Over the past year Amazon has updated and expanded its Echo Show line with three new products in three different sizes. The Echo Show (2nd Gen) at 10 inches was the first refresh last fall, followed by an Echo Show 5 at 5 inches and now an Echo Show 8 coming in at — you guessed it — 8 inches. The Echo Show 5 turned out to be a huge hit, lauded by consumers and reviewers alike, so Amazon figured it would bridge the gap with this newest version. Now that we have two bigger Echo Shows to choose from, which one should you get?
Echo showing more than ever
Smart home screens with speakers have become an important category for the likes of Amazon and Google, with companies like Facebook and Lenovo coming up with interesting products in this space as well. Amazon really started the trend with the Echo Show (1st and 2nd Gens), and then continued with the Echo Spot, and now the Shows 5 and 8. Why would you want one of these Echo Shows over the other? Let's start off by looking at the specs to see how they differ.
|Echo Show 8||Echo Show (2nd Gen)|
|Size||7.9" x 5.4" x 3.9 "||9.7" x 6.9" x 4.2"|
|Weight||36.6 oz||62.2 oz|
|Screen||8.0" with 1280x800 resolution||10.1" with 1280x800 resolution|
|Speakers||2 x 2" @ 10W per channel||2 2.2" @ 10W per channel|
|Camera controls||Built-in camera shutter and microphone/camera off button||Microphone/camera off button|
|Smart home support||Yes with Certified for Humans program||Yes with Zigbee hub|
The Echo Show (2nd Gen) does have a lot going for it in this face-off. It's got a larger display for a better viewing experience, and it has slightly larger and better speakers, along with Dolby processing to complement that display. It also has better front-facing camera for video chats, and features a built-in Zigbee hub for better smart home controls. This is the Echo to get if you have plenty of counterspace, or really only want to have one Echo in the house. Now that the Echo Shows once again have YouTube support and exclusive Food Network content, you'll never be bored with this big box!
The Echo Show 8 is Amazon's fourth attempt at perfecting the Echo Show line, and it has certainly taken all of the good parts of the previous products and combined them into a really solid smart screen device. With the Echo Show 8 you get the same high-quality HD screen from the larger Echo Show (2nd Gen) with comparable speakers, but you also get enhanced privacy features first introduced on the Echo Show 5 like a physical camera shutter and on-screen Privacy Hub controls.
You could argue that the Zigbee hub integration, which was important at one point to help pair with other smart products, on the larger Echo Show (2nd Gen) and Echo Plus (2nd Gen) is not nearly as important as it was when those devices were first released, particularly with Amazon introducing a new Certified for Humans program to make smart home device pairing, setup, and control much easier and more seamless than ever before. So really then the decision between these two devices comes down to three main factors: screen size, camera privacy controls, and last but not least, price.
Just Show me which one to get
While the Echo Show (2nd Gen) is still a great device, and has a lot of advantages over the newer Echo Show 8, I still feel like the Show 8 wins out for me. The size of the 2nd Gen is just too big for most of the places I'd want to put it in my home, while the 8 is just small enough to make sense in my spaces. I also really appreciate that it has the physical camera shutter in addition to the standard microphone/camera mute button. With the same image resolution on a smaller screen, the pictures and videos are that much more crisp on the Show 8.
Right now, you can even pick up an Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5 bundle for cheaper than the Echo Show (2nd Gen). It really seems like Amazon is fine obsoleting its older devices when it brings newer ones out at such competitive price and feature levels. So I say, get the Echo Show 8. You won't be disappointed.
Meet me in the middle
Not too big, not too little
The Echo Show comes to a more natural size that's easier to place than the 10-inch Echo Show but still comfy enough to watch recipes and videos on.
More to show off
All eyes on me
The Echo Show (2nd Gen) was the trail-blazer for Amazon's new Echo design language, and it still has the biggest display of the bunch. It's just outdated, too expensive, and too big for most people.
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