Smart displays are relatively common these days and it is often getting difficult keeping track of who releases what and when. Today Amazon have announced their two new Echo Show smart displays are available for pre-order with shipping commencing later this month.
The two new smart displays announced to today are the Echo Show 8 and the Echo Show 5, both bringing more powerful cameras for enhanced video calling along with new ways to unleash the power of Alexa.
The new Echo Show 8 features an 8-inch display and now sports a 13MP camera for better quality video calling. Similar to Google’s camera on their Nest Hub Max, the new camera automatically pans and zooms while you are on a video call to follow you around the room. The 110 degree wide angled lens also helps keep you in the picture.
Another new feature is to automatically detect a “human shape” when someone enters the room which information can then be fed into Alexa routines (eg. turning lights on when you enter). This is an opt-in feature though so if you don’t want it following you there is that choice too. All human detection occurs on device so nothing is sent to the cloud for the more security conscious of us.
The 8-inch display and its experience are enhanced with dual stereo speakers for “an immersive entertainment experience”. The streaming services the Echo Show 8 supports are Netflix, Prime Video, ABC iView, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify (hint: if you access the browser on it, you can also access YouTube).
The smaller and more affordable Echo Show announced is the 5 which sports a 5.5-inch display and also an upgraded HD camera. The Echo Show 5 misses out on most of the new features mentioned above that arrived on the 8-inch version.
The new HD camera gets a decent spec bump but is still just 2MP — good enough for basic video calling but that’s about it. The Echo Show 5 is also available in a kids version overseas, for an additional fee, but has yet to land on the Amazon Australia website — if it ever does.
The Echo Show 8 is available for pre-order now from Amazon AU in Charcoal and Sandstone colours for $229. The Echo Show 5 is also available for pre-order today from Amazon AU in the same colours for $129.