Echo Show 8 review: Amazon’s best Alexa smart display gets better

Amazon has recently released the third-generation Echo Show 8, and one of its standout features is the addition of widgets. These widgets transform the smart display into an efficient touchscreen controller, making it easier to access the information you want without relying solely on voice commands. With widgets, the Echo Show 8 becomes almost as useful as a tablet or phone, allowing you to quickly check your calendar, select a recent playlist, or even control your smart home devices like turning on the kitchen lights. The best part is that anyone in your household can use it, making it a versatile device for everyone.

However, if you already own the second-generation Echo Show 8, this new feature might not be a compelling enough reason to upgrade. Amazon has also made the wise decision to bring widgets to the second-gen model, making it a more affordable option for those who don’t need the additional features of the latest version. The second-gen Show 8 is currently on sale for $60, down from $129.99, making it a tempting choice.

That being said, the new Echo Show 8 does come with some other notable upgrades. It is the first Amazon smart display that functions as a fully fledged smart home hub. Not only is it a Zigbee hub and a Thread border router, but it also serves as a Matter controller and Sidewalk hub. This means you can easily add and control a wide range of smart devices in your home. Additionally, the new Show 8 is equipped with Amazon’s AZ2 chip, which improves touchscreen responsiveness and makes Alexa faster.

If you’re just starting to build a smart home setup or looking to add a smart display to your existing setup, the new Echo Show 8 is a great option. It provides all the functionality you’d expect from an Alexa smart speaker with a screen, including hands-free features, video calling, and visual answers to questions. It even doubles as a digital photo frame, offering a decent display for your favorite memories.

It’s worth noting that as an Amazon device, the Echo Show 8 does come with some Amazon bloatware. The screen is a tool to entice you to spend more money on Amazon products, but you can easily disable most of the unwanted features. With a little effort, you can turn the Echo Show 8 into a satisfying digital photo frame or a functional smart display that meets your specific needs.

Overall, the third-generation Echo Show 8 is an impressive device with its new features and enhanced sound quality. However, if you already own the second-gen model and don’t need the latest upgrades, it might not be worth the upgrade. The second-gen Show 8 offers a similar experience at a more affordable price. But for those in the market for a smart home controller or a versatile smart display, the new Echo Show 8 is definitely worth considering.

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