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Amazon Echo Show 5 vs. Echo Show 8

Amazon offers smart displays in different sizes, including the 5.5-inch Echo Show 5 and the 8-inch Echo Show 8. The company announced the 2021 editions of the two popular smart displays, replacing their first-generation counterparts. However, you can still find the first-gen models selling at a discounted price.

Aside from the screen sizes, are these two smart displays different in any other areas? Check out our side-by-side comparison between the latest versions of the Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 to find out.

You can also take a look at some of the best Amazon Echo deals happening right now if you’re looking to buy.

Size does matter — for picture quality and sound

The Echo Show 5’s screen measures in at 5.5 inches, with a 960 x 480 resolution. Meanwhile, the Echo Show 8 has an 8-inch screen with a higher-quality 1280 x 800 resolution. The Show 8 also has better audio hardware, with two larger 2-inch speakers compared to the Echo Show 5’s single 1.65-inch speaker. There’s certainly a clear winner in terms of audio performance, as the larger Echo Show 8 delivers louder volumes and more bass to cover larger spaces. Even though the Echo Show 5 is sufficient for small spaces, it doesn’t have the same room-filling sounds produced by the Echo Show 8.

The Echo Show 8 measures in at 7.9 by 5.4 by 3.9 inches, with a total weight of 36.6 ounces. This puts it closer in size to the original Echo Show 10 than to the Echo Show 5, but without the same chunky bezels around the screen. That extra size in the original Echo Show 10 also housed a Zigbee smart home hub, something neither of these devices offers.

How they look and perform

Amazon Echo Show 8 2021 angled view
John Velasco / Digital Trends

The Echo Show 8 has the same slim aesthetics as its smaller cousin, along with the same slanted design that allows it to sit upright. The two smart displays look almost identical at first glance, except the Show 8 is larger.

The larger screen size of the Echo Show 8 makes it perfect for reading off recipes while you’re cooking or for using it as a digital photo album. Video calling will also be much-improved thanks to the HD screen and 13-megapixel camera of the Echo Show 8, which allows users to freely move around during video phone calls because the camera can digitally pan and zoom to track your movement. You can’t do that with the 2-megapixel camera of the Echo Show 5, so you’ll need to remain stationary and in front of the smart display to conduct video calls.

The Amazon Echo Show 8 comes in two colors: Charcoal and glacier white. Meanwhile, the Echo Show 5 adds a third color — deep sea blue. Due to the color options and size differences, the Echo Show 5 is a device that feels more at home on a nightstand or coffee table as a clock or photo frame. The larger silhouette of the Echo Show 8 looks better in a kitchen or living room space.

Privacy and features

Amazon Echo Show 8 2021 camera closeup
John Velasco / Digital Trends

Both the Echo Show 5 and the Echo Show 8 have the same privacy features. You can disconnect the camera and the microphone by sliding a switch, which slides a plastic shutter over the camera for an additional layer of security.

Aside from these basic hardware features, all versions of the Echo Show can serve as a control center for dozens of other smart devices. Control your lights, security system, smart television, and much more with a spoken command. You will also be able to make Alexa kid-friendly by activating Amazon FreeTime. Amazon FreeTime is a subscription-based service ($2.99 per month) that provides access to thousands of Audible books, kid-friendly videos through Amazon Prime Video, and ad-free radio — all while filtering explicit content and staying kid-friendly.

The Echo Show can act as a display for your security system, too. If a compatible smart camera or smart doorbell picks up activity, you can display its view on your Echo Show 5 or Echo Show 8 so you never have to get out of bed or off the couch to check on what’s happening outside of your home.

Which should you buy?

As for pricing, the Echo Show 8 retails for $130, while the Echo Show 5 has a retail price of $85. However, during shopping holidays like Prime Day, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, you can often find both Echo Shows on sale for around half their retail prices.

Amazon’s continued support of earlier versions means customers don’t need to worry about purchasing a near-obsolete smart device. When choosing between the two Echo Shows, think about where you want to put the smart display and how you intend to us the device. The Show 5 is better suited for a desk or a nightstand, while the Show 8 is better for recipes, entertainment, and calls.

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