When I say Echo Exhibit 8 (

$90 at Amazon

), what is actually your initial believed? If it’s, “there are previously 8 of them?” I comprehend. No, this is essentially only the fourth Alexa-enabled good display screen from Amazon — and it has an 8-inch monitor. Squeezed among its significant-conclusion 10-inch and price range 5-inch siblings, the Exhibit 8 features the ideal mix of features and design perks to justify its center-child existence — and it’s the finest immediate competitor with Google’s Nest Hub.

Like

  • The Echo Exhibit 8 has sound sound excellent and monitor resolution.
  • The $one hundred thirty rate tag can make the Exhibit 8 a single of the finest midrange good shows on the market.
  • The physical camera shutter is a smaller, good addition to soothe privateness worries.

Never Like

  • The interface isn’t really as easy or consumer helpful as Google’s Nest Hubs.
  • You won’t be able to call up YouTube videos by voice.

In truth, if you are pondering of obtaining a good display screen for your countertop, the Exhibit 8 may just be the finest product for the rate. Not only has it previously strike $eighty sale prices, but it also even for its full $one hundred thirty rate tag, it’s a sound deal.


Chris Monroe/CNET

Fitting in with the crowd

Amazon is presently rounding out its two central product strains of good speakers and shows. In excess of the earlier handful of months by itself, we’ve gotten a new Amazon Echo, Echo Dot with Clock, Echo Studio, Echo Exhibit 5 and now the Exhibit 8. There’s a sample: Each product line has a papa bear, mama bear and toddler bear possibility. Amazon is hoping a single of these equipment will be just ideal for you.

Echo’s line of good shows would not just increase dumb screens to good speakers. These equipment equip the voice assistant Alexa with online video chatting and streaming, they perform with Ring doorbells to display screen your entrance doorway, they can offer cooking support in the kitchen (examine far more about Amazon’s new partnership with Foods Network to convey lessons from specialist cooks to your kitchen). They even give contact controls for the good residence. For $one hundred thirty (£120), the Echo Exhibit 8 actually does pack in a ton of helpful smarts — and it’s previously on sale for a cool $100 (£60). It really is not yet out there in Australia.

Third believed, finest believed

Critics may argue that the Echo Exhibit 8 would not convey any new features to the countertop. That’s correct, but as with October’s Echo Dot with Clock, the Exhibit 8 is much less about grand innovation than good iteration.

The Exhibit 8 brings far more heft than the Exhibit 5 (which is cheaper by $40): a monitor that is larger than a propped-up phone, relatively sharp 1,280×800-pixel resolution and a pair of sound two-inch speakers. What’s far more, the Exhibit 8 steals the Exhibit 5’s finest thoughts, like the physical camera shutter and sunrise alarms (although for some reason, Amazon didn’t include the 5’s faucet to snooze characteristic).

I specially like the shutter. The next-gen Echo Exhibit (

$one hundred eighty at Amazon

) would not have any design characteristic to disconnect the camera. Though Google opted for a destroy switch for the camera and microphone on the Nest Hub Max (

$229 at Walmart

), Amazon has bundled a physical shutter on its final two shows. From a privateness standpoint, I am a enthusiast of Amazon not demanding we just “belief them.” I can look at the Exhibit 8, see that the shutter is shut and be 100% sure that I am not staying viewed.

echo-show-8-2

Chris Monroe/CNET

An additional good contact is that the monitor, while sporting the exact same resolution as the 10-inch Exhibit from final yr, works by using a new characteristic to improve the image excellent over that more substantial display screen. Though pictures would not surface any sharper (other than by merit of the pixel count on the smaller display screen), progressive scanning implies fewer visible artifacts will surface on monitor. It really is an addition handful of casual users will recognize day to day, but it’s a helpful excellent-of-lifetime improve that you can expect to truly feel over time.

Chatting to myself

Though the Exhibit 8 is a very clear improve from its predecessors, it seems to fall limited in a single large place: The camera is only 1 megapixel, as opposed to the 5-megapixel camera on the next-gen Exhibit. Lessen-megapixel cameras typically make blurry effects, and honestly, I was taken aback when I read that spec.

echo-show-8-1

Chris Monroe/CNET

But when I online video chatted with myself working with the next-gen Exhibit and the Exhibit 8, the feed from the 5-megapixel camera essentially seemed far more pixelated than the a single captured by the decrease-excellent cam. What ever the reason, the decrease-excellent camera, in this situation, essentially produced constantly increased excellent effects for me.

The bottom line is this: the excess $100 for the Echo Exhibit isn’t really necessarily going to translate to increased online video chat image excellent, so that 1-megapixel camera should not dissuade you from opting for the cheaper Exhibit 8 rather.

Keeping an ear to the counter

When it will come to sound excellent on the Echo Exhibit 8, you may be pleasantly amazed. The pair of 2-inch speakers are a little smaller than the 2.2-inch speakers in the 10-inch Exhibit, and you can listen to the slight variation in sound excellent, especially at increased volumes. When you press it, the Exhibit 8 starts sounding a little buzzy, and it would not have the selection and difference of the Echo standalone speaker or 10-inch Echo Exhibit.

But the Echo Exhibit 8’s sound excellent is significantly increased than the far more diminutive Exhibit 5, which only has a solitary 1.seven-inch speaker. In truth, established facet-by-facet with the most current Amazon Echo good speaker, the Exhibit 8 generates rather equivalent effects — as extended as you hold the volume in the center of its selection.

echo-show-8-4

Chris Monroe/CNET

Alexa and the monitor

In spite of chopping the Zigbee receiver from the next-gen Exhibit and the faucet-to-snooze characteristic of Exhibit 5, the Exhibit 8 may be the finest Alexa-enabled good display screen. But that would not imply it’s the finest display screen altogether. Though I like the blend of clever features — and as importantly, the rate tag connected to them — Google’s good shows do boast a improved consumer working experience.

It really is difficult to evaluate the Exhibit 8 right to the Nest Hub (

$ninety nine at Walmart

) — Google’s $one hundred thirty seven-inch display screen — because that would not even have a camera. And the Nest Hub Max, which does include a significant excellent camera, charges $230. But a single thing both equally Nest Hubs share is a smoother interface than Echo Exhibit 8’s. The monitor is far more responsive, the camera can stick to your encounter if you wander around while online video chatting and you can accessibility videos on YouTube with a uncomplicated voice command.

Amazon’s running method is bettering, but in contrast to Google’s, it nevertheless lags — a jarring working experience if you are accustomed to the responsiveness of present day smartphones and tablets.

That minor complaint aside, I am pleased to advise the Exhibit 8. For $one hundred thirty, it’s the smartest Amazon display screen for the rate. It combines the finest of the relaxation and has a cam and improved sound excellent than the Nest Hub.