Amazon Echo Show 8 Review

This eight-inch touchscreen display from Amazon comes with Alexa, the company's trusted voice assistant.

By
&
Aliza VigdermanGabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Jul 6, 2020
7.5
/10
Editor's Rating
Whether you want to listen to music, watch movies, or even get a recipe for delicious chocolate cookies, this eight-inch touchscreen from Amazon does it all. It even gives you access to Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant, which has over 50,000 skills to choose from.
Page Contents

Are you in the Amazon smart home ecosystem and thinking about adding another display to your collection? Or maybe you have absolutely no IoT devices and want to get started. No matter where you’re at, the Amazon Echo Show 8 is a solid option, with an eight-inch screen and access to over 50,000 Alexa skills. But for $129.99, this is a decision you don’t want to take lightly, which is why I tested out the Echo Show 8 myself to see how well it worked. What were the results? Keep reading this Amazon Echo Show review to find out!

Amazon Echo Show 8 Pros and Cons

Echo Show 8 and Box
Echo Show 8 and Box

To cut to the chase, here are my favorite and least favorite things about the Echo Show 8.

What We Like
  • Eight-inch screen: Watch TV and movies or video chat on the second-largest Echo screen yet.
  • Alexa: The most popular voice assistant, Alexa has skills in any area you could think of, be it games, health, cooking, and more.
  • Amazon shopping: Being able to order things from Amazon hands-free will certainly make things more convenient when you’re on the go.
What We Don’t Like
  • Price: At $129.99, the Echo Show 8 certainly isn’t the cheapest smart home platform around.
  • No Dolby processing: The Echo Show 8’s speaker isn’t the best available on the market today.
  • No Zigbee: If you have any Zigbee products, you won’t be able to connect them through the Echo Show 8.

Amazon Echo Show 8 Design

The Headspace Action on the Echo Show 8
The Headspace Action on the Echo Show 8

The Echo Show 8 appears like a tiny TV screen, available in charcoal or white. Plugged in to power, the device uses Wi-Fi to communicate with other connected devices in your home as well as the Alexa app. Of course, it has an eight-inch touchscreen, and is 5.4 inches wide and 3.9 inches deep. The Echo Show 8 does have a 1MP camera with a built-in shutter button for privacy (the same goes for the two microphones), plus two-inch speakers. The screen’s display is 1280 x 800p, the highest quality Amazon has to offer.

Installing the Amazon Echo Show 8

Setting up the Echo Show 8 was incredibly simple. I just plugged in the device, added it to my Wi-Fi network and signed into my Amazon account. It doesn’t require any special app. Woohoo!

Amazon Echo Show 8 Features

Alexa Skills on the Echo Show 8 Box
Alexa Skills on the Echo Show 8 Box

When it comes to features, the Echo Show 8 isn’t limited, with both a camera, screen, speakers, and a microphone. You’ll have access to Alexa, the most popular voice assistant, which has over 50,000 skills. Just say the wake word “Alexa” to ask your Echo Show 8 for your schedule, the day’s weather, and thousands of other capabilities. Let’s go into more detail.

Music

Listening to Spotify on the Echo Show 8
Listening to Spotify on the Echo Show 8

Music fans will appreciate the Echo Show 8, despite its lack of Dolby processing. You’ll be able to listen to music, along with podcasts and audiobooks, on the following apps:

  • Amazon Music
  • Apple Music
  • Spotify
  • Pandora
  • Audible

This pretty much covers the most widely-used music platforms, so I’m really satisfied with the Echo Show 8 in that regard.

Video

Making A Call on the Echo Show 8
Making A Call on the Echo Show 8

Skype with your Grandma, watch Hulu, Vevo, or Prime Video— it’s all available on the Echo Show 8. You can also make video calls to another Echo, either sending voice messages to other rooms in your house or using Drop In as an intercom between rooms. This is great for someone who wants a home intercom system or anyone that wants to make sure loved ones are safe at home.

Web Browsers

Unfortunately, you can’t search the web using voice commands, and the browsers are limited to Silk or Firefox. That’s disappointing for all you Chrome users out there, but a Google Nest Hub might be more appropriate.

Shopping

What you will be able to do with voice commands is buy millions of different products from Amazon! That should come as no surprise, as this is an Amazon product, after all.

Cooking

Now, this is the part that gets me really excited— using the Echo Show 8 to cook food, order food, or make restaurant reservations. Completely hands-free, you’ll be able to:

  • Set a timer
  • Convert measurements
  • Tell Alexa to buy an ingredient for you
  • Watch recipe videos
  • Search for recipes
  • Get step-by-step recipe instructions from Allrecipes
  • Order food through Seamless
  • Make OpenTable reservations

As anyone that’s ever tried to read a recipe off a phone knows, these hands-free commands will definitely come in handy.

Recap of the Amazon Echo Show 8

Like the other smart displays from Amazon, the Echo Show 8 is a fantastic addition (or start!) of your smart home. However, like any purchase decision, it’s going to depend on your personal preferences, so let me break down who I think the Echo Show 8 would be good for.

I’d buy the Amazon Echo Show 8 if you want…
  • Video capabilities: With an eight-inch touchscreen, you can use the Echo Show 8 to watch movies and TV shows and video chat with friends and family.
  • Privacy features: Ever since Amazon’s privacy breaches, the company has built-in ways to turn off their devices’ microphones and cameras with the touch of a button.
  • Alexa: As Alexa is by far the most popular voice assistant around, you’ll find the most IoT devices that work with it, allowing for more smart home possibilities.
But avoid it if you’re looking for…
  • Google Assistant: If the majority of the IoT devices you want only work with Google, then the Echo Show 8 definitely isn’t your top pick.
  • More affordable price: There are cheaper ways to get a smart home platform device, particularly if it doesn’t have a screen.
  • Zigbee: Unlike the Echo Show, the Echo Show 8 doesn’t have a Zigbee smart home built-in.

If you want something Alexa-integrated that’s a little bit cheaper, I’d check out the Echo Flex or the Echo Dot with Clock. Or, if Google seems like a better fit, check out the Google Nest Mini.

Echo Show 8 FAQs

  • What can you do with an Amazon Echo Show?

    With an Amazon Echo, you’ll have access to Alexa, the most popular voice assistant, which has over 50,000 skills including:

    Music: Music fans will appreciate the Echo Show 8, despite it’s lack of Dolby processing. You’ll be able to listen to music, along with podcasts and audiobooks, on the following apps:

    • Amazon Music
    • Apple Music
    • Spotify
    • Pandora
    • Audible.

    Video: Skype with your Grandma, watch Hulu, Vevo, or Prime Video— it’s all available on the Echo Show 8. You can also make video calls to another Echo, either sending voice messages to other rooms in your house or using Drop In as an intercom between rooms. This is great for someone who wants a home intercom system or anyone that wants to make sure loved ones are safe at home.

    Web Browsers: Unfortunately, you can’t search the web using voice commands, and the browsers are limited to Silk or Firefox. That’s disappointing for all you Chrome users out there, but a Google Nest Hub might be more appropriate.

    Shopping: What you will be able to do with voice commands is buy millions of different products from Amazon! That should come as no surprise, as this is an Amazon product, after all.

    Cooking: this is the part that gets me really excited— using the Echo Show 8 to cook food, order food, or make restaurant reservations. Completely hands-free, you’ll be able to:

    • Set a timer
    • Convert measurements
    • Tell Alexa to buy an ingredient for you
    • Watch recipe videos
    • Search for recipes
    • Get step-by-step recipe instructions from Allrecipes
    • Order food through Seamless
    • Make OpenTable reservations.
  • Does Echo Show need Alexa?

    The Echo Show comes with Alexa built-in.

  • What is the best Echo Show?

    The best Echo Show is the original Echo Show, as it has the largest screen of 10 inches, a 5 MP camera, Dolby processing, plus Zigbee built-in.