Amazon Echo Show 5 review: The Alexa with display
end of May the Amazon Echo Show 5 saw the light of day. I was immediately impressed by the smart display - mainly because of its size. I absolutely had to test it - here comes my conclusion.
We have known smart displays with voice assistants for a long time. Google was the first in this segment with the Home range. Amazon has also been bringing it since the first Amazon Echo Show a new smart display with Alexa every year. However, I find this too big and not necessarily suitable for the bedside table - so the Amazon Echo Show 5 is simply perfect. I took a closer look at the smart speaker for a few weeks.
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It's in the packaging
In addition to the display itself, the packaging contains a 15W power supply unit with a fixed 1,5 m long cable (unfortunately not micro-USB or USB-C) and a quick start guide. You can see: you don't need more here, most of it is done via the Alexa app anyway. Accessories like one Stand for the Echo Show 5 you also have to buy yourself.
This is in the Amazon Echo Show 5
Let's go through the technical equipment of Show 5 briefly beforehand. The Smart Display comes with a 5,5 inch display, which has a resolution of 960 × 480 pixels. The pixel density is therefore 195 ppi, which is not a bad value. Models like that Lenovo Smart Display are of course a lot bigger here and have a better resolution. The dimensions are compact 148 mm x 86 mm x 73 mm with a weight of 410 grams.
Under the hood is a MediaTek MT 8163 Proprocessor. As expected, Amazon does not provide any information on information such as main memory (RAM) and internal storage. In addition, there is a 1,65 inch speaker with 4 watts on the back of the smart display. The coverable front camera comes with a 1 megapixel (720p) resolution. A total of two microphones are installed.
There are a total of four buttons on the top. One is for deactivating and activating the microphone, a volume down and a volume up button and, last but not least, a slider for the camera. This is actually hidden physically, not just via the software.
In terms of connection technology, we find the plug for the power cable on the back, and there is also a micro-USB port. However, this is not used to charge the smartphone or the Echo Show 5 itself, but for an optional network adapter. However, this is not yet available anywhere - so this connection is currently not intended for use. On the far right there is an AUX connection (3,5mm jack). With this you can have the sound output played on an external loudspeaker.
Setup via the touchscreen
The smart Echo Show 5 has a touchscreen. This is also used to set up the setup - if you hear about smart displays with the Google Assistant, they are always set up via an app on the smartphone. Here, up to links with Spotify or other services, the Alexa app is not even necessary - but at some point you will still need it if you use it more intensively.
If you plug the speaker into the socket, it boots up and the set-up starts. First you choose the language, then you continue with the selection of the WiFi network and login to the Amazon account. The speaker cannot be used without WiFi, let alone an Amazon account. If you have carried out a software update and specified a device name, you can actually start. If you want, you can adjust the brightness by pulling down the status bar and switch to the settings, in which you can change the background image and similar things.
Alexa shows everything on the display
The greatest advantage of a display is of course the visual view in addition to the voice output. If you ask “Alexa, how is the weather going?” You not only hear the weather forecast, but also get it visually on the display. If this lasts for several days, the display will automatically scroll to show the days one after the other. If you have an Alexa-compatible camera, you can view current live images on the display.
What I haven't mentioned above is the built-in brightness sensor. This records the current brightness in the room and dims the display accordingly. If it's dark, the Amazon Echo Show 5 automatically switches to night mode and shows the clock in a very simple way - if possible without colors and without a background image, so that it doesn't dazzle. If that is still too bright for you, you can switch the display completely black with "Alexa, display off" or adjust the brightness manually in the menu.
What you can do with the smart speaker
Basically, the Echo Show 5 can do everything that the displayless brothers Echo Dot and Echo can do. You can control your smart home devices such as lights, cameras, blinds and everything else. For me there is only the light with Alexa or Philips Hue to control. For example, if I say “Alexa, light off”, after executing the action, I also get a controller to manually adjust the brightness of the light. This disappears after about 30 seconds - then the display switches back to the start screen.
In "standby mode" the display constantly shows tips, tricks, jokes and current, popular news. If this bothers you, he can deactivate it in the settings. How should I put it: you don't get to see really really interesting things through the daily changing tips and tricks. Therefore, you can safely deactivate this setting - then the time and the set background image will always be displayed. At the top left you can still find the display of the current weather at the specified location.
You can also make phone calls with the smart loudspeaker - even video calls. There is also the integrated camera for this. But this only works if your friends also have an Alexa device.
Listen to music on the Echo Show 5
Before we are almost through with the test here, we come to a point that is certainly not insignificant. During my test, I listened to music (via Spotify, can be linked in the Alexa app) or radio (via TuneIn) every day on the Echo Show 5, which was on the bedside table. In general, I found the bass of the speaker a bit too strong, the highs and lows of the sound are missing here. After manually adjusting the equalizer settings, everything sounded better - but it's not perfect.
You won't be able to fill a room completely with music with the Amazon Echo Show 5, because larger speakers are much better. Also because you can't turn it up too loud, because then everything sounds pretty rickety and no longer really pleasant. For use in the kitchen, in the bedroom or in smaller rooms to enjoy music on the side, the loudspeaker of the Alexa speaker is completely sufficient.
tl; dr - conclusion
The Amazon Echo Show 5 cuts a pretty good figure for a price of 89,99 euros or sometimes even less (around 59,99 euros on Prime Day). Personally, I think it is better than the big Amazon Echo Show and a better alternative to the round model, the Echo Spot. Firstly because you can't show that much information with a round display, and you get a much better sound quality here.
I also like that you also think about privacy and even have the camera physically covered. This is the only way to really get the feeling that someone is not watching - on the software side, you can always say that.
It is therefore ideal for use in the bedroom, kitchen or smaller rooms. For example because you can control your smart home directly on the display, view recipes and view the weather. For this price, you definitely can't go wrong here. If you have been looking for a smart speaker for your home that also has a display for a long time, you can go straight to it strike on Amazon. You have my purchase recommendation.