Smart Speakers

Amazon Echo Show 5 2nd Generation Review


Amazon Echo Show 5 2nd Generation Review

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Smart displays have become an everyday part of many people’s homes. These individuals and families appreciate that they can combine the convenience of voice-and-motion-activated assistance with fast access to the content they need to complete daily tasks and enjoy their lives.

Amazon's Echo Series

I recently had the chance to unbox and try out the 2021 Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Generation). What can I say other than I consider it an excellent improvement for the most part over the 2019 (1st Generation) model. In this Amazon Echo Show 5 Review, I cover everything you need to know about the basics along with what I consider to be the major pros and cons of this smart display:

Specifications and Basics

The Echo Show 5, a hands-free smart display that flawlessly combines the best parts of Amazon’s Alexa Assistant with a 5.5-inch touchscreen, a 2MP camera and a lot of sensors, has an overall size of 5.8 x 3.4 x 2.9 inches (148 x 86 x 73 millimeters) and a unit weight of 14.5 ounces (410 grams).

As with all Echo displays, it comes with Wi-Fi connectivity. It doesn’t support peer-to-peer networks, but it does support dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac networks and offers wireless connectivity to Bluetooth speakers. It has a 1.65-inch, built-in speaker with audio streaming with Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support and voice control with Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AV RCP). It also offers both English and Spanish language support.

System compatibility includes web browsers and Amazon Fire OS, Google Android and Apple iOS. All software and security update automatically occur for up to four years after the last available-for-purchase date. It also comes with a standard 1-year, limited warranty. Additionally, Amazon offer several plans for purchasing and extending the warranty up to three years.

Convenience in a Smart Package

The Echo Show 5, which is sometimes also known as the Alexa Show 5, offers all the convenience that you would expect with this type of Amazon product. The device arrives with a 15-watt, 4.9-inch, glacier white, power adapter. You can order the device to arrive standalone or pay extra for a tabletop stand or Blink Mini bundle. As previously noted, the display comes standard with a 2 MP camera and several sensors designed to make voice and movement interactions with it easier.

Users can effortlessly make video calls, interact with news details or a calendar, stream music and shows from their favorite streaming services like Prime Music, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Prime Video or Netflix and set alarms and timers. The smart display also offers preset routine options that you can set so that they activate when the display detects motion or at a particular time of day.

It interacts seamless with your home’s other smart device. For example, you can schedule interior lights to turn on when you enter a room and turn off when you leave the room or exit the house. These features along with other details outlined in a different section of this review make this device extremely eco-friendly. You can also set the lights to come on slowly and weather details to appear onscreen first thing in the morning, which makes it a great alternative to a separate weather alert system or an alarm clock.

For anyone who really feels the need to match the display with their home’s interior design, Amazon offers the unit in white, charcoal, sandstone, deep blue sea and chameleon. There’s also a version with the latter color specifically designed for kids.

Plenty of High-Quality Camera Functionality

With the 2 MP camera and 5.5-inch smart display, it’s easy to make the Echo Show 5 double as a digital photo frame to display photos from different sources as static, rotational or slideshow images. It’s also an excellent way to keep in touch with loved ones who have a similar device.

Amazon didn’t scrimp on security features with this unit. The system disables the camera entirely when you select mute or use the off button for the microphone and camera. More importantly (I love this feature), it has a physical, built-in shutter as an additional layer of security and protection to prevent hackers from using the device for spying.

With the 1080P HD indoor Blink Mini, a plug-and-play security camera that features two-way audio and motion sensors, you can monitor any room of your home at any time through the Alexa Show 5. The best part? It’s possible to use the Alexa app to set up a remote, home-monitoring feed. You can use a mobile phone, tablet or computer as a remote viewer through the Alexa Show 5 and any attached cameras. If the sensors detect certain types of sounds or movements, such as movement in what is supposed to be an empty house, the sound of broken glass or the sprinkler system turning on, you receive an immediate alert.

Echo Show Camera Shutter

Everything Kids Need to Learn and Thrive

The Alexa Show 5 is also one of the least expensive secure educational portals for children on the market today. if you’re a parent, you have total access over the parental controls, including filters and blocks designed to protect your children from certain types of content on the internet and different media platforms.

I really like how kids can use the display with the Alexa Assistant to discover answers to common and important questions about the world and life and explore videos, music and other useful educational content. If you don’t want your children underfoot while making preparations for different meals or events, such as holiday and birthday parties, you can set up the Alexa Show 5 in their bedroom.

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With an extra Kids+ subscription, you can go one step further and guarantee that your children have access to an extensive library of information that includes games, skills and videos. You can even provide them with access to Audible audio books.

Accessibility Tools That Actually Work

Many people purchase a smart display or similar assistant because they’re dealing with health issues or disabilities that make it difficult for them to fully experience the world without assistance. These tools provide them with a better quality of life. In the past, people with hearing, vision and mobility problems, for example, might need a half dozen or more devices in their home to perform the tasks that the Echo Show 5 does on its own.

People with these and other difficulties can make their lives easier and make more efficient use of their time with the device’s many accessibility tools. The Alexa Show 5 comes standard with closed captioning and Alexa captioning. People with vision difficulties can use a VoiceView screen reader.

The screen also has color inversion and correction options and a magnifier! With internet connectivity, people coping with accessibility issues can also access online tools that offer even greater flexibility and freedom.

Excellent Sound Quality, But...


I’ve now reached the point of this review that I have to discuss cons. The truth is that the Amazon Show 5 is near-perfect given its many features and price. It has few downsides. Beyond a smallish screen, the unit has two audio-related problems:

Through the speaker, Alexa is clear as a voice assistant without any strange after “echoes” or digitized sounds. The volume is fantastic. That said, it’s obvious that Amazon focused more on Alexa’s voice-and-speech recognition than on playback of music and other types of audio.

Although you can easily connect to your online playlists and other entertainment via a variety of platforms and Alexa can pick up commands even while music or movies play through it, the playback isn’t the best sound quality on the market. I agree with other reviewers who describe it as slightly “tinny.”

The biggest downside or “but” is that Amazon decided to remove the auxiliary audio 3.5-millimeter jack or port, which means that there’s no option for plugging in a wired headset or speaker with that size plug. Instead, you must depend on wireless connections.

Focus on Tomorrow's World

Recycle Symbol

Many people are worried about the changes humanity is making to the environment. They want to know if the companies they invest in when they buy products and services show the same concern and strive to leave the world a better place. One of the things I like about the Alexa Show 5 is that it has a high post-consumer recycling history. In some ways, it’s more renewable than many similar products.

The display is made with 38% post-consumer plastics and 100% recycled fabric. The power adapter is made of 50% post-consumer plastics. The packaging it arrives in is made of 96% wood-fiber materials from recyclables and carefully managed forests. There’s also an extensive trade-in and recycling program. As a result, you know that your device goes back into the recycling process any time you upgrade to a new model.

Power consumption is another important area to consider. A lot of personal electronics on the market are power hogs during use and vampires that pull leaked energy from outlets in standby mode. When it comes to power consumption, the Alexa Show 5 offers a lower power mode and an energy dashboard designed to make electricity usage more efficient. Amazon has also announced that it’s working to make solar and wind farms available to improve electric utility usage and markets everywhere.

An Affordable Option

Affordable Prices

My main thought about the Echo Show 5 is that it’s a worthwhile, inexpensive deal at approximately $55 before taxes. Even though it has a small 5.5-inch touch screen, it has many potential uses that aren’t hindered too much by the screen’s size. The touch capability and voice-and-motion capabilities are well above average. Many similar smart displays in the market just don’t respond as quickly or as well.

Although it might work in a pinch, I don’t recommend using this display as the main speaker in a kitchen. There are always things to consider when deciding to set up any types of electronic, non-appliance device in a kitchen because of heat and humidity. The greater concern is sound. Music might sound “fine,” but it won’t be at a high enough quality for long-term, prep zone or breakfast-bar or nook enjoyment.

Instead, I think it’s a great secondary system for the living room or a bedroom, especially in a room for kids or an elderly member of the household who has mobility issues and rarely leaves their room. Of course, for the safety of everyone in the home, I highly recommend that you close the 2MP camera shutter or mute the display when it’s not in use to prevent someone from hacking it from outside and breaching your security. That said, when the camera is in use, you definitely get to enjoy much better picture quality than the 2019 1st Generation model.

Lastly, if you already own the 1st Generation Echo Show 5 device, I don’t recommend that you upgrade even though the 2nd Generation is currently so inexpensive since the differences aren’t great enough to make an upgrade worthwhile. The 2nd Generation also doesn’t have that useful aux 3.5-millimeter jack found in the 1st Generation that’s great when you want to plug in a wired headset or even a second wired speaker.

When it’s time to upgrade, there are other models that are far more worth the time and money it takes to make this type of change in your home, such as the Echo Show 10 and Echo Show 15. The latter offers an impressively large screen that’s worth a second look. Amazon does provide simple setup of the Echo Show 5, but you might deal with a significant disruption while you’re trying to set up access to content and sync it with other smart devices in your home. You also need to take extra time to set up additional security cameras.


Do you need to pay a monthly fee to use an Echo Show?

No.  There is no monthly fee.  There are optional services like Amazon Music but they are optional.

Do I need a Internet Connection?

Yes . To be able to use an Echo Show you will need a Wi-Fi network in your home.  

Do I need an Amazon account?

Yes.  You will need an Free Amazon account.

Can I use the Amazon Echo Show 5 as a security camera?

Yes.  You can use it as a security camera and monitor the live feed from your home on you smart phone.

Can I make video calls with the Echo Show 5?

Yes.  Echo Show devices can place video calls to other Echo Show devices and the Alexa phone app.

Pro's & Cons

During my review I have identified the following Pros and Cons 


  • Great price. A very inexpensive way to get started with a smart speaker
  • No monitoring fees or long term contracts
  • Compatible with other smart home devices
  • Integrates with surveillance cameras
  • Built-in security features – physical camera shutter.


  • Not the best sounding smart speaker on the market.  
  • Screen is a bit small at 5″.  
  • Missing the 3.5mm audio jack found on its predecessor.



All of that said, if you’re looking for a winter holiday gift that your loved ones will appreciate and enjoy day after day, then you don’t need to look any further. It’s an accessible, convenient, fun smart display.

Products Covered in this Article

Other related Products


Approx. Size

148mm x 86mm x 73mm (5.8” x 3.4” x 2.9”)

Approx. Weight

410 grams (14.5 oz) Actual size and weight may vary by manufacturing process


5.5” touch screen


2 MP - built-in security shutter

WiFi connectivity

Dual-band wifi supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks

Bluetooth connectivity

Audio streaming from your mobile device to Echo Show 5 or from Echo Show 5 to your Bluetooth speaker. Bluetooth speakers requiring PIN codes are not supported.


Full range 1.65” built-in speaker.


MediaTek MT 8163

Accessibility features

On Echo devices with screens, you can enable Alexa captioning and closed captioning, magnify the screen, toggle colour inversion, and choose between colour correction options. You can also enable the VoiceView screen reader to use gestures to navigate the screen and hear spoken feedback about the items you select. Learn more about Echo with a screen accessibility and Alexa accessibility.

Warranty and Service

1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year extended warranty available for Canada customers sold separately. Use of Echo Show 5 is subject to these terms.

Included in the Box

Echo Show 5, glacier white power adapter (15W)/cable (4.9 ft.) and quick start guide.


Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) - 2021 release

Privacy Features

Wake word technology, streaming indicators, microphone/camera off button, built-in camera shutter, the ability to view and delete your voice recordings, and more. Visit the Alexa Privacy Hub to explore how Alexa and Echo devices are designed to protect your privacy.

Recommended device footprint

Echo Show 5 device is 5.8”W x 2.9”D. Recommended footprint: 6”W x 4”D. is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to or As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.