Amazon showed off its Echo Show 8 smart display, the first refresh in two years.
The Echo Show 8 features a new design with a centered camera to better aligned the 8-inch display. It also features better audio with a spatial audio processor integrated into the rear speaker. It will cost $149.99 and comes out next month. You can order one today.
The Echo Show 8 joins a lineup that’s striving less to be experimental and more practical. A refresh of this product makes sense, since the original Echo speaker was the first device to introduce Alexa and helped to kickstart the smart speaker market. Since its debut, Amazon has increasingly carved out a bigger presence in our homes with an expanding number of products.
Amazon wasn’t expected to take any big shots like 2021’s Astro robot, especially as the company’s devices and services division cut nearly 2,000 people earlier this year. While the company is the leader in the smart speaker market, the Amazon family of products hasn’t really motivated people to buy more stuff. Instead, they largely play music, quiz games or control their smart home gadgets with Alexa’s help.
Instead, it has spent a majority of the early part of the event talking about the new capabilities of its upgraded Alexa, which employs a new generative AI system. It’s expected to come out next year.
Unlike other companies, Amazon has started taking a staggered approach to devices, with updates coming every other year or longer. The smaller Echo Dot, for instance, saw an refresh last year but was no-show this time around.
Dave Limp, the outgoing head of Amazon’s devices business, said the Echo Show 8 will also get smart home hub capabilities with support for Matter, which is a standard that works with multiple smart home platforms.
You can find the Echo Show 8 on Amazon HERE.