Review: Amazon Echo Show 5

I own a number of the Echo display devices. I bought a couple of the original Echo Shows when they came out, and later was given a 2nd gen Show and a Spot for work I did on Alexa skills. I like them all, but so far my favourite was the 2nd gen Show.

The Show 5 is a smaller version of it. I picked one up because they were discounting them on Prime Day, and I was curious. I am also still writing Alexa skills, and it is useful to have one of each device that might run your skill, as there can be surprises….

I am so pleased I did buy it, as it has already usurped one of my other devices.

The Show 5 is wedge-shaped, like the Show, with a screen about he size of the average mobile phone. The screen is nice and bright, with a good resolution. The sound is quite wonderful, far better than the similarly sized Spot. One feature I like a lot is a physical switch in the case, which covers the camera. This is quite appropriate, as I can see this being an excellent bedside device.

Currently I use my Spot as an alarm clock/radio. It looks unusual, and quite stylish, I think, and does the job fine. However, I also use it for monitoring video cameras – most notably keeping an eye on my dog in her crate, downstairs. Here the Spot’s shape is a big disadvantage – you can either see the whole frame of the camera in a tiny postage stamp in the middle of a 2.5cm circular screen, or you can fill the screen, but lose about 50% of the picture off the edge. It has exactly the same problem when watching videos of any description.

The Show 5 doesn’t have much more of a footprint than the Spot, and looks great as a clock, but its rectangular screen also lends itself to cameras and videos. Plus it has a noticeably better sound.

I can’t really comment on price, as I got my Spot for free. But its list price is £119, against the Show 5’s £79 (and currently £49, on Prime Day).

So unless you really want a novel shaped device, like the Spot, then the Show 5 is hands-down the better device.

All I need to do now is work out what I am going to do with my old Spot!

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