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(Pocket-lint) - Amazon updated its Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5 in 2021, with a couple of new features on both models.

Here we are looking at how the second generation Echo Show 8 compares to the old Echo Show 8. Read on to find out the differences and help you decide which to buy. The best prices are usually avaiable on sales events like Prime Day or Black Friday, but there are regular discounts throughout the year.

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What's the same?

  • Design
  • Speakers
  • Alexa features

As with the new Echo Show 5, a lot remains the same between the new Echo Show 8 and its predecessor. The two devices have the same design and they both come in Charcoal and Glacier White colour options.

Both measure 200.4 x 135.9 x 99.1mm, they both have a power port at the back of the fabric-covered speaker base and they both have an 8-inch display. A camera cover switch sits on top of both devices, along with four microphones, volume buttons and a microphone on/off switch.

The two devices also all offer the same features in terms of Alexa and everything that comes with Alexa, such as weather reports, jokes, games, shopping lists and plenty more, whilst music streaming and video streaming is the same across the two models too.

What's different between the new Echo Show 8 and old Echo Show 8?

There are a couple of differences between the new Echo Show 8 and the old Echo Show 8 though.

Front camera

The new Echo Show 8 has a 13-megapixel front camera that incorporates pan and zoom, tracking you across the room like the Echo Show 10, latest iPad Pro and Facebook Portal offer.

The old Echo Show by comparison has a 1-megapixel front camera and it doesn't offer the pan and zoom feature, so the new model is definitely the one to choose if you plan to make a lot of video calls.

Processor

The second generation Echo Show features a bump in processor compared to the older model. It has an 8-core processor in the MediaTek 8183, while the older model has a four-core processor in the MediaTek 8163. The new Echo Show 8 has the same processor as the latest Echo Show 10.

3.5mm audio output

This has been removed from the 2021 Echo Show 8, so if you want to connect to existing audio equipment, you'd need the older model.

Environmentally friendly

The second generation Echo Show 8 is "Climate Pledge Friendly", like the Echo Show 5, featuring 30 per cent post-consumer recycled plastics, 100 per cent post-consumer recycled fabric and 100 per cent recycled die-cast aluminium.

The new Echo Show 8's packaging is also 99 per cent wood-fibre-based.

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Conclusion

The Amazon Echo Show 8 (2021) is a little more expensive than its predecessor, but it comes with a big front camera upgrade, not only in terms of resolution but in terms of the features it offers too, adding pan and zoom. 

It also has a more powerful processor under its hood and it's more environmentally friendly - although it loses the 3.5mm headphone connection.

Of course, you save a little cash if you buy the older model, and you get many of the same features in terms of Alexa, as well the same audio capabilities, but you'll miss out on the camera tech and the faster processor.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Editing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 19 May 2021.