While Google was focusing on incorporating Nest into the mothership, Amazon was busy designing its next salvo in the smart display battle. The all-new Echo Show 5, which will ship in June, features a 5.5-inch display, an onboard high-definition camera, and—of course—speakers. But the biggest deal is the price: $89.99—$39 less than the $129 Google’s Nest Hub (formerly marketed as the Google Home Hub).
The Nest Hub has a slightly larger screen (7 inches), but it famously has no camera and cannot be used for video calls. Google explained this design decision was based on privacy concerns, since it predicted consumers would want to install the smart display in their bedroom.
Amazon’s press release announcing the Echo 5 also emphasizes privacy, touting the presence of a button that electronically turns off its microphone and camera, plus a visual indicator that shows when audio or video is streaming to the cloud. The Echo 5 also has a shutter that can cover the camera’s lens without disabling the ability to speak to its Alexa digital assistant.
Amazon also announced several new features that are coming to all Alexa-enabled devices, including the ability to delete recordings of what you’ve said after summoning Alexa. Say “Alexa, delete everything I said today.” (This feature is already available—you can set it up in the privacy settings in the Alexa app.) Amazon says it’s also working on a new voice command that will allow you to delete your most recent request by saying “Alexa, delete what I just said.”
Michael is TechHive's lead editor, with 30+ years of experience covering the tech industry, focusing on the smart home, home audio, and home theater. He built his own smart home in 2007 and used it as a real-world test lab for product reviews. Following a relocation to the Pacific Northwest, he is now converting his new home, an 1890 Victorian bungalow, into a modern smart home.