Picture this: your hands are dirty from cooking, completely greasy, and covered in ketchup. You need to set a pasta timer. What do you do for a living? If her response involved Alexa, then she’s not alone. A voice assistant can be a useful addition to any home. Not only can they help with kitchen timers, but they can also make it easy to control your lights from the comfort of your bed, check the air quality in your home, and 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 tell them apart. We’ve rounded up the newest and most notable Amazon Echo products and explained which one is right for you.
SKIP FORWARD Smart Speakers | smart screens | Amazon Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop | Other Amazon products
Our top picks
Smart speakers (echo)
Amazon 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 devices, and more. They must be plugged in, and 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 Zoe Malin, Associate Updates Editor at Select. Malin, an avid baker, has used it for more than a year in her kitchen, where she uses Alexa to set timers and check countdowns on the front clock.
Malin has used more and more features built into the Echo Dot. He now uses it to control his 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 him to make lists for me, play music, and literally any question that comes to mind.»
The Echo Dot is also available in a kids version that includes a year of Amazon Kids+, has more parental controls, and uses a kid-friendly version of Alexa that filters responses, according to the brand.
Size: 3.9 x 3.9 x 3.5 inches | Weight: 10.7 ounces (304g) | Connectivity: wifi and bluetooth | voice assistant: Yeah
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 him to control her smart lights and provide morning weather reports while she gets dressed.
While there were wildfires in Canada in 2023, Echo Pop “gave me an alert about poor air quality in New York as part of the weather routine, and I knew I had to wear a mask that day,” says Malin.
Size: 3.9 x 3.3 x 3.6 inches | Weight: 6.9 ounces (196g) | connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth | voice assistant: Yeah
The Echo Studio is the brand’s largest and most expensive smart speaker. It has much better audio quality than the Dot or Pop, since it has five speakers instead of just one.
It has the same smart Alexa features as Dot and Pop, but has improved music streaming capabilities, with support for spatial audio, Dolby Atmos, and more. In terms of audio quality, it’s 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 inches | Weight: 123.2 ounces (3,500 g) | connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth | voice assistant: Yeah
Amazon Echo Dot vs. Echo Pop
The Echo Dot and 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 devices, and more.
The Echo Dot is a bit more capable than the Pop, though. The Echo Dot’s interior speaker is slightly larger and louder than the Echo Pop’s. Its globe shape also projects sound more widely, Mallen says.
Smart home lovers may prefer the Echo Dot to the Echo Pop. The Dot has a temperature sensor, which is useful for acting in tandem with a smart thermostat. The Dot also has more advanced features. Affair and Thread connectivity compared to the Pop.
Malin loves both the Amazon Echo Dot and the Echo Pop for different reasons. The Echo Dot is a more capable kitchen and living room companion, while the Echo Pop is a more affordable bedroom assistant.
Smart displays (Echo Show)
Amazon’s smart displays are collected under the name of Echo Show. Like the Echo smart speakers, they connect to your home Wi-Fi and integrate with the Amazon Alexa app and your voice controls.
Echo Show devices can make video calls to other people in the Alexa app, a compatible Alexa-enabled device, or compatible apps like Zoom, depending on the brand. They can control all your smart devices, and using the screen, you can view the feed from any compatible smart doorbell or camcorder. 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 line. It has a large 10-inch screen and a 13-megapixel camera, making it ideal for video calls and streaming content. What makes the Echo Show 10 unique is the rotating screen: it can rotate 360 degrees around the base of the unit. It has motion tracking during video calls, so the screen automatically follows you as you move, depending on the brand.
Screen: 10.1 inches, 1280 x 800 pixels | camera quality: 13MP | Size: 9.9 x 9 x 6.7 inches | Weight: 90.3 ounces (2560g) | connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth | voice assistant: Yeah
The Show 8 has the same screen and camera quality as the Show 10, but it doesn’t rotate. In terms of price, it’s in the middle of the Echo Show lineup.
Like the Show 10, the Show 8 is great for video calls, playing music, watching TV, and controlling Alexa devices. And just like the Show 10, it has two built-in speakers and four built-in microphones.
Screen: 8 inches, 1280 x 800 pixels | camera quality: 13MP | Size: 7.9 x 5.4 x 3.9 inches | Weight: 36.6 ounces (1037 grams) | connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth | voice assistant: Yeah
The Echo Show 5 is the lowest-priced model in the Show line. It has a lower quality camera and a lower resolution screen compared to the other Show models, making it less suitable for video calling and video viewing. Critical reviews point out that its lower price and Alexa capabilities make it a good choice if you’re looking for a smart-connected nightstand.
The Echo Show 5 is also available in a kids version that includes a year of Amazon Kids+, has more parental controls, and uses a kid-friendly version of Alexa that filters responses, according to the brand.
Screen: 5.5 inches, 960 x 480 pixels | camera quality:2MP | Size: 5.8 x 3.6 x 3.2 inches | Weight: 16.1 ounces (456 grams) | connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth | voice assistant: Yeah
The Echo Show 15 is a larger, wall-mounted screen that you can control with a remote. Unlike the other Show models, this one isn’t a touchscreen and uses an interface much closer to Amazon’s smart TVs. As such, it’s well suited as a sort of smart bulletin board or 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 photo frame. It also features the highest resolution screen of all Show products.
If you want the best video calling experience, the Show 15 has a less megapixel camera than the Show 8 and Show 10.
Screen: 15.6 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels | camera quality: 5MP | Size: 15.5 x 9.9 x 1.4 inches | Weight: 78.1 ounces (2,215 grams) | connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth | voice assistant: Yeah
Other Amazon products
There are plenty of other popular Amazon devices outside of the Echo line.
Amazon Fire encompasses most of the brand’s multimedia products such as the fire tv and fire tablets. While the Amazon Echo Show products are hybrid smart assistants and streaming devices, the Fire line is much more focused on big-screen entertainment, apps, and action.
Why trust Select?
Harry Rabinowitz is a Select reporter who has covered technology for years. For this article, he spoke with members of the Select team to learn more about his experience with the Amazon Echo. In addition to staff picks, he conducted detailed research on Amazon’s entire product line of smart devices.