If you’ve ever used the last Amazon Echo Show 8, you mostly have a pretty good idea of what you’re going to get with this updated model: a decent screen with which to see things, a surprisingly good speaker.
And that’s still true going into this new iteration, one of several new Echo devices announced today. Even in our crowded, noisy demo area after Amazon’s fall devices event at its new HQ2 building in Arlington, Virginia, you could hear music (the sort your kids love) just fine. The speaker on this thing is still surprisingly good.
The real upgrades are going to require a more intimate setting to really get a handle on, though they’re easy enough to understand.
First is that the Echo Show 8 has a very conspicuous 13-megapixel camera centered along the top bezel — so you’re inspired to make calls and the like. It’s also redesigned — always a fun thing — and is faster. Those are all the good incremental upgrades you expect for $150.
But it’s the new Adaptive Content that’s really going to make this a better experience. The Echo Show 8 can tell when you’re close to it, or when you’re farther away, but still able to see it, and it’s going to adjust what’s on the screen accordingly. If you’ve ever used a Nest Hub Max, you already know how cool a feature that is — to see the device recognize where you are and change things up as you get right up on it.
It’s maybe not a game changer, but it’s still very cool. And kudos to Amazon for ensuring that it’ll hit the second-generation Echo Show 8 (and other Echo devices) in early 2024.
My biggest question at this point? Whether to go all-in on an Echo Hub for smart home control, or to make do — as if that’s a bad thing here — with an Echo Show 8.
You almost can’t go wrong either way.