Amazon promises the new Echo Show 8 (2023) isn't the same, despite the look

An official product render of the Amazon Echo Show 8 (2023)
(Image credit: Amazon)

What you need to know

  • The new Echo Show 8 (2023) sports a centered camera and noise cancellation for better video calls.
  • A new proximity sensor lets the display react to your presence, including presenting smart home controls with a new redesigned touch-friendly UI.
  • Echo Show 8 (2023) can be preordered today for $149.99 and ships in October.

Amazon took to the stage at its 2023 devices and services conference to announce several new devices, the first of which is the follow-up to its popular line of Echo Show smart displays.

The Echo Show 8 (2023) looks quite similar to previous entries but makes a few changes that add up to a big upgrade. The most useful may just be the new proximity sensor, which helps match Google's Nest Hub, our current pick for the best smart display you can buy.

When no one is standing in front of it, the Echo Show 8 (2023) can display a large clock with the date so it can be read across the room. Once you approach, the display will smoothly transform into a smart home controller, news ticker, or any number of other options users can choose from.

An animation of what the proximity sensor on the Echo Show 8 (2023) does

(Image credit: Amazon)

When using the Echo Show 8 (2023) for video calling, you can expect better video and audio quality thanks to improved speakers and enhanced noise cancellation. Plus, looking at the person on the other end will be a lot less awkward thanks to the new centered camera.

Those new spatial speakers also come with what Amazon calls an impressive "room adaptation engine" that senses the acoustics of the space and adjusts playback accordingly. If you've got an echo in your room — pun fully intended — Echo Show 8 (2023) should be able to correct for that when playing back music or other audio.

Echo Show 8 (2023) is up for preorder later today for $149.99 and ships in October.

Echo Hub

An official lifestyle image of someone using the Amazon Echo Hub to control their smart home

(Image credit: Amazon)

If you just need smart home controls, Echo Hub is the product for you. This new wall-mounted smart display is made specifically for folks who want to simplify their smart home and offer everyone in the house an easy-to-use way to control everything around them.

Echo Hub features the same proximity sensor technology as well as the new smart home control interface from the Echo Show 8 (2023). Amazon says the Echo Hub has all the local connectivity options you could want, including Matter, Thread, and other technologies that help keep device control off the cloud.

This results in smart home commands in as low as 300 milliseconds (1/3rd of a second), making it substantially faster than using Alexa to get the job done. If that wasn't enough, onboard AI processing and Amazon's own cloud-based AI can be used to understand more generic commands, which should cut down on the number of times someone in your house asks for the wrong device to do something.

Plus, using a "compatible USB-C connector" with PoE devices like the eero PoE Gateway makes it easy to wire up the Echo Hub.

The Echo Hub details for $179.99 and will be available later in 2023.

 Smart home deals: Best Buy | Walmart | Amazon 

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu