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Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) Review (July 2024)

The Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is the latest iteration of Amazon’s popular smart display, offering a compelling blend of features and affordability. This new model boasts a larger 8-inch HD screen, improved sound quality, and enhanced privacy features. But does it live up to the hype and offer a truly engaging smart home experience? We put the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) through its paces to find out.

In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the device’s design, performance, and key features, covering everything from its sleek aesthetics and crisp display to its voice control capabilities and integration with other smart home devices. We’ll also explore its strengths and weaknesses, and whether it’s a worthy upgrade for existing Echo Show owners or a compelling choice for those new to the smart display landscape.

We’ll dissect the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen)’s camera and video calling features, its ability to stream content from various platforms, and its usefulness as a digital photo frame and kitchen companion. We’ll also take a look at the device’s privacy settings and how they can be tailored to your comfort level.

Ultimately, our aim is to provide you with a clear and unbiased assessment of the Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen), helping you decide whether this smart display is the right fit for your home and lifestyle.

Name: Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen)
Image: Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen)
Price:
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Design and Build

The Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is a sleek and modern smart display that blends seamlessly into any home décor. Its design is a significant upgrade from its predecessor, featuring a more compact and streamlined profile. The device boasts a clean, minimalist aesthetic with rounded edges and a smooth black finish. The 8-inch HD touchscreen dominates the front, offering a crisp and vibrant display for viewing videos, photos, and browsing the web.

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The Echo Show 8 is surprisingly lightweight for its size, making it easy to move around the house. The base is sturdy and wide, providing excellent stability on any surface. On the back, you’ll find a camera, a microphone array, and a power port. The placement of these features ensures that the device captures your voice and image clearly during video calls and interactions with Alexa. Overall, the design and build quality of the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) are commendable. It’s a well-crafted device that feels premium and robust, making it a worthy addition to any modern home.

Display

The Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) features an 8-inch HD touchscreen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. The display is bright and vibrant, with good color accuracy. It’s perfect for watching videos, browsing the web, or viewing photos. The screen is also responsive to touch, making it easy to navigate menus and apps. It’s worth noting that the display is not as high-resolution as some other smart displays on the market, but it’s still more than adequate for most everyday use. The display is also quite reflective, so it can be difficult to see in direct sunlight. Overall, the display is a strong point of the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen). It’s clear, bright, and responsive, making it a great option for a variety of tasks.

Sound Quality

The Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) boasts decent audio quality for its size. It delivers clear, well-balanced sound with a surprising amount of volume. You can definitely crank up the tunes for a party or enjoy a podcast without feeling like you’re missing out on any of the nuances. The built-in speakers handle both highs and lows with ease, and there’s a good amount of bass for a device this compact. While it won’t replace a dedicated speaker system, it’s more than adequate for everyday listening.

The Echo Show 8 also supports stereo sound, which means you can pair it with another Echo device for an even richer audio experience. This can be especially useful if you’re using the device for watching movies or TV shows.

However, it’s worth noting that the sound quality is primarily focused on vocal clarity and overall balance. If you’re an audiophile looking for a device that delivers deep, rich bass or crystal-clear treble, you might be better off considering a dedicated speaker.

Overall, the sound quality on the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is impressive for its size and price point. It’s a great option for casual listening, watching videos, and even holding video calls. While it might not be the best choice for audiophiles, it delivers a satisfying listening experience for the average user.

Camera and Video Calls

Camera and Video Calls

The Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) boasts a decent 13MP camera, making it a solid choice for video calls. The camera features a wide-angle lens and automatic framing that keeps you centered in the shot, even as you move around. The image quality is crisp and clear, especially in well-lit environments. The auto-framing feature works surprisingly well, smoothly adjusting the camera angle to keep you in the frame, even if you’re moving around.

While the camera quality is good, it’s worth noting that the autofocus sometimes struggles in low-light conditions. The camera can also be a bit slow to adjust to changes in lighting, which might lead to a few blurry moments during video calls.

Overall, the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) delivers a satisfying video calling experience. The camera quality is good, and the auto-framing feature is a nice touch, making it a convenient option for staying connected with loved ones.

Smart Home Hub

The Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) functions as a central hub for your smart home, integrating seamlessly with compatible devices from a wide range of brands. You can control your lights, thermostats, locks, and more using simple voice commands or through the touchscreen interface. It’s incredibly intuitive and user-friendly, allowing you to create custom routines for automating various tasks around your home.

For example, you could tell Alexa to “turn off the living room lights and lock the front door” before heading to bed. You can also monitor your security cameras, adjust the thermostat, and even control your smart appliances directly through the Echo Show 8. The device’s ability to link with other smart home ecosystems like Zigbee and Z-Wave is a major advantage, providing compatibility with an expansive array of smart devices.

The integration of Amazon’s own Alexa ecosystem truly elevates the Echo Show 8’s smart home capabilities. With Alexa, you can easily set up and manage your smart home devices, view live feeds from compatible cameras, and control them using voice commands. You can also create custom routines to automate multiple actions at once. For instance, you could set up a routine that turns on the lights, starts your coffee machine, and plays your favorite music when you say “good morning.”

While the Echo Show 8 offers a robust smart home experience, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t include a built-in hub for controlling Zigbee or Z-Wave devices. However, you can connect a separate smart home hub, such as a Philips Hue Bridge or a Samsung SmartThings Hub, to expand your connectivity options and control an even wider array of devices.

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Performance and Software

The Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) runs on a snappy processor that handles everything smoothly, from navigating menus to streaming video. Apps launch quickly, and there’s no noticeable lag when switching between tasks. The device is powered by Amazon’s Fire OS, which is a customized version of Android that’s specifically tailored for smart displays. You get a familiar and easy-to-use interface, with large icons and clear text. The software is intuitive and user-friendly, even for those who are new to smart home devices.

One of the standout features of the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is its ability to automatically adjust the display’s brightness based on ambient lighting. This ensures that the screen is always easy to read, regardless of the time of day or the lighting conditions in your room. Additionally, the device supports a wide range of streaming services, including Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, and Hulu, making it a great choice for entertainment.

The Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) also comes with a built-in Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant. Alexa is incredibly responsive and provides quick, accurate results for your queries. You can use Alexa to control your smart home devices, set alarms and reminders, play music, check the weather, and much more. It’s a truly versatile and helpful addition to the device.

Overall, the performance and software of the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) are excellent. The device is fast, reliable, and easy to use, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a smart display that can handle all their daily needs.

Features and Functionality

The Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is packed with features that cater to a wide range of needs, from entertainment and communication to smart home control and more.

Entertainment Hub: The Echo Show 8 excels as an entertainment hub. You can stream movies and TV shows from services like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+, listen to music through Amazon Music, Spotify, and Apple Music, and even use it as a digital photo frame.

Smart Home Control: With Alexa built in, you can easily control compatible smart home devices. You can turn lights on and off, adjust thermostats, lock and unlock doors, and even view live feeds from compatible security cameras.

Video Calling and Communication: The Echo Show 8 makes it easy to stay connected with friends and family. You can make video calls to other Echo Show devices, as well as to Android and iOS devices. You can also use it for voice calls.

Other Notable Features:

  • Built-in Clock: The Echo Show 8 has a handy built-in clock that you can view from across the room.
  • News and Weather Updates: Get the latest news and weather updates with a simple voice command.
  • Recipes and Cooking: Follow recipes on the screen and even ask Alexa to set timers.
  • Shopping List: Create shopping lists with your voice and easily add items to your Amazon cart.
  • Calendar and Reminders: Keep track of your schedule and set reminders with ease.
  • Alarm Clock: Use the Echo Show 8 as a bedside alarm clock with customizable alarm sounds.

Personalized Experiences:

One of the key strengths of the Echo Show 8 is its ability to provide personalized experiences. Through your Amazon account, you can link your music playlists, calendar, photos, and other services to create a more tailored experience.

Continuously Expanding Functionality:

Amazon regularly updates the Echo Show 8 with new features and functionalities. This means that you can expect to enjoy new ways to use the device over time, ensuring it stays relevant and valuable.

Setup and Use

Setting up the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is a breeze. Simply plug it in, download the Alexa app on your smartphone, and follow the on-screen instructions. The app will guide you through connecting to your Wi-Fi network, setting up your account, and customizing your device.

Once set up, using the Echo Show 8 is as simple as talking to it. You can ask Alexa to play music, check the weather, set alarms, make calls, control smart home devices, and much more. The device also responds to touch commands, allowing you to navigate menus and control various functions with ease.

The Echo Show 8’s intuitive interface makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. The home screen displays your most used features, such as music playback, weather updates, and upcoming calendar events. You can swipe left and right to access other screens, including your favorite apps, recently played content, and device settings.

The Echo Show 8 also offers a variety of accessibility features, such as screen reader and closed captioning, making it easier for users with disabilities to interact with the device. Overall, the setup and usage experience of the Echo Show 8 is both straightforward and enjoyable, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a user-friendly smart display.

Price and Value

The Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) retails for $139.99, placing it in the mid-range of smart display pricing. While it’s not the cheapest option out there, it offers a compelling value proposition for its features and performance. The combination of a vibrant 8-inch display, decent sound quality, a capable camera, and a comprehensive suite of smart home features makes it a versatile device for various tasks.

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Compared to its predecessor, the 2nd generation boasts a slightly higher price tag but also includes significant upgrades like the faster processor, improved camera, and refined software experience. When you consider the overall package, the price seems justified, especially if you’re looking for a smart display that can handle your daily needs and provide a seamless smart home experience.

However, it’s worth noting that some competitors, like the Google Nest Hub Max, offer larger displays and more advanced camera features at a similar price point. Ultimately, the decision boils down to your individual priorities and preferences. If you value a balanced package of features and performance in a compact and user-friendly design, the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is an excellent choice.

Conclusion

The Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is a compelling smart display that delivers on its promise of a versatile and user-friendly experience. Its vibrant display, impressive sound quality, and seamless integration with Alexa make it a standout choice for anyone seeking a smart home hub with multimedia capabilities. While the camera performance could be enhanced for video calls, its overall functionality, features, and value proposition make it a highly recommended option. If you’re looking for a smart display that can handle your entertainment needs, manage your smart home devices, and serve as a communication hub, the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is definitely worth considering.

Alternatives

If you’re looking for alternatives to the Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen), you have a few excellent options depending on your priorities.

For a larger screen: The Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) offers a 10.1-inch rotating display that follows you around the room. It’s ideal for video calls and watching content, but it’s pricier than the Echo Show 8.

For a more compact option: The Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) provides a 5.5-inch display and is a great choice if space is limited. It’s less expensive than the Echo Show 8 but offers a smaller screen.

For a more premium experience: The Google Nest Hub Max boasts a 10-inch touchscreen with a built-in camera, making it a strong contender. It features Google Assistant and integrates seamlessly with other Google services.

For a budget-friendly choice: The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is a compact smart display with a 4-inch screen and a built-in speaker. It’s a great option for basic tasks like checking the weather and setting alarms, but it lacks the more advanced features of other devices.

For a more versatile option: The Facebook Portal+ offers a 15.6-inch touchscreen with a wide-angle camera, perfect for video calls. It also includes features like Story Time and Smart Sound that can enhance the experience.

Ultimately, the best alternative for you will depend on your individual needs and budget. Consider the screen size, features, price, and integration with your existing smart home ecosystem when making your decision.

Final Verdict

The Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is a fantastic smart display for those seeking a balance of features, performance, and affordability. It’s an excellent choice for anyone wanting a device for video calls, streaming entertainment, controlling smart home devices, or simply checking the weather and news. While there are more expensive options with larger displays, the Echo Show 8’s 8-inch screen provides an optimal size for most households without breaking the bank. The sound quality is impressive, and the camera is sharp enough for clear video calls. Overall, the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is a highly recommended smart display that offers an excellent value proposition.

The Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is a solid smart display that offers a lot for the price. Its vibrant screen, decent sound quality, and wide range of features make it a great choice for anyone looking for a versatile device to control their smart home, watch videos, make video calls, and more. However, its camera quality could be better, and the lack of a built-in hub for smart home devices might be a dealbreaker for some.

Overall, the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is a well-rounded smart display that delivers a good mix of features and affordability. If you’re looking for a device to control your smart home, watch videos, or make video calls, the Echo Show 8 is worth considering. Just be sure to factor in your needs and priorities before making a decision.

For those who prioritize video quality and smart home control, the Echo Show 10 or 15 might be better options. However, for those looking for a more affordable and compact smart display with a great balance of features, the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is a solid choice.

Its intuitive interface, helpful voice assistant, and overall versatility make it a valuable addition to any home. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or just starting out with smart home devices, the Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) is a smart display that’s worth checking out.

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