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Echo Show 5 vs 8 (2021): Comparing Amazon Smart Displays

The newest sizes of Amazon’s popular Echo Show provide more options for every day use. On the one hand, you have the Echo Show 5 which seems to fit perfectly as a bedside smart display, while on the other is the Echo Show 8, the mid-point version for desks and kitchen counters. Of course, the Echo Shows are more flexible than that, so we look deeper into their features to help you decide which Amazon smart display will work best for your needs.

Echo Show 5 vs 8 Smart Display Comparison Chart

ModelEcho Show 5Echo Show 8
 Echo Show 5 Smart DisplayEcho Show 8 Smart Display
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions5.8″ x 3.4″ x 2.9″7.9″ x 5.4″ x 3.9″
Weight14.5 oz36.6 oz
Display5.5″8″
Resolution960 x 4801280 x 800
ProcessorMediaTek MT 8163MediaTek MT 8163
Speakers1 x 1.7″ @ 4W2 x 2.0″ @ 10W
Dolby ProcessingNoNo
Mics24
Camera1 MP1 MP
Camera ShutterYesYes
Smart Home HubCertified for HumansCertified for Humans
Wi-FiYesYes
BluetoothYesYes
Amazon AlexaBuilt-inBuilt-in

Design

The Echo Show 8 has a bigger screen than the Echo Show 5.

You can see the relative size difference between the Echo Show 5 (left) and Echo Show 8 (right) here.

The biggest and most visible difference between the Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 is their sizes. From this crucial factor you should already get a much clearer idea of which smart display will work for you better: just think where you’re going to be placing it and what you want to use it for.

The smaller form of the Echo Show 5 allows it to fit into bedside tables and busy office desks much easier, especially if you only need the display for quick information you can get with a glance. Meanwhile, the larger Echo Show 8 is much better suited for watching video, especially from a distance.

Disregarding their sizes, the Echo Show 5 and 8 have highly similar designs. Their backs are covered with textured fabric material. They sport large bezels around the touchscreen and they’re titled for optimal viewing angles. If you want to change this angle, you’ll need to get the adjustable stand separately or else tuck something under them.

Other notable design elements present on both that are further discussed below include an on/off button for the mic and camera as well as a physical camera shutter. You can choose between Charcoal and Sandstone for your Echo Show color, too.

Video and Audio Quality

The Echo Show 8 has better video and sound quality than the Echo Show 5.

Enjoy movies, sports, the news, and more on the larger Echo Show 8.

With a higher resolution of 1280 x 800, the Echo Show 8 easily has a crisper picture quality than the Echo Show 5, which only has a 960 x 480 display. If you want to watch your favorite TV show while cooking, for example, the larger screen and better resolution of the Echo Show 8 will make it more enjoyable. Plus, following cooking shows is also easier with the larger image of the 8.

In addition, the Echo Show 8 features richer audio with its dual 2.0-inch 10-watt drivers and passive base radiator. Meanwhile, the Echo Show 5 only has a single 1.7-inch 4-watt driver, so expect some loss in quality with louder volume settings. Both smart displays have 3.5 mm stereo audio outputs though if you want to use external speakers.

As mentioned, the smaller display of the Echo Show 5 makes it fine for checking on security camera feeds, displaying the time, showing search results, etc. However, reading smaller text, flipping through photo albums, and video-calling are all generally better on the Echo Show 8.

Camera

The Echo Show 5 and 8 have similar cameras.

Hop on video calls with family and friends on either Echo Show 5 (shown above) and 8.

The same 1 MP camera sensor can be found on both Echo Show 5 and 8, making it a slight upside for the more affordable and smaller device. As you can expect, it’s nothing special really, especially when compared to selfie cameras on most smartphones, but it’s pretty nice to be able to call someone simply by telling Alexa to do so. You also get more value from video doorbells that allow two-way communication such as those from Ring and Blink.

The Echo Show 8 has two more mics than the Echo Show 5 so anyone listening on the other end will likely have an easier time understanding you on the 8. Amazon added a nice touch on the Echo Show 5, and thoughtfully included it on the Echo Show 8 as well, with the physical camera shutter. So in addition to an on-off button for the mic and camera, you also have a more visible way of covering the camera.

Smart Features

The Echo Show 5 and 8 can control your smart home devices with Alexa.

With the Echo Show’s built-in Alexa, you can control connected devices via voice commands.

Like other Amazon Echo devices, you can manage all compatible smart home devices with both Echo Show 5 and 8. You can also choose between using the interactive display or by simply telling Alexa what to do. The Echo Show works particularly well with baby monitors and security cameras since you can check their feeds right there and then.

You can further create daily routines or set up a calendar for appointments and other tasks using Alexa as your personal assistant. It’s also great to quickly check traffic conditions and weather forecasts before heading out. If you have an Amazon Photos account or similar supported online service, you can showcase photo albums, too. There are thousands of skills available for Alexa and nearly all of them are improved by the smart displays of the Echo Show 5 and 8.

Verdict

The Echo Show 8 is sized just right compared to the Echo Show 5.

In nearly every way the Echo Show 8 feels like it’s just the right size compared to its siblings. Its display is neither too compact nor too large for watching videos, reading music lyrics, or browsing other content. In fact, its sharper resolution makes it the best Echo Show in terms of overall picture quality. Plus, you get nicer audio, too. Even better, its mid-tier pricing gives it that satisfying achievement of getting something with great value for the price.

If you don’t really need a big display and are content with a small screen for extra functionality, the Echo Show 5 is still your best bet for a lower-priced smart display. You get the same camera and privacy toggles as the more updated Echo Show 8, along with all of the voice control capabilities and features.

FAQs

📌 Is Echo Show 8 worth buying?

Yes, it is. In fact, we recommend the Echo Show 8 over the other two sizes as we think it combines the best features of both. The Echo Show 8 has a larger display and better sound quality than the Echo Show 5 without the hefty price tag of the Echo Show 10 (2nd Gen).

📌 What’s the difference between Echo Show and Echo Show 5?

The original and 2nd-Gen Echo Show have a 10-inch display and better speakers than the Echo Show 5, which only has a 5.5-inch screen.

📌 Can the Echo Show 5 play Netflix?

No, all of the Echo Show devices do not support Netflix. They can play video content from Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, NBC, Bloomberg, and more, though.

📌 Can you install apps on Echo Show?

No, Echo Show devices can only run Alexa skills and have no extra internal storage to download and run apps.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.