Being able to control your smart home by voice or motion sounds exciting, and if you are shopping for virtual assistance to connect your devices and manage your smart home, check out Amazon’s latest smart display Amazon Echo Show 8 2021 (2nd Gen). For $130, it does pack in many unique features, and with its compact body, it fits comfortably on even smaller tables.
The first generation of Echo Show 8 was originally released in 2019, and it has been one of the best-selling smart displays on Amazon.
But the question is, which echo device should you get? Let’s dive in and see what’s new:
Echo Show 8 (1st Gen) vs. Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen)
Even though the latest Amazon Echo Show 8 and the first generation version share many similarities, some significant improvements are still worth considering before picking up or upgrading from the previous model.
We’ve highlighted and examined the criteria side-by-side to help you make the decision.
Both models are identical in their designs right off the bat: 8 inches HD touchscreen, 5.4 inches tall, 3.9 inches deep, and weigh about 36.6 oz.
Unfortunately, the color options are limited to only 2 choices: Glacier White and Charcoal.
We were expecting Amazon to offer more color options to the latest echo show 8, as it would have been nice to have the choices to match up different interior design themes.
Sadly for some of us, Amazon decided to take away the rear 3.5mm audio port from the second generation, which can be found on the first generation. It might not concern some of you, but having the option to hook up an external speaker or earphone when needed was a plus.
It’s also worth noting that if you’re concerned about environmental sustainability, the Echo Show 8 has done its part by making its body with 100% post-consumer recycled fabric. The packaging is also made of recycled wood fiber-based materials from recycled sources.
The 2021 update is a game-changer when it comes to delivering a better and consistent user experience across all occasions.
The Echo Show 8 2nd generation is running an eight-core processor compared to the first generation’s four-core processor. As you might already expect it now has a more responsive touchscreen and voice assistant, as well as app performance!
Amazon finally decided to upgrade Echo Show 8’s front-facing camera: 13x better! The latest version comes with thirteen megapixels as opposed to the first gen’s one megapixel. One mp in 2021? The front-facing camera received a much-needed improvement on this iteration.
In addition, the 2nd gen featuring now has auto-framing – it automatically pans, zooms, and frames as you wander and always keeps you centered. It’s pretty similar to the Center Stage feature on iPad PRO 2021.
Both upgrades now give the user a more flexible and entertaining video calling experience.
Which Echo Show is better?
The answer is simply the Echo Show 8 2021 version (2nd-Gen)!
Although we will miss the audio jack from first generation, there are simply many other significant improvements for the 2021 update that we like, such as the 8-core processor, 13mp camera, and auto-framing feature.
If you are thinking between these two, it is a no-brainer to go for 2nd-gen, especially it is only $20 more than the previous model. In addition, with all the new features, the 2nd-gen will be able to future-proof your smart home system.
However, it might not worth upgrading if you are a first generation owner and rarely video calling since you can hardly enjoy the improvements.
Amazon Echo Show 8 vs. Google Nest Hub
Google Nest Hub has been a tough direct competitor to Echo Show 8 since the first gen launched. Still, Amazon is not giving up the best mid-sized smart display title to Google Nest Hub.
What truly separates them is the video calling. Google Nest Hub does not have a front camera; thus no video chat on Nest Hub. Unless you opt for the Google Nest Hub Max, which is 3 inches larger and that simply does not fall into the mid-sized smart display category.
Although both Show 8 and Nest Hub have similar smart home control panels, the Nest Hub’s control center is slightly more organized and intuitive to navigate.
Affordable Smart Home Manager 2021
Turning your home into a smart hub can indeed improve your quality of life. For example, you can control your light bulbs, switches, thermostats, or view security, simply by using your voice or the interactive display without getting out of your chair.
Not to mention that the built-in physical shutter to cover the camera and mic is in addition to privacy concerns.
While technology is getting better every day, Alexa is getting intelligent as well. It has more apps to help you enjoy a smarter smart home, such as showing you the to-do lists, appointments, or your favorite recipes for dinner later!
With the faster processor and better camera, you can ask Alexa to call while enjoying hands-free and position-free video calling!
The loss of the audio jack does not stop you from enjoying music on Echo Show 8. You can enjoy movies or stream Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify in HD and stereo. The built-in speakers have two 2.0 drivers and a passive radiator makes it sound pretty good.
How to Setup Amazon Echo Show 8 (3 Simple Steps)
- Plug in Echo Show 8.
- Connect to the internet using Echo Show 8.
- Just ask Alex for music, weather, news, and more.
After a couple of days of experimenting, even though the interface isn’t as smooth or easy to use as Google’s Nest Hubs, we think that Echo Show 8 is still a great mid-range choice for the smart display. Especially if you are looking for an Alexa-powered digital assistant for the room.
It is priced at reasonably $130, and while Father’s Day is just around the corner, you might be able to grab a better deal just in time for Amazon Prime Day. For more information on Prime Day, check out our article on Amazon Prime Day 2021.
CMO and co-founder of Zemblant Media