Echo Show 5 Review

Table of Contents

Amazon has a few different smart displays available for purchase, from the Echo Show 8 to the original Echo Show. In this Echo Show 5 review, I’m telling you absolutely everything you need to know about this five-inch smart display, which is pretty affordable at only $90. Let’s get started!

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Echo Show 5
Echo Show 5
Echo Show 5

Access over 50,000 Alexa skills with the Echo Show 5, a five-inch smart display from Amazon. 

Pros and Cons

Echo Show 5 and Box
Echo Show 5 and Box

First, I want to break down a few pros and cons of the Echo Show 5.

Pros

  • Alexa: The most popular voice assistant, Alexa offers over 100,000 skills, majorly outperforming Google Assistant in terms of quantity.
  • Hands-free: Jumping off of that, you’ll be able to get recipes, listen to podcasts, make video calls, and more, completely hands-free.
  • Shutter: For more privacy, Amazon included a physical shutter for the camera, which we can all appreciate in the days of mass surveillance.

Cons

  • Screen: Aside from only being five inches wide, the screen has a poor resolution of 480p HD.
  • No Youtube: Unfortunately, Google is Amazon’s biggest rival, and since Google owns Youtube, there’s no Youtube app on the Echo Show 5.

Design

Watching Youtube on the Echo Show 5
Watching Youtube on the Echo Show 5

Now let’s talk design. Like I said before, the screen on the Echo Show 5 is five inches (well, 5.5 inches, to be exact). This is probably a bit too small for me to want to watch a movie, but I can see it being useful for displaying information like a calendar. Coming in at only 14.5 ounces, however, it is a nice option to travel with.

Watching HBO on the Echo Show 5
Watching HBO on the Echo Show 5

The Echo Show 5 comes in charcoal or sandstone mesh fabric. Connecting to Wi-Fi, it includes a camera, two front-facing microphones for video chats, plus some speakers. Now, the screen quality is only 960 x 480 or 480p, which is a bit less than I’d like, as the industry standard sits at 1080p HD. So if you’re okay with the lower screen quality, read on.

Echo Show 5 Privacy Shutter
Echo Show 5 Privacy Shutter

Amazon has had a lot of privacy concerns recently, which is why I’m glad that the Echo Show 5 has some nice privacy features built-in. For example, you can turn the microphone and camera off, or even use a physical built-in shutter to cover the camera. I like that Amazon is now building in privacy features to its devices, as this is a huge concerned for the IoT space in general.

Installation

Echo Show 5 Plugged In
Echo Show 5 Plugged In

To install the Echo Show 5, first plug it in. Then, enter in your Wi-Fi information and log into your Amazon account and boom— that’s it! The process doesn’t require downloading an app and should only take a few minutes from start to finish. Easy as pie!

Features

Controlling Lights on the Echo Show 5
Controlling Lights on the Echo Show 5

Now let’s talk about what you can do on the Echo Show 5, namely its features. First, you should know that you’ll hook the Echo Show 5 up to any other Alexa-enabled connected devices in your home, be that other Echo speakers, smart thermostats, light bulbs, plugs— whatever you have that works with Alexa.

Music

Playing Music on the Echo Show 5
Playing Music on the Echo Show 5

As far as music and audiobooks go, you can listen on:

  • Amazon Music
  • Apple Music
  • Spotify
  • Pandora
  • Audible

These are all of the major platforms, so I’m pretty happy with the Echo Show 5 in that respect.

Video

Watching Prime Video on the Echo Show 5
Watching Prime Video on the Echo Show 5

For video, you can watch on:

  • Prime Video
  • Hulu
  • Vevo.

I’m a bit upset this doesn’t include Youtube, which is to say that there’s no available Youtube app. You can still go on the mobile Youtube site, but the user experience will suffer dramatically. So if you’re a big Youtuber, the Echo Show 5 may not be your best bet. The same goes for Netflix, which for me is a huge drawback— I can’t live without my shows!

Shopping

Shopping on the Echo Show 5
Shopping on the Echo Show 5

Obviously, you’ll use Amazon to shop on your Echo Show 5! It is the everything store, so this is a huge advantage of the Echo Show 5, especially when comparing it to the Nest Hub which only features Google Express.

Cooking 

Shopping List on the Echo Show 5
Shopping List on the Echo Show 5

Cooking is where things really come alive with the Echo Show 5, in my opinion. You can set timers, easily convert measurements hands-free, ask Alexa to add ingredients to your shopping list or just order them off of Amazon Fresh, and more.

I also use my Echo Show 5 to watch recipe videos, search for recipes in the first place, and have Allrecipes read the directions out loud to me as I cook! If I’m not in a cooking mood, I can tell Alexa to order me food from Seamless or make a reservation using OpenTable. Cooking can be a very chaotic experience, so the hands-free functionality is key.

Shop Amazon
Echo Show 5
Echo Show 5
Echo Show 5

Access over 50,000 Alexa skills with the Echo Show 5, a five-inch smart display from Amazon. 

Recap

Overall, I’m not particularly impressed with the Echo Show 5. With such a small screen, it’s hard to imagine that I can use it to comfortable watch TV, basically making it a glorified Echo speaker. However, I did really like it for cooking, and it’s super affordable, which can be attractive to many.

I’d go with the Echo Show 5 if you’d like…

  • Cooking: If you love to cook but struggle with having dirty hands when you need to turn a page, the Echo Show 5 is a great option.
  • Affordability: At only $90, the Echo Show 5 is one of the more affordable smart displays.
  • External display: Whether it’s a calendar or a shopping list, this display could work for things that aren’t TV shows or movies.

But avoid it if you want…

  • Larger and higher-quality screen: If you want to watch stuff on your smart display, I’d go with a bigger and less pixellated option.
  • Youtube: The lack of Youtube app on the Echo Show 5 could be a turn-off to many.

That’s it from me! To learn about some other great options, check out my review of 2020’s best smart displays.

FAQs

What does the Echo Show 5 do?

The Echo Show 5 has many capabilities like showing you TV shows and movies, playing music, podcasts or audiobooks, reading recipes out loud, letting you shop from Amazon, and more with over 100,000 available Alexa skills.

Does the Echo Show 5 have a camera?

Yes, the Echo Show 5 has a camera.

Can I watch Netflix on the Echo Show 5?

Unfortunately, there’s no Netflix app on the Echo Show 5.

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.