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Amazon Echo Show 5: how much electricity does it use?

Echo Show 5 electricity
Low power: the Echo Show 5 won't smash your bills

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Every day this week, I’m going to be answering a new question about the Amazon Echo Show 5. One of the big questions you might have if you’re thinking about buying the always-on device is how much it’s going to add to your electricity bill. Here, then, is a breakdown of the Echo Show 5’s energy consumption.

How much electricity does the Echo Show 5 use when it’s idle?

I measured the Echo Show 5’s energy consumption in various states using a TP-Link smart plug. The Kasa app that comes with the plug allows you to measure the average consumption over the course of a week, so at the end of this week I’ll update this post with more information about long-term consumption.

In the meantime, here is the energy consumption I measured when the device was in its idle state – ie. when displaying the clock or information on screen, but not being actively used to play music, video or answer a voice query.

Idle with screen set to automatic brightness2.5-3.5W
Idle with screen set to maximum brightness3-3.5W
Idle with screen set to minimum brightness2-2.5W

The good news here is the energy consumption is pretty light. Assuming the average is about 3 watts, the Sust-It Electricity Cost Calculator estimates that the Echo Show 5 will cost you around 1.25p per day on standby (using the UK average electricity price for December 2018).

It’s worth noting that if you fiddle with the screen brightness settings, it uses around a third less electricity if you keep the screen at minimum brightness compared to maximum glare. But when you’re talking about a saving of no more than a quid per year, the benefit of leaving the screen dimmed is debatable. (I will talk more about managing screen brightness later in the week.)

But what happens when we actually start using the device?

How much electricity does the Echo Show 5 use when it’s playing music or video?

Here’s how much energy the Echo Show 5 chomps through when performing various tasks.

Streaming music at full volume4.5-5W
Streaming music at volume setting 3 (the bare minimum)3.5-4W
Playing a movie at volume setting 54-4.5W

The Echo Show 5 has a surprisingly punchy speaker. The sound does distort when you crank the volume up to the maximum level (10), but even at volume level 6 or 7 you will comfortably fill a small room.

Banging out the volume at full throttle is about the most energy intensive activity you can do with the Echo Show 5. Occasionally, I saw it peak above 5w when handling voice queries, but nothing pushes it much beyond 5W.

In short, you don’t need to worry too much about the always-on Echo Show smashing your household budget. Even with regular use for music or movie watching, it’s unlikely to add much more than a fiver to your annual electricity bill.

NOW READ THIS: Why is my Amazon Echo humming?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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