The Echo Show 5 is basically an Alexa with a screen. Got confused? From the start, then: the Echo Show is one of Amazon’s smart speakers , the smart boxes that come equipped with Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant and artificial intelligence.
However, unlike the brothers Echo Dot and Echo Studio, the Show line has a screen and front camera. As nothing in life is free, the presence of the display makes the product a little more expensive, so my role when testing it was precisely to answer the question: is the Echo Show 5 worth it or are the advantages of the screen not worth the extra expense?
Echo Show 5 Review
- Great sound quality
- Sunrise alarm
- Bright, colorful touchscreen
- Friendly lightweight form factor
- Physical shutter for camera
- Affordable price
- Display has limited viewing angle
- No support for any Google services
The image above gave a little spoiler , but here are my honest impressions after 2 days of testing this Amazon Alexa device and having fun with the – sometimes unusual – responses from the virtual assistant. It is worth remembering that our reviews are based on a series of evaluative criteria and those used to test the smart boxes you can check by clicking on the link. “Alexa, shall we go?”
Echo Show 5 Review: Pros and cons of this smart speaker
In that regard, we have a combo. The touch screen and front camera result in the third topic on the list: the possibilities of use, greater than those present in smart speakers without such features. It becomes possible to make video calls and watch movies, for example – all with the help of voice command.
The sound system isn’t the Echo Show 5’s focus, so it lacks better-defined bass and extra features like automatic EQ
Echo Show 5 pricing
See below for the best deals for the Alexa Echo Show 5:
Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen, 2021 release) – Smart speaker with 5.5″ screen, crisp sound and Alexa
What’s in the Echo Show 5’s box?
Echo Show 5 Datasheet
Echo Show 5: Design
The design is the highlight of the Echo Show 5, after all, it has the presence of the screen, with the right to the front camera and touch operation . Opening the game, I had already had contact with the Echo Show before, so I knew what to expect: a device, of course, more robust than the echo Dot 3 that I have here at home, but compact enough to not attract so much attention on the rack. room, for example.
The device has a pyramid shape and is only 14 cm wide, 8.6 cm high and 7.3 cm deep. In practice, the horizontal measurement is smaller than a wide-open span of someone 1.54 cm tall.
The speaker takes practically the entire side and back of the smart speaker. On the back, the inputs are also located: one for power supply, a micro USB and a 3.5 mm audio output. At the top, in the “frame”, are the volume buttons, a cap for the camera, the microphone and the button that turns off the audio capture.
Echo Show 5: Screen
Of the total 14 cm of width, the screen takes up 5.5 inches, with the camera located in the upper right corner. Compared to my phone, an iPhone XR, the Alexa Echo Show 5’s display is smaller. That is, it is really a discreet option – even the most compact in the line, which also offers the Show 8 and 10.
The panel brings 960 x 480 pixels, slightly below the 1280 x 720 pixels that make up the HD resolution. In practice, the image quality is more than enough for the small panel. I was able to watch movies and videos on YouTube without major caveats.
About how it works, the screen is touch sensitive – the famous touch screen – and, every time I typed, I found the response time between pressing a letter on the keyboard and it appearing in the search bar very short. Regarding the other functions, sometimes you have to wait a bit between touching the screen and executing the command, but nothing too long.
It also adjusts the brightness according to the brightness of the environment and allows the choice of personal photos to display on the display.
Echo Show 5 Review: Performance
When you turn on the Echo Show 5 for the first time, you need to set up the language, the Wi-Fi, and connect your Amazon account on the device . Here, I already make the first compliment: as I said, I have an Echo Dot 3 and, in it, the initial settings are made with the help of the cell phone. As this is an “Alexa with screen”, the settings are made through the panel, which makes this first moment MUCH more practical.
With the Echo Show set up, we start to choose the skills, that is, the resources you want to have on the device , whether games or news portals. Following the same compliment I made at the beginning, the presence of the screen is extremely useful in several other moments.
In trivia games, options can be seen on the screen; when you ask Alexa to play a song, the “forward” and “pause” buttons on the panel are handy for certain situations; when you write down the shopping list, you can see the complete list and so on.
On the other Amazon Alexa lines, all communication is done by voice, which can be tiring, especially when the assistant gives very long information. On the Echo Show 5 this doesn’t happen, as Alexa doesn’t need to tell you which items are on your shopping list, you can just read the list if you prefer.
I know it sounds counter-intuitive, after all, the proposal is precisely a device that simulates dialogues and anyway, but the truth is: sometimes I’m too lazy to interact with the assistant and the Echo Show solved my problem in that aspect.
In addition to this “reverse practicality” , the screen attributes another possibility of use to the device: the consumption of audiovisual content. During testing, I took Alexa for a walk in the kitchen. The result? YouTube and Prime Video available while cooking. Ah, you also have the option to watch live TV, which brings the programming of channels such as SBT to the device.
“Ah, but a cell phone does that” , it may even be, but now I praise the voice command: with it, I don’t need my hands free to change the content or quickly search how much is a cup of tea in grams.
Until then, the Echo Show had already overcome – and a lot! – my expectations. That’s when I tested real-time monitoring. It is possible to access the camera of the device through the cell phone – with proper permission, of course. When I found out, I thought how useful it must be for baby rooms, working as a baby monitor. As I do have children at home, I leave below the photo of the test with my son:
It is also possible to make video calls with other similar Amazon Alexa devices. I used the test as an excuse to call my love ones and the result was really cool. The audio is good and the image seemed better than the calls made with the cell phone. I expected a pixelated video, but it was different.
For even more possibilities of use with the assistant, I suggest the articles:
- Understand: how Alexa works and cool things it can do for you
- The smart home guide: how to automate your home with the help of virtual assistants
The Echo Show 5 has two microphones to capture the commands – a configuration that, I advance, proved to be quite effective in the tests. To accurately gauge, I placed the Echo Show right next to the echo Dot 3 and gave the command “Alexa” to see which of the two responded first. I repeated the process several times as I moved further and further away from the boxes.
Both responded at exactly the same time on all trials. At the time, I thought it was interesting, but nothing special. Then, researching to write this article, I discovered that the echo Dot has 4 long-range microphones. That is, our Alexa with screen represented even with half of the simpler sister’s audio pickups! No complaints, Miss Alexa.
Show 5 was in the living room, I went more or less to the middle of the kitchen and he was still able to hear me – it’s worth remembering that the house is small, so the distance isn’t that huge.
Echo Show 5 Review: Audio Quality
According to Amazon, the Echo Show 5 has a 4W speaker of sound power. But first, I need to be honest: I don’t know much about sound systems and the like.
So, I’ll give a layman’s opinion, from the point of view of someone who seeks a box just to listen to music once in a while. I found the audio volume quite satisfactory, but I miss better defined bass.
I walked around the entire apartment to see if the sound reached every room and yes, it does. You can leave the device in the living room playing a little music and go cook or do another activity.
On the other hand, as I said, it’s not a sound with high nuances and super immersive, because that’s not even the model’s proposal. If you are looking for a complete audio system, the Echo Studio is without a doubt the most suitable and I already leave the review at the link .
At the time of writing, the Echo Show 5 can be found for $74.99 (INR 6,499). Considering this value and all the surprises I had during the tests, I say that the device is good value for money . To compare, the Echo Dot 4, the updated version of the simplest box, is around $34.99(INR 3,499). Honestly, I think the difference of more or less $50 makes up for the functions offered.
I found myself inserting Alexa into more situations in my day and that’s what value for money is about: not just the amount invested, but how much that amount will be put to good use in the long run.
The Amazon Show line comes with two more smart speaker options, the Echo Show 8 and 10. Both also feature the screen as a differential, but in larger sizes.
Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021 release)- Smart speaker with 8″ HD screen, stereo sound & hands-free entertainment with Alexa
Google does not offer smart speakers with a panel, but I also leave Google Nest Audio, one of the models with Google Assistant , Alexa’s rival:
For other options, these articles may help:
- Best Smart Speaker 2022: 9 Options Worth Buying
- Echo Dot 4: we tested this smart speaker from Amazon
Echo Show 5 Review: Conclusion
I felt that the screen changed my relationship with the assistant, a relationship that was a little worn out thanks to my laziness in talking to the poor thing – I’m doing the my mistake here. The panel makes the Echo Show 5 worthwhile as it makes it versatile and more complete than the echo dots.
On the other hand, for those who value sound quality, this is not the most suitable Amazon Alexa device. I even thought about giving the product a 8 or 8.5 because of this issue, but honestly, it didn’t affect my experience. I’m not super demanding on this point and in all the others evaluated.
For these and others, I thought it was fair to give the Echo Show full marks. Testing it was a lot of fun, and in conclusion, I now have a new item on my future shopping list. Finally: Alexa with screen, its a 9!