I got home last night from work to a large Amazon package on the kitchen island. It was the brand new Echo Show 8. I played Kerplunk with my kids, put them to bed and then began to set up the Echo Show 8…
This is a first look at the new Echo Show 8, what’s in the box, how to set up and my first impressions of Amazon’s latest device. After a week or two, I plan on updating this article, turning it more into a review and letting you know how I’ve been getting on and my final thoughts.
The 8 comes well packaged in a cardboard box, with just the power adapter and some instructions. It’s named the 8 because of its 8” display, which offers a HD resolution of 1280×800. The display comes with a lovely chunky bezel around it, which houses the 1MP camera in the top right and its touch screen, so you don’t just have to use voice commands. To the top of the unit are four buttons, including the privacy button, which once pressed, will turn off the microphones and camera, the camera cover and volume controls. To the rear of the unit are the power input and 3.5mm port. The rear of the unit houses two 52mm neodymium speakers (10w each) with a passive bass radiator and the entire back section is covered in textured fabric. Like most other echo devices, it comes in charcoal or sandstone colour options.
The unit sits on one large rubber foot, raising it slightly from the surface it’s sitting on and offers a good amount of grip to help it stay secure. The display is angled back slightly, it’s more 100-105 degrees if you’re looking at it as a right angle, offering a decent but limited viewing angle.
During the purchasing process, there is an option for Amazon to pre-set up the device with your Amazon account, which I went for and made the set up very easy. My name appeared on the setup screen, I said yes, that’s me. I then connected it to my home WiFi and set up was complete. It was already signed into my Amazon account so playlists, video content, Spotify etc was ready to go.
First impressions of it are very good, especially the audio quality which surprised me a lot. My experience with Amazon products is limited to a fire stick and echo dot, and the audio performance from the show is far superior to the dot. I played a variety of songs via Spotify and the sound produced from those two little speakers is fantastic. Where the dot lacks in bass and volume, the show 8 does not and although there isn’t a dedicated bass driver like some products, the bass was present and surprisingly powerful. My daughter watched kung fu panda this morning and there was a welcome rumble on the kitchen island which impressed me.
So far the display seems very good too. It’s bright, the colours are (could be more vibrant) and the video content from Prime Video is smooth and perfectly watchable. At only x800, it doesn’t hit full HD 1080p but at 8”, it’s not overly noticeable and not a necessity at all.
This, of course, has Alexa control throughout and as it’s a touch screen display, I was immediately inclined to use the device via on-screen commands but in fact, asking Alexa offers much more flexibility and it’s something I need to get used to doing. Swipe down from the top to display access key control buttons, including settings and display brightness. Swipe right to left to gain access to the fundamental controls, audio, video, communications etc.
So far I’ve set my Ring doorbell up which works well, I just say ‘Alexa, show front door’ and the live stream will appear. I’ve not yet had someone use the doorbell but hopefully, when they do, it may display on the show. Spotify works well, as does Prime Video. No Netflix, no YouTube and no easy way of browsing the web that I’ve found just yet.
It’s Amazons Black Friday event this week and probably through to Monday, so the Show 8 is currently half price in the UK at just £59.99. At that price, I feel it’s worth every penny.
I’ll report back further in a week or two!