Goldilocks zone

Echo Show 8

Bedside buddy

Echo Show 5

The Echo Show 8 has taken pretty much all that was good from the Echo Show (2nd Gen) and the Echo Show 5, and fit them into a perfectly-sized smart screen speaker. On-device privacy controls, a better screen resolution than the smaller Show 5, and better speakers make this a great buy.

$130 at Amazon

Pros

  • Great compromise size
  • Physical cover/off switch for microphones and camera
  • Similar specs to more expensive Echo Show (2nd Gen)

Cons

  • No Dolby processing
  • Need a stand to adjust viewing angles

The Echo Show 5 changed the game for the Echo product line. It "showed" that Amazon could put a quality smart screen experience in a smaller package without sacrificing sound or security. It is the perfect companion device, but it may not stand alone if this is your only Show.

$90 at Amazon

Pros

  • Compact design to fit anywhere
  • Physical cover/off switch for microphones and camera
  • Better speakers than Echo Dot or Echo Spot

Cons

  • Auto-brightness isn't well-tuned
  • If all you want is an Echo with a clock, the Dot with Clock is 2/3 the price

Amazon introduced the first Echo Show device in 2017, and followed up with a 2nd Gen product in 2018 that changed the design and made some improvements to the speakers. This design language was continued with the introduction of the Echo Show 5 in the spring of 2019, and following the success of that product it was continued with the Echo Show 8. Now that Amazon has given us a three bears family of smart screen sizes, let's see which is our pick to be "just right."

Small showdown

A lot of the features that the Echo Show 8 has were carried over from the Echo Show 5 so that the only significant differentiators are the screen and speaker sizes. Here is how they compare, stat for stat.

Echo Show 8 Echo Show 5
Size 7.9" x 5.4" x 3.9 " 5.8" x 3.4" x 2.9"
Weight 36.6 oz 14.5 oz
Screen 8.0" with 1280 x 800 resolution 5.5" with 960 x 480 resolution
Speakers 2 x 2" @ 10W per channel 1 x 1.7" @ 4W
Dolby processing No No
Camera 1MP 1MP
Camera controls Built-in camera shutter and microphone/camera off button Built-in camera shutter and microphone/camera off button
Alexa support Yes Yes
Price $130 $90

Pictured: Echo Show 5.

The Echo Show 5 filled a niche left vacant by the lack of an update to the REALLY small screened Echo Spot. It is a really nice device that can be put in smaller spaces and serves as a great monitor for smart cameras or as a glanceable display for quick information. It's not the best experience for viewing video content, though it is serviceable.

If what you want is a good Echo device for your bedside or office desk, you might be better served picking up an Echo Dot with Clock. True the speakers in the Dot are not quite as good as the Show 5, but the LED clock is less "in your face," and there is no camera to worry about (physical switch notwithstanding). Plus, the Dot with Clock is $30 cheaper than the Echo Show 5.

However, if you want a really nice side table or bedside Echo device with the ability to monitor your smart home security, get text responses to the weather and time, and catch a few videos, the Echo Show 5 is a really great device. As we've said in other articles, the Echo Show 5 is priced to where it is almost an impulse buy, and like the Dots it is often found bundled with other smart home products for even more savings.

Pictured: Echo Show 8.

We have been calling the Echo Show 8 the Goldilocks of smart screen devices for a reason. Not only does it sit physically between the Echo Show (2nd Gen) and the Echo Show 5, but it seems to have made the right tradeoffs when it comes to its specs between those devices.

It obviously has a larger screen and additional speaker over the Show 5, and it has the physical shutter/mute switch that the larger Show (2nd Gen is lacking). However, neither the Show 8 nor the Show 5 have as good of a camera as the Show (2nd Gen), with both sporting 1MP cameras vs the 2nd Gen's 5MP shooter.

The speakers on the Show 8 (two 2-inch speakers at 10W per channel) are still pretty good for its size and better than the single 1.7-inch, 4W speaker available on the Show 5. At 1280p x 800p the Show 8 also has a significantly better screen resolution than the Show 5 at 960p x 480p, which should translate into sharper images on your videos and photos.

Which small Show should you get?

Look, it is pretty obvious which one we think you should get here - the Echo Show 8. It's not THAT much bigger than the Show 5 or THAT much smaller than the Show 10, but the size difference from its siblings is noticeable and meaningful in real-life usage. We do honestly think that the Show 5 is still a great device, particularly if you get it as a secondary smart screen. We appreciate that both the Show 5 and Show 8 have a physical camera shutter and mute button for better privacy controls and that both have on-screen access to the Alexa Privacy Hub so that you can take even more control of your digital privacy.

If you are still indecisive, do not worry! Amazon is offering a great bundle with both the Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5 at a price that is still cheaper than the larger Echo Show (2nd Gen). Now you can try them both and see where they fit best in your home!

Meet me in the middle

Echo Show 8

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.

Small show

Amazon Echo Show 5

Your personalized portal to Alexa

The smaller Echo Show 5 was the first of this latest generation of devices to addresses many of the criticisms of earlier products, adding privacy-focused features, a great screen, and good speaker - all in a convenient size!

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