Saturday, July 13, 2024

Should you get the Amazon Echo Show 5 or Echo Dot (4th Gen)?


Adorably smart

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids


$55 at Amazon


  • Affordable
  • Cute animal-themed designs
  • Comes with Amazon Kids+ subscription
  • Has 3.5mm port for connecting external speakers


  • No screen
  • Won’t get as much out of Amazon Kids+

As a kid-friendly alternative to a Bluetooth speaker, kids have the advantage of not just playing music but also conversing with Alexa to set alarms, get help with homework, and even hear bedtime stories. It’s a great companion for little ones and the designs might even appeal to some grown-ups, too.

Visual appeal

Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids


$95 at Amazon


  • Affordable
  • Bright, cool color option
  • Comes with Amazon Kids+ subscription
  • Stand and light bundle options


  • Only 2MP camera
  • Not very big screen for displaying photos
  • More expensive
  • No 3.5mm port

The Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids is a great option for older kids or those who prefer a visual, tactile experience in addition to Alexa voice control. You get a 5.5-inch screen, making it perfect as an alarm clock replacement or desk companion, and its funky design will appeal to all ages.

Amazon has two fairly new smart speakers designed for kids. The Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids is the latest, and it features a smart display that adds a 5.5-inch screen to the audio equation. Introduced in late 2020, the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids offers a better processor and response times than its predecessor, not to mention new super-cute animal-themed designs. But when it comes to the Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids vs. Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids, which of these two newest-generation smart devices should you choose for a child?

Screen Size 5.5 inches No Screen
Connectivity Dual-Band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth A2DP Dual-Band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth A2DP
Speaker Full-Range 1.65-Inch 1.6-inch Front-Firing Speaker
Colors Chameleon Green Fabric Tiger, Panda
Comes With Power Adapter, 4-Foot Cable, Welcome Worksheet for Kids Power Adapter, Quick Start Guide, Alexa Guide for Kids
Privacy Mic On/Off Button, Built-in Camera Shutter Mic On/Off Button
Access to Amazon Kids Yes Yes
Access to Amazon Kids+ Included Included
Dimensions 5.8 x 3.4 x 2.9 inches (148 x 86 x 73mm) 3.9 x 3.9 x 3.5 inches (100 x 100 x 89mm)
Weight 14.5 oz. (410 g) 12 oz. (341.3 g)

The biggest difference between these two smart devices for kids is pretty obvious: the Echo Show 5 Kids has a screen whereas the Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids does not. But that’s not the only thing that differentiates them. Your choice might depend solely on budget and whether you think your child wants, needs, or would use the screen.

Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids vs. Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids: What’s different?


As noted, the biggest difference between these two units is the absence of a screen on the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids. Because of this, they also look markedly different from one another. The Echo Show 5 Kids has a rectangular shaped screen that slants upward on a triangular-shaped base for easy viewing and manipulation. It’s finished in a fabric wrap, and there’s one design option, called Chameleon green, that will appeal to kids both old and young.

The Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids is much smaller and shaped like a sphere with a flat base. The cover design is made to resemble one of two adorable animals: a tiger or a panda. The base here has a familiar blue LED light ring around the bottom that illuminates when the child asks Alexa a question or gives her a command. There’s no illuminating ring on the Echo Show 5 Kids.


Both come with a two-year worry-free guarantee so that should it break by accident, you can return the Echo to Amazon and it’ll replace it for free. Since both devices are designed to stay in one spot, that might not be a big deal, but any parent knows kids always find a way to knock something over or accidentally spill water on expensive tech gear. This offers nice peace-of-mind for parents.

The screen and the advantages it affords is the biggest differentiator. The entire face of the Echo Show 5 Kids is occupied by a 5.5-inch screen that shows visual results, can display photos, and more, which the Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids can’t do.

Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids vs. Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids: What you can do with both


Both smart devices work alongside the Alexa voice assistant. Kids can ask questions, like for help with homework (how do you spell Tyrannosaurus anyway?), listen to bedtime stories, play music, get weather reports, set a timer or alarm, call approved contacts, and even control compatible smart home devices with voice commands. But with the Echo Show 5 Kids, the addition of a screen means they can also see relevant visual results, like the weather report or security camera footage of who’s at the front door (with a compatible smart home camera).

Kids can also watch videos on Echo Show 5 Kids from compatible streaming services, like Amazon Prime Video, look at YouTube Videos, and even display a slideshow of images. Depending on the music source, they might also be able to see album titles or at least song name and artist while music is playing. Video calls are also an option, so they can see grandma and grandma to show them their drawing.


Both work with a variety of parental controls. Parents and caregivers can set daily time limits for time spent on the device, filter explicit songs from streaming services, and review their child’s activity in the Parent Dashboard. They can also view, hear, and delete voice recordings.

For privacy, both devices have a button for turning the mic off when you don’t want it listening for the wake word. Because it has a screen, the Echo Show 5 Kids also has a built-in camera shutter to block the camera when desired.

Both connect via dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and have similar built-in speakers for favorable audio. You can, however, connect external speakers to the Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids via the 3.5mm line out, an option not available for the Echo Show 5 Kids (beyond wireless connection, of course).

Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids vs. Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids: Amazon Kids


Amazon Kids, available on both devices (and most Amazon smart speakers, tablets, and other similar mobile devices) includes the aforementioned parental controls that help parents monitor their child’s usage as well as ensure they aren’t accessing inappropriate content, or ordering items by accident (or on purpose) from your Amazon account that will put a serious dent in your credit card.

But both devices also include a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, which unlocks tons of curated content for kids. There might be a bit more value with the Echo Show 5 Kids since it includes videos, games, and educational materials that leverage the screen as well as audio. Amazon Kids+ still has value with the Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids, however, since it also includes access to thousands of audiobooks, kid-friendly music stations, and Audible books. Note that Amazon Kids+ content is ideal for kids aged 4-6, so if you have an older child, you might not really have any use for it anyway.

With both, because you have to sign on to cash in the free year to Amazon Kids+, you will be automatically charged each month thereafter unless you cancel. But canceling is simple and can be done by contacting the Amazon customer service team or even just using the Amazon Parent Dashboard.

Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids vs. Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids: Which do you choose?


It really does come down to two main questions when trying to decide between the Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids vs. Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids: Do you need a screen and which design do you like better? The adorable cute animal styles for the Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids make it ideal for younger kids, but a teen or tween might be just as excited to get a new tiger or panda friend as a grade one child would. Similarly, the Chameleon fabric of the Echo Show 5 Kids screams “child” but older kids might be just as into it.

The Echo Show 5 Kids’ screen has its advantages for kids in that they can use it to play games, watch videos, and see visuals, including when making calls. You’ll also get more out of the free Amazon Kids+ subscription with access to those curated videos, games, and more. If you want it for the bedside table so your child can be woken up for school and see the time, the Echo Show 5 Kids is the better option.

But if the idea is to use the speaker as a desktop device for playing music, helping with simple homework questions, telling the odd joke, and controlling the lights in the room, or even communicating with other Echo devices in the home, the Echo Dot (4th gen) will do just fine. At almost half the price of the Echo Show 5 Kids, you can’t go wrong.

The power of Alexa

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids


Your kids smart companion

$55 at Amazon
$55 at Best Buy
$55 at Target

Harness the power of Alexa voice control with the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids, which can do everything any other Echo Dot and Alexa-enabled smart speaker can do plus comes with a year of Amazon Kids+ and irresistibly cute designs at an affordable price.

Video, not just radio

Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids


The benefit of a screen

$95 at Amazon
$95 at Best Buy
$95 at Target

If your child will make use of the screen for visual results, videos, video calls, gaming, and more, it’s worth investing in the Echo Show 5 Kids. Otherwise, it might end up being a more expensive alarm clock, music player, and Alexa device than you actually need.

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