Amazon has an Echo speaker for each want and each price range, it appears, and the brand new Echo Present 5 (2nd Gen) is an ready demonstration of that reality. It’s the smallest sensible display within the Echo vary, sitting beneath the Echo Present 8 and the modern Echo Present 10 each in measurement and value, and it takes its place alongside 4 non-screen-based Echo audio system.
And but, regardless of the presence of so many alternate options, there are many causes you may wish to think about grabbing your self an Echo Present 5 (2nd Gen).
Amazon Echo Present 5 (2nd Gen) evaluation: What it’s good to know
The Echo Present 5 is strictly what you’d anticipate to be: it’s an Amazon Echo speaker with a touchscreen bolted on the entrance; on this case, that show measures 5.5in throughout the diagonal with a decision of 960 x 480.
The display isn’t sufficiently big for watching films and TV exhibits on, though you are able to do that if you would like. As a substitute, the Echo Present 5 is meant to be an alarm clock or desk radio with sensible options, and it performs these features nicely.
I’ve been utilizing the older mannequin on my desk for a while now and I exploit it for listening to the radio, viewing the digicam feed from my video doorbell when couriers name, and as an intercom to the remainder of the home.
That is the second-generation Echo Present 5, which brings some modifications, none of which is especially vital. The aperture surrounding the digicam is now sq. as a substitute of round, and a fast look on the rear reveals there’s now not a 3.5mm output jack. It’s additionally out there in a brand new color (blue), and the digicam has seen a decision improve: it’s now 2MP, up from 1MP (720p).
Amazon Echo Present 5 (2nd Gen) evaluation: Worth and competitors
You most likely gained’t be shocked to find that the value has gone as much as £75, though given the distinction is a mere £5, that’s not too bitter a capsule to swallow.
At this value, competitors is minimal. Google doesn’t make a sensible display gadget with a show of this measurement, so in case your choice is for Google Assistant over Alexa, you’ll should go for the bigger Nest Hub, which comes with a 7in display.
The newest mannequin prices the same quantity at £70 and comes with modern options similar to sleep monitoring, however it doesn’t have a digicam, so you possibly can’t use it for video calls like you possibly can with the Echo Present 5.
If you happen to’re ready to drop the show, there’s much more selection. Our decide of the price range sensible audio system is the Amazon Echo Dot at £40, whereas the Google Nest Audio is our favorite by way of sound high quality for below £100.
Amazon Echo Present 5 (2nd Gen) evaluation: Design and key options
Measuring 148 x 73 x 86mm (WDH), the Echo Present 5 is strictly the identical bodily as its predecessor. It has a small, 5.5in touchscreen going through you, and that is tilted at a slight angle for simple viewing. It’s bolted onto a fabric-covered speaker housing on the rear, and there’s a rubber base on the backside to forestall it from slipping round.
The Echo Present 5’s show is vivid, crisp and vibrant and, though the decision is nothing particular at 960 x 480, it’s completely sharp on the kinds of distances you’ll sometimes be viewing it from. The touchscreen works nicely, too, though I discover I don’t sometimes use it a lot past establishing alarms and adjusting settings.
Inside, there’s a 1.65in full-range driver that pipes audio out from a grille on the underside fringe of the show – watch out to not block this or it’ll sound muffled. On the highest edge are three buttons for mute, quantity up and quantity down, plus a privateness shutter that blocks the digicam. Amazon says participating this electronically cuts off energy to the speaker’s microphones on the similar time.
When uncovered, the newly upgraded digicam delivers a gentle increase to visible high quality, however picture high quality remains to be middling. If video name high quality is necessary to you, you may wish to think about spending somewhat extra on the Echo Present 8 (2nd Gen), which comes with a 13MP digicam that may pan and zoom to comply with you across the room.
Amazon Echo Present 5 (2nd Gen) evaluation: What are you able to do with it?
All of this goes collectively to provide a sensible display that works just about in addition to all the opposite sensible audio system Amazon produces. Utilizing Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, it may possibly reply questions, play music, management sensible units, make calls and – when you have a number of Echo units – it may possibly act as an in-house intercom system as nicely.
The primary factor that the display and digicam add is the power to make video calls, both by way of Alexa’s personal video name system or Skype (alas Zoom isn’t supported within the UK but). Apart from that, you need to use the show to comply with recipes and showcase any photos you might have saved in Amazon Images, though the mixing isn’t practically as slick because the Nest Hub for Google Images.
Amazon Echo Present 5 (2nd Gen) evaluation: Sound high quality
As for sound high quality, that’s not unhealthy both given the dimensions of the driving force and its housing. It’s completely high-quality for radio exhibits, podcasts and calls, with loads of physique and readability, and it’s lots higher than your common laptop computer speaker.
Nonetheless, as soon as you progress onto music, you’ll quickly discover it missing, significantly on the low finish. There’s loads of mid-range physique, which helps with vocals, however bass frequencies sound limp and lack each depth and vitality.
So, whereas classical and light-weight acoustic tracks sound acceptable, when you fireplace up one thing somewhat extra demanding, like Kraftwerk’s “The Robots – 2009 Remaster”, you’re going to be disenchanted.
Amazon Echo Present 5 (2nd Gen) evaluation: Verdict
None of which means the Echo Present 5 is a poor product. As a sensible alarm clock for the bed room, or a compact radio to your residence workplace, it really works brilliantly, and it’s unobtrusive sufficient to suit anyplace else round the home that is perhaps lacking an Echo speaker.
It’s barely an improve, nevertheless – even the improved digicam doesn’t add a lot – and it doesn’t transfer issues on from the earlier mannequin. If you happen to don’t want a digicam, and also you’re not wedded to Alexa, I’d select the Nest Hub as a substitute.