A few years since smart speakers came into being, we’re still calling these niche devices. Meant to be central control hub for your home, the smart speaker market isn’t yet the multi-billion dollar gold mine that it has been expected to be. But if there’s one device that proves companies are starting to learn from the initial devices, it’s the Amazon Echo Show 5.
On the face of it, the Show 5 is simply a smaller version of the Echo Show, but the important addition here is Amazon’s focus on privacy. The Echo Show 5 allows you to delete recordings of your existing voice command by simply speaking to the speaker. While that will be possible on other Echo speakers as well, the Show 5 also has a physical shutter to cover up the camera when you don’t need it, something the Show doesn’t and many have often complained about.
Having a cloud-connected camera in your bedroom does irk many, so covering the camera when not in use is indeed a good way to provide peace of mind to users.
But other than that, the Echo Show 5 is really just another smart speaker with a screen. It has the strengths that come with the screen, just like the Echo Show, and it’s primary weakness too.
Like the Echo Show, the screen makes things more accessible. You can see how the speaker reacted to your voice command on the screen, use the touchscreen to do stuff, watch videos by simply asking for them, and so on. At the same time, the Echo Show 5’s screen is unattractive, doesn’t produce the best colours and is somewhat dim. We even missed the blue line of light that blinks when the speaker is listening.
However, at Rs. 8,999 it’s considerably cheaper than the Echo Show and the shortcoming is much easier to forgive.
Another big difference between the Show and Show 5 is the fact that the latter doesn’t have a built-in zigbee hub. This is what allows the Echo Show to work as a central hub for all smart devices that support the zigbee protocol. So, while the Show 5 will still be able to control your smart lights, air purifiers etc, you won’t be able to do so unless the manufacturers have set up specific skills for Alexa. Unlike the Echo Show, you can’t have the speaker automatically discover, identify and set up all your smart devices through one voice command.
In essence, the Echo Show 5 makes for the perfect alternative to the Amazon Echo Spot. It sits on your bedside table like a smart alarm clock and controls smart devices with some other perks. If you’re keen on an Alexa-enabled smart screen, the Echo Show 5 is one you should consider.