A small screen battle is looming between Amazon and Google as the two battle to get voice control of your home.
This week Amazon rolled out an all new $129 Echo Show 5 that features all the usual Alexa-powered smart skills as well as a few new ones but it also adds a 5.5-inch screen and in-built camera.
Ideal as a bedside device with a screen that recognises when the lights have been turned off and dims the clock reducing room glare, the ambient light mode auto-adjusts the brightness of the screen based on the light in the room.
The intelligent device also has decent speakers built in and despite the device being small it still delivers full audio and a decent sound for the size.
Google has new Nest Hub Max coming which includes a large 10-inch display and like the Echo Show 5 has good sound and a built in Nest camera.
With both the Amazon amd Google the cameras can be disabled.
“The compact form factor is perfect for a bedside table or desk, plus it has a camera shutter for added peace of mind, and new Alexa privacy features that are coming soon to Australia for even more control.” said an Amazon executive at the Sydney launch.
The new Alexa-enabled device, can also manage your calendar; answer your factual questions; and set alarms, timers, and reminders.
One new voice command allows one to say “Alexa, show me your clock faces” to choose a clock face and background art. The 5.5-inch display makes the device ideal for a nightstand or desk. If you end up holding this screen — which doesn’t happen often with voice control — you realize it’s smaller than a smartphones. But large, legible font clocks can make the screen feel a suitable size.
Alongside the release of the Echo Show 5 this week, Amazon is introducing a few new ways to use Alexa smart displays, most notably a discovery panel that displays icons and content when you swipe the screen.
Swipe right to left to bring up six icons for common things to do — like control smart home devices or play media. After those icons are cards that suggest additional things to do with Alexa.
This device is well worth the $129 investment.