Hands on: Amazon's compact Echo Show 5 smart display

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 30
Not to be outdone, Amazon recently launched its answer to the Lenovo Smart Clock, the Echo Show 5 -- coming in much cheaper than other Alexa-equipped smart displays.

Amazon Echo Show 5


Despite the name, the Show 5 is actually Amazon's third Show speaker -- and that doesn't count the Echo Spot. Instead its name derives from its screen, which measures 5.5 inches.

For the most part the Show 5 is no different from its siblings. It accepts just about any Alexa command you can think of, and some that only work with a Show or Spot, such as viewing compatible security cameras or watching Prime Video. Some non-specific commands are enhanced by extra information, such as recipes and weather.

Amazon Echo Show 5


Much like the Smart Clock, there are notable interface changes to accommodate a smaller display and bedside use. The GUI is more explicitly clock-centric for example, and there's a "sunrise alarm" that will slowly brighten the display starting 15 minutes before an alarm set between 4 and 9 a.m. You can even slap the top of the device to snooze, again like the Smart Clock.

Amazon's software is a more little cumbersome to navigate though, for instance burying the option to use personal photos as backgrounds within several layers of menus. If you want to access any media and smarthome options without voice, you have to swipe left from the right side of the screen, tap the correct category, and then browse.

The Show 5 definitely wins in one category: video. It not only supports Prime Video but NBC, a wider array of security cameras, and even YouTube -- though you have to launch Firefox (yes, Firefox) by voice to access it. In theory other Web-based video services should work as well. How Lenovo could omit YouTube from a Google-based product is beyond me.

YouTube's mobile interface shows in the Echo version of Firefox.
YouTube's mobile interface shows in the Echo version of Firefox.


The 5 also has a camera for video calls, which seems a little unnecessary and intrusive in the bedroom. The good news is that there's a physical camera shutter, and naturally you can mute the mic as well.

We'll have a complete review of the Echo Show 5 in the near future. Amazon is selling the product for $89.99 in charcoal and sandstone colors.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,157member
    Hoping for a Prime Day special on these. 
    mbenz1962llama
  • Reply 2 of 6
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 357member
    I have all that features in my phone so why do i need another electric parasitic loads??
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 6
    Kuyangkoh said:
    I have all that features in my phone so why do i need another electric parasitic loads??

    that's the equivalent to asking why you own a microwave and a toaster if you have an oven.  Or why you have a computer if you have a phone.  This device serves a purpose, and if you can't see what the purpose of it is, then it's just not for you.  I use my current one for playing a news report every morning while i'm eating breakfast.  My wife uses it for adding items to the grocery list by voice while she's rummaging through the cabinets and fridge.  I play podcasts on it as well sometimes as well as control pandora an amazon music by voice.    Additionally our house is automated and this gives us a hub to interact with, either by touch screen if we are trying to be quiet, or by voice.  

    Granted, nobody really needs one of these, but you don't need your phone either.  In fact i can't begin to explain how many times we've used it to find one of our phones.

  • Reply 4 of 6
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,667member
    "Please put more active spying/recording gear in your home!"

    No thanks, Google. No thanks, Amazon.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 6
    P_DevilP_Devil Posts: 5member
    chasm said:
    "Please put more active spying/recording gear in your home!"

    No thanks, Google. No thanks, Amazon.
    I guess you don't have a smartphone, PC, and/or tablet either.
    bigtds
  • Reply 6 of 6
    BxBornBxBorn Posts: 57member
    chasm said:
    "Please put more active spying/recording gear in your home!"

    No thanks, Google. No thanks, Amazon.
    iPhone, iPad and Mac do all of the same things...If Apple weren't collecting the same level of data they would simply say to consumers "buy Apple because we don't collect any data of any kind on our users"...but they don't. You don't think there are stored recordings of Siri requests and what do you think is happening when "Hey Siri" is enabled?
    bigtds
Sign In or Register to comment.