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Echo Show 8 (2021) 2nd gen with a new camera and features!

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Echo Show 8
Echo Show 8
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Amazon’s Echo line of products is constantly changing, with the Echo smart speakers currently in their fourth generation and the Echo Show 10 smart display in its third iteration, which includes a considerable overhaul. The smaller-screened siblings received less attention, with the Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 garnering very little attention for their second generations.

Design of Echo Show 8

Design 

Despite the fact that this model has received more major changes than that of the Echo Show 5, much stays the same. The chassis is still a tipped-over pyramid with an 8-inch LCD on top. The previous version’s 1280 x 800 resolution is retained, as is the 2 x 2in neodymium speakers buried behind the cloth at the rear.

The dimensions are the same (200 x 135 x 99mm). The 13Mp camera replaces the weedy 1Mp featured in the first-generation Echo Show 8. You may still restrict unauthorized access by sliding a physical cover so over the lens using the button on the top edge, which also houses the volume controls and the mute button for the microphone and camera.

There are four microphones around the top edge, which Alexa uses to hear and understand your requests. Because the display is a touch, you can operate the gadget with both your voice and your fingertips.

On the back, there’s a power socket for the unique power source, as well as a micro-USB ‘for service’ port that you won’t be able to use. One change that some may find upsetting is that the 3.5mm audio output from the first-generation device is no longer included in the current model. It is on the Echo Show 5.

If you wish to listen to external audio, you’ll need Bluetooth headphones or a Bluetooth speaker. Although the style remains the same, this is a tiny, tidy product that should fit perfectly into any area of the house. You can also select between white and black versions. But there’s no trace of Show 5’s new Deep Sea Blue.

Features & Interface:

Features & Interface

Setup

Setting up the Amazon Echo Show 8 is a breeze; all you need are your Wi-Fi network settings and an Amazon account, and you’re ready to go. You need also download the Alexa app for your smartphone to control the different services to which the device may be attached, as well as some of the new capabilities, such as the remote Live Camera Feed, which turns your Echo Show 8 into a home surveillance device. More on that later.

Usability

The layout is straightforward, with touchscreen aspects requiring swiping down from the top to launch a menu that allows you to access Settings or instantly set Do Not Disturb. Swiping in from the right provides you access to several shortcuts. Also includes Smart Home management and the Communicate option. Which allows you to send messages to all of your network’s Echo devices.

This is useful for informing everyone when dinner is ready. You’ll also discover a variety of useful tips for what you can accomplish with Echo Show 8.

Because this is an Alexa-enabled piece of equipment, the majority of the interaction is obviously hands-free. When you ask for the news, BBC headlines broadcast will display on the screen. You can request a program from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video and view it as you prepare or get ready.

The 8-inch display is crisp and bright, but if you’re used to watching videos on a tablet, it may appear a bit tiny. Thankfully, everything is displayed in a good-sized font, so reading meals or checking your upcoming appointments is always legible. The processor has been changed from the MediaTek MT 8163 to the MediaTek MT 8183, which is a modest improvement. Performance-wise, this gives reaction times that are occasionally a touch slow. But nothing too heavy and certainly adequate for this type of gadget. Keep in mind that the quality and speed of your internet access will also play a role in how quickly Alexa responds to your commands.

Camera:

Camera Echo Show 8

The much-enhanced camera is, of course, the key update with the new Echo Show 8. Moving from a 1MP to a 13MP sensor means you’ll appear clearer to others receiving your video stream when making video chats. Amazon has also included a new tracking function in which the camera attempts to keep you in the center of the screen.

This is a totally different technique than the physical rotation of the Echo Show 10, but if you have a kitchen island or another place where you need to be watched 360°. The Echo Show 8’s tracking works almost as well.

It’s subtle and works well if you move slowly, but it does its better to stay your center, zooming in to maintain you around the same size even when you travel fairly far away. Given that this function is purely software-based, it is excellent and lends uniformity to the aesthetic of calls. The camera itself is of high grade. The video it generates is sharp and bright, with rich color rendition, and the sensor does an excellent job of keeping even poorly lit environments from seeming muddy. As previously said, there is a new function that allows you to access the camera via the Alexa app or another Echo Show. This means you may keep an eye on the dog while you’re away or watch for any unusual behavior at work.

The only issue is that, like the Echo Show 5, the camera is aimed at the ceiling. So you won’t be able to see your dog or even the floor unless you purchase the extra, adjustable stand.

Room-filling sound

While the display and camera are important features of the Echo Show 8, it is also a smart speaker, so the sound is important as well. Fortunately, it is also an area that stands out.

The two 2 neodymium speakers deliver a lot of loudness while also delivering a surprising amount of bass. Due to the passive bass radiator included in the design. This means you may use the Echo Show 8 to drown out the noises of your neighbors or for house parties. The sound quality is similar to the first-generation version, which was as outstanding. But as part of the complete package, it makes the new Echo Show 8 a very appealing gadget.

Streaming services

The Echo Show 8 now has access to a number of streaming providers as standard. These include video material from Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube, the latter of which uses a browser rather than a separate app. Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, TuneIn, and Audible are all options for music and podcasts. Subscriptions are obviously required to utilize these services, but this is true regardless of the platform.

Because the Echo Show 8 is designed to be used in the kitchen. You can also get comprehensive recipes and instructions from BBC Good Food. Alexa will read out each step while presenting the recipe text and materials on the screen. You can request that she repeat a step or go on to the next one as needed. It’s a convenient method to create unusual foods, but not having to touch the screen with flour-covered hands is definitely a plus.

If supper is a total catastrophe, you may use your Headspace membership for some restorative yoga. However, this may be a better decision in the bedroom where you can also lie down. Alexa responds effectively to voice commands, typically comprehending. Although there is some latency when it searches the web for answers or material. So long as you’re not in a hurry.

Organizational features

You can design routines for certain scenarios when coupled with compatible smart light bulbs, cameras, and other smart technology. Setting the lights low for an evening watching Netflix by telling Alexa ‘Nighttime,’ or putting on the coffee machine and reading her morning news by saying ‘I’m awake!’

If you don’t have a smart device, you may still use it to check your appointments for the day ahead as well as the weather forecast. As with other Alexa-enabled devices, users can download an enormous number of ‘Skills’ that add functions to the gadget, making it far more than simply a pretty face.

Price & Availability:

Price & Availability Echo Show 8

The Amazon Echo Show 8 is now available for £119.99/US$129.99 from Amazon. However, it’s worth monitoring the site on a regular basis because there are frequent sales, which typically represent great discounts. If you don’t mind a smaller display, the Amazon Echo Show 5 was recently upgraded and costs £74.99/US$84.99. While those searching for the largest and most feature-rich alternative may select the Amazon Echo Show 10, which costs £239.99/$249.99.

Conclusion

The new Echo Show 8 is essentially the same as the original version, but the added camera and remote viewing capabilities are big improvements. Of course, the previous generation gadget is still available at a fair price. But if you intend to use the Echo Show 8 as a video chatting device at all, the new one is a far, far superior alternative.

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