Amazon Echo Show 5 (second gen) review: small screen, small updates

Amazon just lately up to date a few its Alexa-based Echo Show good shows. The brand new Echo Show 8 (second gen) noticed a few enhancements over its predecessor, however the smaller Echo Show 5 has acquired an excellent smaller refresh.

There are solely three primary adjustments within the new $84.99 Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen): it has a 2-megapixel digicam as a substitute of the 1-megapixel sensor of the primary mannequin; it is available in blue in addition to the black and white shade choices; and the three.5mm output jack on the again is gone. Not like the bigger Echo Show 8, the brand new 5 didn’t get a brand new processor, and its digicam doesn’t function the automated panning and cropping that the Echo Show 8 and 10 provide.

Verge Rating

7.5 out of 10

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Good Stuff

  • Loud, full sound for its measurement
  • Compact sufficient to placed on a nightstand
  • Does the whole lot an Echo speaker can do

Unhealthy Stuff

  • Not any quicker than the prior mannequin
  • Upgraded digicam continues to be not nice
  • Restricted video calling and video streaming choices

That signifies that this new mannequin gives successfully the identical expertise because the prior technology. It’s a compact good show that’s finest used as a sensible alarm clock or a desk companion in a house workplace. The 5.5-inch 960 x 480-pixel touchscreen is shiny and colourful, however not as simple to learn from throughout the room as Amazon’s bigger good shows. It really works as a monitor for a safety digicam or video doorbell, however I wouldn’t wish to watch a lot video on it — your cellphone is a greater machine for that. For those who insist, the Echo Show 5 helps Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube through its browser, however not as many video providers because the bigger fashions.

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The brand new Echo Show 5 is offered in blue, along with white or black.

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The 5’s digicam has been upgraded to 2 megapixels, however it’s nonetheless not nice. Luckily, you possibly can block it with the built-in privateness shutter.

The one speaker contained in the wedge design will get surprisingly loud and places out extra bass than anticipated for its measurement, however it received’t as simply fill a room with sound. It really works nice for a morning alarm or listening to a podcast at a desk. The Echo Show 5 additionally has a useful function that allows you to faucet the highest of the machine to snooze an alarm, which is less complicated than attempting to say “Alexa snooze” whenever you’re half awake. (The Google Nest Hub’s capacity to only cease the alarm with a single phrase, or to snooze whenever you wave your hand in entrance of it, continues to be higher, although.)

Although the digicam within the new mannequin is 2 megapixels as a substitute of 1, that’s not an enormous improve. The Echo Show 5 doesn’t assist Zoom, so you possibly can’t use it for work calls, however it’s advantageous for calling from one Alexa good show to a different or to the Alexa app on a cellphone. Maybe a extra helpful function is the flexibility to view the digicam’s feed via the Alexa app, so you possibly can see what’s happening at residence whenever you’re gone. For those who don’t wish to use the digicam in any respect, you possibly can block its view with the built-in privateness shutter.

For the reason that second-gen Echo Show 5 has the identical processor because the final mannequin, it’s not any quicker. Of Amazon’s good show lineup, it’s actually the pokiest, taking probably the most time to load a video feed from a safety digicam and taking an additional beat or two to drag up completely different screens or menus whenever you work together with it. Most individuals will in all probability not discover that to be an issue, however should you have been hoping for a pace improve this time round, sadly there isn’t one.

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The Children Version Echo Show 5 is available in a singular chameleon shade.

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The Children Plus service that comes with the Children Version limits what will be performed on the machine.

Together with the usual Echo Show 5, Amazon can also be now promoting a Children Version mannequin for $10 extra. That will get you a customized blue-green-yellow chameleon shade, a yr’s subscription to the Children Plus service, and a two-year guarantee in opposition to unintentional breakage. (A two-year injury guarantee for a tool that’s supposed to remain placed on a shelf or dresser doesn’t appear very priceless to me, however I’m certain some child on the market will discover a technique to break the factor.)

The Children Plus service on the Echo Show is just like what’s obtainable on Amazon’s Hearth HD Children Version tablets. It permits mother and father to customise which content material and options can be found on the units and tailor them to their little one’s age. It’ll play music from Amazon Music and received’t permit express tracks. It additionally removes sure options like good residence controls from the Show’s contact interface.

On the tablets, it’s potential to have a number of profiles that may be switched between completely different youngsters, however the Echo Show doesn’t assist that. For those who’re planning to have a couple of child share it, you must set the constraints to the age vary of only one.


The brand new Echo Show 5 is successfully the identical because the prior mannequin.

In all, the brand new Echo Show 5 (and its Children Version spinoff) is mainly the identical because the prior mannequin. It’s nonetheless a useful, compact good show for a nightstand or desk, however it’s not as succesful or quick because the bigger Echo fashions in Amazon’s lineup. Given the constraints with the digicam, I might be extra excited about a mannequin with out a digicam in any respect, just like Google’s Nest Hub, because the bed room alarm clock is the perfect use case right here.

At $84.99, the brand new mannequin is $5 cheaper than its predecessor at launch, however Amazon incessantly reductions its Echo units and also you’ll doubtless have the ability to discover it for lower than its retail value very often.

Pictures by Dan Seifert / The Verge

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