See the best Alexa devices


  • Great value
  • Powerful audio
  • Excellent price
  • Clever new camera


  • Can only use camera view when it’s light

If it’s a value you’re after then the Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Generation) is the best overall smart display.

With many of the features of its bigger and more expensive stablemates, but at a fraction of the price, this model strikes the perfect balance between size, features, quality and price.

This newer model looks very similar to the previous edition, with just a couple of very minor tweaks: the camera hole is square, not round, and there’s no 3.5mm audio output (not a huge loss). Again, the speaker is available in charcoal or glacier white, but there’s no funky blue version as with the new standard Echo.

On top, there’s the standard button layout for an Echo Show: volume controls, a mute button that turns off Alexa and a camera privacy slider.

Amazon has upgraded the camera to the 13-megapixel version that’s used on the Echo Show 10. There’s no moving base here, but the camera can zoom, pan and track you automatically while on a video call. It’s a feature that works brilliantly, keeping you (or a family group) constantly in frame without you having to do anything.

You can also use the camera to keep tabs on your home, viewing the live feed. Of course, this does assume that you’ve left the Echo Show 8 pointing somewhere useful. There’s no recording option for the camera feed, so don’t treat it as a security camera replacement, particularly as you can’t see anything when it’s dark due to the lack of IR.

Over the generations, Amazon has tweaked the Echo Show interface. It displays a clock by default, but also shows upcoming appointments, news headlines and recently played music. Use the touch interface and you can dive into smart home control and communication bypassing having to speak at all.

The main benefit of the screen remains: it delivers more information than a voice-only reply. Ask Alexa about the weather today, and the screen also shows the info on the screen, with the option to swipe to view more information throughout the day. Control a smart device, such as turning on a light, and you get on-screen controls to tweak your action, such as adjusting brightness. And, you can view live feeds from compatible video cameras. In many ways, the Echo Show devices provide the ultimate version of Alexa.

Sound quality here is also brilliant. There are two 2-inch drivers and a passive radiator for bass. They combine to make the Echo Show 8 sound great: it’s loud and clear, and perfect for watching videos or listening to music. There’s a touch of tinniness at the high end, but overall this is an energetic and fun smart display.

Small enough to fit almost anywhere, yet with an 8-inch screen that’s big enough to make the interface clear and easy enough to read, the Echo Show 8 (2nd Generation) is excellent value and the best overall smart display.

Full review: Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Generation)

Reviewer: David Ludlow

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