On Wednesday, May 12, Amazon announced updates to the Echo Show 5 and Show 8, alongside a new Echo Show 5 Kids. This comes only a few months after the company overhauled the Echo Show 10.
The updates to the Show 5 and Show 8 revolve around a small upgrade to the cameras, while the Echo Show 5 Kids is a brand-new line from the company that packs the same hardware into a kid-friendly design. All three are up for preorder now and will start shipping in June.
The Echo Show 5 now features a 2-megapixel front camera — it’s nothing revolutionary, but it is an improvement over the previous 1-megapixel lens. This will deliver double the pixels and should translate to a clearer picture for video calls. A lot of this depends on where you place Show 5 and the conditions in the space. For instance, a super-dark room will lead to poor lighting and a loss of detail. We have high hopes it delivers some improvements, but we’ll need to test it to see if it means you need to run and get a new unit.
Aside from this upgraded camera, the Echo Show 5 remains the same. It’s the smallest Amazon smart display in terms of footprint and screen size. The Show 5 features a 5.5-inch display that you can control by touch or with your voice. Much of the experience should mirror what we tested in our review from 2019. The other big difference is a price drop to $84.99. You can now pick from three colors as well: deep sea blue, charcoal and sandstone.
Amazon’s Echo Show 8 is arguably the more exciting of the updates. It is trading a 1-megapixel camera for the same 13-megapixel camera system found on the Echo Show 10. And while the Show 8 won’t rotate to keep you in the frame, the camera has a 110-degree field of view and some extra computer vision (CV) tech. Essentially, Amazon uses CV to analyze the image and keep you in the frame. Like on Show 10, it’s not analyzing the person in the frame, but an outline of them. The result keeps the person talking centered in the frame. We’re eager to go hands-on with this and see how it compares to the Center Stage tech on the new iPad Pro.
Additionally, the Echo Show 8 is getting a new processor; the MediaTek 8183 is replacing the 8163. It still features an 8.5-inch display and a set of two 2-inch speakers that were quite impressive in our testing. The updated Echo Show 8 keeps the same price and color options (charcoal and sandstone).
Amazon already makes the Echo Dot for Kids, so it was inevitable that an Echo Show for Kids would arrive. The Echo Show 5 Kids is just that. It swaps a standard color for a chameleon-themed back. And let’s be honest: It’s not as cool as the panda or tiger Echo Dot, but Amazon’s tie-dye-like offering shouldn’t disappoint.
The device features the same Echo Show 5 hardware we mentioned above. The difference is Amazon’s Kids+, a two-year warranty and content from family brands like Disney. You’ll get Kids+ free for a year, giving you access to a ton of content like movies, TV shows, podcasts and books. Alexa is also kid-friendly on this device, with age-appropriate responses and, of course, jokes for children. That two-year warranty is terrific also — Amazon will replace the Show 5 Kids with no questions asked during that window.
The Echo Show 5 Kids is up for preorder now at $94.99.