Is the Amazon Echo Show 5 better than the Google Nest Hub?
It can be hard to determine which smart home display to purchase, especially given that there are so many on the market. To help you out, we’ve compared the Google Nest Hub against the new Echo Show 5 so you can see which is the better device. Here’s what we discovered.
Google Nest Hub
The better touchscreen
- Larger screen
- Isn’t constantly recording
- Light sensor
- Gives better directions
- Better access to YouTube
- No camera
This 7.7-inch smart display allows you to more easily access YouTube, which gives you access to a wide range of entertainment and resources. When asking how to get somewhere, this device sends Google Map directions directly to your phone. It can also function as a digital photo frame by connecting to your Google Photos account. Search for recipes, control smart home devices, and much more.
Echo Show 5
The cheaper option
- HD camera & camera cover
- Can turn off microphone
- Works with more smart devices
- Sunrise Alarm
- Smaller screen
- Defaults to training the AI with your recordings
This is one of the least expensive smart displays on the market. To better protect your privacy, it features a built-in cover that you can slide over the camera lens. We also love the Sunrise Alarm feature which helps you wake up by slowly increasing the brightness of the screen. Use it to control Alexa-enabled devices, Stream shows on Amazon Prime, add items to your grocery list, and more besides.
If you already know that you prefer either Amazon or Google’s voice assistant than choosing between the two devices is easy. But if you’re unsure which is better there are several things to consider. Both smart displays are good options and will serve you well in your home, but they have different strengths and limitations that make them better suited for different uses.
We haven’t actually been able to test the Echo Show 5 since it hasn’t been released yet, but after diving into its specs and capabilities we’re pretty sure that the Google Nest Hub (previously called the Google Home Hub) is the better choice between the two. It’s definitely a close call, though.
|Google Nest Hub||Echo Show 5|
|Screen||7 inches||5.5 inches|
|Resolution||1024 x 600 pixels||960 x 480 pixels|
|Speakers||Full Range Speaker||1 4-Watt|
|Unit Size||9.7 x 6.9 x 4.2 inches||5.8 x 3.4 x 2.9 inches|
|Built-in Camera Shutter||x||✔|
The differences: Google Nest Hub
Price: One of the biggest cons for the Google Nest Hub is definitely the price. While it isn’t expensive as far as other smart displays go, it does cost $40 more than the Echo Show 5. Even though it doesn’t feature a camera, it offers plenty of other features that make it worth the cost.
Video calls without a camera: Despite not having a camera, you can still make and receive video calls on the Nest Hub. It’s a little strange since the person you’re talking to won’t be able to see you, but not having a camera also makes it so no one can hack into your camera and spy on you. If the lack of a camera is the deal breaker, you might be interested in the larger Google Nest Hub Max, which features a camera and releases later this year.
Screen size & resolution: At 7.7 inches, the screen is 1.5 inches larger than the Echo Show 5’s. It might not seem like a lot but it does make activities like streaming YouTube videos and following recipes more convenient. The resolution is also significantly better on the Nest Hub so you’ll be able to see more details when watching shows.
Respecting your privacy: Google devices only record when you’re talking to them or when you specifically ask them to record. You don’t have to worry about the Nest Hub constantly recording everything that gets said in your home, but for added peace of mind you can still mute the mic by pressing a physical button on the back of the device.
Getting directions: After asking for directions to a specific location, Nest Hub will show the route on screen and will send the directions to your smartphone via Google Maps. Super easy, right? Whereas the Echo Show 5 will only tell how long it should take to get to your destination and won’t send any maps to your smartphone. Nest Hub is clearly the more convenient device in this regard.
YouTube: Google’s control of YouTube is probably the biggest reason to choose the Nest Hub over the Echo Show 5. The Google Nest Hub displays YouTube beautifully and allows you to search for specific videos by voice command. This gives you access to a lot of information whether it’s a how-to video, a recipe video, or simply entertainment. In comparison, Amazon’s device can access YouTube through a browser, but it doesn’t work nearly as well and you won’t be able to search for specific videos via voice command.
Smart security cameras: As with the Echo Show 5, you can view and monitor smart camera feeds, however the Nest Hub currently only works with Nest cameras. If your home is already covered with Nest devices, like the Nest Hello video doorbell or the Nest Cam IQ outdoor then this won’t be a problem. However, if you have a different brand of smart security camera you probably won’t be able to view camera feeds on the display. This is an area where the Echo Show 5 excels since it works with a wider range of security cameras.
Cooking & recipes: While both devices can help you find recipes through voice command, Nest Hub tends to give you more recipes to choose from in its searches. We also like that Google’s display makes it easier to press buttons on the screen instead of simply using voice controls to move through the cooking instructions.
Functioning as a digital photo frame: Nest Hub connects with Google Photo and turns your display into a digital photo frame. The Echo Show 5 can also display photos, but if it’s anything like what we’ve seen on the Echo Show (2nd Gen) then it won’t be as good of an experience as what the Nest Hub provides using Google Photo. The Nest Hub also has a light sensor which responds beautifully to the amount of sunlight it detects. When it gets dark the screen will automatically turn down the brightness. The Echo Show 5 also has a light sensor, so it adjust your screen accordingly to have the right amount of brightness.
The bottom line: The Nest Hub is a wonderful device for any home, especially those that already feature Google devices. This display might not have a camera, but you can still make video calls. It connects easier to YouTube and allows you to better search for YouTube videos via voice command. We love how it sends directions directly to your phone so you don’t have to look them up yourself. In the end, the many convenience features it offers makes it a better choice than the Echo Show 5.
The differences: Echo Show 5
Price: Since the Echo Show 5 costs $40 cheaper than the Google Nest Hub, it doesn’t hurt your wallet as much when purchasing Alexa’s latest device. It also makes it easier to purchase multiple units for your home.
Camera & privacy: Unlike the Google Nest Hub or even the Lenovo Smart Clock, the Echo Show 5 features a camera so those you talk to during video calls can see your face. If you plan on using your smart display to make a lot of video calls, Alexa’s mini Echo Show might be the right option. Those who are concerned with privacy can feel more comfortable using the Echo Show 5 than they did with the Echo Show (2nd Gen) since you can also slide a built-in camera cover over the lens in addition to manually turning off the microphone and camera.
Recordings: People are understandably concerned about their smart home devices recording things they say. You can now delete conversations by saying, “Alexa, delete everything I said today.” This only deletes everything that has been recorded from midnight up until you give the command, but it’s not a bad start for better securing your privacy. You can also say, “Alexa, delete what I just said,” if you say something you’d rather not have recorded.
Additionally, you can go into the Alexa app and opt-out of training the A.I. with your recordings. The fact that this is the default is unpleasant, but at least there’s a way to turn it off. If the thought of recordings makes you uncomfortable, you can press a button and turn off the microphone and camera when not in use. For additional information check out Alexa Privacy.
Smart home cameras: In addition to making video calls, you can use this device to view Alexa-compatible security camera feeds from cameras like the Blink XT2 Security Camera or the Arlo Baby Monitor. If you also happen to have a Ring Video Doorbell you’ll be able to see who’s on your porch as well as talk to them using the Echo Show 5. In comparison, the Google Nest Hub currently only works with Nest cameras.
Screen size & resolution: The screen on the Echo Show 5 is about the size of an average smartphone, which is an inch and a half smaller than the Google Nest Hub’s screen. This is both a pro and a con. A smaller screen makes the device more compact and thus helps it fit in more locations. However, the screen size might not be as helpful in some situations like when you’re watching a show or following a recipe.
Additionally, the resolution is lower on the Echo Show 5 and less than what you’d find on the average smart phone. Given that the viewing area isn’t that big this might not affect you very much, but it’s still disappointing that it’s not up to scratch with an average smartphone’s screen resolution.
Amazon Prime & Prime Video: If you’ve paid for an Amazon Prime subscription then you can easily stream Prime Video shows and movies onto your Echo Show 5. It also makes it easier to order items directly from Amazon.
Smart home controls: Alexa is compatible with more smart home devices than Google is and it responds better to voice controls. However, it’s current touchscreen controls give you fewer option than what Google offers. With the release of Echo Show 5, Amazon has stated that they are working on creating better display controls for smart home devices, so we’ll just have to wait and see if it’s comparable or better to Google.
Sunrise Alarm: One of the coolest features for the Echo Show 5 makes it a better alarm clock than the Google Nest Hub. Basically, the light on the screen slowly gets brighter and brighter as it nears your alarm making it easier for you to open your eyes and get going in the mornings. This is a feature that the Google Nest Hub currently does not have.
The bottom line: The Echo Show 5 is a really great option since it is inexpensive, features a camera, and works with several smart home devices. It also makes it easier to stream shows and movies from Prime Video or order products from Amazon. However, the clunky YouTube usage and fewer touchscreen controls make it a slightly less convenient device than the Google Nest Hub.
When is the Echo Show 5 the right choice?
As mentioned previously, the fact that the Echo Show 5 is $40 cheaper than the Nest Hub while still featuring a camera definitely makes Amazon’s smart display a contender. If you’d prefer to spend less money or you really want a camera it is definitely worth considering. Additionally, if your home is already decked out with Alexa-compatible devices, the Echo Show 5 will be a better fit for you. It releases on June 26, 2019.
In the end
These are both quality displays that can help you manage your smart home devices, look up recipes, stream shows, and do several other things. Overall, the Nest Hub offers the best features since it gives you a better YouTube experience, displays photos better, and sends directions directly to your phone. The Echo Show 5 is a great contender, especially given the low price and built-in camera. If you already have Alex devices set up in your home it’s a good display to use.
The better touchscreen
Google Nest Hub
A larger display with better touchscreen controls
This 7.7-inch display doesn’t take up a lot of room while allowing you to control your smart home devices, watch YouTube videos, listen to music, look up recipes, and more. It can also function as a digital photo frame when you connect it to your Google Photos account.
The cheaper option
Echo Show 5
An inexpensive Alexa-enabled smart display
This is one of the least expensive smart displays on the market. In addition to being able to turn the microphone and front-facing camera off with the press of a button it features a built-in camera cover for more privacy. Use it to surf the internet, make purchases on Amazon, monitor security cameras, and more.