Amazon Echo Show 5 vs. Echo Spot: Should you upgrade?

Good Omens on the Echo Show 5
Good Omens on the Echo Show 5 (Image credit: Android Central)

Echo Show 5

Amazon Echo Show 5 charcoal official render

It doesn't take up a lot of space as the 5.5-inch screen is roughly the size of an average smartphone. You can feel better about placing it on your nightstand since it has a built-in camera cover that slides over the lens. Use this device to surf the internet, make video calls, check the news, listen to music, control your smart home, and interact with hundreds of Alexa-enabled skills.

Echo Show 5

The Best Choice

Camera cover for privacy
Can turn off microphone
Screen has low resolution
Camera isn't very powerful

Echo Spot

Echo Spot official render

The Echo Spot was once a great device, and still is in many ways. The small size and shape make it easy to fit on many surfaces, and it features a front-facing camera, physical volume controls, a microphone, and built-in speakers. Amazon is no longer selling this device new, but you can still pick one up at Best Buy or on the reseller market.

Echo Spot

Lesser Option

Works with Alexa
Compact shape
Good video quality
No longer available directly from Amazon
Weird screen shape
No built-in camera cover
Less powerful speaker

While both displays offer the same abilities and features, the Echo Show 5 is hands down the better option. It's the most affordable screened Echo device, it has a larger screen and a better speaker than the Echo Spot, and it includes a camera cover to protect you from spying eyes. The Echo Spot isn't a bad display by any means, but it doesn't measure up to its newest Amazon sibling. If you have an Echo Spot, you should definitely consider upgrading to the newer device.

The differences

Amazon Echo Show 5 official lifestyle 1

Source: Amazon (Image credit: Source: Amazon)

In addition to costing $50 less than the Echo Spot, the Echo Show 5 is cheaper than all of the other home displays currently on the market, including the Nest Hub. Specifically comparing it to the Echo Spot, the screen is three inches larger and looks like a traditional smartphone screen, rather than a circle. Technically, the resolution for both devices is the same, but the larger screen on the Echo Show 5 is more conducive to streaming shows since it doesn't clip the sides of the video. We would have preferred that the resolution was a bit higher on this device, but it's good enough for the small screen.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Echo Show 5Echo Spot
Screen5.5 inches2.5 inches
Screen ShapeRectangularCircular
Resolution960 x 480 pixels480 x 480 pixels
Camera1MPVGA (640 x 480 pixels)
Unit Size5.8 x 3.4 x 2.9 inches4.1 x 3.2 x 3.8 inches
Built-in Camera Cover
Video Calls
Video and Music Streaming
Alexa Built-in

Both Alexa smart speakers were designed for bedside tables. By going into Alexa settings, you can turn off the camera and microphone on either device. However, the Echo Show 5 ensures you get a little more privacy since it features a built-in cover that slides over the camera lens. It's something you definitely want if you plan to put an Alexa display in your bedroom.

Echo Show 5

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

The Echo Show 5 has a 1-megapixel camera, which on its own isn't that great compared to the average smartphone. However, it's roughly three times better than the camera in the Echo Spot. Just make sure to place the Echo Show 5 in a room that has plenty of light when using the video call features and you should be fine.

As far as speakers go, both devices only have one. The speaker in the Echo Show 5 is twice as powerful as the Echo Spot's. This enhances your video watching and music playing experiences. If the sound is too loud or too quiet, make adjustments using the physical volume buttons. This device comes in two colors: a dark charcoal or a light sandstone.

Taking up space

The compact Echo Show 5 display is perfect for your bedside table or anywhere else in your home. It features a better camera, speaker, and higher resolution than the Echo Spot. The screen is three-inches larger, and the price-point is $50 cheaper than the Spot. If you're looking for an inexpensive Alexa display, the Echo Show 5 is the one to get.

The Echo Spot takes up about as much space as a softball. Its compact design makes it perfect for any counter, bedside table, or desk. The screen is only 2.5 inches, which is three inches smaller than the Echo Show 5. Additionally, the strange circular shape of the screen makes it, so the sides of videos get clipped. This can really mess with your viewing experience.

Echo Spot official lifestyle 1

Source: Amazon (Image credit: Source: Amazon)

The camera for this round display is only 640 x 450 pixels. That's a little more than three times smaller than what you get with the Echo Spot. This means that people you have video calls with don't see as good of an image. Still, video calls on this device work well enough as long as you use it in a well-lit room. The speakers are half as powerful as the ones found in the Echo Show 5, so the listening experience isn't as enjoyable. You can change the volume of your music by press the physical buttons on the device.

If you're concerned about privacy, the lack of a built-in camera cover might bother you, specially if you're planning to put this device in your bedroom. You can still go into the Alexa app and turn off the camera and microphone, but we like the added measure of safety the Echo Show 5's cover brings.

The Echo Spot was a really good device for its time, but its newer, less-expensive Alexa relative is better. The Echo Spot's speaker and camera are both less powerful while the screen's weird shape and smaller size clips the sides of videos. Since the Echo Show 5 has all of the feature advantages we mentioned, it's clear that if you have an Echo Spot it's worth upgrading.

Echo Spot official lifestyle 2

Source: Amazon (Image credit: Source: Amazon)

In the end

Both the Echo Show 5 and the Echo Spot are decent devices. The Echo Spot had its time as the best compact Alexa display, but now that honor has been passed to the Echo Show 5. It has a more substantial, traditionally-shaped screen, more powerful speakers, and a better camera while still being the most affordable Echo device with a screen. If you're trying to decide between the two devices (and you can actually find an Echo Spot), then you really should go with the newer one. If you already have an Echo Spot, we think it's worth it to upgrade to the Echo Show 5.

Rebecca Spear
Staff Writer

Rebecca Spear is a staff writer for Android Central who loves following the latest tech, drawing with her Wacom, and playing video games. You can find her posting about her pets, art, and video game preferences on Twitter @rrspear.