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Echo Show 5 Review | CNN

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Amazon’s entry-level Echo Show 5 smart display was already a solid device trusted by many. So it’s not surprising that the tech giant didn’t do much with this new edition upgrade.

After a few weeks of testing, Show 5 gave totally the same results. It’s a bit cheaper at $ 84.99 and comes with an upgraded (although not yet glossy) 2-megapixel camera. option.

Audience: The $ 84.99 Echo Show 5 is an affordable, high-performance smart display perfect for nightstands. Get full access to Alexa for information on on-the-fly, smart home controls, and a variety of entertainment options.

What you need to know: Like all Echo devices, Show 5 is deeply integrated into Amazon’s ecosystem, providing Alexa features and seamless access to Amazon’s movie, TV show, and music library. To do. Not only will you continue to entertain, you can also use your device to control your smart home. For example, you can view a live stream from a ring security camera or turn off the Philips Hue light at bedtime. It also includes privacy controls that keep your listening microphone and camcorder on for 100% comfort.

How to compare: Amazon’s entry-level smart display, the Show 5, is less feature-rich than the $ 129.99 Show 8 and the $ 249.99 Echo Show 10. Both devices offer better sound and have speakers with much better cameras. (Show 10 also has a new trick that keeps the camera chasing around the room, keeping the display front and centered, and always in the middle of the frame of the video call.) If you’re looking for something outside Amazon In the ecosystem, the Lenovos $ 39 SmartClock is comparable to the Echo Show 5, but instead of using Alexa, it has a Google Assistant. You can also see the $ 99.99 2nd Generation Nest Hub, but given the screen size, it’s a better match for Show 8.

Jacob Chlor / CNN

If you’ve used an Echo device before, here’s an instantly recognizable design. The Echo Show 5 looks like the original Echo Show or Miniature Show 8. Maintaining a triangular build, it is self-supporting and easy to work with a 5.5-inch display. The back of Show 5 is covered with a material like the mesh fabric used in the Echo Show 10, Show 8, Echo Dot, and 4th Gen Echo.

The core control buttons volume up, volume down, microphone mute, and camera shutter button are all at the top. As in Show 8 or 10, flipping the camera switch physically blocks the lens and disconnects it. For those who are interested in privacy, it’s a handy feature that gives you some peace of mind, especially as it visually reminds you that the camera is off. The camera itself bumped slightly, but there was nothing to support. It’s now a 2-megapixel camera with slightly less blur, but it still doesn’t offer a compelling experience.

The main camera issue is related to the overall build of Show 5. The actual tilt of Show5 makes the touchscreen easier to use, but it also allows the camera to point up. It may only partially place you on the shot, which is not ideal. Amazon didn’t choose to fix this on the 2021 model, so the solution continues to buy a stand for the Show 5 to sit on.

At the bottom of Show 5, there’s a rubber grip that helps keep the device in place, especially when playing music, and connects the included 15-watt power adapter to the back of the device.

The star here is a 5.5-inch HD screen, which offers exceptional performance. With a resolution of 960 x 480, it produces vibrant colors and is meticulous about every detail. Like the original incarnation of Show 5 in 2019, the 2021 model is highlighted by a built-in watch mode. Undoubtedly, Show 5 is best placed on a nightstand where the built-in clock face can show color and depth effects. Alexa, you can customize your watch and choose from an array of faces in several categories. They include playful, modern, classic, photography and personal photography. Its interesting features that make your personality shine. You can control which clock is displayed by voice or set by touch. You can view the date and weather, and customize the background color.

If you need the classic Echo Show home screen for trending topics, news alerts, and Amazon order updates, you can still choose that mode. You can also switch the flow back and forth. This allows Show 5 to remain a multi-mode device.

Jacob Chlor / CNN

If you’re looking for the perfect echo show for your video call, see Show 8 or Rotating Show 10. Show 5 does not perform very well in this area, as 2-megapixel camera lenses do not always get the right lighting. It provides a blurry pixelated image and tends to distort colors. (Some test shots are embedded below.) Yes, it’s an improvement over the previous 1-megapixel lens, but it’s still not enough for something like a professional zoom call, so the camera’s We do not recommend upgrading just for improvement.

The Echo Show 5 has one 4 watt speaker that is the same as pushing the back. Produces a fairly balanced tin-free sound. It’s certainly shy of what you call a boom, but Show 5 offers a wide sound stage with a focus on clarity and abundance.

Get your music from almost anywhere, including Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Pandora and more. You can also connect from your iPhone, Android, tablet, or computer to stream music via Bluetooth. You can also pair your Echo Show 5 with other Echo or Bluetooth speakers for a multi-room experience.

In essence, the Echo Show 5 is a smart speaker that helps power and control your smart home. The list of smart home devices that support Alexa continues to grow and does not appear to be slowing down. Philip Hue, Ring, Vocolink, Schlage, and WeMo are just a few of the companies that support Alexa control.

You can do a lot with just your voice. For example, say Alexa and show me the front door. Then you will be connected to Ring Video Doorbell 4. Alternatively, you can ask Alexa to lock your house, lock all your smart locks, and keep you safe at night. Swipe from left to right to access the smart home tab. On this tab, you can use touch to control your smart home device and see the groups of devices that work together. It’s like the nervous system of the house.

It also helps a lot when you cook. The screen can be hard to see, but it’s good not to throw too much at the screen. Also, Alexa speaks to you so you can easily follow the instructions and ask her to repeat as needed.

There are many other skills to choose from. You can get daily briefings from media outlets such as CNN and NPR, and enjoy jokes on late-night television. There are also skills such as surf cams and travel information.

Jason Cipriani / CNN

Amazon has adopted the same updated Echo Show 5 to create a small smart display version for kids. The $ 94.99 Show 5 Kids Edition is a chameleon design with a version of Alexa that provides a child-friendly response. For example, if a curious kid asks if Santa is real, Alexa responds with a whimsical answer instead of spilling beans.

Kids Edition costs $ 10 more than the regular Echo Show 5, but you get a one-year Amazon Kids + parental control platform that also includes children’s games, videos, audiobooks, and music. You can even create a time limit for your child. You can also get a 2-year warranty. If your child breaks it, think of it like Amazon’s accident insurance, which promises to replace the Echo Show 5.

Kids can have Alexa and the Echo Show 5 read a book at bedtime or help them with their homework when they’re in trouble. As a parent, you have full control over what your child can do with Echo Show 5. This means you can use Show 5s’ built-in camera to create a list of friends that your child has permission to make video calls with.

Not surprisingly, you and your child can use Kids Edition Show 5 to control smart home devices throughout the house, such as turning off the lights at bedtime.

We enjoy how easy and fun it is for kids to operate Show 5. We do everything from asking for jokes and new stories to listening to your favorite music.

Show 5 costs $ 84.99 and is a device for Alexa users with specific needs. It’s not as robust in terms of feature set as Show8 and Show10. However, when tested on a nightstand, it turned out to be a really fun connected alarm clock that was a few dollars cheaper than the premium model.

Amazon could have offered a major upgrade here, but in the end it sticks to what works. But I wish they could upgrade their cameras even more significantly. If you want a truly impressive smart display suitable for high-quality video calls, choose Echo Show 8 (or Nest Hub if you need a Google Assistant device). But if you’re looking for a small-screen Echo and a low-priced Echo, Show 5 is the perfect fit for that bill.

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