In this Amazon Echo Show review, we’re going to take a look at a trio of devices, the Echo Show (2nd generation), the Echo Show 5, and the Echo Show 8. There have been four models of the Echo Show. The first-generation device, with a 7″ touchscreen, was released in June of 2017. The second-generation device, with a 10.1″ touchscreen and a built-in Zigbee hub, was released in June of 2018. The two most recent devices, the Echo Show 5 with a 5.5″ touchscreen was released in June of 2019, and the Echo Show 8, with an 8″ touchscreen was released in November of 2019.

Why buy an Echo Show?

In a word, video. The Amazon Echo Show family brings video to the Alexa Assistant. And in the case of the Echo Show (2nd generation), it includes a smart hub to power all of your smart home devices, making it a powerful multi-tasker for your home.

These devices now add video capabilities to Alexa’s other calling features and allow the use of Skype to video chat with your loved ones.

But what can I watch on my Echo Show?

Just about anything you want. Some things, such as YouTube videos, will need to be viewed on the device’s built-in web browser, Silk, while others can be viewed through a variety of Alexa-enabled apps and skills.

I have to tell you, I won “Husband of the Year” honors for getting my wife an Echo Show (2nd generation) for Christmas this year. I paired this gift with a gift subscription to the Food Network Kitchen app, which now allows us to cook right along with all of the video tutorials and live classes. We’re a family of foodies, so adding the Echo Show to our kitchen countertop has delighted the entire family.

Honestly, the Echo Show has brought our family closer together. We find ourselves in the kitchen more often, watching cooking classes, cooking together and bonding over food. Our kids are learning about nutrition and how to meal plan. We’re eating healthier and more cheaply thanks to the expert guidance we’re getting. It’s been a real win/win.

Amazon Echo Show (2nd generation)

Our Amazon Echo Show review begins with a look at the most expensive device in the Echo Show family, the Echo Show (2nd generation). Offering a 10.1″ interactive touchscreen with 1280 x 800 resolution, it was a quantum leap over the original Echo Show which debuted with a 7″ touchscreen. The speaker hardware was improved as well, with this device offering a pair of 2″x2.2″ 10w speakers. It also boasts a 5MP camera with a privacy cover, Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor and built-in Zigbee smart hub.

Consumers trying to decide which Echo Show device to choose should make note of these factors:

  • Largest touchscreen available
  • Best sound quality within the Echo Show family
  • Best camera within the Echo Show family
  • 720p video resolution
  • Only Echo Show device with a built-in smart hub
amazon echo show 5
Photo cred: Best Buy

Amazon Echo Show 5

Our Amazon Echo Show review continues with a look at the least expensive device in the Echo Show family, the Echo Show 5. Offering a 5.5″ interactive touchscreen with 960 x 480 resolution, it offers a very small footprint. The speaker hardware is a single 1″x1.7″ 4w speaker. It also has a 1MP camera with a privacy cover and MediaTek MT 8163 processor.

Consumers trying to decide which Echo Show device to choose should make note of these factors:

  • Smallest touchscreen/footprint available
  • Least expensive member of the Echo Show family
  • Not all video content (such as Netflix) is available on this model
  • Lack of a web browser limits its capabilities
  • 480p video resolution

Amazon Echo Show 8

This part of our Amazon Echo Show review focuses on the youngest brother, the Amazon Echo 8. Offering an 8″ interactive touchscreen with 1280 x 800 resolution, it offers a size between the Echo Show 5 and the Echo Show (2nd generation). The speaker hardware is a pair of 2″x2″ 10w speakers. It also has a 1MP camera with a privacy cover and MediaTek MT 8163 processor.

Consumers trying to decide which Echo Show device to choose should make note of these factors:

  • Middle of the road touchscreen
  • Middle of the road sound quality
  • Middle of the road price
amazon echo show
Photo Credit: PCMag

Wrapping It All Up

Here’s my take on all of this. If you’re an audiophile, you’re going to be investing your money in a great home stereo system, not a voice assistant. While I can appreciate the difference in sound quality between the different Amazon Alexa devices, at the end of the day, I’ll pair them with a Bose or Sonos speaker, and then the original hardware doesn’t really matter.

As far as video goes, bigger is definitely better if you’re going to use it for more than just visually displaying text messages or the weather report. Also, the added functionality of the built-in Zigbee smart hub makes the Echo Show (2nd generation) worth the price tag. But if you’re on a budget and don’t need all the bells and whistles, then the Echo Show 8 is an excellent value.

The design and form factor of all three devices in the Echo Show family are similar, with things such as camera and plug placements being subtly different. They come in black and white, and the Echo Show 5 is suitably small for the nightstand.

In the end, it’s kind of like Goldilock’s choice: You’ve got small, medium and large, and the choice is up to you. Our Amazon Echo Show review has looked at all three current devices. Whether you’re just looking for an Alexa device with video capabilities at an affordable price (the Echo Show 5), a middle of the road device with improved sound, bigger display, but fewer features (Echo Show 8), or a full-featured video powerhouse (Echo Show 2nd generation), Amazon has something that will cater to your specific needs.

Buying the Amazon Echo Show

Editors’ Recommendations

Did you enjoy our Amazon Echo Show review? If so, read some of our other reviews to learn how to turn your home into a smart home. 

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