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Amazon releases new Echo Show smart devices: What you need to know

Amazon introduced three new Echo smart displays with better cameras and faster processing: the Echo Show 8, Echo Show 5 and all-new Echo Show 5 Kids.
Illustration of different Amazon Echos. New Echo Show smart displays are being released by Amazon, with more powerful cameras and video chat effects. What to know about the new Echo Show devices.
Amazon just released its second generation of Echo Show smart displays: The Echo Show 8, Echo Show 5 and all-new Echo Show 5 Kids.Courtesy Amazon

Amazon just released its second generation of Echo Show smart displays: The Echo Show 8, Echo Show 5 and all-new Echo Show 5 Kids. The new and improved Echo Show 8 comes with a better camera and more video chat features, and the more compact Echo Show 5 features a new color option, as well as a permanent price drop. The Echo Show 5 Kids includes many of the same features as the Echo Show 5, but with parental controls and kid-friendly designs.

These displays all come with new, built-in shutters over their cameras for increased privacy. Like other Show models, users can also easily control when the microphone or camera is turned on and have the ability to view and delete voice or video recordings. All devices are available for pre-order right now and will ship on June 9.

Echo Show 8 - 2nd Gen (pre-order)

The updated Echo Show 8 was refreshed with improved video chatting and work-from-home meetings in mind. This touchscreen display is the same price as the old model ($130) but sports a new, more powerful camera. The 13-megapixel sensor has a built-in camera shutter and wide-angle lens that can digitally pan the room and zoom in during calls, keeping you centered in the frame. Another new feature of the Show 8 is the new shared home screen, which allows approved users to share photos seamlessly with your device — Prime members have access to cloud photo storage with Amazon Photos.

If you’re looking to add some fun to your video calls, the Show 8 allows users to add visuals and animations to their videos by simply tapping on the screen. Although it won't be available at launch, soon, users will be able to add real-time reactions during a video call, including hearts, laughter emojis or confetti. Users can also change their video call backgrounds using Echo’s augmented reality effects, choosing from preset backgrounds (which include street art and classic paintings). The Echo Show also comes with Zoom compatibility, making it easy to meet with coworkers or loved ones.

The Echo Show 8 has an 8-inch HD display and includes an “octa-core” processor for faster performance. Like other Echo products, the Echo Show 8 equips dual speakers and built-in Alexa capabilities, allowing you to make calls and play music via voice command. Also like other Echo models, the Show 8 can support other streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu and Prime Video, making this display an all-in-one device for both working and relaxing at home.

The second generation Show 8 comes in two colors: Charcoal and Glacier White. Shoppers can also buy the device with an adjustable stand or Blink Mini security camera for an additional cost.

Echo Show 5 - 2nd Gen (pre-order)

The Show 5 is much more compact than the Show 8, with a 5.5-inch smart display. The updated Show 5 has slightly improved camera quality, increasing from one megapixels to two, and doesn’t have added features like the Show 8’s follow mode. But the Show 5 is more affordable, too, allowing for a permanent $5 drop from the previous Show 5 model.

Like the other Echo Show models, the Show 5 has built-in Alexa capabilities, allowing you to make calls, set reminders and play music via voice command. You can even set up a “Routine” command with Alexa, like turning on your favorite news broadcast when you walk into a room or turning off after a certain time. Users can also access the camera from their smartphone, allowing them to monitor their home while they’re away. The Show 5 is also compatible with apps like Spotify, Netflix, and Prime Video.

The new Show 5 comes in three colors: Charcoal, Glacier White and the new Deep Sea Blue. Like the Show 8, shoppers can also purchase an adjustable stand or Blink Mini security camera for an additional cost.

Echo Show 5 Kids (pre-order)

The all-new Echo Show 5 Kids offers both connectivity and privacy for young users. Kids can use the built-in Alexa to play videos or music and make calls with pre-approved contacts. Each device comes with easy-to-use parental controls, that allow parents to set bedtimes and video call limits and filter content. The device can also help with bedtime — kids can set their own alarm and listen to bedtime stories. And no need to worry about a broken display: All Show 5 Kids devices come with a 2-year worry-free guarantee, in which Amazon will replace broken devices for free.

The Echo Show 5 Kids comes with a fun, colorful Chameleon design and is compatible with streaming apps like Audible. It also features Disney content, including Alexa Skills like Disney Stories and the ability to set alarms using the voice of popular Disney characters from Moana to Olaf and Dory. The device comes with one year to Amazon Kids+, a streaming subscription service with access to thousands of kid-friendly shows, books and movies.

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