Best answer: Yes, there is a front-facing camera that can be used for video chat. Amazon has included a shutter that slides over the camera to better protect your privacy.
- Compact display: Echo Show 5 ($90 at Amazon)
What is the Echo Show 5?
It’s the latest smart display created by Amazon. With it, you can ask Alexa to play music, open Amazon Prime Video, check your calendar, make video calls, and much more. You’ll also be able to control your smart home, both by giving oral commands to Alexa and by adjusting things like thermostat temperatures on the screen.
The display makes it ideal for showing you smart home security camera feeds. If it’s used in conjunction with the Ring Video Doorbell, you’ll also be able to see who’s on your front porch. When not actively being used, Echo Show 5 continues to be useful by functioning as a clock.
One of the nice things about it is that the compact size and abilities make it usable just about anywhere in your home. Additionally, it offers the best value of any other Alexa display since it features speakers, a microphone, and a screen for only $90. Amazon is currently taking pre-orders and will release the Echo Show 5 on June 26, 2019.
Privacy in mind
The Echo Show 5 allows you to protect your privacy better than any Alexa device thus far. There’s a button that simultaneously turns off the microphone and the camera. For added protection, you slide the built-in shutter over the front-facing camera to make sure nothing can be seen.
We’ve learned from Gizmodo that Amazon is also making changes to how Alexa deals with recordings. People weren’t happy when they found out that Alexa devices record commands and conversations that take place within earshot of the microphone. Deleting these recordings is a real hassle, but once Amazon is finished making the changes, you’ll be able to delete recordings simply by talking to Alexa. These changes aren’t perfect, but they’re a step in the right direction. Here’s what Amazon says about it:
Amazon is also introducing new, even easier ways to delete your voice recordings on all Alexa-enabled devices—simply say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today” and the respective recordings will be deleted. Coming soon, customers will also be able to delete their last request by saying, “Alexa, delete what I just said.”
Now, in order to take advantage of this record-deleting feature, you’ll need to dive into the Alexa app settings and turn it on. Amazon claims this is to prevent accidental deletions, but we’re pretty sure most people would prefer this feature was enabled to begin with. Keep in mind that there is currently no way to delete all previously made recordings. Hopefully, that’s something that will be added in the future.
Who should get the Echo Show 5?
The Echo Show 5 can work for anyone, but is an especially great fit for those who make frequent video calls or who own Alexa-enabled smart home systems and security cameras. The ability to turn off the microphone and cover the camera make it a great choice for anyone who wants to protect their privacy.
As far as cost goes, this is one of the best priced Alexa units that has come out so far. Especially given that it features speakers, a screen, and a camera. If you’re thinking of upgrading your current Alexa device or getting one for the first time, this is the one to go with.
Amazon Echo 5
$90 pre-order at Amazon
The best speaker and screen combo offered for Alexa
The Amazon Echo 5 is the cheapest Alexa device to offer both a screen and a speaker. Use it to check the weather, watch videos, listen to podcasts, and much more. You’ll also be able to control your Alexa-enabled smart home devices. The front-facing camera makes it easy to make video calls. Don’t worry, you can protect your privacy by turning off the microphone and sliding a shutter over the lens when it’s not in use.