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Echo Show 8 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen (2022): What’s The Difference?

The best smart displays offer reliable voice assistant service with excellent hardware. Amazon’s Echo Show is perhaps the device that lives most to this expectation. The 8-inch Echo Show is arguably the favorite in the lineup as it comes in just the right size for most homes. The Echo Show 8 1st Gen, released in 2019, became a hit for its form and features. Its follow-up, the Echo Show 8 2nd Gen, brings minimal changes in the display’s design but offers some upgrades inside. Are these new features worth upgrading from the 1st Gen? Read our review below to find out.

Echo Show 8 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen Comparison Chart

ModelEcho Show 8 (2nd Gen 2021 Release)Echo Show 8 (1st Gen 2019 Release)
 
PriceCheck at AmazonCheck at Amazon
Display8-inch touch screen8-inch touch screen
Display Resolution1280 x 8001280 x 800
Adaptive Color ScreenYesNo
OrientationLandscapeLandscape
Camera13 MP with built-in shutter1 MP with built-in shutter
Speakers2-inch neodymium speakers with passive bass radiator2-inch neodymium speakers with passive bass radiator
ConnectivityDual-band Wi-Fi, BluetoothDual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
ProcessorMediaTek MT 8183MediaTek MT 8163
Amazon AlexaBuilt-inBuilt-in
Alexa CompatibilityFire OS, iOS, Android devicesFire OS, iOS, Android devices
Dimensions7.9 x 5.4 x 3.9 in.7.9 x 5.4 x 3.9 in.
Weight36.6 oz.36.6 oz.
WarrantyOne-year limited warrantyOne-year limited warranty

Design and Display

The Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 8 2nd generation are virtually identical devices.

Echo Show 8 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen Design and Display
Both the Echo Show 8 2nd Gen (left) and 1st Gen (right) sport the same 8-inch touch screen display.

When comparing the Echo Show 8 vs 2nd Gen, design upgrades are part of the conversation. However, a glance at the two shows virtually identical devices. Both Echo Show 8 models sport a trapezoid-like form with a thick base.

On the other hand, the Echo Show 8‘s wedge-shaped backs house the speakers covered in a mesh-like fabric. Unlike the frame style of the Echo Show 15, the Echo Show 8 is designed to stay upright in landscape orientation โ€” just like the Echo Show 5 and 10.

Now, there are no changes to the actual display type, too. Amazon’s Echo Show 8 2nd Gen and 1st Gen come with 8-inch touch screens. You get a similar 1280 x 800p resolution for both. They also come in the same Glacier White and Charcoal color options and weigh a little over 36 oz.

Hardware

The Echo Show 8 2nd Gen gets an upgraded camera and a faster processor.

Echo Show 8 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen Hardware Comparison
Built-in camera shutter on the Echo Show 8 2nd Gen (left); the Echo Show 8 1st Gen as a photo display (right).

On the surface, it’s hard to tell the Echo Show 8 2nd Gen from the 1st Gen but under the hood, the latest iteration distinguishes itself with a massive camera upgrade. The original Echo Show 8 only had a 1 MP camera, which was decent at best. On the 2nd Gen, Amazon has given the Echo Show 8 a 13 MP lens.

To enjoy media and content faster, the latest Echo Show 8 gets a boost in performance, too. The 2nd Gen now runs on an eight-core MediaTek 8183 processor. This should mean improvements in running apps, touchscreen feedback, and voice assistant response.

Besides the camera and processor, the rest of the hardware is more or less the same. Both Echo Show 8 models come with four microphones. There is also a dedicated mic/camera off button and built-in camera shutter. For users who value privacy, these features should be a huge draw.

However, Amazon has ditched the 3.5mm audio jack on the 2nd Gen, which means you can’t connect it to a speaker via a wire anymore.

Video and Audio Calls

While the Echo Show 1st Gen and 2nd Gen enjoy the same Drop In feature, the latest iteration’s upgraded camera makes for better video calls.

Echo Show 8 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen Video and Audio Quality
Voice controls on the Echo Show 8 2nd Gen (left); hands-free commands for video calls on the 1st Gen (right).

The Echo Show 8 1st Gen and 2nd Gen both support Drop In, an instant way to connect to your family and friends. Of course, this only works if they have devices that support the feature, too, typically another Echo Show or speaker.

Now, Drop In does not require anyone to answer the call. If your contact has granted you permission to connect, you can make video and audio calls anytime. This should come in handy if you need to check on someone who may not be physically able to answer their Echo device.

Given its hardware upgrades, however, the Echo Show 8 2nd Gen offers better video call quality than the 1st Gen. A 1 MP camera is simply no match for a 13 MP lens. This makes video calls on the 2nd Gen a lot more enjoyable than before. The new camera also comes with auto-framing, so you’re always in focus during video calls.

Smart Features and Content

Amazon’s Echo Show 8 2nd Gen enjoys upgraded smart features over the Echo Show 1st Gen.

Echo Show 8 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen Smart Features
On the Echo Show 8 2nd gen, you can trigger Routines by motion (left); connect your 1st Gen with monitoring cameras (right).

What are smart displays without smart features, right? On both models of the Echo Show 8, you get a handful. Like other Echo Show devices, these smart displays have Alexa built-in. You can use the voice assistant to stream music, manage your schedule, or play video content. Amazon shares that the Echo Show 8 2nd and 1st Gen come with Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Apple Music, and Audible.

Both Echo Show 8 devices can also work as a smart hub to control your smart home devices. These include smart lights, security cameras, and Amazon’s own Ring Video doorbells. You can also automate your day โ€” from turning the lights on to reading the day’s weather forecast โ€” with the Echo Show courtesy of Alexa Routines.

However, with the Echo Show 8 2nd Gen, Routines don’t just rely on voice commands. Its upgraded camera comes with a motion sensor that can trigger automation when you walk into the room. Homeowners can also see a live view of the 2nd Gen’s camera remotely using the Alexa app. This turns the smart display into a home monitoring device.

Verdict

While the design is unchanged, the hardware upgrades to the Echo Show 8 2nd Gen are enough for you to choose it over the Echo Show 8 1st Gen.

If you’re in the market for a smart display, the Echo Show 8 is an excellent choice. For many homeowners, it’s just the right size. It’s small enough like the Echo Show 5 but big enough like the Echo Show 10. It’s a compact device that doesn’t sacrifice screen real estate. And for a smart display, you certainly want a screen where you can do more.

While it does cost more, the Echo Show 8 2nd Gen is worth the investment. Its upgraded 13 MP camera alone makes all the difference when you’re using Amazon’s smart display. Together with a faster processer and a handful of new features, the 2nd Gen feels more complete than the Echo Show 8 1st Gen. In this case, you’re better off spending $20 more than saving it.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the key difference between the Echo Show 8 1st Gen and 2nd Gen?

The second-generation Echo Show 8 comes with an upgraded 13 MP camera and a faster eight-core processer. On the first-generation Echo Show 8, you only have a 1 MP camera and a four-core processor.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can I connect the Echo Show 8 with my Ring Video Doorbell?

Yes, you can. The Echo Show 8 can be connected to your Ring Video Doorbell. Once connected, you can use the Echo Show 8 to display footage from your Ring Video Doorbell.

๐Ÿ“Œ What are the Echo Show 8 prices?

The first-generation Echo Show 8 sells for $109. On the other hand, the second-generation Echo Show 8 retails for $129.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Echo Show 8 2nd Gen come with an adaptive color screen?

Yes. Amazon’s Echo Show 8 2nd Gen boasts an adaptive color display. This allows it to adjust the color and white balance of the screen depending on the lighting inside a room.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.