In the battle for smart display supremacy, Google and Amazon have taken turns refining their midsized models with second-generation iterations. The Google Nest Hub, for instance, brings innovative features like sleep tracking and gesture control. On the other hand, the 2021 release of the Echo Show 8 includes an upgraded camera and a more powerful processor. Google’s Nest Hub has dropped its price to almost half the Echo Show 8‘s 2nd Gen model. Now that it’s a budget option, how does it fare against its rival? And while you’re at it, check out our other Nest review.
2-inch neodymium speakers with passive bass radiator
Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Quad-core 64-bit 1.9 GHz ARM CPU
MediaTek MT 8183
Built-in Voice Assistant
Video Call Support
Video Doorbell Integration
7 x 4.7 x 2.7 inches
7.9 x 5.4 x 3.9 inches
Google’s Nest Hub has a more sophisticated form than the Echo Show 8.
While the Google Nest Hub and Amazon Echo Show 8 are comparably-sized displays, they are different in terms of the overall aesthetic. The Nest Hub mounts its 7-inch touchscreen on a fabric-covered base. This base, which is available in four colors, houses the speakers. On the other hand, the screen is slim and sleek, with modest bezels and rounded corners.
In contrast, the Echo Show 8 has a trapezoid-like form steadied by a wedge-shaped rear section. Unlike the Echo Show 15, the mid-sized Echo only stays upright in landscape orientation. Similar to the Nest Hub, its back also houses the speaker in a fabric-mesh finish. However, Amazon limits the color options of its smart display to just black and white.
The Nest Hub’s touchscreen offers a 1024 x 600 resolution. Meanwhile, the Echo Show 8 boasts a larger 8-inch touchscreen, hence the name, with a 1280 x 800 resolution. Both devices have some form of adaptive brightness with their displays that adjusts based on room lighting.
In terms of hardware, Google has placed several sensors on the Nest Hub. These include the Google Soli that’s designed to detect motion. The Soli is also flanked by far-field microphones that also emit ultrasonic pulses to detect user proximity.
You don’t have any of these intelligent sensors on the Echo Show 8. Instead, you get standard mics and some control buttons. But it does boast a camera, something missing from the Nest Hub.
Camera and Audio
While both devices are tied in audio performance, the addition of a camera means the Echo Show 8 can be used for video calls.
Amazon insists on differentiating the Echo Show from other smart displays, especially the Nest Hub. So aside from the touchscreen and built-in voice assistant, the Echo Show 8 offers video calls. Its possible through a 13MP camera, a huge upgrade from the 1MP lens on the First Gen. Combined with the upgraded 8-core processor, this makes the video calls on the Echo Show 8 clear and fast.
Its 13MP camera comes with auto-framing, so you can move around a room but still be in focus. The Echo Show 8 also supports a feature called Drop In. It’s an instant way to connect with other compatible Echo devices. Drop In does not require anyone to answer the call. You can make video and audio calls anytime if your contact has granted permission to connect.
Google’s Nest Hub doesn’t have a camera. Instead, the device relies on its sensors to carry out advanced functions without privacy implications. Amazon’s answer to this problem is a built-in privacy shutter on the Echo Show 8. It also comes with a mic/camera on and off button.
Regarding audio systems, the latest iteration of the Nest Hub brings some improvements, too. Google says the 2nd Gen model offers 50% more bass than the original. It also boasts a three-array microphone for better voice recognition. The Echo Show 8 challenges the Nest Hub by bringing in a two-speaker setup with a passive bass radiator.
Google’s Nest Hub has more intelligent features than the Echo Show 8.
As expected, the Nest Hub and Echo Show 8 pack several features in their compact form. From smart home integration to content streaming, these are multimedia devices in their own right.
The Google Nest Hub can be controlled by mere gestures, thanks to its Soli sensor. We’re not just talking about voice controls here. Hand movements like waves are enough to skip tracks, snooze an alarm, or stop a timer. The Echo Show 8 offers something similar, although not as intelligent. It can also detect motion to trigger what it calls Routines. For instance, with the Echo Show 8 connected to other smart devices like lights, just walking inside the room can turn them on.
While they’re not the biggest smart displays, the Nest Hub and Echo Show 8 support content streaming. Google’s device supports Spotify, Apple Music, and Netflix. Of course, it also enjoys seamless integration with Google services like YouTube Music and YouTube TV. Plus, your favorite apps like Notes and Gmail are much easier to access.
Similarly, the Echo Show 8‘s media services are Amazon-owned. These include Amazon Music, Prime Video, and Audible. The device supports Hulu, Netflix, and Apple Music, too. And while it’s not marketed, the Echo Show 8 can load content from YouTube channels.
Both devices offer practical features — from browsing recipes to creating reminders. They also have built-in browsers, but the Nest Hub wins thanks to the intuitiveness of Chrome. Google and Amazon have equipped their respective displays with feature-rich keyboards. However, it’s not exactly something you’d use on a device like the Nest Hub or Echo Show 8.
The Nest Hub has Google Assistant built-in, while the Echo Show uses Amazon Alexa. Neither units are compatible with their respective voice assistants. Nonetheless, both devices integrate with several smart devices. For instance, the Nest Hub and Echo Show can stream live views from Google’s Nest doorbells and Amazon’s Ring doorbells, respectively. They also work with third-party devices, including smart locks and smart lights.
But the Nest Hub’s marquee feature is arguably Sleep Sense. Using its array of sensors, the smart display can also track your sleep like a wearable. Of course, you miss out on more comprehensive insights like sleep stages with a bedside-style device. But the data you get is often more digestible than what a Fitbit or Apple watch will offer.
While it lacks a camera, the Google Nest Hub’s smart features make it arguably the best smart display of its size. But if you prefer Amazon content, the Echo Show 8 will be better.
The Google Nest Hub and Echo Show 8 are two of the best midsize displays in the market. They also share several features in common, like smart home integration and content streaming. Taking into account Google’s interface, the Nest Hub is the more intuitive device. It also has innovative features like sleep tracking and intelligent motion gestures. The Echo Show 8‘s appeal comes from the camera. While privacy concerns prevent Google from adding one to the Nest Hub, the Echo Show 8 mitigates this problem with a privacy shutter. If you want video calls or prefer Amazon media service, then the Echo Show 8 will be to your liking.
📌 What’s the difference between the Google Nest Hub and Echo Show 8?
The Echo Show 8 supports video calls, smart home integration, and content streaming. Except for video calls, Google’s Nest Hub has the same features while also adding sleep tracking.
📌 How long is the warranty of the Echo Show 8?
Amazon’s Echo Show 8 enjoys a one-year limited warranty.
📌 What are the different Echo Show 8 colors?
The Echo Show 8 2nd Gen comes in Charcoal and Glaciar White colors.
📌 Can I get the Google Nest Hub in a bundle?
Yes. Google offers Nest Hub bundles that include the Nest Cam, Nest Doorbell, or both.