Top positive review
The Perfect Echo Video Speaker for the Bedroom, Kitchen and Office
Reviewed in Canada on July 8, 2019
We have several Echo Smart Speakers in our home and the Echo Show 5 is my favorite.
The Echo Show 5 is the perfect Echo Speaker for the Bedroom, Kitchen and Office.
The 1.65", 4 watt speaker sounds better than the Echo Dot (3rd Gen) and the 5.5" touchscreen adds so much more versatility than just the regular Echo Smart Speaker.
Video Screen: While the screen resolution is only 960x480 it seems much brighter and even clearer than the larger full size Echo Show. The bezel on the Echo Show 5 is also smaller making the 5.5" screen seem bigger.
Sound: The sound on the Echo Show 5 is decent for it's size and fills up a room nicely if you keep the volume under 75%. Once you turn up the volume past the 3/4 mark the treble gets to be too prominent and the speaker gets out of balance.
If you want the Best Echo Speaker and don't care about the video screen, the Echo Plus continues to be Amazon's Best Sounding Smart Speaker.
Microphone: For some reason the microphones on the Echo Show are not as sensitive as the microphones on the Echo Dot (3rd Gen) I find this interesting because the Echo Show 5 has a five microphones while the Echo Dot (3rd Gen) only has 4 microphones. I tested the Echo Show 5 and Echo Dot in my bedroom keeping the speakers the same distance apart and then standing in the middle of them 10 feet away and 8 out of 10 times the microphones on the echo dot would activate and acknowledge my command rather than the Echo Show. Of course when the Echo Show 5 is the only smart speaker in the room ... it responds to my commands however I do feel it is less sensitive than the Echo Dot for some reason.
Camera: Like the Video Screen the camera brings added functionality to the Echo Show 5. Thankfully for privacy Amazon built in a sliding camera lens cover which is easy to use and colour coded so you will know when the camera lens is open or closed. We keep the camera lens closed all the time unless we're making a video call. The Show 5 Supports Echo to Echo calling and Video Calling between Echo Show or Spot devices. In addition the Show 5 also supports Skype.
Bedroom: For me the bedroom is my favorite room for the Show 5. Sitting on the night stand the Echo Show 5 is absolutely the BEST alarm clock I've every owned. Firstly the display adjusts the Brightness automatically as the time changes and the ambient light in the room brightens or gets darker. The Show 5 also changes the colour temperature of the screen from a blue white to a warm white as it gets later in the evening. You can customize the number and background of the clock display to match your decor. You program alarms by voice and can be woken up gradually rather than blasted out of bed if you wish.
Kitchen: We used to have an Echo Dot in the kitchen but after getting an Echo Show 5 for the bedroom my wife insisted on getting one for the kitchen also. The Show 5 is equally at home in the kitchen as it is in the bedroom. We use the Kitchen Show for video calling, watching videos on Prime and Vimeo and checking the news and weather. When checking the weather the Show 5 displays the temperature and forecast on the screen while Alexa announces it through the speaker.
Office: I have an office in our home and replaced my full Size Echo speaker with an Echo Show 5. Again I liked the clock function on the Echo Show, combined with the video calling and video playback ability. The speaker sound good enough to play music, podcasts and internet radio while I work and the smaller footprint doesn't take up too much desk space.
Smart Home: We have an Ion Smart Security System (alarm.com) and Lutron Smart Lighting in our home. All the echos in our home can control the lights, thermostat and security system. In addition to voice commands the Screen on the Show 5 can also control the Smart Devices. I used the Smart Home controls on the screen to turn off our Smart Home Devices from the bedroom rather than voice commands when my wife is sleeping ... this is a great option and overlooked feature.
YouTube? You can watch Amazon Prime Video, Vimeo, Skype and Ring Cameras from the Echo Show 5 but the biggest disappointment and missing features is Lack of YouTube. The functionality of the Show 5 would increase exponentially with the addition of YouTube. It would be great in the kitchen, office or kids room for example. Youtube is now available on Amazon FireStick so here's hoping that it eventually will come to the Echo Show.
Conclusion: For the price the Echo Show 5 is a great value and my favorite Amazon Smart Speaker to date. The sound is decent for most small to medium sized rooms and even without Youtube the video screen adds so much more functionality. If you have a specific use case for the Echo Show like Bedroom Alarm Clock, Video Phone, Skype, or Ring doorbell the Echo show has even more value. Video seems to be the way SMART Speakers are going so it's likely Amazon will leverage the use of the video screen more in the future with new video features and skills. Personally I'd like to see Amazon enable the Alarm.com Skill on the Echo Show so I could view my alarm.com cameras on the device just like Ring. No word yet on that one but the alarm.com skill works on Firestick so it's likely it will come to the Show sometime. Lastly I can see Amazon coming out with an Echo Show 7 perhaps by Christmas Time. While the Echo Show 5 Screen is great for the bedroom and office a Seven inch screen seems like the sweet spot to me. The larger screen would also enable Amazon to increase the size of the speaker so ... even better sound.
Overall - I Highly Recommend the Echo Show 5, I bought two more on Prime Day