The Amazon Echo series of smart speakers typically focuses on Alexa, the company's AI-based voice assistant. Using the speaker requires a lot of voice commands, but a newer product in the range, the Amazon Echo Show, also added a visual element. While we really liked the Echo Show, its Rs. The price of 22,999 was a bit too high to call it a niche product for early adopters.
It seems Amazon is listening and is now launching Echo Show 5, a smaller and much more affordable smart display and speaker. It's in many ways like the bigger Echo show, but has a much more attractive Rs. Amazon hopes that this will make it easier for buyers to adopt its screen-and-voice model for interacting with Alexa. Let's dive right in and take a closer look at Amazon Echo Show 5.
Amazon Echo Show 5 design and specifications
The positioning of the Amazon Echo Show 5 corresponds to the core of the larger Echo Show. It can be viewed as an intelligent display, but is more appropriately described as an intelligent speaker with a screen for additional pointers and information. It would even fit in the description of a very technologically advanced table clock if you want to use it for it.
The most significant difference between the Echo Show 5 and its larger and more expensive counterpart is the size – this new model is much smaller with a 5.5-inch touchscreen and a single 1.65-inch speaker driver for the sound. The screen has an aspect ratio of 18: 9 and a resolution of 960 x 480 pixels. This is much smaller and more compact than the tablet-like 10.1-inch 16:10 screen on the Amazon Echo Show.
The smaller size makes the Echo Show 5 more convenient for use on the table. This design is suitable for basic functions such as serving as a clock, displaying the weather and providing visual information such as track name and album cover while listening to music. Although we liked the comfort of this size, the screen was a bit too small to be viewed in a normal size room.
At 5.5 inches, the screen of the Echo Show 5 is smaller than that of many of today's smartphones, and we could hardly read any text on it unless we went straight to the device. Some basic settings of the Amazon Echo Show 5 can be controlled via the touchscreen, e.g. B. the brightness and the status "do not disturb".
In terms of design, the Echo Show 5 has the same overall look as its bigger siblings, with the screen tilted up slightly and the back of the device wrapped in fabric. The speaker grille is located below the screen and fires directly at the surface on which the Echo Show 5 is placed. There is a rubber handle on the bottom of the device and three buttons on the top – one for activating or deactivating the microphones and two for regulating the volume. There is also a slider that controls physical coverage for the 1 megapixel camera.
The camera switch is in response to various privacy concerns, including those in recent reports about AI-based assistants, and physical coverage is sure to negate any possibility that the Echo Show 5 will see and record something that it shouldn't. However, disabling the microphones is still a software-based feature, and you only have to trust Amazon when they are turned off.
At the top of Echo Show 5 there are two microphones that are placed between the three buttons. The back of the device has a round socket for the supplied adapter, a 3.5 mm audio output socket for sending audio data to a loudspeaker system or headphones, and a micro USB connection, via which a wired Internet connection can be established ) and for service-related functions.
In addition to the device itself, the Amazon Echo Show 5 sales package only includes a power supply unit with a fixed 1.5 m cable. It is based on Wi-Fi connectivity for the central Alexa and content streaming functions. However, you can also connect to devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers via Bluetooth to play your own music. The device is powered by the MediaTek MT8163 processor.
While the larger Amazon Echo Show has additional features as a smart home hub that uses the Zigbee standard for home automation, the Echo Show 5 doesn't support this feature. However, you can still use it to control IoT devices that have their own hubs or don't need such things. We used Echo Show 5 to control a Mi air purifier through the integration of Mi Home with Alexa, and this worked as expected.
Amazon Echo Show 5 functions and app
Like other Echo speakers, Amazon Echo Show 5 relies on Alexa for its core functions. We have explored these features extensively in previous reviews of Echo products, including Amazon Echo Plus and Amazon Echo Show. Amazon seems to continually improve Alexa's ability to understand voice commands and give more relevant answers, but remains the same Alexa as we are already familiar with.
As with the Echo Show, the Amazon Echo Show 5 lets you make video calls, including the drop-in feature that lets you quickly make a call from any smartphone that has the Echo Show 5 Alexa app installed Set up Alexa skills that use the screen. You can play videos with the built-in browser and watch TV shows and movies on Amazon Prime Video.
Although Alexa can play YouTube and other online videos via voice commands, we have found that the correct video is not normally played in this way, and the voice search was only performed correctly when we asked for movie trailers. We found it easier to switch to YouTube from the browser, search manually, and then play the videos you wanted.
While the larger echo show mainly shows pictures and flashes of news, the echo show 5 uses a lot of time on the screen to act as a clock. You can choose from various dials for the Echo Show 5. The device remains on this clock face when the time is displayed, but cannot select what exactly is displayed on the screen when the Echo Show 5 is in standby mode. The device selects what to display on the screen and switches between the watch and current topics such as news and Alexa tips.
The relatively recent changes we've seen on the screen include displaying text for some songs streamed on Amazon Music. There are also various new skills aimed at making Echo Show 5 useful and safe for children. With the Alexa app, you can select and configure these skills and control other functions in Amazon Echo Show 5.
Amazon Echo Show 5 sound quality
The Amazon Echo Show 5 is not quite as well equipped in the sound department as most other Echo products. It has a single 1.65-inch speaker that's about the size of the Rs. 3,499 Amazon Echo Dot.
That said, this device is quite loud, thanks to its bottom-firing design that bounces the sound off the surface on which the speaker is located. That doesn't mean the Echo Show 5 is as loud as the Rs. 7,999 Google Home, but it is loud enough to be heard comfortably anywhere in a large room. We had to sit in front of Echo Show 5 for the best sound reproduction.
As far as the actual sound quality is concerned, the Echo Show 5 was sufficient to listen easily. The music was a bit thin, with somewhat sharp highs that caused some hissing. The low end is decent enough in terms of quality, but the bass was booming rather than calculated. Given that there is definitely space on the back of this device, Amazon believes that a passive cooler should be built into the Echo Show 5 to get better low-end responses.
When we heard Pjanoo from Eric Prydz streamed through Amazon Music, we found the sound stage to be quite narrow, but the acoustic signature was satisfactorily clean. Music played over Bluetooth sounded similar to streamed music, and overall, everything we heard was a bit boring at low volume. The middle class was also decent despite the consumer-friendly V-shaped sound signature.
In our opinion, the Amazon Echo Show 5 is an urgently needed product for the Echo series. It combines the advantages of Alexa with acoustic and visual feedback, just like the Echo Show, but at a much cheaper price. Although the sound quality is average at best, the overall features of this product make it an attractive product.
If you want to buy a smart speaker and get started with the Voice Assistant, the Amazon Echo Show 5 is probably the most feature-packed and powerful device at the moment that costs less than Rs. 10,000. There are better sounding options for about the same price that you can buy instead if sound quality is your main concern, e.g. B. Google Home or Amazon Echo. The benefits of the screen and the Echo Show 5's utility when not in active use make it a better option for this price in our opinion. Thanks to the low price, this device gives many other buyers the opportunity to have an intelligent display.