Echo Show 5 convinced me (and my daughter) to believe in smart displays

Echo Show 5 convinced me (and my daughter) to believe in smart displays

The New Amazon Echo Show 5: A Visual Delight

Amazon Echo Show 5

I’ve been a devoted fan of Amazon Echo devices for years. From the original speaker back in 2014 to the latest iterations, I’ve added and upgraded them, but one thing I had never experienced was an Amazon smart speaker with a screen. That is, until now.

Introducing the Amazon Echo Show 5 (3rd Gen). As someone who has used this device for about a month now, I can’t help but wonder why I waited so long to try it.

Amazon Echo Show 5: A Feast for the Senses

The latest addition to Amazon’s smart home hub lineup not only features the same familiar Echo smarts but also comes with improved speaker quality. Priced at $89, it falls in between the smaller Echo Dot and the full-sized Echo Studio speaker.

Compared to its predecessors, the 3rd-gen Echo Show has undergone significant upgrades. One major improvement is in the audio department. The first two generations were plagued by criticisms of poor sound quality. To address these concerns, Amazon has implemented a new speaker configuration, moving them to the top, and doubling the bass.

While I can’t directly compare the sound quality to previous models, I can confidently say that it surpasses the audio capabilities of my Echo Dots by a wide margin. Additionally, with the speakers now positioned at the top, sound no longer bounces off surfaces, resulting in a noticeable upgrade.

Externally, the latest Echo Show retains the same screen size as its predecessor but introduces more rounded edges, making the whole device slightly smaller and sleeker. Amazon claims to have upgraded the screen for better nighttime viewing, and indeed, it is easily readable and pristine in night mode.

Infusing Personal Touch with Photo Frame Mode

One of the main advantages of having a screen on the Echo Show is the option to enable Photo Frame mode. In this mode, the Show displays scrolling photos from your Amazon account while in standby. You can even customize the folders or choose specific people to include, adding a personal touch to your device.

This feature may not be new, but it was certainly new to me, and it immediately captivated my five-year-old daughter. She would excitedly sit in front of the Echo Show, reliving cherished family memories and demanding our attention whenever she found an interesting photo.

Alternatively, the Show can display a variety of content, including artwork, news articles, new podcast episodes, and weather forecasts. This versatility adds to its appeal as a multimedia hub.

Enhanced Communication and Utility

Keeping up with previous models, the Echo Show 5 retains its two-megapixel camera for video calls and checking in. It proved quite handy when I needed to monitor my sick dog’s progress, allowing me to keep an eye on him from a distance.

Regarding performance, the Echo Show 5 delivers a 20% increase in speed thanks to its AZ2 processor. From a software perspective, the user interface has been revamped to closely resemble the Fire TV interface, lending a more seamless and intuitive experience.

However, one minor setback I encountered was the device’s responsiveness to voice commands. Despite its touted improvements in Alexa responsiveness, the Show often struggled to understand me, leading to frustrating experiences. Unlike my other Echo devices, which promptly activate tasks like making ice in my fancy ice maker, the Show either didn’t respond or cheerfully acknowledged the request with no action.

The Echo Show 5: A Daily Staple

Despite occasional voice recognition hiccups, I am thoroughly pleased with the Amazon Echo Show 5. Prior to using it, I was content with audio-only experiences, skeptical of the added visual aspect. However, having the Show’s screen has become an integral part of my daily routine. From pausing to admire a scrolling photo on the screensaver to video chatting with family while cooking dinner, or simply checking my calendar for the day, the Echo Show has proven its value beyond my expectations.

In summary, the Echo Show 5 combines sleek design, improved sound quality, and a versatile screen to create an immersive and engaging user experience. Whether you’re a long-time Echo user or contemplating a smart speaker with a visual twist, the Echo Show 5 is a highly recommended addition to any smart home setup.

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