Amazon is refreshing a handful of products in its Echo line: the Echo Show 8 and the Echo Show 5, as well as incorporating the Kids Edition of the Echo Show. The big new feature on both models is the camera, but the upgrade is more impressive on the larger Echo Show 8. It now has the same 13-megapixel sensor that you will find on the Echo Show 10. Instead of sliding the screen around, the Echo Show 8 offers a wider, as does the 10. 110 degree field of view. Within that range, it performs pan and zoom tricks to keep the subjects centered in the frame.
To power that trick and some other new software features, Amazon says that there is a new “octa-core” processor inside the Echo Show 8.. Otherwise, this is the same Echo Show 8 that we reviewed in 2019, with dual speakers and one of the two options. White or Charcoal Gray. It still sells at the same price, $ 129.99.
Other software tricks include using the camera to detect if a person has walked into the room and then turning that information into a routine (such as turning on the lights). Amazon emphasizes that this is an opt-in sole feature and even requires users to manually punch in code during setup to ensure that they actually want to turn it on. It also works to find its human size locally.
Amazon will allow all Echo 8 and 5 devices to turn on Alexa’s security mode, allowing you to remotely view cameras from your phone. Finally, Echo Show 8 is getting new AR effects for Amazon’s own video chat service, including “feedback” such as filling the screen with hearts or setting up a custom virtual background.
As for the smaller (and more popular) Echo Show 5, the upgrades are less impressive. The camera is doubling from one megapixel to two in resolution. It will not have the horsepower to follow mode on the camera. However, the Echo Show 5 is getting a permanent price drop; It is now $ 84.99. It comes in the same charcoal and white colors but adds a new blue option.
If you want to spend $ 10 more, you can get the Kids version of the Echo Show 5 with a wild print on the rear fabric. That extra $ 10 also includes a year of Amazon Kids Plus services and a two-year warranty against anything that could harm your child.
All three versions of the Echo show should be available for immediate order, but shipping may take a few weeks – even Amazon is not completely immune to chip shortages, it seems. As for fans of the Echo Spot Orb, it is not seeing any updates today and in all likelihood it will not make a comeback – Amazon tells us that most customers opted for the Echo Show 5 instead.