Recently Amazon announced an updated version of its Echo Show 8 smart speaker/hub device. This is the 8-inch version of the Echo Show series that features a built-in display so that it can do far more than just act as a smart speaker. Each round, the company looks to improve its design in various ways to get people to buy one or upgrade if they already have one. The latter of which isn’t that easy of a task, but they seem to have nailed it this round.
Usually, you find simple upgrades to help carry things along each generation. Some better hardware inside, a nicer built-in camera, and other updates you typically find in display devices (like your phone). This is all something you’ll find in this new model (they also moved the camera to the center). But, getting owners of previous generation devices to also want to buy into one all depends on if these enhancements are worth the upgrade or not (which, normally, isn’t always the case).
This round, the company focused on some new features that improve upon some of the comments customers have had. As well as a few new tricks to keep the new model fresh and with the times.
One of the biggest features to note is the addition of spatial audio. Something that should improve upon the audio performance. Widening the overall stage presence of the audio and possibly helping to film rooms even better.
The other noticable improvement that Amazon announced is the inclusion of proximity sensor that adjusts the size of the content (font size) on the screen so you can better see it from further away. Helping to resolve one of the common issues people find with these display devices. It will scroll through various content like news, suggestions, weather, and more. But sometimes, when you see something interesting, it changes to the next page/slide before you get close enough to see what it was. So this should resolve this.
It will, of course, support the new Matter/Thread standard, acting as a smart hub for most Matter devices out there. Along with Zigbee and any other Alexa-compatible devices within your smart home setup (if you have any).
You can Echo Show 8 right now on Amazon’s website. It comes with an MSRP of $149.99 and will begin shipping early next month (November).