REVIEW: Amazon Echo Show 5
As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of the Amazon Echo devices, with my home kitted out with them to control everything from the lights, to the heating to the television. They are fantastic little voice aids that are cost effective and super easy to install.
Amazon recently launched the Amazon Echo Show 5. For those of you unfamiliar with the Echo line up, it starts with, (outside of the niche, Echo Auto / Echo Input), the Echo Dot. A small, puck like smart speaker that retails for approx £50.
The current generation of the Echo Dot (the one with the fabric on the outside) is a great little device with a decent speaker (the previous generations, in terms of speaker quality were not great, and they are what I have placed around most of my house).
Next up we have the Echo / Echo Plus, they are slightly different in look, but for the most part the same. A tall cylinder, with great sound out of them (the plus has some extra build in smart home hub stuff if you need that). They retail for about £90 and £140 respectively.
Next we get up to the Echo devices with screens, we have the Echo Spot and the Echo Show. We’ve reviewed the Echo Spot before (you and read the review HERE). It’s a small, spherical devices with a circular screen. The sound is just OK from it, but better than the 2nd Gen Echo Dot.
I have it in my bedroom as an alarm clock and it’s fantastic. It retails for approx £120. The echo Show is a much bigger device, with a 10 inch screen and fantastic sound. It really is suited to the likes of the kitchen environment where you can watch recipes or see news coverage, but it is quite big and retails for around £220, so not cheap.
This is where the Echo Show 5 comes in. It retails for approx £80. Think of it as a cross between the 3rd Gen Echo Spot and the Echo Show. It has a 5.5inch screen (normal format, not round or anything) and a pretty good sounding speaker. It does pretty much everything its bigger brother can, but in a smaller package. When Amazon announced the Echo Show 5, I knew it would be perfect for my kitchen. It’s where we use the Echo devices the most.
We set timers, listen to the radio and control the lights and what not. The benefit of the Echo Show 5 is its screen. When we have a timer set, we can now see it on the screen. Previously we had to keep asking Alexa what the timer was and if she misheard us, she’d end up setting a new one, or worse, cancelling the timer, but now we can just see that on screen. We can also see the radio station details that we’re listening to.
The device itself is a nice neat shape. It has an angled back that keeps it at a good viewing angle and allows room for the down firing speaker below the screen to get out as much audio as possible. The updated UI on the show also allows some quick and easy controls from the screen.
Slide in from the right and you get shortcuts to you home to turn on / off lights by tapping them. There’s a line out should you wish to use the Echo Show 5 with a different speaker (this can be done via Bluetooth as well) and a power input.
On top, there is the volume, mute and a physical slider that covers the front facing camera for extra privacy, something that the Echo Spot can only do in software. The camera can be used to make video calls to other echo devices or audio if the other devices don’t have cameras.
One other great thing with the Echo Show 5’s screen, is we can now use it to check some of the cameras in the house. We have the Neos smart cam in our sitting room. This is so we can check in our toddler when we’re in the kitchen. All we have to do is ask alexa to show us the sitting room camera, and it pops up on screen. It’s great. There is a bit of a delay, but it’s better than not being able to see it at all.
Overall, the Echo Show 5 is a great addition to the Amazon Echo line up and one I’m happy to have in my home. You can pick up the Echo Show 5 on Amazon.co.uk right now.