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Echo Hub vs. Echo Show 15: Which is the best smart home gadget?

The Echo Hub might look like a smart display, but it actually falls into a category of smart home products known as smart control panels. Unlike smart displays, which are jack-of-all-trades entertainment hubs, control panels are designed to give you enhanced control over the rest of your smart home. That’s an important distinction, and it’s one of the main differences between the Echo Hub and Echo Show 15.

But is the Echo Hub or Echo Show 15 better for your smart home? Here’s everything you need to know before making a purchase.

Pricing and design

A person using the Amazon Echo Hub.
Amazon

The Echo Hub costs $180 and is designed to be installed on a wall. An optional stand is available if you prefer to set it on your countertop or table. It’s a simple device, as it looks just like a tablet with rounded corners and a few buttons on its side to adjust various settings. It’s the same for the Echo Show 15, which is designed to be mounted on a wall. Like the Echo Hub, an optional stand is available for the Echo Show 15. The Echo Show looks a bit more like a picture frame than a tablet due to its sharp edges and black outline. Neither is too eye-catching, though most shoppers will find the Echo Show to look much more premium. It’s also much more expensive at $280.

Winner: Tie

Display and quality

Amazon Fire TV on Echo Show 15.
Amazon

The Echo Hub features an 8-inch touchscreen display with 1280 x 800 resolution. It looks good when viewed from a few feet away, but it’s too small to view from across a room. The Echo Show 15 has a 15.6-inch touchscreen and 1920 x 1080 resolution. Its large screen makes it easy to view from several feet away, allowing you to scan it for info without needing to duck into your kitchen or sneak through the living room.

Both products are built to the high standards of Amazon, ensuring they’ll work well for years to come. Our review found the Echo Hub to be sluggish during some operations, while the Echo Show 15 was quick to respond to inputs — though it did have a penchant for random software crashes. The smart display has seen several updates since launching in 2021 and is in a much better place in 2024. By comparison, users will probably be running into minor issues on the Echo Hub for a while as Amazon works out the kinks of its latest gadget.

Winner: Echo Show 15

Features and smart home connectivity

An Echo Hub mounted on the wall near a living room.
Amazon

The Echo Hub isn’t meant to be an entertainment center. Instead, it’s all about controlling your smart home. Its home screen can be modified to give you quick access to all your most-used features, such as controlling smart lights or checking in on your security cameras. And since it supports thousands of devices, you should have no problem syncing all your existing products with the control panel. It does support apps like Hulu and Prime Video, but its lackluster speakers make it a poor choice for streaming.

The Echo Show 15 is the exact opposite. Its large screen is great for streaming, and its speakers are more capable of filling a small room. It also comes with a 5MP camera for video chats, and its home screen is better suited for accessing apps and Alexa than it is for controlling other devices.

Winner: Tie

Is the new Echo Hub a better smart home gadget?

The Echo Hub and Echo Show 15 are both great devices — but they’re designed to fulfill different roles in your home. If you love the idea of an interconnected smart home, the Echo Hub is ready to serve as the brains of the operation. If you want to stream videos while in the kitchen or want to use your display to make video calls, the Echo Show 15 is your best option. Regardless of which you pick, you’ll have access to the powerful Alexa voice assistant to help you streamline your daily tasks. Pricing is also a factor, as the Echo Show 15 is much more expensive than the new Echo Hub, so be on the lookout for sales, as Amazon loves to discount the Show 15 during shopping holidays like Black Friday.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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