In this post we compare the new Echo Show 5 Alexa voice assistant to the larger Echo Show. The Echo Show 5 is Amazon’s latest voice assistant in the Echo Lineup. It’s smaller, more streamlined and includes all of the great smart home features that Amazon Alexa devices are known for.
With the Echo Show 5 you can use it as an alarm clock, but it’s so much more. The Echo Show 5 allows you to stream music, stream video from Prime Video and even have two way video chat. The Echo Show 5 is packed with tons of smart home features that allow you to control smart lights, smart thermostats and even view your front doorbell all using Alexa voice commands. You can ask Echo Show 5 the weather, listen to news updates or the game scores for your favorite teams. In this post we will mainly focus on comparing the Echo Show 5 vs the Echo Show but we have dozen’s of post’s about what you can do with Alexa on our site.
Echo Show 5 vs Echo Show: Size
Size is the major difference between these two smart speakers. The Echo Show 5 comes in a more compact package with a 5.5” screen vs the larger 10.1” screen of the Echo Show. One would have to assume that the Echo Show 5 got it’s name based on the size of it’s screen.
Even though the screen is smaller it is still formatted to fit standard video streaming sizes in a scaled down version.
Overall the dimensions of the Echo Show 5 are 5.8 x 3.2” x 2.9” and looks to be about half the size of the larger Echo Show. I think this is actually the perfect size for use as a bedside alarm clock, voice assistant and smart home controller combo. It’s not as overwhelming as the Echo Show on bedside table or dresser and has the same proportions that most people are familiar with in an Alarm Clock.
I’ve long been an advocate for the smaller Echo Spot because it’s small form factor and sleek design allow it to fit in anywhere, but the downside of the Echo Spot is that the screen is too small for some video content.
The Echo Show 5 seems to offer the perfect balance of a device that has a great form factor, and just the right screen size while not being overwhelming. The Echo Show 5 has a screen resolution of 960 x 480 vs the larger screen resolution of the Echo Show which is 1280 x 800.
Echo Show 5 vs Echo Show: Features
As voice assistants both the Echo Show 5 and Echo Show have most of the same features because they both operate on the backbone of the Alexa voice assistant system. Skills on the Echo Show are interchangeable with the Echo Show 5 and most of the features come from the software aspects of the devices. However there are a few minor feature differences.
The Echo Show 5 has a lower resolution 1MP camera vs the higher resolution 5MP camera found on the Echo Show. For most people this won’t be much of an issue because 1MP resolution will still work for video calling, and it’s not like phone camera where you are also using it to take photos of the world around you. One nice feature that comes with the Echo Show 5 Camera is that it has a built in camera shudder that allows you to cover the camera if you have concerns about your privacy. We like this feature and think it’s a great addition to the Echo Show 5 that allows you to decide if you feel comfortable with the camera or not.
Echo Show 5 vs Echo Show: Speakers
When the revised version of the Echo Show came out I was surprised just how loud the larger Echo Show was and impressed by the sound quality. The Echo Show didn’t have quite as good of sound quality as a Sonos speaker but it was getting very close and I couldn’t believe designers were able to pack that much sound in such a small frame.
The Echo Show has 2 x 10W drivers and a passive radiator with Dolby processing for room-filling sound. Where as in the smaller Echo Show 5 package you only get 1 x 4W speaker, so you’re going to get less sound from the Echo Show 5 vs the Echo Show. If you plan on listening to a lot of music or want better sound quality you are better off going with a full size Echo Show or a dedicated Sonos Sound system. In my home I use the Echo Devices as voice assistants and a built in Sonos Sound System combined with the Sonos One and Sonos Beam for streaming music throughout my house.
One neat feature is that the Echo Show 5 does have an Audio output so if you had an older amp and speakers you could connect the Echo Show 5 to your old Amp and make your old system “Smart” with Alexa voice control of the music.
Echo Show 5 vs Echo Show: Smart Home Assistant
Both of these devices will let you control thousands of smart home devices like smart plugs, smart lights, smart thermostats and smart doorbells using your voice. However there is one key difference between the Echo Show 5 and the Echo Show. The Echo Show has built in Zigbee smart home network capability and the Echo Show 5 does not. But what does this mean to you?
Not much really, Zigbee is a smart home protocol that works specific smart home devices like the Phillips Hue bulbs and allows you to directly connect them to the Echo Show without the need for purchasing a separate Philips Hue Hub. While that might seem like necessary feature, the reality is that most zigbee smart home device packages include the smart home hub in the starter kit, so the zigbee feature on the Echo Show is often redundant.
The vast majority of smart home devices are controlled via your standard wifi network and don’t require any smart home hub. Popular smart home devices like the Ring Doorbell, Nest Thermostat and most Smart Plugs work on Wifi and don’t require any type of smart home hub.
Our Favorite Devices That Work With Echo Show 5
You can add additional functionality to your smart home with these 5 smart home devices that work with the Echo Show 5 and can help you get the most out of voice control with a smart assistant like the Echo Show 5.
Nest or Ecobee Smart Thermostat - These smart thermostats are the gold standard in smart home control and with an Echo Show 5 it will allow you to control the heating and cooling in your home with just your voice. There is nothing better than laying in bed and adjusting the temperature with your voice if you are too hot or cold.
Ring Doorbell Pro - This smart doorbell is a great way to keep an eye on your home and it also acts as a deterrent to potential criminals. There are hundreds of videos on the internet of criminals turning away when once they realize they are on camera. With your Ring Doorbell and Echo Show 5 you can also view the live stream of your front doorbell on your Echo Show 5 by saying “Alexa, show me front door.”
Smart Plugs - This is a simple easy way to get started upgrading your lighting to smart lighting in your home. I usually can’t believe how great of a deal the smart plugs are and just how easy they are too set up and start controlling with your lighting with your voice. They are great for adding voice control to bedside lamps, fans and any room with free standing light fixtures.
Ring Security System - With your Echo Show 5 and the Ring Security system you can Arm and disarm your security system with your voice and secret access code. It feels like your in the future when you tell your home to “Arm” everyday when you leave from work. But Ring takes the integration with Echo devices even further and in addition to motion and door and window sensors that come with the security system, Ring turns your Echo Show 5 into a remote security system listening device that can also detect glass breaks and smoke or fire alarms going off. If you have it combined with a Ring Security System with the professional monitoring plan it will dispatch first responders if a fire or glass break is detected.
Smart Light Switches - This is for the more advanced smart home owners, with smart light switches you can control your built in lighting using your voice and Echo Show 5. Once you’ve installed the hardwired smart light switches you can control them with your voice by saying, “Alexa, turn on living room lights.”
Echo Show 5 vs Echo Show : Summary
The Echo Show 5 fits in the right niche between the full size Echo Show and the smaller Echo Spot. It offers most of the same features as the Echo Show without the bulk. It’s small form factor and properly sized screen are it’s major advantages. It’s also backed with all the smart features that Amazon Alexa smart assistants are known for, but with the functionality of a touch screen and the ability to stream video. Overall this a great addition to the Echo Lineup and will provide a high functioning smart home assistant without the bulk of the Echo Show.