Amazon Echo Show 5 (3rd gen): smart display (Full Review)

Amazon Echo Show 5

The 3rd generation of the Echo Show 5 brings some improvements, but due to the limited performance, it offers too little in everyday life to be used sensibly. Despite the progress, there is still a lot of potential in terms of sound.

In the third generation, Amazon is not only bringing the Kids Edition of the Echo Show 5 to Germany for the first time in a show model with a display but has also given the smart display a new audio driver for the sound, which is supposed to offer more bass again. With the AZ2 Neural Edge processor and an additional microphone, Alexa also becomes more powerful.

After the Echo Pop and the Echo Auto (2nd gen.), the new Echo Show 5 completes the products in Amazon’s Alexa area.

The Echo Show 5 Kids used for the test in space design is available for 59 dollars. The normal third-generation Echo Show 5, on the other hand, costs 60 dollars and is available in anthracite, white, or grey-blue. The second generation came onto the market for EUR 84.99 and is currently on sale for dollars 70.

Features  in the Echo Show 5 (3rd Gen)

All in all, the innovations with the Echo Show 5 (3rd generation) that are obvious to the buyer are again minor, after Amazon only changed the camera from a 1 MP model to a 2nd generation when switching from the 1st to the 2nd generation.

The Show 5 gets the AZ2 SoC

The new Echo Show 5 also now uses Amazon’s AZ2 Neural Edge processor, which allows more commands to be executed locally and significantly speeds up requests to Alexa. According to the manufacturer, the new model is 20 percent faster than the previous generation. However, this innovation could only really become noticeable in the future when Amazon Alexa expands with generative AI.

If the MediaTek MT8163 is used as the main processor in the 2nd generation, the MediaTek MT8169B is used in the new version. However, operation via the screen is not always smooth and without delay. Even swiping the display from top to bottom, which opens the menu, does not show a smooth or seamless animation. If you scroll through the new videos in Amazon Kids, this is also done with a slight time lag, and the content is only reloaded with a delay. There is no joy in operating the display.

Amazon Echo Show 5

Twice the bass with a larger speaker

On the other hand, Amazon promises changes in the 3rd generation for the bass of the loudspeaker and speaks of “twice as much bass “. Instead of falling into booming bass, the sound should also offer clearer voices than with the second generation. This is due to a change from a single 42 mm full-range speaker to a new 44-mm example.

In terms of sound, the bass of the new Echo Show 5 is again not convincing. The new model also fails with the bass at around 25 percent volume in titles such as Therefore I Am and Your Power by Billie Eilish. Clear bass is not played out on the small model, instead, it distorts and booms, even if it sounds slightly better than on the 2nd generation.

Voices, on the other hand, are well reproduced and also sound significantly better than on the 2nd generation Echo Show 5. They no longer mix with the distorting bass and thus do not go under directly. You shouldn’t buy the Echo Show 5 for listening to music, even with the new driver.

Nothing has changed in the way the speaker radiates to the rear. Positioning some distance from a wall used for reflection is therefore still the best choice.

More microphones for better speech recognition

Amazon has also improved speech recognition with the new model by increasing the number of microphones from two to three. Alexa should recognize voice commands better. In everyday life, this is indeed noticeable when you are further away from the display and ambient noises come into play. Then the new model recognizes faster that you said the activation word. As a rule, however, the second generation also reacts reliably to voice commands and understands them correctly.

The design has been slightly changed

The Echo Show 5 (3rd gen.) measures 147 × 82 × 91 mm (W × H × D) and is therefore slightly smaller than its predecessor, which is 148 × 86 × 73 mm (W × H × D). The tables are turned when it comes to weight because at 456 g, the new model is around 10 percent heavier than the 2nd generation at 410 g. The buttons to control the volume and mute the microphones, as well as the camera cover switch, are now embedded in the fabric shell and no longer in the wide plastic bezel of the display. In addition, the front of the Echo Show 5 now closes with glass and not a plastic frame, which looks more pleasing in connection with the larger radii of the corners. In addition, the screen itself now has rounded corners for the still wide, black frame.

22 instead of 15-watt power supply

When it comes to the power supply, the new generation has increased from 15 to 22 watts. How this is reflected in the power consumption is considered in more detail below.

Not hanged with the Echo Show 5

The Echo Show 5 as a Matter controller

The Echo Show 5 can also be used as a Matter controller to control Matter-enabled smart home devices. In this respect, however, this is nothing new compared to the 2nd generation, because it has also been able to do this since a free software update. Because the Echo Show 5 doesn’t support Thread, it can only manage Matter-enabled devices that support Matter over WLAN.

With WiFi 5 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) with 2.4 and 5 GHz and Bluetooth Low Energy with mesh support for control in the smart home, nothing has changed in these two areas either.

2 MP camera for video calls and home surveillance

The camera remains unchanged in the new model this time, again 2 MP is available for video calls in 720p. Clarity and light output are again significantly worse compared to the Echo Show 8’s 13 MP camera. If you want to use the smart display frequently for video drop-ins, you should definitely choose a larger model. If you want, you can also use the integrated front camera to record photos and videos again by voice command via “Alexa, take a picture” or “Alexa, make a video”. The images and videos are then automatically loaded into the Amazon Photos cloud storage in the background after the end of the recording. The Home Monitoring feature, which allows users to view a live stream from the Echo Show 5’s camera from anywhere in the world via the Alexa app, is also supported again. The display draws attention to remote access again so that other people are not secretly observed. The camera can also still be covered with a slider.

The 5.5″ display is a bit darker again

The eponymous display of the new 3rd generation Echo Show 5 is still 5.5 inches in size and also offers unchanged 960 × 480 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 195 ppi.

Size, resolution and pixel density of smart displays in comparison

display sizeresolutionpixel density
Amazon Echo Show 5 (3rd Gen)5.5 inches960 × 480 pixels195 ppi
Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)5.5 inches960 × 480 pixels195 ppi
Amazon Echo Show 55.5 inches960 × 480 pixels195 ppi
Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)10 inches1,280 × 800 pixels151 ppi
Amazon Echo Show 10 (2nd Gen)10 inches1,280 × 800 pixels151 ppi
Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen)8.0 inches1,280 × 800 pixels189 ppi
Amazon Echo Show 88.0 inches1,280 × 800 pixels189 ppi
Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen)7 inch1,024 × 600 pixels170 ppi
Google Nest Hub7 inch1,024 × 600 pixels170 ppi
Lenovo SmartClock4 inches800 × 480 pixels233 ppi
Lenovo Smart Display 1010 inches1,920 × 1,200 pixels226 ppi
Lenovo Smart Display 88 inches1,280 × 800 pixels188 ppi

The display of the third-generation Echo Show 5 also had to prove itself under the measuring device. However, with a maximum of 378 cd/m² in the centre, the screen is a bit darker than the predecessor, which achieved a maximum brightness of 430 cd/m². However, the display of the test sample only shines with 347 cd/m² on the left, which is a clearer difference in brightness than in the predecessor. On the right, the luminance is slightly higher at 362 cd/m². The homogeneity is therefore still good, but no longer very good.

The color temperature is a bit too cool at 7,500 K. However, the small Echo Show still does not offer automatic adjustment of the color temperature to the ambient light.

At maximum brightness, the display shines with 0.104 to 0.130 cd/m² when displaying black – the black value is therefore slightly better than that of the predecessor. The average contrast is around 3,000:1. The screen’s minimum brightness is also very low. It is 2.97 cd/m² and is slightly brighter than the predecessor (2.87 cd/m²).

Video, music streaming and web browser

Films and series from Prime Video or Netflix can be streamed on the display of the Echo Show 5, and YouTube can also be used to a limited extent via the Silk browser. However, Disney+ is still not available on the Echo Show 5. In addition, services such as Netflix cannot be used by children on an Echo Show 5 Kids. When they open the video home page, they end up in approved Amazon Kids content and cannot accidentally or intentionally play inappropriate content.

When it comes to music streaming, Amazon not only supports its own music services Prime Music, Music Unlimited and Music HD, but also, for example, Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer or radio services such as TuneIn. As a subscriber to Amazon, you can also view the lyrics on the display. Despite the display, the use of most services is designed for voice control and there is no or at least no full-fledged graphical interface that can be used to search for content and navigate through content.

Amazon’s own browser Silk is available again for surfing the Internet. Websites can be accessed either by voice or by entering the URL using the on-screen keyboard. It’s not fun either, because the menus and navigation react too slowly for you to be able to surf the web in a meaningful and targeted manner. Since you don’t get any feedback as to whether a click was registered, you keep pressing a link several times. Picking up your smartphone to go to a website is always a better choice.

Basically, however, there are no differences in these areas between the second and third generation of the Echo Show 5 as to which services can be used.

Echo Show 5 Kids with parental controls

With the Echo Show 5 Kids, Amazon is bringing a Kids Edition of an Echo Show device with a display to Germany for the first time. The new Echo Show 5 Kids has a space theme and includes a year of Amazon Kids+ and a two-year worry-free guarantee – if the device breaks, customers can send it back and Amazon will replace it for free. Amazon Kids for Alexa also offers child-friendly replies and jokes, as well as filters for songs with objectionable content, among other things. On top of that, parents can choose to have kids only start video calls with parent-approved contacts. Parents have control of the device at all times through the parent dashboard and can access parental controls. It can be used to adjust age settings, set time limits or track activities.

Children also have no access to the Silk browser, the Smart Home controls and areas such as routines, and they cannot change all the device settings without having to enter the account password.

But every normal Echo Show 5 can also be set up in a child-friendly way like an Echo Show 5 Kids, and this option is asked for directly during setup. On the other hand, each Echo Show 5 Kids can be used like a normal Echo Show without any problems and in the Alexa app you can even easily switch between the two modes at any time if you wish. The conversion of the Echo Show 5 then takes place seamlessly during operation.

The power consumption of the Echo Show 5

The included 22-watt power adapter of the new generation suggests that the power consumption of the 3rd generation is higher than that of the 2nd generation. However, the differences are small. In standby with the display on, the power consumption is almost identical, but the old generation is reproducibly more economical when the display is off. If music is played, the power consumption of the new generation is also higher, but this is also rewarded with better sound.

ComputerBase has again determined the values ​​of the second generation with the current firmware in order to create the same conditions.

Conclusion

The 3rd generation gets the AZ2 processor for a more powerful voice assistant, an additional microphone and thus better voice recognition, a new broadband loudspeaker and thus a slightly better sound as well as a few small design improvements. The space-themed Echo Show 5 Kids also lets you add some color to the case without committing to parental controls, as both variants are always switchable between modes – but you get that with the Echo Show 5 Kids not only the “all-round carefree guarantee”, but also Amazon Kids+ for one year included.

The Echo Show 5 is still best in the new generation as a smart alarm clock on the bedside table, with which you can still listen to a podcast quietly in the evening and where you can still set the alarm clock in the morning with a tap on the top (tap control). sometimes makes you snooze. Even in the kitchen, however, it is no longer the right choice if you want to listen to some music while cooking, for example, because the sound is simply not convincing.

Overall, the Echo Show 5 (3rd generation) also reveals that Amazon has to rely on newer, faster hardware for the technical basis because the new model is immediately noticeable – if you use the display for operation, surf the Internet, flip through video content and wants to use it for more than Alexa requests, a timer, alarm.

ImageNamePlatformBuy Now
Amazon Echo Show 5Amazon Echo Show 5amazon-icon-21121₹8,999 
Amazon Echo Show 5Amazon Echo Show 5amazon-icon-21121$150
Amazon Echo Show 5Amazon Echo Show 5amazon-icon-21121£49

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