The Amazon Echo Show 5 (3rd Gen, 2023 release) is creating a buzz in the tech world with its compact design and impressive features. We’ll go over the best features of this smart display in our in-depth review, so you can see why it could be the ideal complement to your smart home setup. Whether you’re an Alexa enthusiast or a newcomer to smart displays, read on to discover what makes the Echo Show 5 a compelling choice for your home.
All-New Echo Show 5 (3rd Gen, 2023 Release)
- Affordable price point
- Integrated Alexa voice assistant
- Compact and space-saving design
- Surprisingly ample volume for its size
- Limited capability to produce deep bass or crisp highs
- Mediocre camera quality
- Absence of a 3.5mm audio port
Priced at -56% $39.99, the Amazon Echo Show 5 has consistently been one of the most budget-friendly smart displays, offering Alexa voice control and a touchscreen for under $50. The third-generation Echo Show 5 remains largely unchanged from its predecessors, with only slight improvements.
The new smart display is slightly larger, boasting smarter Alexa integration and, while not a sonic powerhouse, it can produce impressive sound for its size. While the Echo Show 5 is a solid choice for those seeking a small Alexa-powered smart display, we still favor the larger, Editors’ Choice-winning Amazon Echo Show 8 ($129.99) for its superior screen, multiple speakers, and sharper camera.
Subtle Hardware Updates
The 3rd-generation Echo Show 5 is larger at 3.2 by 5.8 by 3.6 inches (HWD) than its predecessors at 3.4 by 5.8 by 2.9 inches, though it still has the same form and style.It maintains its unique triangular cross-section from the side and trapezoidal profile from above.
The gadget has a 5.5-inch screen that is angled slightly upwards, and comes with a black, white or light blue cloth-covered body. The top edge houses volume up/down and mic mute buttons, along with a physical cover slider for the camera. The rear surface has a connector for the included power adapter, but no other ports.
While the 960-by-480-pixel LCD touchscreen is identical to the previous Echo Show 5’s, the new model boasts a faster processor and a slightly larger speaker. It is powered by MediaTek’s 8169 B chip, an upgrade from the MediaTek 8163 in the previous models. Additionally, it features Amazon’s updated AZ2 Neural Edge processor, first introduced in the Echo Show 15, promising improved voice recognition and machine-learning performance.
The 1.75-inch driver in the Echo Show 5 is a small upgrade over the 1.65-inch driver in the previous iteration. In comparison, the Echo Show 8 offers a pair of 2.0-inch drivers for louder, stereo sound, as well as a larger touch screen and a 13MP camera for smart-framing.
Regrettably, the Show 5’s camera remains at 2MP, identical to the previous model. While it performs adequately for video calls, it falls short in terms of image quality when compared to the Echo Show 8’s higher-resolution camera. The Show 8 also offers the ability to digitally zoom and pan to keep you centered in the frame, a feature the Echo Show 5 lacks.
The Show 5 supports dual-band Wi-Fi 5 for network connectivity and an unspecified version of Bluetooth for direct streaming from mobile devices. It is also compatible with the Matter smart home platform in addition to Alexa.
Alexa With a Visual Twist
Echo devices are designed to offer a hands-free Amazon Alexa experience. Echo Show smart displays take this a step further by adding visual elements to vocal responses. Simply say “Alexa,” “Amazon,” “Computer,” “Echo,” or “Ziggy,” and ask your question or make a request. You can choose from various English-speaking Alexa voices, including both male and female options with different accents, and even adjust their speaking speed.
Alexa can provide a wide range of information, from sports scores and weather updates to your daily schedule and reminders.Along with adding goods, it can also be used to create shopping and to-do lists that connect with your phone using the Alexa app (available for iOS and Android).
If you have Alexa-compatible smart home devices, you can control them via voice commands through the Echo Show 5, including touch controls for certain lights, locks, thermostats, and video feeds from security cameras like Ring.
In addition to playing audiobooks, music and podcasts, Alexa can access a wide range of streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music and SiriusXM. You can enjoy video content from Amazon Prime and Hulu, and make audio or video calls through Amazon’s Drop In feature to friends and family who have Echo devices or the Alexa app on their phone. Note that the Echo Show 5 does not support Zoom, a feature available on larger Amazon smart displays like the Echo Show 8.
In testing, the Echo Show 5’s microphones effectively picked up voice commands from across the room, even with background noise. It accurately recognized commands, and false activations were rare. For its size, the touchscreen provides a rather bright and colorful display, although it lacks the sharpness and vibrancy of high-end phone displays.
It has simple touch controls that are easy to use, such a drop-down menu that provides quick access to a variety of features like calling, playing media, and controlling smart home appliances. Additionally, the Echo Show 5 can serve as a digital picture frame, displaying your photos from Amazon Photos or a collection of images from Amazon’s art and travel collections.
Mixed Music, Strong Speech
Similar to other compact smart devices, the Echo Show 5 employs digital signal processing (DSP) to limit deep bass response, especially at high volumes. On our bass test track, The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the bass synth notes were subdued, and kick-drum hits tended to distort and sound somewhat poppy. Lowering the volume mitigated the issue but didn’t significantly improve low-frequency performance. This type of performance is typical for smaller devices.
Tracks like Yes’ “Roundabout” fared better, delivering cleaner and fuller sound, particularly in the low and low-mid frequencies. However, the treble was weaker, affecting the string texture and high-mid presence. The Echo Show 5’s speaker prioritizes mid-range frequencies, providing a balanced sound profile but sacrificing the extreme highs and lows.
In contrast, speech response on the Echo Show 5 is clear and loud. Both Alexa’s responses and podcast audio are easily distinguishable and can comfortably fill a room with clean sound.
The new Amazon Echo Show 5 continues to be an excellent choice for bedrooms, small offices, and spaces where a screen is desired without taking up too much room. The combination of Alexa and a touchscreen provides a wide range of functionality, making it suitable as an alarm clock or countertop radio.
However, the screen’s size may limit the viewing experience for video content at a distance. Its sound quality is passable considering its size, however it falls short in terms of delivering clear highs or deep bass. The camera quality remains a disappointment, lacking the improvements seen in the Echo Show 8.
Despite its higher price, the Amazon Echo Show 8 remains our top choice for smart displays due to its superior audio and video capabilities, along with a significantly better camera. However, it might be too large for compact spaces like crowded nightstands or bookshelves. If you prefer Google Assistant, the slightly larger Nest Hub ($99) offers a viable alternative, although it lacks a camera for video chats.
The Echo Show 5 (3rd Gen, 2023) is an excellent choice for compact spaces like bedrooms and offices. Its affordability, combined with Alexa’s functionality, makes it a versatile smart display option. While it may not match larger models in audio and video quality, its convenience and budget-friendly nature make it a top contender in the smart display market.