Amazon just upgraded its Echo Show smart video devices: Everything you need to know

·3-min read
Amazon has launched two new Echo Shows - here's everything you need to know.  (Amazon)
Amazon has launched two new Echo Shows - here's everything you need to know. (Amazon)

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Amazon has just announced a massive upgrade to its multi-purpose Echo Show smart gadget line, including better cameras and more functionality.

Think of the Echo Show as an Alexa smart speaker with a video display. The Show 8, available in white or charcoal, has an 8-inch widescreen, while the new 5 has a 5.5-inch display.

What sets these new second-gen models apart from their predecessors is an upgraded camera offering sharper video calls, plus the ability to check-in on the family pets remotely when you’re out and about. Using your smartphone, you can access their cameras to see what Fido’s been chewing.

Buy it: All-new Echo Show 8 2nd generation (2021 release) | £119.99 from Amazon

All-new Echo Show 8 2nd generation (2021 release)
All-new Echo Show 8 2nd generation (2021 release)

The 13-megapixel, wide-angle camera on the new Echo Show 8, was previously only available on the flagship Show 10. 

It comes with built-in tracking, the camera automatically pans and zooms while you’re on video calls, to ensure that you’re always held in frame.

You can use a Show to ‘drop in’ on another Echo Show, for a quick video chat. It’s easy to make a video call, just ask Alexa. Plus, up to seven household members can be grouped if you want to have a Family conflab.

The Echo Show 8 is also perfect for some crafty TV catch-up, and doubles as a digital photo frame.

Netflix and Prime Video streaming apps are both on-board, handy if you want to follow James May’s Oh Cook show in the kitchen. If you just want to chill with a Playlist, there’s Amazon Music, Apple Music and Spotify on tap too.

In photo frame mode, the Show displays snaps stored on Amazon Photos (remember, if you’re a Prime member, you get unlimited, full-resolution cloud photo storage).

We’re told the new Echo Show 8 also boasts an updated Octa-core processor - we asked Alexa what that actually means but she wasn’t too sure. Regardless, that’s a lot of tech for £119.99! Available to pre-order now, it begins shipping in June.

Echo Show 5

If you want a device that’s a little more compact, but offers much the same feature set, including TV and music streaming, there’s the Echo Show 5

This model also gets a camera upgrade over its predecessor, but it’s still just 2MP, so perhaps not the best option for video calling.

Buy it: All-new Echo Show 5 2nd generation (2021 release) | £74.99 from Amazon

All-new Echo Show 5 2nd generation (2021 release)
All-new Echo Show 5 2nd generation (2021 release)

I think the Show 5 is the better buy if you simply want some graphics with your Alexa weather update, alarms and calendar. It makes a great bedside companion. The new Show 5 also now gets a third colour option, Deep Sea Blue.

The Show 5 is also a useful hub for connected Smart devices, perhaps take a look at what your Ring security camera has picked up.

Quite a steal at £74.99, the second-gen Show 5 is also on pre-order now, and ships from June.

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