Great for Google

Nest Hub (2nd Gen)

Nest Hub Second Gen

Awesome for Alexa

Echo Show 5

Amazon Echo Show 5 charcoal official render

The Nest Hub (2nd Gen) builds on the first generation's beauty by adding a faster processor, better speakers, and innovative new features like radar-powered sleep detection. It still does all of the great Googly things like serve as a Google Photos display and portal to your Google life, and it's cheaper than ever before.

$100 at Best Buy

Pros

  • Built-in sleep tracking and motion controls
  • Improved speaker and processor
  • Official YouTube support
  • Google Assistant at the ready
  • Lower starting price than the previous generation

Cons

  • No camera for video chatting
  • Doesn't work with Alexa
  • Soli sleep-tracking is a limited-time, free feature

This is one of the least expensive smart displays on the market. It's fantastic for monitoring and controlling your smart home, and for making video calls to loved ones. To better protect your privacy, it features a built-in cover that you can slide over the camera lens.

$50 at Amazon

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Can turn off the microphone and camera with a physical switch and cover
  • Works with more smart devices
  • Alexa Guard Plus and Alexa Care access

Cons

  • Smaller screen
  • Defaults to training the AI with your recordings

If you already know that you prefer either Amazon or Google's voice assistant, choosing between the Echo Show 5 vs. the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is easy. But if you're unsure which is the best smart speaker, there are several things to consider. Both smart displays are excellent options and will serve you well in your home, but they have different strengths and limitations that make them better suited for different uses.

After testing the Echo Show 5 and comparing either devices' specs and capabilities, we've determined that the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is the better choice between the two. It's a close call, though.

Echo Show 5 vs. Nest Hub (2nd Gen): The specs

Echo Show 5 Nest Hub (2nd Gen)
Size 5.8"x3.4"x2.9" 7.0"x4.7"x2.7"
Weight 14.5 oz 19.7 oz
Speakers 1 1
Camera 1MP None
Screen 5" touch screen at 960x480p resolution 7" touch screen at 1024x600p resolution
Microphones 5 3
Smart assistant Alexa Google Assistant
Privacy controls Physical camera shutter and mute switch Physical mute switch
Colors 2 (charcoal, sandstone) 4 (chalk, charcoal, sand, mist)

The differences: Nest Hub (2nd Gen)

Nest Hub 2nd Gen ReviewSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

Price: One of the biggest cons for the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is the price. While it isn't expensive as far as other smart displays go, and the starting MSRP is $50 less than the previous generation, it's currently listed as $50 more than the Echo Show 5. Even though it doesn't feature a camera, it offers plenty of other features that make it worth the cost.

Built-in sleep tracking: The second-generation Nest Hub features Google's Soli radar technology, which allows the bedside device to monitor your sleep patterns discretely and give you results the next morning. This sleep tracking method is far less invasive or uncomfortable than wearing a smartwatch or having some other kind of tracker attached to your pillow or mattress. The only real downside is that while initially free, the service is moving behind a subscription paywall at the end of 2021.

Nest Hub 2nd Gen ReviewSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

Motion controls: Using the same Soli technology mentioned above, Nest Hub (2nd Gen) users can control their smart displays from a bit of a distance by using hand gestures and motions. This is ideal for "swiping" through recipe cards, photos, or music, but our reviewers commented that it's not always 100% accurate.

Video calls without a camera: Despite not having a camera, you can still make and receive video calls on the Nest Hub. It's a little strange since the person you're talking to won't be able to see you, but not having a camera also makes it so no one can hack into your camera and spy on you. Your calls, podcasts, and music will sound better than the first-generation Hub, thanks to an improved speaker configuration. If the lack of a camera is the deal-breaker, you might be interested in the larger Nest Hub Max, which does feature a camera.

Screen size & resolution: At 7 inches, the screen is 1.5 inches larger than the Echo Show 5's. It might not seem like a lot, but it does make activities like streaming YouTube videos and following recipes more convenient. The resolution is also better on the Nest Hub (2nd Gen), so you'll be able to see more details when watching shows.

Respecting your privacy: Google devices only record when you're talking to them or when you specifically ask them to record. You don't have to worry about the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) continually recording everything that gets said in your home, but for added peace of mind, you can still mute the mic by pressing a physical button on the back of the device. Through your online Google account, you can manually review and delete recordings, and even set it up to do this automatically.

Getting directions: After asking for directions to a specific location, Nest Hub (2nd Gen) will show the route on screen and send the directions to your smartphone via Google Maps. Super easy, right? Whereas the Echo Show 5 will only tell how long it should take to get to your destination and won't send any maps to your smartphone. Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is the more convenient device in this regard.

YouTube: Google's control of YouTube is a big reason to choose the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) over the Echo Show 5. The Nest Hub (2nd Gen) displays YouTube beautifully and allows you to search for specific videos by voice command. This gives you access to a lot of information, whether it's a how-to video, a recipe video, or simply entertainment. In comparison, Amazon's device can access YouTube through a browser, but it doesn't work nearly as well, and you won't be able to search for specific videos via voice command.

Smart security cameras: As with the Echo Show 5, you can view and monitor smart camera feeds. However, the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) works with fewer camera devices than Amazon's speaker. If your home is already covered with Nest devices, like the Nest Hello video doorbell or the Nest Cam IQ outdoor, then this won't be a problem. Still, if you have a different smart security camera brand, you may not be able to view camera feeds on the display. This is an area where the Echo Show 5 excels since it works with a wider range of security cameras.

Functioning as a digital photo frame: Nest Hub connects with Google Photo and turns your display into a digital photo frame. The Echo Show 5 can also display photos, but as with the Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen), it isn't as good of an experience as the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) provides using Google Photos.

The bottom line: The Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is a wonderful device for any home, especially those that already feature Google devices. This display might not have a camera, but you can still make video calls. It connects easier to YouTube and allows you to better search for YouTube videos via voice command. We love how it sends directions directly to your phone, so you don't have to look them up yourself. And the new sleep detection and motion controls that the Soli sensor enables are really cool enahncements to an already great product. In the end, the many convenience features it offers make it a better choice than the Echo Show 5.

The differences: Echo Show 5

Good Omens on the Echo Show 5Source: Android Central

Price: Since the Echo Show 5 costs $50 less than the Nest Hub (2nd Gen), it doesn't hurt your wallet as much when purchasing this diminutive Alexa speaker. It also makes it easier to buy multiple units for your home.

Camera & privacy: Unlike the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) or even the Lenovo Smart Clock, the Echo Show 5 features a camera so those you talk to during video calls can see your face. If you plan on using your smart display to make a lot of video calls, Alexa's mini Echo Show might be the right option. Those who are concerned with privacy can feel more using the Echo Show 5, knowing that there is a built-in camera cover over the lens in addition to manually turning off the microphone and camera.

Echo Show 5Source: Android Central

Recordings: People are understandably concerned about their smart home devices recording things they say. You can now delete conversations by asking Alexa to delete what you just said, delete everything you said today, or delete your entire voice history. Additionally, you can go into the Alexa app and opt-out of training the A.I. with your recordings, or manage and delete your recordings manuall. If the thought of recordings makes you uncomfortable, you can press a button and turn off the microphone and camera when not in use. For additional information check out the Amazon Privacy Hub.

Amazon Echo Show 5 Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central

Smart home cameras: In addition to making video calls, you can use this device to view Alexa-compatible security camera feeds from cameras like the Wyze Cam Outdoor. If you also happen to have a Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, you'll be able to see who's on your porch as well as talk to them using the Echo Show 5.

Screen size & resolution: The 5.5-inch screen on the Echo Show 5 is about the size of an average smartphone, which is an inch and a half smaller than the Nest Hub's screen. This is both a pro and a con. A smaller screen makes the device more compact and thus helps it fit in more locations. However, the screen size might not be as helpful in some situations, like when you're watching a show or following a recipe.

Additionally, the resolution is lower on the Echo Show 5 and less than what you'd find on the average smartphone. Given that the viewing area isn't that big, this might not affect you very much, but it's still disappointing that it's not up to scratch with an average smartphone's screen resolution.

Amazon Prime & Prime Video: If you've paid for an Amazon Prime subscription, then you can easily stream Prime Video shows and movies onto your Echo Show 5. It also makes it easier to order items directly from Amazon. There's more to see than Prime Video, however. Check out this list of live TV services that you can watch on an Echo Show.

Echo Show 5 Jack RyanSource: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

Smart home controls: Alexa is compatible with more smart home devices than Google is, and it responds better to voice commands. Yet, its current touchscreen controls give you fewer options than what Google offers.

The bottom line: The Echo Show 5 is a great option since it is inexpensive, features a camera, and works with several smart home devices. It also makes it easier to stream shows and movies from Prime Video or order products from Amazon. However, the clunky YouTube usage and fewer touchscreen controls make it a slightly less convenient device than the Nest Hub (2nd Gen).

When is the Echo Show 5 the right choice?

Echo Show 5Source: Russell Holly / Android Central

As mentioned previously, the fact that the Echo Show 5 is $50 cheaper than the Nest Hub while still featuring a camera makes Amazon's smart display a contender. If you'd prefer to spend less money or you just want a camera, it's worth considering. Additionally, if your home is already decked out with Alexa-compatible devices, the Echo Show 5 will be a better fit for you.

Echo Show 5 vs. Nest Hub (2nd Gen): Which should you buy?

These are both quality displays that can help you manage your smart home devices, look up recipes, stream shows, and do several other things. Overall, the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) offers the best features since it gives you a better YouTube experience, displays photos better, and can help track your sleep. The Echo Show 5 is a great contender, especially given the low price and built-in camera. If you already have Alex devices set up in your home, it's an excellent display to use.

Bedside buddy

Nest Hub Second Gen

Nest Hub (2nd Generation)

Better passive portal

The Nest Hub (2nd Gen) is a better smart display for looking at your photos or tracking your sleep, but it isn't quite as good as the Echo Show 5 for monitoring your smart home or chatting with friends.

The cheaper option

Amazon Echo Show 5 charcoal official render

Echo Show 5 (Smart display with Alexa)

An inexpensive Alexa-enabled smart display

The Echo Show 5 is a great low-cost smart speaker, which you can use to control your smart home and make video calls. It falls behind the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) in our opinion because it can't track your sleep or plug into Google services.

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