Most people think of Amazon's Echo device when they think of smart speakers. The category was first introduced by Amazon with the original Echo speaker and then with the original Echo Show. The launch of the Echo Show (2nd Gen) felt long-awaited because we had had plenty of time to see these products mature.

There aren't many opportunities to change or improve upon the form factor once you reach a certain point. There is a perfect example here. The rest of the Show line has remained the same for the past few years. The Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen), the Echo Show 5 Kids, and the Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) all looked similar to their predecessors, and to the Echo Show (2nd Gen) from last year. It's a design that works, that's the reason for the consistency.

Even though I own a first-generation Echo Show 5, I wasn't the one who initially tested that device forAndroid Central, so I was very excited to conduct this review. I was curious if I would like this device the same as the first one. I did not. I enjoyed it more.

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen): Price and availability

Press photo of the Amazon Echo Show 5 playing a song on Amazon Music

(Image credit: Amazon)

The second-generation Echo Show 5 was introduced in May of 2021. Though it's frequently discounted throughout the year, the Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) is the same price as its predecessor.


The smart display now comes in a stunning Deep Sea Blue color, as well as the Charcoal and Glacier White versions. It is currently available from a number of retailers.

There are today's best Amazon Echo Show deals.

Echo Show 5 2nd Gen Side View

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

It's not every generation that we see major changes to the form factor of one of Amazon's devices, and that's certainly the case with the Echo Show 5. If you sit the newer speaker side by side with the older one, you will not notice any differences. The only real changes to the device are the colors and the camera.

The new Deep Sea Blue is a really nice choice. The color adds a dash of personality without any distraction.

I've been a fan of Amazon's blue colors for a long time, so it's no surprise that the latest iteration of the Echo Frames is blue. It's eye-catching, but it doesn't stand out. It doesn't clash with most people's home décor because it blends into its surroundings.

The cameras on the first generation of the devices were not of the highest quality, which made them unsuitable for video calling. The Echo Show 5 (1st Gen) and Echo Show 8 (1st Gen) only had 1MP cameras, which didn't give the best call experience. The product line has matured into its second generation and we finally get a significant spec boost to the camera. It's even better now at 2MP.

I know what you are thinking. It's sort of a big deal. It's not as good as the 13MP cameras on the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) or Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen), but it's an improvement and one that your video calling pals just might notice.

Video calling on the Amazon Echo Show 5

2nd Gen left; 1st Gen right (Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Michael told me that he had a hard time telling the difference between the two cameras when I tried a video call from my first-gen Show 5 and the second Gen Show 5. He admitted that the newer device looked a bit sharper, but it wasn't an earth- shattering difference. He wouldn't have been able to guess on his own if I hadn't told him which device I was calling from.

Echo Show 5 2nd Gen Front

2nd-Gen model (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Front of the Echo Show 5 (1st Gen)

1st-Gen model (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

The camera cutout on the top right corner is a bit different than the one on the last time. The camera on the Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) can be used as a home security camera. It isn't a replacement for a fancy setup that might allow you to pan and zoom, but it is a nice bonus that doesn't cost you anything. If you have an internet connection, you can remote view your space on your phone. Home Monitoring can be set up during the initial speaker setup or at a later date.

Screenshots of the Alexa app showing home monitoring

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

The Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) makes for a serviceable secondary security camera for your home.

Amazon will allow the service to listen for other sounds, such as babies crying, dogs barking, or people coughing, soon, and you can use the Show 5 to monitor for those sounds. If your Show hears Rover barking loudly, for example, you can play loud music or turn on the baby monitor to scare away potential invaders.

Since this is a smart speaker, how does it sound? It's not terrible. It has a small speaker that Amazon says is full-range, but it's only slightly larger than the one found in the Echo Dot. The speaker is small enough to put out a lot of sound. The sound is crisp and clear, and the mids and highs come through well for a rear-firing speaker, even though it doesn't come across as rich or dynamic. It does get the job done when sitting next to you on your desk, but don't expect it to deliver a room-filling sound.

The size of the Echo Show 5 is very small. Some may see this as a negative, but I like that I can place this speaker just about anywhere I want in my home. It has been a productivity enhancer for me since it is the perfect glanceable sidekick. I don't think it's a bad thing that it has a smaller screen and less powerful speakers.

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen): What's not good

Echo Show 5 1st 2nd Gens

The Echo Show 5 2nd Gen (left) and 1st Gen (right) (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

I said in the previous section that the camera upgrade was a "pro" but it won't impress everyone. The 2MP camera is twice as good as the 1MP shooter found in the first-gen Show 5, but it isn't as good as other smart display cameras. The Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) and the Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) both have 13MP cameras. It is almost as if the video calling feature is a throw-in on the Echo Show 5 and not a tent pole feature like it is on the larger competitors.

This isn't the best device for video or multimedia consumption.

"You should know what you're getting into, but a screen this small is not the ideal form factor for viewing long-form content." I know that it's roughly the same size as many phone screens we use to watch TV on, but the difference is that we can hold them or put them in any orientation we want. Watching a half-hour sitcom or two-hour movie on a tiny five-inch screen that is sitting at a fixed angle on a desk or end table isn't as appealing as watching it on a big screen. It is better suited for showing short video updates, showing relevant content to your queries, or as a digital photo frame.

Echo Show 5 2nd Gen Bottom

The 2nd Gen's bottom fits the same stands as the 1st Gen (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

If you want to change the orientation of the display, you will need a special stand. If you already have a first-gen Show 5, the stand for it will work just as well as the new one.

Echo Show 5 2nd Gen Back

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

I'm sad to see that Amazon removed the 3.5mm audio output jack from the Echo Show 5, but I understand why they did it. I'm sure it saved the company money, and I'm sure Amazon has data that most people didn't use a lot on previous devices. It's always sad when features are taken away. It used to be possible to connect a pair of wired headphones to a larger speaker, but that is no longer the case. I didn't know what the port on the back of the device was for.

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen): Competition

Nest Hub 2nd Gen

(Image credit: Android Central)

The number of smart displays has slowly been increasing, but there aren't that many in the same size category.

The size and capabilities of the Show 5 are similar to the size and capabilities of theLenovo Smart Clock 2. The four-inch display has a wireless charging dock for your earbuds or phone.

The second generation of the Nest Hub is a great option if you prefer the Assistants. There is a seven-inch display between the Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) and the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen). It doesn't have a camera, but it does have a radar sensor that can be used to track sleep patterns. It's more expensive than the show.

If you're considering the Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen), you should also look at some of Amazon's other devices such as the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) or the Echo Dot with Clock. The former device offers a bigger and better screen and camera setup, while the latter gives you the benefits of an LED clock and timer without all of the extra frills and cost. If you don't mind the lower-specced camera, you can still find it at many retailers at a slight cost savings.

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen): Should you buy it?

Echo Show 5 2nd Gen Top

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

If you do, you should purchase this.

  • You want a smaller smart display
  • You want the ability to look in on your home when away
  • You don't need the best screen or camera

If you buy this, you should not.

  • You need a primary video-calling device
  • You want the best sounding speaker
  • You need a 3.5mm audio output jack

TheEcho Show 5 (2nd Gen) isn't a device that's going to wow you with impressive specs, but it is the most bang for your buck, at least on an everyday basis.

Don't think of it as a competition to the larger siblings. You won't be spending a lot of time on this device, even though you can. Think of the Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) as an alarm clock on steroids, one that can show you updates throughout the day, serve as a nice digital photo frame, and do everything that you would expect from one of the best Echo Show devices.

The changelog was reviewed in October 2022.

The article was first published in July of 2011. The changes were made in November 2021.

  • Updated pricing.
  • Updated competition section.
  • Added changelog.

In October 2022, it was updated again.

  • Fixed formatting and photo errors introduced by site migration.
  • Rewrote introduction with new information.