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There’s a new Echo Show in town, and I’m going to give you a complete breakdown of the similarities and five differences between Echo Show 5 2021 vs 2019 smart displays with Alexa.
In a rush?
Here’s a summary of the differences between Echo Show 5 2021 (2nd Gen) and Echo Show 5 2019 (1st Gen):
The dimensions (5.8”W x 3.4”H x 2.9”D) and casing of the 2021 and 2019 models are identical. They both come with a 5.5″ touchscreen at 960 x 480 resolution, but the 2nd Gen model has an additional color choice (Blue). Both include a MediaTek MT 8163 processor and one 1.7” speaker. The 2021 Show has a better 2MP camera vs 2019’s 1MP.
Alexa’s Little Smart DisplayWith the Echo Spot discontinued, the Echo Show 5 is now Amazon’s littlest smart display. While smaller than its siblings the Echo Show 8, 10, and now 15, this miniature speaker is still an incredible value.
You get everything Alexa plus a smart display that you can use to make video calls, view step-by-step recipes, and watch your favorite shows and YouTube videos.
To call it what it is, it’s half the size of the Echo Show 10 and a quarter of the size of the new Echo Show 15 that Amazon recently announced.
However, being more compact makes it ideal for a small space such as a bookshelf or bedside table. While not as feature-packed as its larger siblings, the Show 5’s small screen delivers crisp visuals via its 5.5″ screen. Oh, and it’s more affordable too.
The 2nd generation Echo Show 5 is the latest version of this neat little smart display. Arriving a couple of years after the 1st gen model, it looks identical to its predecessors. Although, it does deliver a few nice upgrades that I will cover in more detail below.
📚 Related: Echo Show 10 Vs 15: Showdown!
Echo Show 2021 vs 2019: Technical Specifications
The following table compares the major technical specifications of the Echo Show 2021 vs 2019 side by side.
Last update on 05/14/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
2021 Model (Echo Show 5 and Show 5 Kids)
CNET does a great job explaining the differences with the upgraded 2021 2nd Gen model in this helpful video review:
Tech with Brett crushes it in his Echo Show 5 review (2019 model) showing us “everything it can do.”He has over 2 million views on this video. Wow.
Note: If you named your existing device, Echo you may want to mute it out. He says Echo a LOT in this video.
Echo Show 5 2021 vs 2019: What’s the Same?
Apart from the looks, there are a lot of similarities between the Echo Show 5 2021 vs 2019. They both measure the same at 5.8 x 3.4 x 2.9 inches and weigh 14.5 ounces. Both come with a 5.5-inch touchscreen display with the same design and controls.
Privacy is not much of an issue with these two models as they both come with a camera shutter that you can open and shut at the top of the device You can also mute the Echo Show 5 like other Amazon Echo devices at any time.
The audio quality is also similar between the two devices with 1.65-inch speakers.
As for software features, they’re pretty much the same in the 2nd gen and 1st gen Echo Show 5. You’ll be able to enjoy Alexa and the assistant features she comes with like smart home control, news and weather callouts, games, and calls.
You also can stream your favorite movies and TV shows from Netflix and Prime Video. Music streaming is also quick and easy with support for Spotify and Apple Music.
- This bundle includes Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) and the adjustable stand.
Echo Show 2021 vs 2019: What’s Different?
When looking at Echo Show 2021 vs 2019 side by side, these devices certainly do look the same. The overall design and dimensions are the same. However, there are also a few noteworthy differences that may sway your decision to get one over the other. Here are some of the notable ones that I found that you may want to take a closer look at:
Difference #1: Design
These two models certainly look alike, but there is one aspect that separates them. The 2nd generation Echo Show 5 does come with a Deep-Sea Blue option apart from Charcoal and Glacier White. There is also a new Kids Edition that comes with a fun Chameleon outer wrapper.
This may be a bit trivial for some, but those who want a little color in their home can opt for the 2021 one with a blue hue or the fun Chameleon Kids Edition.
My Pick: A tie, unless you want Deep Sea Blue or Kids Edition.
Difference #2: Camera Quality
One of the significant differences between these two devices is the camera hardware. The old Echo Show 5 has a 1 MP front camera, while the latest iteration doubles that with a 2 MP camera.
The better quality video camera means that video calls are now clearer and sharper, especially to those on the other end of the line.
Another significant difference between the Echo Show 5 2021 vs 2019 is that the 2nd generation allows you to use the camera remotely. This was not available on the first-gen model. This way you can opt to check up on your home remotely. It can serve as a security camera, and when paired with Alexa Guard, can act as a decent home security system.
If you like the idea of video calling or checking up on your baby, nanny, or pets using the display upgrading to the 2021 model makes sense. Oh, and did I mention it comes in blue 😊?
My Pick: Echo Show 5 2021 (2nd Gen)
Difference #3: Audio Hardware
Another key differentiator between the Echo Show 2021 vs 2019 model is the audio output jack.
With the rising popularity of high-speed internet and Bluetooth of external speaker connectivity, Amazon has opted to do away with the wired output jack in its newer generation devices. Therefore, the 2nd Gen 2021 Echo Show 5 does not have the jack.
However, the 1st gen model does still come with a 3.5mm audio output found at the device’s rear, allowing you to connect it to an external speaker.
If this outweighs the other benefits of upgrading to the 2021 edition for you, go with the 2019 model.
My Pick: Echo Show 5 2019 (1st Gen)
Difference #4: Environment Friendliness
The 2nd gen Echo Show 5 is “Climate Pledge Friendly,” which essentially means that it’s made from recycled plastic, fabric, and aluminum. Additionally, its packaging is made from wood-fiber-based materials, which means it quickly breaks down in landfills after it is disposed of.
This is great if you care about the environment and want to cut down on your carbon footprint, and getting the latest Echo Show 5 should not bring any guilt.
Save the trees!🌳 Save the whales! 🐳
My Pick: Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)
Difference #5: Price
Both models of the Echo Show 5 are reasonably priced for an entry-level smart display. You can even enjoy sweeter deals as Amazon runs specials especially during Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
The price difference between the two models is incredibly small. But, if you’re keen on getting maximum savings, getting the 2021 model during one of these big sales is a no-brainer.
I’ll display a couple of product boxes below that show the latest price of each model as of the date at the bottom of the box. Click the orange “See It” button to view the up-to-the-minute price.
My Pick: Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)
Echo Show 5 2021:
- See your day clearly with Alexa at the ready - Set alarms and timers, check your calendar or the news, make video calls with the 2 MP camera, and stream music or shows - all with your voice.
Echo Show 5 2019:
- A Certified Refurbished Echo Show 5 is refurbished, tested, and certified to look and work like new.
Echo Show 5 Kids Edition:
- Make their room the coolest in the house - Kids can ask Alexa to play videos, help with homework, and make video calls to approved contacts - all wrapped in a bright chameleon design.
Verdict: Which Is Better?
Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)
The 2nd generation Echo Show 5 certainly is a better overall value. You’ll get a vastly improved camera with the capability to access it remotely as well as the other benefits outlined above.
This makes shelling out a few extra dollars to get the newer version a no-brainer IMHO.
However, I can still see the value in getting the 1st gen mode if Amazon steeply discounts it during one of its landmark sales. I might buy one to replace the Echo Dot I have in my bathroom, for example. Both Echo Show 5 models are still great, inexpensive ways to get a smart display into your home.
I also really like the Echo Show 5 Kids Editions for the kiddos. I think Kids will appreciate the screen over the Echo Dot Kids Edition.
I will also say if you have some extra money and want a very cool display for your bedstand, go with the larger Echo Show 8 screen instead.
📚 Related: Echo Show 8 vs Echo Show 5 [Latest Models Compared]
You can never go wrong with the Echo Show 5, whether you’re getting the 1st gen or 2nd gen model. They’re both easy to use and a great way to get Alexa going.
The displays may not be as big as some of the other devices in the Echo lineup, but if you visually consume information and can’t afford a bigger one, you will appreciate the Show 5 even at 5.5. inches.
All of the Echo devices make excellent gifts to friends and family, and you can typically get them at a bargain during holiday season sales.
About the Author
Tim Brennan is a technology blogger and host of the @TecTimmy YouTube channel. He shares insights about smart home tech at oneSmartcrib, home theater systems at UniversalRemoteReviews, and the future of AI in writing at Writeinteractive. A graduate of the Northeastern University School of Journalism, he has written about technology for 30 years. He lives on the ocean in scenic Nahant, Massachusetts.
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