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Amazon Echo Show 8 review: The best smart screen device yet from Amazon

Offering fabulous sound and great-looking screen at the right size to suit most homes.

Amazon Echo Show 8 review

Why just settle for a voice controlled speaker when you can have a screen too? And in the Amazon Echo Show 8, you don’t just get all the powerful voice control and sound quality of an Echo device, you get the convenience of a fabulous 8 inch touch screen allowing for a whole world of video options.

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As with many smart home devices, Amazon have been at the forefront of developing new technology and released the first Echo Show in 2018, with many of the biggest names in the tech world now making a smart screen device that competes with them.

And as with the original Echo speaker devices, Amazon have not only led the market with their device, they have managed to create something that through generational updates has remained at the forefront of its class, offering great value for money, fabulous sound and a crystal clear picture – and now in the 8 inch screen size, a perfect sized screen to pop on a bookshelf in the lounge, or add to the kitchen counter to give you a little more smart in your smart home.

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Amazon Echo Show 8 summary

The Echo Show 8 is the latest incarnation of the popular Echo Show range and boasts a great-sized 8 inch screen that has a crystal clear picture to show both graphics and videos – as well as powerful speaker for both voice and music, all in a really competitively priced single unit. With access to the whole Alexa ecosystem of smart assistance as well, this is certainly a top pick for anyone looking to enter the smart speaker and screen world combined.

Price: Amazon Echo Show 8 is available from £69.99 (usually £119.99) from Amazon

Key features:

  • 8 inch touch screen with great quality picture
  • Premium speakers with great sound
  • Ability to close camera for privacy
  • Alexa intelligent assistant allows you to voice control your music (compatible with Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and TuneIn amongst others) and video
  • Access tens of thousand of ‘skills’ via the Alexa app

Pros:

  • Great price for all the tech you get
  • Screen is high quality and can be seen from most angles very well
  • 8 inch screen size is good for most home settings
  • No smartphone required for setup
  • Seamless integration for Amazon Prime Video users
  • Great for showcasing photos while not in use for other tasks
  • Ever-increasing Alexa skill base
  • Improving human speech recognition

Cons:

  • On-screen suggestions can be a little annoying
  • Unable to play YouTube videos and limited video options outside of Amazon ecosystem
  • Photo showcase speed can be inconsistent

What is the Amazon Echo Show 8?

The Amazon Echo Show 8 is a smart screen with smart speaker that allows you to access the world of Amazon’s Alexa intelligent personal assistant with the added benefit of a high quality screen to ensure you don’t just hear what you want to hear, you see what you want to see!

What does the Amazon Echo Show 8 do?

The Amazon Echo Show 8 offers all of the benefits of the Echo speaker, allowing you to ask questions, play music, set timers and access thousands of third party ‘skills’ designed to entertain, educate and make your life easier – but it also has a screen that can display information and video. Whether you’re looking for a flash video news briefing, to sing along to your favourite songs with the lyrics on screen, watch Amazon Prime Video TV shows and movies, look at galleries of your photos on Amazon Photos or see a full weather report for the coming week – the high quality touch screen offers lots of options to enhance your Echo experience.

  • Controlled by the Alexa intelligent voice assistant that allows you to give commands by voice
  • Has a high-quality 8 inch touch screen to display graphics and video, as well as interact by typing and touching the screen
  • Has a really good quality speaker for its size
  • Seamless access to Amazon Prime Video content and displays Amazon Photo galleries
  • Offers tens of thousands of ‘skills’ developed by third party developers to enhance voice experience including news and weather, fun and games, learning and education and entertainment and planning.

New to Amazon smart devices? Read our guide on what is Alexa, Alexa compatible devices and the difference between Echo and Alexa.

Amazon Show 8 screen
Amazon

How much is the Amazon Echo Show 8?

The Amazon Echo Show 8 costs around £119.99 and is available from Amazon, as well as other retailers, such as Currys, Very and Argos.

Is the Amazon Echo Show 8 good value for money?

Although there are a lot of smart screens and smart speakers now available on the market, there are few that rival this unit for sheer value for money. Although it’s not something you’ll want to spend your afternoon watching movies on and doesn’t have the sound quality of a huge hi-fi separates system, what it does offer is a great combination of voice and screen technology in a package that isn’t so big it overpowers a room, but isn’t so small that the screen becomes useless. We’d say that this is one of the best-priced systems of its type in the current eco-system of connected products.

Amazon Echo Show 8 design

Earlier incarnations of the Show have been both larger and smaller… and a little more square and angular in design. The latest 8-inch model has evolved to become the perfect sized kitchen or lounge smart device, neatly fitting onto a bookshelf or a counter in an unobtrusive manner. It has clean lines and a slick feel to it, helped out a lot by the super clear screen at the heart of the design.

  • Style: The angled screen is the core feature of the Echo Show 8 that everything else is built around. It has moved on significantly in style from earlier incarnations and now feels much softer and curved in design compared to the more angular original.
  • Robustness: Despite having a touch screen at the heart of the product, this – like all Amazon smart devices – feels very well made and robust. Obviously if you throw it around there’s a good chance you’ll break the screen, but the unit has a good weight to it and feels like it will last for a long time.
  • Size: The Echo Show 8 measures 200mm x 135mm x 99mm which means it will fit into even the smallest of kitchen or bookcase as a smart addition to your home.

Amazon Echo Show 8 sound quality

The Echo Show 8, like all of the Echo family is used by many as a device for playing radio and music Amazon Music or the many other streaming service with which it is compatible, therefore sound quality is an important thing.  And this unit, despite being a little smaller than its 10 inch cousin and not quite as bulky as some of its predecessors, still delivers a great quality sound for the casual music fan. Music sounds bright and crips through the in-built speakers with a good high and mid-level response, as well as surprisingly punchy base for the size of the speaker. Now this is not the replacement to your hi-fi separates or a top end smart speaker from Sonos or Bose, but for most people it will deliver more than enough to keep them happy, with a decent amount of volume too.

As with all Echo devices, the system has also been designed with speech in mind, and therefore the quality of Alexa and all speech-based products from podcasts to audiobooks is very pleasing.

All in all this is a speaker with great sound for the price.

Amazon Echo Show 8 set-up

Set-up with most Amazon Echo devices is done via the Alexa app on your smartphone which isn’t a massive hassle, but can at times add an extra layer of complication when you’re keen to get on with using your new gadget.

This is not the case with the Echo Show 8 which from the moment you switch it on allows you to go through the entire set-up process using the smart screen, which frankly is great.

You just need to chose your language, wi-fi network and get it connected and then login to your Amazon account and you’re pretty much ready to go, using your smart speaker and screen within a few minutes of getting it out of the box.

Once you’ve conformed where you are (for the most accurate weather reports) you are ready to ask “Alexa” to start performing tasks. It’s the simplest process to set up an Amazon Echo device so far, and very welcome.

What is the difference between the Amazon Echo Show 8 and the Amazon Echo?

Although both of these devices are capable of many of the same tasks when it comes to voice control via Amazon’s Alexa intelligent assistant, the obvious difference is that the Show has a touchscreen and the Echo does not.

This allows a number of unique tasks that can take place on the Echo Show, including touch set up and control, the ability to play video and display graphics as well as unique ‘skills’ designed only for the touch screen device.

Beyond this, the devices are fairly similar in spec – both performing great quality sound at a very competitive price, offering a great smart home addition with great flexibility.

Our Verdict: Should you buy the Amazon Echo Show 8?

The Amazon Echo Show 8 is in our opinion the best Echo with a screen yet.

A good looking device with fantastic sound and a really good quality touchscreen, it offers the best of the voice-controlled smart speaker world with the added addition of some really nice video twists.

Now with an 8 inch screen, the device has been crafted after a few generations to be the perfect size to fit into your home without being too small or too imposing, and now offers a stylish addition to your home.

At the price, you will struggle to find a smart screen and speaker with all the features of the Amazon ecosystem at your fingertips, so in our opinion this really is a great choice for those wishing to enter the smart speaker market for the first time, or want to upgrade their smart home setup.

Design: 4.5/5

Sound quality: 4/5

Value for Money: 4.5/5

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Where to buy the Amazon Echo Show 8

The Amazon Echo Show 8 is available at a number of retailers.

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Interested in the 3rd generation Echo? Read our Amazon Echo review and check out the latest Amazon Echo deals.