What We Don't Like

  • The screen's 720p resolution is lower than Lenovo's 10-inch screen but the same as Lenovo's 8-inch screen.

  • The screen is not as bright or colorful and has less effective off-angle viewing than the Lenovo.

  • The screen exhibits glare from room light reflections.

Lenovo Smart Display

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.

What We Like

  • Two screen size options.

  • Manual and Automatic brightness control via touchscreen or voice command.

  • Touchscreen response similar to the Echo Show.

What We Don't Like

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

Our Pick: Lenovo Smart Display

Best Speaker and Audio Features

Amazon Echo Show — Sound Settings

Lifewire / Robert Silva 

Amazon Echo Show

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.

What We Like

  • Outward facing speakers provide wide stereo sound image.

  • Bass, mid-range, and treble controls are available via the settings menu on the touchscreen (not available by voice)

  •  Overall sound quality is better than the Lenovo.

What We Don't Like

  • Alexa's voice is often louder than the music playback level. You may had to turn up the volume for music, and then turn it down for Alexa voice responses.

Lenovo Smart Display

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

What We Like

  • There is sufficient volume for music listening and voice responses.

What We Don't Like

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

  • No other audio settings or additional audio processing provided.

Our Pick: Amazon Echo Show

Best With Bluetooth

Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display — Bluetooth via Android Phone
Screenshots

Amazon Echo Show

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 also provides Bluetooth

What We Like

  • You can stream music to the Echo Show from your smartphone, or you can send music from the Echo Show to a compatible Bluetooth speaker or headset.

What We Don't Like

  • Occasional Pairing issues.

Lenovo Smart Display

You can stream music from the Lenovo Smart Display to Google Home and other compatible smart speakers. Bluetooth is also included but there is a catch. 

What We Like

  • You can stream music from your smartphone to the Smart Display using Bluetooth. 

What We Don't Like

  • You can't stream music from the Smart Display to Bluetooth-only speakers or headsets.

  • Occasional Pairing issues.

Our Pick: Amazon Echo Show

Best Music Streaming

Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display — Music
Robert Silva for Lifewire

Amazon Echo Show

The Echo Show has a primary emphasis on Amazon Music but also includes services, such as Pandora, iHeart Radio, Spotify, TuneIn, and more.

What We Like

  • Compatible with Spotify Connect for Spotify premium account users. 

  • Song and album titles and cover art can be displayed.

  • Apple Music is supported.

  • You can play a different source on another Echo device, or external Alexa-enabled speaker/audio system at the same time you are listening to the Echo Show or using it to perform another task.

What We Don't Like

  • The Echo Show only displays music lyrics for Amazon Music selections.

  • Google Play Music is not supported.

  • YouTube music video access requires going through provided Silk or Firefox web browsers.

Lenovo Smart Display

Lenovo provides access to music from Google Play, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, as well as YouTube music videos.

What We Like

  • Compatible with Spotify Connect for both free and premium account users.

  • Song and album titles are displayed, along with cover art.

  • You can browse through music selections via the touchscreen display on select services

  • You can play a different source on a Google Home, other Google Assistant-enabled speaker, or audio system at the same time you are listening to the Smart Display.

  • Direct access to YouTube music videos.

What We Don't Like

  • Amazon Music and Apple Music are not supported.

Our Pick: Both — If you are an Amazon Prime Member, the Echo Show is the best option, if not, more comprehensive Spotify connect support and the ability to play YouTube Music videos more conveniently are pluses for the Lenovo Smart Display.

Best Video Streaming

Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display — Streaming Services

Lifewire / Robert Silva

Amazon Echo Show

The Echo Show provides access to Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, CNN, and NBC, which you can watch on its screen, but it can also be used to control other video streaming features.

What We Like

  • Select video streaming services can be viewed directly.

  • The Echo Show can control Fire TV devices.

  • The Echo Show will allow you to watch over-the-air live and recorded TV on its screen via the Amazon Fire TV Recast (TV antenna also required).

What We Don't Like

  • No direct access to YouTube. You need to select the YouTube website on the provided Silk or Firefox Web browsers.

  • No direct access to Netflix.

Lenovo Smart Display

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

What We Like

  • Similar to the Echo Show, select video streaming services can be viewed directly.

  • The Lenovo can control Chromecast, TVs with Chromecast Built-in, and Roku TVs, Boxes, and Streaming Sticks.

What We Don't Like

  • YouTube video navigation is best done via the touchscreen.

  • No direct access or display of Netflix on its screen.

Our Pick: Lenovo Smart Display — Direct display of YouTube videos is a big plus.

Best Video Calling Features

Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display — Video Calling
Amazon and Lenovo

Amazon Echo Show

The Echo Show provides a 5mp camera for video calling which adds more flexibility than non-screen Echo devices. However, you can also make audio-only calls. 

What We Like

  • Alexa's Drop-In feature allows the Echo Show to be used as a video intercom with other Echo Shows in the same or other location.

  • You can make audio-only calls by asking Alexa to dial any phone number (except emergency numbers such as 911).

  • You can take still images and selfies with the camera.

  • The Camera and Mics can be muted.

What We Don't Like

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

  • The camera and mics can't be muted separately.

Lenovo Smart Display

The Lenovo Smart Display also has a 5mp camera and you can make both video or audio-only calls, just as you can with a Google Home or similar Google-enabled smart speaker.

What We Like

  • You can make audio-only calls by asking the Smart Display to dial any phone number (except 911).

  • A sliding cover for the camera enables privacy when desired (you can still use the microphone as it can be muted separately).

What We Don't Like

  • Video calling limited to Google Duo app users.

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

Our Pick: Lenovo Smart Display — The ability to cover the camera and mute the mics separately gives it a slight edge over the Echo Show with regards to privacy options.

Best Smart Home Control

Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display — Lights

Lifewire / Robert Silva

Amazon Echo Show 

Through Alexa Skills and Zigbee, the Echo Show can control a lot of smart home devices, from lights, thermostats, doorbells, locks, and even select appliances, but that isn't all.

What We Like

  • You can control some devices by both voice and touchscreen options.

  • You can set up routines using a single command such as, "Good Morning". This can initiate several tasks, such as turning on lights, showing the weather, and playing the latest news.

  • Video streams from compatible security and doorbell cameras can be displayed.

What We Don't Like

  • If you don't know the name of the Skill you want to enable, searching the Skills list can take a lot of time.

  • Can't control Roku devices directly without going through an additional app.

Lenovo Smart Display

The Lenovo Smart Display taps into devices that can be controlled by Google Assistant, which although less than with the Echo Show, still numbers quite a bit. 

What We Like

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

  • With voice commands, you're told which device is being controlled. If you say, "Turn on the bedroom light", the response may be: "Turning Off Hue Light 1".

  • Just as with the Echo Show, you can set up routines to execute a series of tasks via single command.

  • You can give two successive commands, such as "Turn on the living room light and set the thermostat".

  • Can turn on and control some features of Roku devices directly.

  • Can display video streams from compatible security and doorbell cameras.

What We Don't Like

  • Slow command response and task execution.

Our Pick: Echo Show — However, if you already have a Google Home, Chromecast or Roku device, the Lenovo Smart Display might be a better match.

Best Cooking Assistance

Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display — Recipes

Lifewire / Robert Silva

One of the most hyped features to attract consumers to purchase an Echo Show or Lenovo Smart Display is their use as "cooking assistants".

Amazon Echo Show

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

What We Like

  • Food Network and All Recipes provide a good selection.

  • The recipe images are large. 

  • You can proceed through ingredients or steps at your own pace. 

What We Don't Like

  • Access to YouTube recipe videos requires going through provided Silk or Firefox web browsers.

Lenovo Smart Display

The Lenovo Smart display sources recipes from Food Network (default), Betty Crocker, Delish, and King Arthur Flour. Just say "OK Google show me recipes for XXX" or also include the source name. You can select from several choices using voice commands or touchscreen taps — "show me recipe one" (or two or three). You can use touchscreen prompts or voice commands to go through ingredient lists and preparation steps.

What We Like

  • Access to several recipe sources and cooking videos, including YouTube.

  • You can repeat ingredient list or steps as many times as needed.

What We Don't Like

  • Initial Recipe choices not displayed as large as on the Echo Show.

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

Best Maps and Directions

Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display — Maps and Directions

Lifewire / Robert Silva

Amazon Echo Show

The Echo Show can answer a lot of questions and provide a lot of information (weather, news, reminders, shopping lists), but with maps and directions, Amazon has dropped the ball. 

What We Like

  • Not Applicable 

What We Don't Like

  • The Echo Show doesn't display maps. If you ask it to show you a map, it will respond with "Hmm, I don't know that one" or similar response.

  • The Echo Show will tell/show you how long it will take you to drive to a location and the location's address, but will not send that information to your smartphone.

Lenovo Smart Display

Although the Echo Show is weak on directions and maps, the Lenovo Smart Display takes full advantage of access to Google Maps.

What We Like

  • Maps and precise directions are displayed on the screen upon request.

  • Maps and directions can be sent to your smartphone.

What We Don't Like

  • Maps and Directions can't be sent to a printer.

Our Pick: Lenovo Smart Display

The Bottom Line

  • If you are an Amazon Prime member and/or have other Echo and FireTV devices, the Echo Show is a logical addition. The Echo Show not only features Alexa Skills but is also compatible with Zigbee smart home devices.
  • 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.
  • The Lenovo Smart Display works with Google Home and/or Chromecast devices as well as Roku devices through Google Assistant. The Lenovo Smart Display also works with all of the smart home devices that Google Home devices work with.
  • In comparison to the Echo Show, the Lenovo has a better screen, as well as two screen size options, better video streaming access, flexible audio and video privacy, cooking assistance, and is better with maps and directions.