Is the Echo Show 5 a better option than the Echo Show?
Since there are so many options, it can be difficult choosing the right Alexa display in 2019. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of both the Echo Show (2nd Gen) and the Echo Show 5 to determine which is a better fit for most people.
Echo Show 5
The right price
- Camera shutter for privacy
- Can turn off microphone
- Small screen
- Low camera resolution
- Lower sound quality
This is the least expensive Alexa display currently offered by Amazon. The 5.5 inch display is the size of an average smartphone. It features a front-facing camera, speakers, and a microphone. You can turn the microphone off and use the built-in camera cover for more privacy. Use this device to surf the internet, make video calls, check the news, listen to music, control your smart home, and much more.
Echo Show (2nd Gen)
- Larger screen
- Good audio quality
- Better camera
- No camera cover
With a 10-inch screen, the display is roughly the same size as the largest Fire Tablet. It has good video and audio quality – better than the Echo Show 5. As such, this is the screen to get if you plan on using the device mainly for streaming shows and YouTube videos. As with all Alexa units, it allows you to control your smart home devices, check the news, listen to podcasts, look up recipes, and much more.
These are both decent displays, but the Echo Show 5 offers a lot of convenience at a much lower price than the Echo Show (2nd Gen), even if the latter provides better image and sound quality. The Echo Show 5 allows you to browse the internet, take and receive video calls, control your smart home devices, and do many other things without needing to put a huge dent in your wallet.
The relatively inexpensive price of the Echo Show 5 definitely makes it a contender among all other smart home displays. It sells for $90, which is $140 cheaper than the Echo Show (2nd Gen). The least expensive video assistants up until this point had been the Google Home Hub and the Echo Spot which both sell for $130. Both are still $40 more than the Echo Show 5. No matter which smart display you compare it to this is still the best budget option.
|Echo Show 5||Echo Show (2nd Gen)|
|Screen||5.5 inches||10.1 inches|
|Resolution||960 x 480 pixels||1280 x 800 pixels|
|Speakers||1 4-Watt||2 10-Watt drivers and a passive radiator with Dolby processing|
|Unit Size||5.8 x 3.4 x 2.9 inches||9.7 x 6.9 x 4.2 inches|
|Built-in Camera Shutter||✔||x|
|Built-in Zigbee Smart Home Hub||x||✔|
With a 5.5-inch screen, the display is about the same size as an average smartphone. The thing to note here is that the resolution for this display is only 960 x 480 pixels, which is considerably lower than most modern smartphones of the same size. Since the screen is relatively small, you might not notice this too much when using the Echo Show 5 to control smart home devices or to check the weather. But this could be noticeable when using the display to stream shows and watch YouTube videos.
When it comes to audio, the Echo Show 5 only has one 4-watt speaker. Physically, the speaker is roughly the same size as what’s inside the Echo Dot (3rd Gen), so although it’s smaller than what you find in the Echo Show (2nd Gen) it should be good enough for most scenarios. The compact size of the device makes it ideal for end-tables and nightstands. No matter where you put it, it won’t feel like it’s taking up too much space. Plus, when it’s not actively being used, the screen acts as a clock so it’s always being helpful.
When it comes to privacy, the Echo Show 5 has an added measure to protect you from spying eyes. In addition to being able to push a button that turns off the mic and camera, you can slide a built-in cover over the lens to ensure nothing gets through. Speaking of the camera, the one inside this budget unit is only 1 megapixel, which is much smaller than the one found in the Echo Show (2nd Gen).
Considering that the main camera in the average smartphone typically is 4 – 8 megapixels, this is disappointing. This means that during video phone chats anyone receiving your call might not have as good of an image. For the best results, you’ll want to use this device in a well-lit room.
Best in show
The Echo Show 5 can do just as many things as the Echo Show (2nd Gen) but at a much lower price. The resolution, and audio quality might not be as powerful, but they work well with the small size of the display. The camera is the biggest thing you’ll need to watch out for. Make sure to use the video call feature when you’re in a well-lit room and you shouldn’t have problems. Plus, you’ll get an added measure of privacy knowing you can manually cover the camera with the built-in shutter when you aren’t using it.
The Echo Show (2nd Gen) is definitely more powerful than the mini Echo Show 5, however, it costs more than twice as much. With a 10.1 inch display, the screen is roughly the same size as the largest Amazon Fire Tablet. In addition to the screen being almost twice as big as the Echo Show 5, the resolution is much higher with 1280 x 800 pixels. Mind, it’s nothing groundbreaking, but it will likely make for a better viewing experience when watching a show.
The front-facing camera operates at 5 megapixels, which on it’s own is respectable, but is much better when compared with the Echo Show 5’s 1 megapixel camera. Those you call with will likely have a better visual. You can still turn off the microphone and camera by pressing a button. However, there is no built-in shutter to better protect your privacy. Since this more expensive device features two 10-watt speaker drivers and a Dolby processor the sound it produces is a lot more enhanced than what you get with the Echo Show 5. That’s fitting given the larger size of this device.
The Echo Show (2nd Gen) communicates with your smart home devices by using Zigbee, which is an industry standard for smart home hubs. Zigbee has a farther reach than Wi-Fi and communicates with smart home devices using mesh networking. It also consumes less power and has more battery life than Wi-Fi devices.
The Echo Show (2nd Gen) is a sound home display. In addition to having a larger screen, the speakers, camera, and resolution are all more powerful than what the Echo Show 5 offers. However, the astronomical price of $230 is a bit much for many buyers. You can get all the capabilities this device offers at a lower price.
When to splurge
As mentioned previously, the $230 price tag of the Echo Show (2nd Gen) is definitely a huge con for this smart display. However, if you mainly plan on streaming videos or making making video calls you might want to go with the more expensive unit. It can function as a small, versatile TV and give you a better camera along with better resolution and sound quality.
In the end
Both the Echo Show 5 and the Echo Show (2nd Gen) are quality devices that can help you manage internet and smart home needs. The low price of the former makes it a far more accessible option. While it doesn’t have the best speakers or the best resolution on the market, it produces quality sound and good visuals that fit its size. We especially like the added measure of security that the camera cover provides. Most importantly, the Echo Show 5 will help you take care of all of the things that the Echo Show (2nd Gen) allows you to without costing an arm and a leg.
The right price
Echo Show 5
The newest and best value Alexa display
This display is significantly cheaper than other Alexa display devices. It features a front-facing camera, a camera cover for privacy, and speakers. Use it to control your Alexa-enabled smart home devices, surf the internet, make video calls, watch shows, and more.
Echo Show (2nd Gen)
A larger display with Alexa compatibility
This large screen display is roughly the same size as the largest Fire Tablet. It’s great for watching movies and YouTube videos as well as making video calls. Use it to control your smart home devices, check smart camera feeds, and much more.