Amazon just ratcheted up the pressure on Google in a major way.
The company just unveiled its new Echo Show 5, a smaller and cheaper version of its Echo Show speaker. The $89.99 device is available for pre-order now and will start shipping In June.
With the new model, Amazon has given its camera-enabled speaker a significant cut in size and price. While the previous version of the Echo Show had a 10-inch display and cost $229.99, the latest version is just 5.5 inches, and costs less than $100.
These reductions make the speaker much more competitive with Google’s Nest Hub (née Home Hub), which has a 7-inch display (but no camera) and costs $129.
In addition to the smaller screen, Amazon has made a few other changes to the design of the Echo Show 5. The bezels appear to be a bit slimmer, and the camera has moved from the center to the top right side of the speaker. The camera and microphone also come with a physical shutter switch, a privacy feature likely intended to make people more comfortable with the camera-enabled speaker.
The company also announced a new privacy-centric feature that will be available to all Alexa users: the ability to more easily delete your voice recordings. Beginning today, you can say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” to remove the history of that day’s voice commands.
The fact that Amazon stores a history of all your “Alexa” voice commands (and sometimes has human reviewers listening to them) recently became a point of controversy after stories in Bloomberg and The Washington Post called attention to some of the less-private aspects of using Alexa.
But the new Echo Show 5 is a pretty clear shot at Google, which just unveiled a larger version of its smart display, the Nest Hub Max. Besides undercutting Google on price, Amazon has also added a couple new features that Google has had in its Nest Hub, like the ability to use the Echo Show as a digital picture frame and ambient sensing capabilities.
All that may not be enough to lure you out of Google’s ecosystem if you’ve already invested in Google’s products. But, if you’re new to smart speakers, putting some of Alexa’s most powerful features in a smaller and cheaper package is certainly enticing.