Amazon Echo Show 5 Get connected always

The Amazon Echo series of smart speakers are typically focused on Alexa, the company's AI-based voice assistant. Using the speaker involves a lot of voice commands, but one recent product in the range, the Amazon Echo Show, also added a visual element. While we quite liked the Echo Show, its Rs. 22,999 price tag was a bit too high to consider it anything more than a niche product for early adopters.

It seems that Amazon is listening, and has now launched the Echo Show 5, a smaller and much more affordable smart display and speaker. It's like the larger Echo Show in many ways but has a much more attractive Rs. 8,999 price tag and Amazon hopes this will make it easier for buyers to adopt its screen-and-voice model of interacting with Alexa. Let's dive right in and take a closer look at the Amazon Echo Show 5.

Amazon Echo Show 5 design and specifications

The Amazon Echo Show 5 is, at its core, the same as the larger Echo Show in its positioning; it can be considered a smart display but is more aptly described as a smart speaker with a screen for additional cues and information. It would even fit the description of a very technologically advanced table-top clock if that's what you would want to use it for.

The most significant difference between the Echo Show 5 and its larger and more expensive counterpart is size — this new model is much smaller, with a 5.5-inch touchscreen and a single 1.65-inch speaker driver for sound. The screen has an 18:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 960x480 pixels, which is a lot smaller and more compact than the tablet-like 10.1-inch, 16:10 screen on the Amazon Echo Show.

The smaller size makes the Echo Show 5 more convenient for table-top use. This design is good for basic functions, including serving as a clock, displaying the weather, and providing visual cues such as track name and album art when listening to music. While we did like the convenience of this size, the screen was a bit too small for viewing across a regular-sized room.

At 5.5 inches, the Echo Show 5's screen is smaller than those on a lot of smartphones today, and we could barely read any text on it unless we went right up to the device. The touchscreen can be used to control some basic settings on the Amazon Echo Show 5, such as brightness and the do not disturb status.

In terms of design, the Echo Show 5 has the same general look and feel like its bigger sibling, with the screen tilted slightly upwards and the back of the device wrapped in fabric. The speaker grille is at the bottom, below the screen, and fires directly at the surface the Echo Show 5 is placed on. There is rubber for grip at the bottom of the device, and three buttons at the top — one to activate or disable the microphones, and two to control the volume. There is also a slider switch that controls a physical cover for the 1-megapixel camera.

The camera switch comes as a response to various privacy concerns, including those in recent reports about AI-based assistants, and a physical cover certainly negates any possibility of the Echo Show 5 seeing and recording something it shouldn't. However, disabling the microphones is still a software-based function, and you're just going to have to trust Amazon when it says they are off.

There are two microphones at the top of the Echo Show 5, placed between the three buttons. The back of the device has a round power socket for the included adapter, a 3.5mm audio-out socket to send audio to a speaker system or headphones, and a Micro-USB port, which can be used for wired Internet connectivity (using an appropriate adapter) and for service-related functions.

The sales package of the Amazon Echo Show 5 includes only a power adapter with a fixed 1.5m cable, along with the device itself. It relies on Wi-Fi connectivity for its core Alexa and content streaming functions, but you can also connect to devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers using Bluetooth to play your own music. The device is powered by the MediaTek MT8163 processor.

While the larger Amazon Echo Show has an additional functionality as a smart home hub using the Zigbee home automation standard, the Echo Show 5 doesn't support this feature. However, you can still use it to control IoT devices that have their own hubs or don't require any such thing. We used the Echo Show 5 to control a Mi Air Purifier through Mi Home integration with Alexa, and this worked as expected.

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