When Amazon Echo Show was announced in early May 2017, Nucleus was not having a very good day. That is because the Echo Show is highly similar to a device manufactured by Nucleus called Nucleus Anywhere.
Nucleus Anywhere was introduced in August 2016, while the Echo Show is expected to be out in the market in late June. The question remains: Is the Nucleus Anywhere comparable to the Amazon Echo Show?
Bottom Line Up Front: What’s the “quick take” from this comparison?
- If budget isn’t the main concern: I’d slightly prefer the Amazon Echo Show available here – mainly because it has a better noise-canceling voice activation + it has the backing of Amazon (which isn’t going out of business anytime soon)
- If you just need a “smarter” intercom: The Nucleus Anywhere available here does the job at a lower price – but keep in mind that it’s more of a true intercom and not as savvy with voice activation.
First Up: Amazon Echo Show
Originally released on June 28th, 2017, Amazon Echo Show could easily be described as an Amazon Echo device with a screen.
The premise is simple: instead of telling you things, the Echo Show will show them. It can display the weather forecast, or stream newscasts for you to watch.
When you ask the Echo Show to play you a song, it can also show you the lyrics, allowing you to sing along your favorites. With a front facing camera, the Echo show can take photos and double as a security camera.
What’s more, you can use it for video teleconferencing with friends who have the Alexa mobile app installed on their smartphones or have another Echo Show. You can also use it to make voice calls to people who have the Amazon Echo Dot or Amazon Echo.
Features of Amazon Echo Show
Dolby speakers. Every Amazon Echo product is, first and foremost, a connected speaker that doubles as a voice-activated assistant. Keeping in line with that philosophy, the Amazon Echo Show has crisp, clear, high-fidelity Dolby speakers that feature dynamic bass.
You can access music from online music streaming services such as TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Pandora. If you have saved music on your tablet or smartphone, you can also play the audio files using Bluetooth.
Seven-inch touch screen. Amazon Echo Show promises a seven-inch touch screen display that allows you to clearly see who you are talking to. It also accommodates a lot of information that you may ask for.
When not in use as a security camera or when not used in video conferencing, the display can be set up to cycle through different screens such as your schedule for the day, stock quotes, news headlines, and weather data, along with other content you want.
You can even ask Alexa to replay the trailers of upcoming movies, or perhaps show a briefing from CNN and other news channels.
Far-field voice recognition technology. Far-field voice recognition technology allows Amazon Echo Show to “hear” you no matter where you are in the house even if there is a high level of background noise.
This means that even if the kids are playing noisily or the TV is on, Echo Show will still be able to pick up your voice when you say “Alexa” and execute your command. Amazon Echo Show has eight microphones, each equipped with beam forming and noise cancellation technology.
For households with two Amazon Echo Show devices or other Amazon Alexa devices, far-field voice recognition technology works in such a way that the Alexa device closest to you will be the one executing your command.
Connectivity. Amazon Echo Show works with other connected devices, such as your thermostat and your smart bulb, allowing you to just use voice command to control them.
Amazon Echo Show: What I Think
It is easy to love Amazon Alexa-enabled devices because they make our lives a whole lot better and easier. A voice command is all you need in order to operate your smart devices at home. With that in mind, it would be easier to love Amazon Echo Show with its touch-screen display.
This touchscreen gives you a visual way of interacting with content you asked for, as well as allows more features and functions that were previously not possible, such as video teleconferencing and getting your security camera footage on one device.
Like all other Alexa devices from Amazon, you can expect continued improvements on the software behind the device. Alexa technology is in the cloud and can easily learn your speech patterns, including your vocabulary and manner of speaking.
Software updates are also done over the air, allowing an increasing number of skills people can do with their Alexa products. It should not be a problem finding new skills that would work with the video capabilities of the Echo Show.
The device measures 4.5 inches by 3.5 inches, making it a lot bigger than previous Alexa-enabled devices. This means that you will need to clear away some things in order to make room for it.
Amazon has also been very quiet about the screen resolution of its touch-screen display, which is a curious development.
People still have no idea whether the Echo Show has an HD screen or not, considering that video capability is the main differentiator between the Echo Show and earlier Amazon Alexa products.
If you are going to base it on the camera, however, you might be a little disappointed. The front facing camera only has five megapixels, which is similar to that of three-year-old smartphones.
Next Up: Nucleus Anywhere
When Nucleus Anywhere was launched, it was positioned to be a smart intercom with Amazon Alexa technology in it. If you have not yet owned an Amazon Echo, or Amazon Dot, Nucleus Anywhere would be a good choice if you are also looking into an intercom system.
You can place Nucleus Anywhere just about, well, anywhere – like on the living room table, on kitchen counters, or on the bed side table. You can also mount the device on the wall.
You might think that this device is useless since most people now have smartphones that allow them to use video chatting services such as FaceTime and Skype.
However, the Nucleus Anywhere is not really for them. It is ideal for home use, as it allows you to talk with people in another room, or in a neighboring home. You can also call from your mobile phone to your home.
If you have young kids or elderly people living with you, you will all find it easy to use the Anywhere when you want to check in on them. Unlike mobile tablets and smartphones, the Anywhere has been stripped off the unnecessary functions to keep things simple.
On top of that, it has an eight-inch display and a wide-angle high-definition camera that allow both parties to see each other clearly. With the 120-degree scope of the camera, you can see the entire room.
Nucleus Anywhere also features Amazon Alexa technology. You can ask it to stream music from Amazon Prime, TuneIn or iHeartRadio.
You can also connect your Nucleus Anywhere with Ring Video Doorbell, allowing you to see and talk to the person outside your door. Furthermore, you can use voice commands to initiate video and voice calls.
Nucleus Anywhere: What we think and how it compares to Amazon Echo Show
When it comes to Nucleus Anywhere, you have to temper your expectations. The Nucleus Anywhere replaces your current intercom and you would appreciate its flexibility when it comes to where you could put it, its video capabilities, and its simplicity.
Even little kids and non-tech savvy elderly people can operate it with no problem. Video and audio quality is good, and you will be able to carry on conversations without problems. Like any video teleconferencing software, the quality of your video calls is heavily dependent on your home’s Internet speed.
There are some features that could have made the Nucleus Anywhere better. For one, allowing you to use voice commands to end a call would have made it truly hands-free.
If there was some way to keep the mobile app running in the background, that would have allowed the Anywhere to call you on your mobile phone instantly. Right now, the smart intercom cannot contact you if you have closed the mobile app on your smartphone.
Nevertheless, as an intercom, it works rather well. Apart the video and audio capabilities, you can also set the Anywhere to answer automatically when
Because the one you are calling does not need to answer the call, you can use this feature for a quick check to see if the kids are sleeping or if there’s something wrong in an elderly’s room.
Or you can use it just to call them when it is dinner time. If you are concerned about privacy, there is a “Do Not Disturb” icon that you can tap to disable this feature. There is also a cover that you can slide over the device camera to make sure that your privacy is respected.
It helps that it has other features setting it apart from your traditional intercom including Amazon Alexa capabilities and integrations with other connected devices.
You should know that these are nice add-ons, but the Nucleus Anywhere cannot replace an Amazon Echo Show, or even an Amazon Echo or Amazon Echo Dot. Furthermore, Amazon Echo Show has a “Drop In” feature, which is similar to Anywhere’s automatic answer setting.
Also, when you ask your Nucleus Anywhere to play music, you would find that you cannot stream music from Pandora or Spotify. Amazon Echo Show can. However, the sound quality is at par with Amazon Echo’s and Echo
The deal-breaker is that while Amazon Echo Show promises easy integrations with smart devices and smart hubs, Nucleus Anywhere only has integrations with Ring Video Doorbell available, even if it has been available in the market for close to a year.
Lastly, the Nucleus Anywhere may not be able to “hear” you when you are in a noisy room. The microphones used in the device cannot cancel noise the way that Amazon Alexa devices can.
Further read, Nucleus Smart Intercom Review
Final Recommendation: Nucleus Anywhere vs Amazon Echo Show
In the end, the choice between Nucleus Anywhere and Amazon Echo Show boils down to your willingness to do away with some features and functionalities in order to save around a decent amount.
If you do not have too many smart devices and would just want to keep up with the younger kids and the elderly in your household, then the Nucleus Anywhere is a good choice for an intercom that has several great added features.
However, if you want to fully control your smart home using your voice and get better technology and features, but do not mind paying a premium for it, then go with an Amazon Echo Show.