Update: Our review of the Echo Show — the most compact Echo yet — is in. We called it “a smart display you’ll be happy to put on display.”
Amazon continues to expand its Echo family: On May 29, the company announced a new baby brother, the Amazon Echo Show. The device will be a slightly smaller version of the company’s existing Echo Show smart speaker, with a 5.5-inch display and built-in camera for video chats. The new, compact Echo Show 5 will retail for $89.99. It’s already available to pre-order and is expected to start shipping in most markets starting in June.
The Echo Show 5 is positioned as an entry-level device, something that people can introduce into their homes at a relatively affordable price. It brings Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa into the home with an accompanying tablet-style screen that makes it easy to interact with. Amazon is positioning the device as a sort of home hub that can be used for everything from playing music (with lyrics displayed on the screen) to a dedicated spot for video chats, or even as an alarm clock in the bedroom that can display personalized clock faces and relevant information at a glance.
Of course, with Alexa on board, Amazon is also making it possible to manage your entire smart home from the Echo Show 5. Connect your other Internet of Things devices and you’ll be able to use Alexa voice controls to manage all of your appliances and accessories. You can even set up routines that complete multiple tasks at once, like turning off the lights and locking the doors when it’s time to go to bed.
Amazon is also adding a focus on privacy with the new Echo Show 5. The company has built in a physical off button that, when toggled, can electronically disconnect both the microphone and the camera. A visual indicator on the device will let you know when the audio or video features are on and streaming to the cloud so you’ll never have to wonder if you’re being watched without your permission.
“Since we launched the first Echo Show device, customers have told us they love asking Alexa to show them things — whether it’s a recipe for banana bread, their shopping list, or music lyrics. With Echo Show 5, we’ve made it even easier and affordable for customers to add a smart display to every room of their house,” Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa said in a statement.
“The compact form factor is perfect for a bedside table or desk, plus it has a camera shutter for added peace of mind, and new Alexa privacy features for even more control.”
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