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Echo Show 8 review – the smart display that’s a versatile addition to your home

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  • VERDICT

The Echo Show 8 is an even more versatile way of accessing information and content and controlling your smart devices. And with the screen it’s a great security camera monitor as well. This is one of the smartest devices you can buy.

Smart speakers are extremely popular right now but the addition of a screen makes them even more useful as the new Amazon Echo Show 8 demonstrates.

It has all the features of a regular smart speaker so you can hear Alexa and your music and content but now with the screen you can also see things as well.

The Echo Show 8 is the middle child in the Amazon family and sits between big brother Echo Show (10-inch) and the Echo Show 5 (5-inch).

And it’s a “just right” size for your desk or kitchen counter – perhaps a touch too big for the bedside table – we use an Echo Show 5 there.

Design-wise the Echo Show 8 has a small footprint so it won’t take up too much space on your desk.

 

It’s just 20cm wide and 9.9cm deep and 13.6cm high.

The screen is angled up towards the user to make it easy to read from right beside it or from across the room.

The 8-inch screen has a resolution of 1280 x 800 and has two speakers onboard at 10W per channel.

Along the top are volume controls and a microphone/camera audio on/off button.

Camera on….
…. camera off

There’s also a camera onboard which can be used to make video calls to other Echo devices with a screen – this is a handy feature that can be used to keep in touch with family and friends or used as a local video intercom.

And for those worried about their privacy, there is also a simple switch that can not only cover the camera lens but turn it off completely.

If you have several Echo devices in your home, did you know you can also send voice messages to every room to announce that it’s dinner time or bedtime?

A popular use for smart speakers is listening to your music or the radio and the onboard speakers offer impressive quality.

Users can link their favourite music services including Apple Music and Spotify so they can ask Alexa to hear their favourite artists, tracks, playlists and albums.

And having the display means you can display lyrics and turn your room into a karaoke stage.

The Echo Show 8 has Bluetooth onboard so you can also stream your favourite audio content to the device as well.

You can access packaged content from media partners like Sky News, ABC News, Fox Sports and Channel 7 if you ever need an update.

If you have an Amazon Prime account you can also stream your favourite movies and shows right there on the Echo Show 8.

If you need an update on the weather or traffic all you need to do is ask.

And, of course, all of the skills are still there so you can not only access content but also get things done from ordering a pizza and checking your bank balance to booking an Uber and checking the status of your flight.

You can control and monitor all of your connected smart devices.

And with the screen you can go a step further and see live feeds from your Ring doorbell and your Arlo security cameras as well as other connected products.

You can simply ask “Alexa show me the front door” and you can see a live feed from the Ring doorbell or say, “Alexa show me the back deck” and your Arlo security camera feed appears on the display.

The display comes in handy to display your favourite photos so it become a digital photo frame as well.

One thing we noticed was that you can’t make the clock fill the entire display like you can with the Echo Show 5 so what you basically get is a time display on the Echo Show 8 that’s smaller than what you get on the smaller Echo device.

It would be good to get the clock to fit the entire screen so you can easily read it from a distance.

The Echo Show 8 is available now and is priced at $229.

VERDICT

The Echo Show 8 is an even more versatile way of accessing information and content and controlling your smart devices. And with the screen it’s a great security camera monitor as well. This is one of the smartest devices you can buy.