Amazon's Echo Show 15 is now useful as a tiny TV. The company has released a promised free update that brings the Fire TV interface to the smart display. As on other devices, you can stream from a range of apps (including Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube) with an on-screen carousel that helps you find content and resume shows. This will be familiar to anyone who's used even a basic Fire TV Stick, but the Echo Show's design offers a few interface twists.
You can use Alexa to open apps or stream specific content, and use either a paired Alexa Voice Remote or the controls in the mobile Fire TV app to navigate without smudging the screen. However, there's also a virtual remote on the Echo Show 15 itself. You won't need a separate controller for those apps that don't recognize touch.
The Echo Show 15 normally costs $250, but Amazon is sweetening the deal to mark the Fire TV launch. A new "limited time" bundle includes both the display and an Alexa Voice Remote for $195. Existing Echo Show owners, meanwhile, can buy the remote for $10 ($20 off) through the touchscreen.
As we explained in our review, the Echo Show 15 still isn't for everyone. The camera and speakers are merely so-so, and there's still only a limited range of widgets. With that said, the Fire TV expansion may go a long way toward justifying the design. This may be a viable option for a kitchen or bedroom TV, particularly if you'd also like to see the family calendar or the weather.