Smart displays serve as the control center for heating, surveillance cameras

Google Assistant or Alexa – those interested in a smart display including language assistants don’t currently have much more choice. Amazon and Google compete with Nest Hub and Echo Show for supremacy in this interesting niche.

Apple has so far done without a smart display that can be operated with Siri. However, rumors about an Apple display persist, as reported by So far, Apple users have been left in the dark or have to be particularly creative by converting an old iPad into a smart display. Otherwise, Lenovo and Facebook are also involved in the smart screen market.

However, this is rather half-hearted and the Smart Display from Facebook is not available in Germany. A smart display expands the already clever speakers with useful features. In the kitchen, for example, cooking tutorials or your favorite series can be played using voice commands.

In the bedroom, on the other hand, a smart display serves more as a smart alarm clock that shows the weather, the time and important appointments and can also track sleep. Coupled with smart surveillance cameras, a smart display throughout the house shows who is ringing the doorbell. Ideal for being informed in good time about uninvited visitors. And, of course, video telephony is also possible via the smart display if you don’t have a hand free to hold your smartphone or tablet.

Smart Display: Google Nest Hub

If you primarily operate your smart home with Google’s Assistant, you should definitely use the second-generation Google Nest Hub for the smart display. The Nest Hub looks particularly good in the bedroom because it analyzes your sleep. The Nest Hub uses sensors to not only perceive the movements and breathing of the sleeping person, but also temperature fluctuations or changing lighting conditions. This can then be used to determine how you can optimize your bedroom for more restful sleep.

Shortcoming of the Google Nest Hub: The service is only available for a monthly subscription. Of course you can also listen to your favorite music via Spotify via the Nest Hub or follow your favorite series with the streaming provider of your choice. Nice: You don’t even have to touch the smart display to operate it. A sensor in the Nest Hub recognizes gestures that can be used to operate the screen. Incidentally, it measures 7 inches, which corresponds to exactly 17.78 centimeters (cm) and has a resolution of 1024 × 600 pixels.

Video calling doesn’t work with the second-gen Nest Hub because it doesn’t have a camera implemented. If you don’t want to do without this feature or need a larger screen, you can use the Google Nest Hub Max, whose display has a camera, extends over 10 inches (25.4 cm) and also has a Full HD resolution. But you don’t need the large version in the bedroom because it lacks sleep monitoring.

Smart Displays von Amazon 

Shipping giant Amazon offers the widest selection of smart displays. The Echo Show 5 and 8 are now in the second generation, the Echo Show 10 in the third and the Echo Show 15 in the first generation. The main difference is their display sizes.

Of course, the charming language assistant Alexa does her job in all models. And who would have thought: The smart displays harmonize perfectly with the other smart home devices from the shipping giant, such as the Ring Doorbell or the Echo speakers.

The smallest smart display in the bunch is the Echo Show 5 from Amazon. Its display measures 5.5 inches (13.97 cm) with a resolution of 960 x 480 pixels. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether this display size is suitable for the kitchen. In the bedroom, the Echo Show undoubtedly cuts a fine figure as an alarm clock. Unfortunately, it lacks special functions such as the second-generation Nest Hub’s sleep tracking.

Its integrated camera also leaves a lot to be desired: a resolution of just 2 megapixels is simply not enough for video telephony in 2022. And let’s be honest: who would want an Amazon camera in their bedroom? A fifth-generation Echo-Dot with a clock display is more convenient.

So it makes sense to splurge on the next larger version of the Echo Show if you’re thinking of putting the smart display in the kitchen. As the name suggests, the Echo Show 8’s display is exactly 8 inches (20.32 cm). Its resolution is 1280 x 800 pixels and compared to the smaller Echo Show 5 it offers one more speaker. In addition, its 13-megapixel camera has a much sharper resolution, so that your counterpart recognizes you much better when you are making a video call via Skype or another app.

The built-in camera is one with a wide-angle lens. This is important for digital pan and zoom technology. Amazon gives the Echo Show 8 a pan and zoom function on the software side, which keeps the object in the picture when it moves. This is useful if, for example, you take a video call in the kitchen and move around. Unfortunately, the Echo Show 8 does not offer a sleep function like the second-generation Google Nest Hub.

The name says it all here too: The Echo Show 10 from Amazon measures around 10 inches (25.4 cm) diagonally. To be precise, it is 10.1 inches, but this should only be noticed by the very trained eye. It is the Amazon counterpart to the Google Nest Hub Max and has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Amazon gives it two speakers and a small subwoofer. For comparison: Only one speaker works in the second generation Google Nest Hub, in the larger version, the Google Nest Hub Max, there are two.

In addition, Amazon has given the Echo Show 10 an improved digital pan-and-zoom function: With the Echo Show 10, this works not only via software but also mechanically. The display automatically rotates in the user’s direction as the user moves. The Echo Show 10 also uses the same camera as the Show 8. As a reminder, this is a wide-angle lens with a 13-megapixel resolution.

The Echo Show 15 concludes with what is probably the most unusual smart display currently on the market. Contrary to its predecessors, the Echo Show 15 does not sit on a stand, but is suitable for hanging on the wall like a picture. Amazon integrates two loudspeakers into its digital picture frame, the screen of which extends diagonally over exactly 39.62 cm (15.6 inches) and has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD). The Echo Show 15 is very well suited as a control center in the smart home because it offers the Visual ID function. Each family member can create such an ID.

The smart display then recognizes from the face who is in front of it and shows appointments, to-do lists, music or similar accordingly. Compared to the Echo Show 10 and 8, the camera of the Echo Show 15 has a significantly lower resolution of 5 megapixels. In addition, it does not offer the function of keeping the filmed object in the frame. The Echo Show 15 is the only smart display from Amazon that offers the option of creating large widgets on it.

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