- Google Nest Hub; Amazon Echo Show 5; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
- Smart displays can significantly enhance your smart home setup by performing as a hub that connects and manages all your smart devices.
- Google Nest Hub and Amazon Echo Show 5 are great smart displays that cost under $100
- The Google Nest Hub has a better build, while the Amazon Echo Show 5 offers a few more software features and more customization.
- The big difference between the two products is that the Nest Hub employs the Google Assistant and the Echo Show 5 has Alexa as its smart assistant.
Smart displays are the most versatile smart home gadgets you can buy at the moment. These products are more than just smart speakers with a screen, they are an all-in-one home automation and entertainment hub. Besides doing all the things a smart speaker can do, like control your smart home, search the web, make phone calls or check your calendar, smart displays enable you to interact with your home assistant via a touchscreen, watch videos, look at photos, and view information. Some smart displays also come with a camera for video calls.
Google and Amazon, the forerunners of the smart technology industry have developed exceptional smart displays for home assistance. The Google Nest Hub and Amazon Echo Show 5 are their two most popular products, and they both cost under $100. They come in similar size and style, but they have different operating systems and their hardware excels in separate fields. The big difference between the two is that the Nest Hub employs Google Assistant, while the Echo Show 5 has the Amazon Alexa as its digital assistant.
These products can be viewed as the new and evolved versions of the widely successful Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speakers that made voice assistance a staple in households. The displays on these devices have a similar size to tablets, however these devices are not as functional as tablets, they do not have traditional apps nor an ideal interface for web surfing. Instead, these smart displays have a simple interface that is meant to enhance your experience using a virtual assistant.
Google Nest Hub vs Amazon Echo Show 5: which is best?
The Google Nest Hub and Amazon Echo Show 5 are smart displays designed to boost your smart home setup and enhance your experience in using a virtual home assistant. The two products share a lot of common features and perform evenly through most tasks. The only major differences between these devices arise from Google and Amazon having separate voice assistant interfaces and product ecosystems. This affects each product’s compatibility with other devices and apps.
If you want to buy a smart display for either entertainment or the virtual assistant, both the Nest Hub and Echo Show 5 will be equally effective options. If you had to pick only one of these products, the best device will be the one that is compatible with the rest of your smart home setup and that hosts the apps you use more often. However, the Nest Hub has superior hardware overall with a significantly better display and design. With all that said, let’s take a look at how each smart display stacks up against the other in some key areas.
Specifications and dimensions
- Google Nest Hub vs Amazon Echo Show 5 Chart
Design and feel
The Google Nest is bigger in size with its 7-inch touchscreen, but design-wise it has a slicker look when compared to Echo Show 5‘s bulky design. Both have LED touchscreens but Nest Hub‘s display has a higher resolution which makes the visual experience much better.
The material and general texture also have a better, more high-end feel on the Nest Hub, which makes it a clearly better design. Both products seem to take up more or less the same amount of space.
Setup and interface
- Digital Trends
These two smart displays have a very similar setup and interface. They both have a simple touchscreen interface which you can interact with like a tablet, but the focus of the product is more on the voice command. Users will mostly interact with their smart display through talking to their virtual assistant.
For Nest Hub, you will have the Google Assistant, and for the Echo Show 5, you will be assisted by Amazon’s Alexa. Google Assistant has a more user-friendly voice assistant interface as it doesn’t get confused by wording as easily as Alexa and has a more natural, human-like sound.
On the other hand, Alexa has much more skills and can perform tasks like booking a taxi or ordering food. You can teach Alexa new skills and customize it, but this also makes the setup of Alexa more complicated, while the Google Assistant is simpler and more intuitive. Both digital assistants have seen some major upgrades over the years, but they’re also still works in progress. Overall, whether you are more comfortable with Google or Amazon products will be a key factor in choosing the best user interface.
To begin using each device, you need to connect via a smartphone app to set up the smart display. The phone apps will also be useful for managing the displays after the setup process. You will need a Google Account for the Nest Hub and an Amazon account for the Echo Show 5 in order to set the devices up and start using them. The Echo Show actually allows you to use the smart display without setting it up via the smartphone app, but to make full use of it you will need to connect it to Amazon’s smartphone app eventually.
Performance and features
The best way to define a smart display would be calling it a smart speaker with a screen on it. These products are designed to perform the same tasks offered by a smart speaker such as playing music, answering questions or managing your smart home devices, but with the added visual element of a touchscreen that allows you to view information, watch videos, and look at pictures. Both the Nest Hub and the Echo Show 5 are designed with this purpose.
Whether its home automation, AI assistance or sound quality, the Nest Hub and Echo Show 5 perform pretty much at the same level. There are just a few differences in hardware and the rest of the differences are largely due to the difference between Google and Amazon’s device and app compatibility.
They both offer more or less the same quality audio experience which is decent but far from anything special. The key differences in this area is that the Google Nest Hub offers more audio volume and the Echo Show 5 transmits lower frequency sounds slightly better. Also, the Echo Show 5 offers a 3.5mm audio jack to connect with other speakers. In terms of microphone quality, both have equally competent microphones, but the Nest Hub is more susceptible to sound as it has two microphones.
The device and app compatibility variable is the most important factor for the performance of the smart displays. Each device works best with other products that belong to the same ecosystem, and not every application or device is supported by each smart hub. If you have Google products, like the Pixel phone or other Nest devices, the Nest Hub will integrate with them more seamlessly.
Although Echo Show 5 supports both Nest products and Pixel phones, it may not perform as well as the Nest Hub. Just as Google integrates better with Google, Amazon Echo Show 5 works more harmoniously with Amazon products.
This principle also applies for apps, you can access videos on YouTube via your virtual assistant on your Nest Hub, while on the Echo Show 5 you can access YouTube, but you can navigate through the app by only using the touchscreen. On Amazon, you have access to Amazon’s e-commerce services and watch videos on Prime, while these apps are not available at all on the Nest Hub.
It is also worthwhile to note that Apple devices are more compatible with the Echo Show 5. Overall, they both are compatible with a variety of devices and are able to host a long-list of apps.
Apart from only Echo Show 5 offering a traditional web browser and a video streaming app, the two devices have apps that provide identical services. The specific apps you use and the other devices you own will determine which smart display will perform the best for you.
The bottom line
Both smart displays are well-matched against one another, making it difficult to pick a clear winner. Although lacking a camera, The Nest Hub has the better hardware build and touchscreen. On the other hand, the Echo Show 5 is slightly more functional because it offers more customization and gives you access to a traditional web browser.
Conversely, this makes the Echo Show 5 more complicated, therefore less easy to use. The main goal of these devices are to make your life easier by assisting you in your day to day life, and both do a great job in this … the Nest Hub is just a little simpler.
The decision of picking the ideal smart display largely depends on whether you like the Amazon or Google interface better (in this case choosing between Google Assistant or Alexa), and how well it connects with your other smart devices. However, the fact that the Echo Show 5 offers video calling makes it inherently more versatile and fully featured.
Unless you own some archaic smart devices, you will probably be able to control your smart home with either smart display. All that aside, Amazon Echo Show 5 is a better bargain with its lower cost and wider range of features, but the Google Nest Hub has a more robust build with superior hardware.