Review: Amazon Echo Show 8 – Amazon’s Echo Show 8 is a real all-purpose helper like Echo Show 5. In addition to voice assistance, it shows the most important information on its display. This can be images or text information in really good resolution. In the meantime it is used as a digital picture frame. Everything is possible and very easy to implement, because installation and setup are much easier than you know from the Echo Dot, for example.
Anyone who already has a classic voice assistant will appreciate the modern convenience. I’ve owned an Echo Dot with a digital watch for years. The classic purpose is to ask about the weather, the current traffic situation or the playback of the favorite radio station. Or I sit down on the sofa and have the playlist I have compiled myself played. Without even having to press a button. My daughter has children’s stories read to her and my son has the latest soccer results via “Alexa”. My Dot also informs me that an Amazon delivery has been announced today or it reminds me of the next dentist appointment. All things that you could do with your cell phone these days. But that’s not quite so convenient
The Echo Show 8 is set up in no time
Unfortunately, the convenience of classic echo assistants ends with the setup. Since it is always at the beginning, many interested parties shy away from getting an echo. With the Echo Show 8, however, the setup is actually done in a maximum of two minutes. If you pull the triangular body out of its stylish packaging, you first supply it with electricity. Once this is done, the setup wizard starts automatically. In the first step, I am asked for the preferred language. Then all available WLAN networks are displayed to me. If I have chosen mine, I have to enter the associated password. When prompted, I then log in with my Amazon access data. That would do the hardest part of the registration process. Now I just select the time zone, confirm my address, name my Echo Show 8 after its location and choose a background image. Finished!
I then start my test with the classic: “Alexa, play Radio Bob!”. The Echo Show 8 then immediately complies with this request and begins the radio stream. Fury In The Slaughterhouse sounds from the voice assistant with “Every Generation”, supported by the visual display of the station logo, the name of the artist and the song title. The display works so well that I can read the writing well even from three meters away. If I touch the touch display, small arrowheads appear above and to the right of said information. Tapping the upper tip of the finger brings up another menu level. This includes direct access to the start page, the brightness setting, the do not disturb mode and to the settings menu. I switch to the start page, the time and information about the weather are displayed. If I select “Settings”, I can change the network, background images or home page content, change the equalizer or alarm clock volume or activate Bluetooth.
If I touch the right arrowhead, another menu opens. From here I come to the communication level, the smart home setting, my music, my videos, routines or alarm clock programming. Or I touch one of the larger tiles. For example, to display my own photos, call up contacts or get updates. You can do all of this, but you don’t have to. For now, I keep listening to the radio and am quite surprised by the comparatively excellent sound quality. Considering its size, the Echo Show 8 really knocks you out. Voices are reproduced cleanly and clearly. In the basic tone, my pretty voice assistant also creates a good punch. Many Bluetooth speakers of roughly the same size do not do that better. And even in the bass, the Show 8 patent knows how to access it. Clear, it does not come close to the sound of large hi-fi speakers. But that’s not what it’s made for. Nevertheless, you can listen to music with him very well.
Music is in the air
Now I’m curious and want to know how my test guest is doing in Bluetooth playback. To do this, I pull the arrowhead above down slightly and touch the gear symbol that leads me to the settings. Here I tap on “Bluetooth”. Then I go to the settings of my iPhone, call up “Bluetooth” and you will also see the “Echo Show 8” as a game partner. Now all it takes is a small tap of the finger to set up the wireless connection. Incidentally, the successful connection is also shown to me on the display of the Echo Show 8 – even including the name of the source being played. If I briefly touch the display during playback, the assistant shows additional control buttons: title skip, pause, play. So I can now scroll through my playlist, pause or restart the music – all via the touch display. On the other hand, I change the volume using the hard keys provided on the top of the case.
Too good for the desk
In terms of sound, the Echo Show 8 gets off to a furious start in this discipline. I start my test with Paul McCartney’s “Long Tailed Winter”. The excellent voice reproduction is also noticeable here. Regardless of whether man or woman, voices are always clear, but at the same time also comparatively physical. At the same time, however, never intrusive. In the basic tone, the Amazon all-rounder puts everything in its place. And one floor below in the bass there is also plenty of foundation. A good reason to turn up the volume. Of course, this also works via voice control. For example, using the command “Alexa, volume to 6”. At a little over half the volume, which roughly corresponds to room volume, the desk top starts to boil. Distortions can hardly be seen up to this point. Now the sound fills the room. It’s fun and too good for a desk solution. For the kitchen or terrace party, the Echo Show 8 is probably the ideal solution.
Videocall and phone call
Another cool feature is the internal calling function. By clicking on “Show my contacts”, all contacts are shown who have an Alexa device themselves. Once I have selected the contact I want, I can now decide whether I want to leave a message or make a call. If I choose the latter, the person you are talking to will be informed of the incoming call using voice information. If he has an Echo Show product, visual information about the caller appears on the display, accompanied by a voice message. To take the call, all you need to do is tap the green button briefly and the connection is established. If I want to decline the call, I simply tap the red button.
If I take the call, my phone partner is shown in large on the display. I see myself latched into the top right. Very clear!
The Echo Show 8 plays loud … and well
The sound quality is 1a. Every word can be heard clearly while the ambient noise is obviously reduced. In any case, I only hear the voice of the other person. With body and in the correct pitch. This is the case in two different phone calls. In addition to the voice, the picture quality is surprisingly good. My first conversation partner has a low-bandwidth connection. The image visible to me is not quite optimal, while he can see me first class. The second call ends up on a better connection. This can then be seen very clearly in the display. Now there are absolutely no more objections, I could hardly ask for a better picture quality. Likewise the stability of the transmission. While smaller image jerks could be seen in the first phone call,
What else is possible
In addition to the features described, my Echo Show 8 offers me a lot of other skills. To name them all would go beyond the scope. Nevertheless, I would like to briefly address some of them: For example, I can display cooking recipes in detail. Or I select Youtube videos by voice command. For example: “Alexa, show Linkin Park videos on YouTube”. Alternatively, the Echo Show 8 can also be integrated into a smart home. Another possibility would be to use the little all-rounder as a digital photo frame or to play the images from the surveillance camera over it. In addition, there are the classics such as the display of the time, the weather forecast or the current traffic situation. Or I can create a shopping list using voice commands or simply have someone tell me a joke. All of this is of course also possible with the Echo Show 8.
Amazon Echo Show 8 – Conclusion
Anyone who already has a voice assistant will appreciate the convenience of this little helper. But with the Echo Show 8, Amazon goes one better. For just over 100 euros you can get a highly flexible voice assistant that also allows video telephony, can be used as a digital photo frame, plays YouTube videos or shows cooking recipes in detail. The setup is very easy and the voice quality is surprisingly good. The same goes for the sound quality in music playback – whether via radio stream or Bluetooth feed. All of this makes the Echo Show 8 a real all-purpose solution for use in the living room, kitchen, children’s room, terrace, garage or guest room. If you have a second Echo device, you can also set up a smart home system.
Positives of Amazon Echo Show 8
- Powerful sound for the size
- Sharp screen
Negatives of Amazon Echo Show 8
- Bass and high-frequency response could be stronger