Of all the smart displays on the market right now, many of you went for the Echo Show 5. Amazon’s mid-sized model features a sunrise alarm, quality sound, and of course, the Alexa assistant. 

Engadget, By Amber Bouman


© Engadget | Readers tell us why the Echo Show 5 is their ideal smart display

When senior editor Nicole Lee reviewed the Echo Show 5, she was impressed with the small device’s ability to compete with larger options like the Lenovo Smart Clock or Google’s Nest Hub. We asked Echo Show owners why they went with the 5-inch version from Amazon, what their favorite features were and what it was like to watch videos on the device. Here’s what they had to say.


Our reviewer Nicole pointed out that the smaller screen on the Echo Show 5 makes it ideal for the kitchen and the bedroom, and that is indeed where most of our users placed the device. Shawn specifically said he “picked it up to help in the kitchen and in the 5-inch range it fit nicely in the small space I have.” Meanwhile, Prunkard thought it worked best as a bedside alarm clock because “our house is fully invested in Alexa and it made sense to have a bedside version.” 

With its 960 x 480 resolution, Nicole felt the Echo Show 5 was best suited for photos and quick video viewing, and our user reviewers likewise found value in watching shorter clips on it. Anthony used it to “briefly check the weather by glancing at the screen in the morning, while also getting traffic information,” while R felt it was overall “great to have a display to see things.” Shawn, who said he originally purchased the Echo Show 5 to “provide a screen for a bit of video watching,” admitted that outside of the “occasional live TV viewing of FoodTV,” he didn’t use the visual aspect of the device a lot. And Dandyrandy called the 5-inch video screen sweet, though he also agreed with Nicole that “customization may be a bit of a challenge to set up the first time.”  

In contrast, users frequently employed Alexa to control the smart display itself -- as well as other devices in the home. Prunkard said they “use it for weather, alarms, smart home activation (mostly Wemo switches and Nest thermostats) and it excels at that.” Dandyrandy said, for him, “the killer app is being able to use my voice to change the streaming audio -- no buttons to keep track of in the dark, no lights.” Shawn uses Alexa to “set a timer and give it a label like ‘Alexa, set a 3-hour roast timer’ but with the Show, if you do a series of these, with labels ideally, then you can ask to have it show them back to you on the screen. It’s just a great tool for any home baker, chef or otherwise.” 

Theindiearmy said that “after trying out Google Home and Homekit, the Alexa ecosystem is just so much further along, it’s almost laughable.” They said they “made the switch expecting at least some of the issues I was experiencing with the others, but Alexa has been on point from the very beginning. That is the heart of this device that instantly makes it better than the competition.”

Shawn wasn’t the only user who relied on their Echo Show 5 to run multiple timers or reminders -- Prunkard also uses the device for alarms, as does Dandyrandy. To expand upon his cooking example above, Shawn pointed out that he has “some nice timer sticks and the like but being able to do it without stopping and fiddling with a timer or touching the stove clock is great.” Similarly, Anthony was effusive in how well the Show worked for his needs: “To me, it functions perfectly for a simple alarm clock which I replaced after 15 years … It streams my local radio news station as I start my day, just in case the alarm doesn’t wake me up.”

Originally priced at $90, the Echo Show 5 was one of the least expensive smart displays available -- and it was this price point that made it an attractive device for many users. Prunkard declared it “does the job in a very unsexy way for a good price,” while Anthony pointed out that “just because it was the cheapest at the time, doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.” As of this writing, the Echo Show 5’s price has dropped to $60 -- the lowest-price Alexa device offered by Amazon with a screen. 

Although it is smaller than the other Echo displays, the Echo Show 5 “does everything your run-of-the-mill Echo does” according to Dandyrandy, who also owns an Echo 8 but prefers the Echo Show 5 because it “is much better suited to my situation, and much smaller.” Shawn, who originally purchased it as an Echo Dot replacement, found that “in the kitchen at least, it has been better in ways I didn’t anticipate.” 

While Nicole pointed out a few of the Echo Show 5’s drawbacks, like how customizing the display was a bit onerous and there’s no full integration with Nest products, our user reviewers didn’t have much, if anything, negative to say about the device. Anthony deemed it “totally worth it,” and R said it was fantastic. Dandyrandy felt it was well-suited for bedside use, despite the presence of the camera. And Prunkard said, “all in all, it’s a fine unit.” 

This article was originally published Engadget.
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