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Echo Show 8 vs. Echo Show (2nd Gen): Which should you buy?

Androidcentral 2020-05-21 01:30:00

New Show in Town

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Fast on the heels of the popular Echo Show 5, the Echo Show 8 fits right in the middle of this expanding product line. It brings a higher resolution screen than the Echo Show 5 and welcomes more media integrations like an exclusive partnership with the Food Network.

$100 at Amazon


  • The Goldilocks of Echo Show devices
  • Disable camera and mics with one switch/cover
  • Significantly cheaper than larger Echo Show (2nd Gen)
  • Uses "Certified with Humans"


  • Can't adjust viewing angles without a stand
  • No Dolby processing built-in

With its softened corners and fabric covering, the Echo Show (2nd Gen) marked a major design shift for the Echo line. Its large HD display and Alexa integration have really helped to solidify Amazon's smart home hub focus for Echo devices.

$230 at Amazon


  • Stunning display
  • Available with a free Echo Flex and smart bulb
  • Dolby processing built-in
  • Zigbee smart hub built-in


  • Most expensive Echo device
  • No physical camera cover
  • Might be too big for some

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

Source: Russell Holly / Android CentralPictured: Echo Show (2nd Gen).

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
Dolby processing No Yes
Camera 1MP 5MP
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
Price $100 $230

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 counter space, 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

Source: Andrew Martonik / Android CentralPictured: Echo Show 8.

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 crisper 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.

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