What is the Latest Echo Show? [October 2020]
Amazon’s Echo Show line is an incredibly useful and popular home assistant. Similar to other technology, the release of a new Echo Show is exciting because there are new features and functions with every model. Amazon does an excellent job of making consumer’s lives easier, and the Echo Show is another welcome addition.
We know there’s an Echo Show 10 coming at some point, but Amazon has yet to let us know when. The Echo Show 10 will be “more” in every sense of the word. Yes, it will cost $249 which is more than the current latest available model than the Echo Show 8, but it does have a 10 inch HD screen that rotates as you move. We’re excited to see all of the neat features this new addition has when it’s released and we’ll update this article when it does. But, for now, we’ll review the current models you can buy today.
The Echo Show 8 is the newest available model and it is often referred to as the “Middle Child” of the Amazon Echo line. The Echo Show 5 is a lower-cost device with a smaller screen and fewer features.
The Echo Show 2nd Gen is a higher-priced option with better sound quality. The release of the Echo Show 8 is exciting because it offers great audio for smaller to mid-size rooms with most of the features of other models.
Echo Show 8 Overview
At a retail price of $130, the Echo Show 8 is available at many well-known retailers including Amazon.
The Echo Show 8 is Amazon’s latest smart display/speaker with an 8-inch screen. The 1,280X800 Pixel LED-LCD screen offers the same resolution as the 2nd Generation Echo Show.
Using voice control, you can manage other devices in your smart home, from security cameras and lighting to thermostats. There is an option to display albums from Amazon photos on your screen, while also allowing in-depth customization of your home screen.
Echo Show 8 is compatible with the following in-home smart devices:
- hue – A brand that controls indoor lighting
- nest – For in-home automation
- ring – Best known for their smart doorbells and security systems
- SmartThings – Home automation systems
- Wink – Smart home automation
Although Echo Show 8 is not a “hub,” it does allow you to communicate with these devices through the display or with the Alexa voice assistant.
Food Network Features
Echo Show 8 can teach you how to cook with Food Network features. You can say things like:
- “Alexa – Open Food Network kitchen.”
- “Alexa – Show me, cooking classes.”
- “Alexa – Show me recipes.”
The list is endless but perfect for the kitchen, Echo Show 8 is ideal for those who love to cook!
Alexa and the Echo Show 8 can keep your schedule on track and help you prepare for the day. This device will let you set calendar reminders, check the weather and traffic routes, and even start your car!
Echo Show for Entertainment
With Voice Assistant features; you can ask Alexa to play movies, TV shows, news, sports games, or music.
Alexa will play your favorite radio stations, podcasts, and even audiobooks. There is a command to get any of your friends on a video call, as long as they have the Alexa app and a compatible device.
Echo Show 8 – Keeping You in Touch
Alexa offers features such as voice and video calling. With a 1-megapixel front camera, you can video chat with a simple voice command.
All you have to do is set up the feature using your phone and you can video chat anyone who has a compatible smartphone application or the Echo Show.
To set up this feature:
- Open the Alexa app on your smartphone
- Click on the Calling/Messaging tab at the bottom of the screen
- Grant permissions to link contacts
Once setup is complete you can say “Alexa – Call Mom” to initiate the call.
What’s really great about the new Echo Show 8 are the improved privacy features. You can now disconnect the microphone and camera with the press of a button and use the built-in shutter to cover up the camera.
Should I buy the Echo Show 5 or 8?
Although the Echo Show 5 has a lower price tag, there are some serious features in the 8 that you’ll be missing out on. With more screen landscape and better resolution, the Echo Show 8 is the better option.
One hidden benefit of the Echo Show 8 and the 2nd Gen model is the ability to watch Netflix. Although it’s not the easiest way to stream your favorite shows it can be done on these two models. If you’d like to stream Netflix on your Echo Show 8, we’ve got an article for that.
The increased audio capabilities make the 8 a better option for those who use the device for calling or music. If you’re looking for a smaller Echo Show for your nightstand or office desk then save the money and go with the 5.
Other Amazing Smart Displays
There are competitors to Amazon’s Echo. Check those out below.
Google Nest Hub Max
Powered by Google Assistant, Google Next Hub has a 10-inch display and a high-resolution 6.5-megapixel camera. It’s a pretty big device with a 1080P screen so it’s well-suited for the living room or kitchen area. The device also has a facial recognition feature that makes using it very convenient and the privacy microphone and camera eliminate privacy concerns.
A unique feature of Google Next Hub is the ability to use gestures to control media playback. This means that you can play, stop, and change the content with physical movements. It’s a welcomed feature, although not yet perfected.
The price is a bit high at $230, but the unique features may make it worth the price.
Lenovo Smart Display
The Lenovo Smart Display brings some great features that may make it better than the Echo Show for some. Rather than omnidirectional speakers in the back, the Lenovo features front-firing speakers that can better take advantage of the stereo imaging effect. This makes the device a bit wider but it makes up for it with sound quality.
Something that is unique to the Lenovo Smart display is that it can function as a Chromecast, and the supported streaming services include Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, and more. This goes extremely well with the high-resolution screen and amazing sound. The device uses Google Assistant so you can control any of the aforementioned features with just your voice.
A great contender for the best smart display on the market.
One of the most powerful smart displays, Facebook Portal is more focused on communication. The device uses Alexa with more limited features in favor of Facebook-focused capabilities. You can video chat using Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, or Workplace. One downside is that it doesn’t have YouTube by default.
This would all be okay if not for the privacy and security concerns with Facebook in general, which has yet to disclose whether the devices collect user data. The 8-inch Portal Mini sells for $130 and the 10-inch Portal $180.
How do I know my Show is listening?
Fortunately, the Echo Show devices will show a blue bar at the top. If Alexa is listening to you or there’s a “false wake,” you will see the recording indicator.
Can I turn off the camera when I’m not using it?
Absolutely. The Echo Show has a button to turn the camera off if you’re concerned about your privacy.
When will my Echo Show start listening to me?
The Echo Show software is designed to only record and listen to content after it has been prompted to do so. For example, saying “Alexa…” is your typical wake command. Once activated, Alexa will record your audio and save it to the cloud. You can delete these recordings through the Alexa app on your phone.