Picture this: your hands are messy from cooking, completely greasy and covered in tomato sauce. You need to set a pasta timer. What do you do? If your answer involved Alexa, then you’re not alone. A voice assistant can be a useful addition to any home. Not only can they help with cooking timers, but they can make it easier to control your lights from the comfort of your bed, check the air quality of your home and so much more.
Amazon’s Echo devices, which have the aforementioned Alexa voice assistant, have a full lineup of smart displays and speakers. There have been dozens of Echo products over the years, and it can be a bit confusing to differentiate between them. We rounded up the newest and most notable Amazon Echo products and explain which one is right for you.
Our top picks
- Editor’s pick: Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen) With Clock
- Budget pick: Amazon Echo Pop
- Splurge pick: Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd gen)
Smart speakers (Echo)
Amazon’s smart speakers connect to your home Wi-Fi and use Amazon Alexa voice control to handle a wide variety of tasks — setting timers, streaming music, controlling smart home gadgets and more. They must be plugged in, and do not use screens. All Echo smart speakers are compatible with Matter and act as an extender for Eero Wi-Fi routers.
The Amazon Echo Dot is the brand’s flagship smart speaker and is a favorite of Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin. An avid baker, Malin has used it for over a year in her kitchen, where she uses Alexa to set timers and check countdowns on the front-facing clock.
Malin has used more and more of the features built-in to the Echo Dot. She now uses it to control her connected smart plugs and smart lights, as well as get alerts about the weather and grocery deliveries. All of this can be set up through the Amazon Alexa app. “I’m a huge Alexa user,” says Malin. “I ask her to make lists for me, to play music and literally any question that comes to mind.”
The Echo Dot is also available in a kids-version that includes one year of Amazon Kids+, has more parental controls and uses a kid-version of Alexa that filters responses, according to the brand.
Size: 3.9 x 3.9 x 3.5 in | Weight: 10.7 oz (304g) | Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth | Voice Assistant: Yes
The Amazon Echo Pop is the brand’s lowest-priced smart speaker. It acts almost exactly like the Echo Dot. Malin uses the Pop in her bedroom, where she asks it to control her smart lights and give her morning reports about the weather as she’s getting dressed.
While there were wildfires raging in Canada in 2023, the Echo Pop “gave me an alert about bad air quality in New York as part of the weather routine, and I knew to wear a mask that day,” says Malin.
Size: 3.9 x 3.3 x 3.6 in | Weight: 6.9 oz (196 g) | Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth | Voice Assistant: Yes
The Echo Studio is the brand’s largest and most expensive smart speaker. It has much better audio quality than the Dot or the Pop, as it has five speakers instead of just one.
It has all the same Alexa smart features as the Dot and the Pop but has improved music streaming capability, with support for spatial audio, Dolby Atmos and more. In terms of audio quality, it is more akin to other expert-recommended smart speakers from brands like JBL and Sonos, rather than the small, single-speaker Dot and Pop.
Size: 6.9 x 6.9 x 8.1 in | Weight: 123.2 oz (3,500 g) | Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth | Voice Assistant: Yes
Amazon Echo Dot vs Echo Pop
The Echo Dot and the Echo Pop are the most popular Amazon Echo smart speakers. Functionally, they can handle almost exactly the same range of tasks: setting timers, streaming music, controlling smart home gadgets and more.
The Echo Dot is slightly more capable than the Pop, however. The Echo Dot’s interior speaker is slightly larger and louder than the Echo Pop. Its globe shape also projects sound more widely, says Mallen.
Smart home lovers may prefer the Echo Dot over the Echo Pop. The Dot has a temperature sensor, which is useful for acting in concert with a smart thermostat. The Dot also has more advanced Matter and Thread connectivity compared to the Pop.
Malin loves both the Amazon Echo Dot and Echo Pop for different reasons. The Echo Dot is a more capable kitchen and living room companion, while the Echo Pop is more affordable bedroom assistant.
Smart Displays (Echo Show)
Amazon’s smart displays are collected under the name Echo Show. Like the Echo smart speakers, they connect to your home Wi-Fi and integrate with the Amazon Alexa app and its voice controls.
Echo Show devices can make video calls to other people on the Alexa app, a compatible Alexa-enabled device, or supported apps like Zoom, according to the brand. They can control all your smart devices, and using the screen, you can view the feed of any compatible smart doorbells or video cameras. You can also stream shows and movies on apps like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Max and more.
Echo Show devices must be plugged in to use.
The Show 10 is one of the most advanced models in the Show lineup. It has a large 10-inch screen and a 13-megapixel camera, making it well-suited to video calls and streaming content. What's unique about the Echo Show 10 is the rotating screen — it can rotate 360 degrees around the unit's base. It has motion tracking during video calls, so the screen automatically follows you as you move around, according to the brand.
Screen: 10.1 inch,1280 x 800 pixels | Camera quality: 13 MP | Size: 9.9 x 9 x 6.7 in | Weight: 90.3 oz (2,560 g) | Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth | Voice Assistant: Yes
The Show 8 has the same quality screen and camera as the Show 10, but it does not rotate. In terms of price, it is in the middle of the Echo Show lineup.
Like the Show 10, the Show 8 is well-suited to video calls, playing music, watching TV and controlling Alexa devices. And like the Show 10, it has two built-in speakers and four built-in microphones.
Screen: 8 inch, 1280 x 800 pixels | Camera quality: 13 MP | Size: 7.9 x 5.4 x 3.9 in | Weight: 36.6 oz (1,037 grams) | Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth | Voice Assistant: Yes
The Echo Show 5 is the lowest-priced model in the Show lineup. It has a lower quality camera and lower resolution screen compared to the other Show models, making it less suited to video calls and video watching. Critical reviews note that its lower price and Alexa capabilities make it a good option if you are looking for a smart-connected nightstand.
The Echo Show 5 is also available in a kids-version that includes one year of Amazon Kids+, has more parental controls and uses a kid-version of Alexa that filters responses, according to the brand.
Screen: 5.5 inches, 960 x 480 pixels | Camera quality: 2 MP | Size: 5.8 x 3.6 x 3.2 in | Weight: 16.1 oz (456 grams) | Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth | Voice Assistant: Yes
The Echo Show 15 is a larger, wall-mounted display that you control with a remote. Unlike the other Show models, this is not a touchscreen and uses an interface much closer to Amazon’s smart TVs. As such, it is well-suited as a smart bulletin board of sorts or a streaming device for the kitchen.
Along with all the features of the other Show models, it has an updated photo frame mode, where the entire screen turns into a customizable digital picture frame. It also has the highest resolution screen of all the Show products.
If you want the best video calling experience, the Show 15 has a lower-megapixel camera than the Show 8 and Show 10.
Screen: 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Camera quality: 5 MP | Size: 15.5 x 9.9 x 1.4 in | Weight: 78.1 oz (2,215 grams) | Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth | Voice Assistant: Yes
Other Amazon Products
There are a lot of other popular Amazon gadgets outside of the Echo line.
Amazon Fire encompasses most of the brand’s multimedia products like the Fire TV and Fire Tablets. While the Amazon Echo Show products are hybrid smart assistant and streaming devices, the Fire lineup is much more focused on entertainment, apps and big-screen action.
Why trust Select?
Harry Rabinowitz is a reporter for Select who has covered tech for years. For this piece, he spoke with Select team members to learn more about their experience with Amazon Echo. Alongside staff picks, he performed detailed research into the entire Amazon smart gadget product lineup.