The Amazon Echo Show is getting an update
Amazon is back with an update of its popular Echo Show line of smart speakers. Now, before you get too excited, this isn’t a major redesign and, from the outside, things look about the same as before. That means you get the same neat design with a screen that displays a whole bunch of information and even your family photo albums. Under the hood of the new Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8, however, are some pretty significant updates, including a new built-in camera that can now act as a security camera when you’re heading out for the day.
If you’re worried about what’s going on at home, you can now securely access the built-in snapper through the Alexa app to check in and make sure everything is as it should be. It’s a similar feature that launched on the new premium Echo Show 10, bringing this update to Amazon’s cheaper range of all-display speakers. And don’t worry if family members think they are being spied because a message will appear on the display that the camera has been activated.
In addition to that security update, the Show 8’s new 13-megapixel camera also gets a wide-angle view, so you can stay in the recording of your video calls as you move around the room. The updated camera automatically slides and zooms during video calls, keeping everyone centered in the frame.
The 8-inch screen has also been tweaked, giving it an adaptive color that changes depending on the room conditions.
A new and more powerful octa-core processor has to keep the images silky smooth and there are dual stereo speakers for a clear, balanced sound.
So that’s the new Echo Show 8, but Amazon is also improving the cheaper and smaller Show 5 with an improved HD camera that gets double the pixel count and there are more colorful designs to choose from when you toss it into your online shopping cart.
The new Echo Show 8
Of course, both devices still come with Alexa built in, so you can ask a whole bunch of questions and get a sensible answer. The screen can also be used to view content and you can see timers, check the news of the day and even use the screen as a karaoke machine.
Like all Echos, the new Show devices can turn on lights, increase heating and remind you of events simply by asking Alexa.
“Customers love to use Echo Show to stay in touch, and in the past year there have been nearly three times more video calls worldwide than the year before,” said Eric Saarnio, vice president, Amazon Devices EU. “With these new Echo Show devices, we focused on creating experiences that would add even more value to our customers – adding a powerful camera and digital pan and zoom capabilities to the new Echo Show 8, the Echo Show. 5 camera upgradeable and the ability to securely access the built-in home check-in camera while away. “
The Echo Show 8 costs £ 119.99 and the Echo Show 5 now starts from a cheaper price of £ 74.99.
Amazon says pre-orders are starting today from Amazon.co.uk, as well as Argos, Currys PC World, John Lewis and Very.co.uk. Echo Show 5 is also available from Tesco. Devices will ship next month.
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