“Amazon’s Echo Show 5 is much more than a smart alarm clock.”
The compact size fits anywhere
Improved privacy management
Entry level price
Slow smart touch screen control
Calling Alexa isn’t easy enough yet
No Google Photos or YouTube
Despite its name, the Amazon Echo Show 5 ($ 50) is the third generation of Alexa-compliant devices that compress the screen. Designed for desktops, bedside tables, kitchens, coffee tables and shelves, it is by far the smallest Echo exhibit with a 5.5-inch screen, integrated HD camera and several additional features. If you need something bigger, there’s always $ 105 Amazon Echo Exhibition 8 and $ 250 Amazon Echo Exhibition 10 (3rd generation) to consider.
We don’t blame you if your head spins, especially given how Amazon quickly developed smart displays. Amazon, Google, and partners are experimenting with all models, features, and price points to find a sweet place that drives users to scatter these devices around the home. This raises the question of whether Echo Show 5 has a place in the pack.
Google Nest Hub ($ 90) and Lenovo Smart Display 7 ($ 100) are two of its closest competitors, offering similar features in a compact size. Instead, Amazon has developed the Echo Show 5 as a true entry-level device. The retail giant, well priced at less than $ 100, is repeating a strategy previously tested with the audio-only Echo Dot, but this is, of course, a more powerful device.
You can’t buy three or five at a time as tights, like you did with Echo Dot, but Echo Show is cheap enough to pamper yourself and pick up a second as a prized gift. It can also be your next partner next to you, especially when you reveal some neat things The smart screens used by Alexa are capable.
A smart display that you’ll be happy to bring up
Amazon has taken a few attempts to format the Echo Show into a form factor that few call ugly, but this new model nails it. The slab-like design of previous generations is available in carbon or sandstone, and has been replaced with dirty dimensions, gentler curves and running lines. It doesn’t quite take pride in Nest Hub’s ambiance, but the sweeping corners, angled, material-wrapped back and sticky, rubberized sole make the Echo Show 5 both beautiful and practical.
While all Echo Show devices have a privacy button to disable the integrated camera and microphone array, the Echo Show 5 goes a step further with a thick camera shutter that slides across the lens. For a device that will potentially be installed in millions of bedrooms around the world, it is an obvious and significant attempt to alleviate user privacy. Slide the shutter to reveal a bright orange tab when the lens aperture changes from black to white and a message appears on the screen. You always know when privacy is enabled.
Even better, the shutter ensures that you can continue chatting with Alexa or family and friends during drops, Skype, and Alexa video calls on the hidden camera. It’s a simple addition to Echo Show’s privacy features, but it’s welcome.
If you’re used to the larger 7-inch or 10-inch smart screen, the 5.5-inch Echo Show feels like a pretty step down at first. Fortunately, the screen is sharp and colorful, with a resolution of 960 x 480, which is more than adequate for photos, videos, and the Alexa interface. The menus are well organized and easy to read across the room, and information such as time, date and weather are clear at a glance.
However, we recommend a larger screen for the kitchen. Google Nest Hub recipes and YouTube videos look great on the more accurate 7-inch screen, while photos come to life in family spaces. But in the bedside cabinet, the small dimensions of the Echo Show 5 are ideal.
Alexa at its best
It’s no secret that an intelligent assistant with a display is, on the whole, a more interesting and useful intelligent assistant. This is certainly the case with the Echo Show 5, which proves to be a surprisingly versatile device with alarms, reminders, entertainment, smart home routines and more. If you have thought similar Lenovo Smart Clock, then pause. Echo Show 5 does much more.
Although you’re mostly guided to Alexa by voice, you can swipe left on the screen to access the properties panel so you can easily navigate the screen. We found the touch screen very responsive, but some features, such as smart home management, took a few seconds after selection – longer than desired.
We love the ability to customize your home screen with alternative backgrounds, photos and a selection of rotating information. It’s a big step away from Lenovo Smart Clock’s limited customization features and helps make life more personal with Echo Show 5.
The ambient sunrise function can gently brighten the display 15 minutes before the alarm. It works well when you gently prepare for the awakening. Sure, you can tell Alexa to stop the alarm, but you can also hit the top of the screen (we tried to tap) to set a snooze timer. Spend some time setting up Alexa routines, and you can start your day brighter with your favorite music, lighting situations, set the thermostat, follow the latest news, and get a low-level day schedule.
Versatile selection of music and videos, but still not YouTube
This echo speaker is an interesting music and radio bedroom partner with lots of low prices, and Alexa’s verbal responses to your commands can be heard clearly across the room. Given Amazon’s ongoing spats with Google, you won’t find dedicated YouTube or Google Photos apps on board – and let’s be clear, both are missing – but with Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Prime Video and other support, you have options. That would not be the first choice to watch the episode Jack RyanBut if you don’t have a bedroom TV, it’s a sensible option.
It is Amazon’s friendliest and most versatile smart display.
Any Amazon Echo device can control your smart home with voice commands, but life is much easier with the display. When voice commands don’t work or you don’t remember the exact name of the device to control it, you have a great touch screen driver as a backup. Although it takes a few nervous seconds to export pop-ups, you can access and control all the lights, thermostats, cameras, and other smart home devices known to Alexa. Depending on the device, the features available may be limited – we can change the color of Philips Hue luminaires with voice commands, for example, but the touch screen drivers are definitely a useful backup.
On the flip side, smart home security systems like the Ring Video Doorbell 2 offer enhanced features for the Echo Show. When a visitor calls, you can see him and communicate with them via a smart display – no more having to rush to the door half-dressed to greet a UPS guy.
Alexa and Skype calls, messages and more
Echo Show 5 offers a full range of Alexa’s voice, video calling and messaging features on Skype. Whether you’ve selected full video or just audio, the ability to communicate without pulling your phone off. With an exotic range of Alexa-compliant devices popping up, such as Smoke Alarms and Smart Thermostats, you can now shout at kids from any room without excuses that you can’t hear.
While we found conversations to work well with an integrated speaker, dual microphone, and 1-megapixel camera, finding the right contact by voice can be a challenge, especially when using Skype. Alexa calls are still in their early days, and while we think it’s a breakthrough feature, Amazon has more work to do to make external calls effortlessly.
Like all Amazon Echo devices, this new model has a one-year warranty.
Try these new features
Working from home has challenges, especially when it comes to health and well-being. Alexa can help by providing helpful wellness tips. If you want to hear them, just say, “Alexa, what’s the health tip of the day?”
Group chat on all your devices
Getting someone’s attention in another room can be challenging, especially if you have children who routinely play music in their rooms. You can now have group chats with Alexa’s Drop In feature, where you can connect to other Echo devices. Basically, it is very similar to an intercom system.
Get your reminders on all your devices
You can always stay up-to-date on your reminders with a new feature that plays them on all your Alexa devices. To make this possible, you have to choose Report on all devices below Settings> Reminders In the Alexa application.
Daily music selection
Tired of the same playlist or carousel of songs playing on your Alexa device? Then check out the Daily Music Selection feature, which provides daily music recommendations from Amazon Music. All you have to do is say “Alexa, play Daily Music Pick,” and the new artist will automatically select a song, album, or playlist.
Echo Show 5 is the perfect desktop club for Alexa fans, especially given its current $ 50 cost (initially $ 90). We love its sleek, compact shape, which is a big step forward from previous generations. Our first concerns about the reduced screen size quickly disappeared in use. It is ideal for the whole bedside table or your desk.
Most importantly, it’s more than a “smart alarm clock.” While alarms, reminders, timers, and basic information such as weather and news reports may be the most popular uses, the Echo Show 5 is a capable home partner with decent entertainment, enhanced smart home features, and hands-free communication.
In addition to poor formatting, thoughtful improvements such as new privacy features, customization options, and Sunrise settings make Echo Show 5 one of Amazon’s friendliest and most versatile smart displays.
Is there a better option?
Google fans concerned about the lack of YouTube and Google Images may prefer the more affordable Lenovo Smart Display 7 ($ 80) or Google Nest Hub ($ 90), while Alexa users who want a larger display can still purchase Echo Show 8 ($ 105) or third generation Echo Show 10 ($ 250). However, Echo Show 5 offers great value for your desktop or bed.
How long will it take?
We have found that Echo devices are robust and well supported with feature updates. Of course, Amazon has been playing the customer support game for many years, and they do it better than most. No worries here.
Should you buy it?
Yeah. Amazon Echo Show 5 is an easy pick-up for Alexa fans and a great entry-level device for those considering their first smart display.