Thinking about adding a smart display to your home? Considering one as a gift for your young ones? Whatever reason for perusing your local Best Buy’s Amazon Alexa section, we’ve decided to help with your overall shopping experience. As experts on all things in your smart home, we’ve put together this side-by-side comparison of Amazon’s 2021 Echo Show 5 versus the Echo Show 5 Kids Edition (Amazon’s first smart display built for kids), weighing in on criteria like design, camera, features, and price.
Whether shopping for your household’s first smart display, a second one for another room, or a dedicated Echo Show for your son or daughter, read on to see which of these two smart displays makes the most sense for you.
From a dimensions standpoint, the 2nd-generation Show 5 and Show 5 Kids are exactly the same. Both measure 5.8 inches wide, 3.4 inches tall, and 2.9 inches deep; sport a 5.5-inch touchscreen; and weigh approximately 14.05 ounces. Both Show 5 variants also feature volume control buttons on the top, along with a slidable camera shutter and a mic/camera on/off button.
The power port is on the back of both units, along with a bit of disappointment. Moving into the new generation of miniature Echo Show displays, Amazon opted to removed the 3.5mm jack, negating your ability to wire the display to an external speaker or set of headphones. While not a dealbreaker by any means, it’s certainly worth mentioning for those who want more from their audio.
Color options for the standard Show 5 include Charcoal, Deep Sea Blue, and Glacier White. The Show 5 Kids only sports one color option — chameleon (a medley of yellow, green, and blue hues). Both new Show 5 iterations are also a part of Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly product line, meaning the device and packaging were designed with recyclable materials, including fabrics, plastics, and wood fibers.
While there aren’t any major design differences, we’ll award this category to the 2nd-gen Show 5 for its better lineup of color options.
Winner: Echo Show 5 (2nd-gen)
Both new Echo Show 5 models received a relatively small update in terms of the camera, moving from a single megapixel count to two. Compare that to the 2nd-gen Echo Show 8 that went from a measly 3MP to 13, along with automatic pan, tilt, and centering functions for video calls.
While image quality is still decent enough on Show 5 models, it’s nowhere near the improvement that other 2021 Echo Shows have received. We’re calling this one a tie.
Both new Show 5 variants are packed to the brim with great features that take advantage of Amazon’s intuitive voice assistant, Alexa. While many fundamental abilities are the same between both models, the Echo Show 5 Kids Edition sports its own unique suite of parent-kid functions.
Right out of the gate, both Show 5 models are equipped with a four-core MediaTek 8163 processor, which handles everything from touchscreen responsiveness to overall app performance. The regular Echo Show 5 can be used as a command center for your entire smart home. You can do everything from checking live footage from your security cameras and video doorbells to asking Alexa to dim your smart lights. Perfectly alarm clock-sized, you can wake each morning to your favorite radio station, along with your reminders for the day. This is all thanks to Alexa Routines, a series of programmable commands that you can create in the Alexa app.
Want to stay in touch with friends and family? Both the standard Show 5 and the Show 5 Kids allow you to make Drop In video and audio calls to the compatible Alexa displays of your loved ones. While this feature is a bit more safeguarded on the Kids Edition, you’ll need your loved one to approve Drop In calls from your device no matter what.
Where the Kids Edition truly differs from the standard Show 5 is in its child-friendly approach to engaging with Alexa. Right off the bat, several default parental settings are in place, turning Alexa into a digital babysitter that filters content, delivers kid-friendly answers, and blocks shopping. Parents can import additional parental controls in the Alexa app, allowing for additional cutoffs like daily time limits for device usage. Afraid your youngster is up to something? Hop onto the Parental Dashboard in the Alexa app to review everything they’ve been doing on their Show 5 Kids.
Additionally, each new Show 5 Kids comes with a free year of Amazon Kids+ that starts as soon as you set up the device. Amazon Kids+ gives your child access to over 15,000 games, audiobooks, music stations, and much more. At the end of the free year, the subscription will automatically renew at $3/month. You can cancel anytime using the Parent Dashboard or by contacting Amazon Customer Service.
Here’s the deal: You’re not going to use a Show 5 Kids to run every element of your smart home. The device is built with kids in mind from the ground up. That being said, it’s an extraordinary smart display when it comes to providing plenty of features to keep your young ones entertained. On the flip side of the token, you’re not going to want to use a Show 5 Kids to mobile-manage your smart lights, garage door opener, or door locks on the go.
In the world of features, each Show 5 iteration has its built-in audience to appease and satisfy. Thus, we award both models.
Right now, you can grab the brand-new Echo Show 5 for $85. Compare that to the 1st-gen Echo Show 5, which currently sells for $49. The 2nd-gen Show 5 also includes a one-year limited warranty.
The Echo Show 5 Kids Edition is actually a bit more expensive than the standard model, coming in at $95. In terms of warranty, Amazon knows exactly what audience you’re buying that Show 5 Kids for. Each new Show 5 Kids comes with a no-questions-asked two-year warranty. If the device gets busted in any way, Amazon will replace it for free.
While it’s hard to justify the extra $10 sticker price, the Show 5 Kids more than makes up for the price hike with a free year of Amazon Kids+ and Amazon’s gracious two-year bumps-and-dings coverage. With all this in mind, we award the Show 5 Kids for its overall value.
Winner: Echo Show 5 Kids Edition
When it comes down to the final purchase decision, it really depends on who and what you’re buying the Echo Show 5 for. Need a smart display to run your smart home with? Want an unfiltered music streamer and a screen for Netflix in the kitchen? You’re better off with the 2nd-gen Echo Show 5. Want a smart display to help your kid with homework, as well as providing them with hours of entertainment? That’s more like a job for the Echo Show 5 Kids Edition.
In a nutshell: Both iterations of the Show 5 are incredible miniature smart displays that are each engineered with specific users in mind.
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