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In this article, I am going to do a deep dive comparison of Echo Show 8 2021 vs 2019 models.
Alexa 8-Inch Smart Screen Showdown
I’ve been using the Echo Show 8 2019 model on my bedside table for well over a year, so this got me thinking about how the Echo Show 8 2021 vs 2019 model measures up. Would it be worth me upgrading to the new 2021 model?
Let’s take a closer look.
Here is a quick breakdown of the major similarities and differences:
The 7.9”W x 5.4”H x 3.9”D design of both displays is identical with an 8-inch screen and fabric wrapper available in Charcoal or Glacier White. While they both have Alexa built-in, the 2021 Show has an 8-core MediaTek processor vs 4-core, plus a better 13MP vs 5MP camera with pan and zoom capability. The 2021 Show is also made from recyclable materials.
Echo Show 8 2021 vs 2019: Tech Specs
The following table illustrates the main difference between the two:
Last update on 01/18/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The design of both speakers is exactly the same, save for a few design improvements on the inside (more on this shortly). On the outside, both the 2021 and 2019 models measure 7.9 inches wide, 5.4 inches tall, and 3.9 inches deep (200.4 x 135.9 x 99.1mm).
They both also have that same fabric outer wrapper available in Charcoal and Glacier White. Both also have slots in the bottom where you can attach a magnetic stand sold separately. I added a stand to mine.
📚 Related: 13 Best Echo Show Stands
Here is a pic of what my Echo Show 8 looks like on my bedside table. I love this little device.
I’ll include a link in an Amazon box (affiliate link) to the new Echo Show 2021 (2nd Gen) model below:
The display size on both devices is also identical, measuring at 8 inches across diagonal. The resolution is also the exact same at 1280 x 800.
The display offers a vibrant color touch screen, which is great for displaying your weather, to-do lists, and recipes as well as watching your favorite Netflix shows and YouTube videos. I love that I can display photos of my kids as well as run a screen saver when I’m not using it.
📚 Related: Echo Show 5 2021 vs 2019
The speaker configuration is the same on both devices: they both offer two 2.0” neodymium speakers with a passive bass radiator. Even on my 2019 Show, the sound quality is pretty decent. I have found that adding a stand helps improve the audio with all of these devices.
CNET has an honest video of the new Echo Show 8 out on YouTube. I’ll embed it below:
With the popularity of Bluetooth speakers and the world moving away from wires, Amazon has decided to remove the audio output jack that is available in the 2019 model. If hooking up older wired speakers to your Echo Show 8 is a concern, you’ll want to go with the older of the two Show 8s.
If you aren’t sold on the upgrades with the newer Echo Show, here’s a link to the older 2019 1st Gen model:
The Echo Show 8 2021 edition has a much better camera than the Echo Show 8 2019 model. If you plan to make a lot of video calls, the 2021 Show 8 is just a better overall device.
In addition to a 13MP camera as opposed to a 5MP, the Show 8 2021 also has pan and zoom technology that will help to keep you in the frame when you are moving around your kitchen. While not as fancy as the robotic display on the Echo Show 10, this is a nice addition to the older Echo Show 8 model.
The higher resolution camera is also nice if you use your Echo Show as a baby monitor.
📚 Related: How to Use Alexa as a Baby Monitor
OK, so aside from the nicer camera, this is where the real upgrade exists in my opinion.
After using the 2019 edition of the Show for over a year, I have to say its performance leaves something to desired. I often need to repeat my commands to Alexa multiple times before I get a response.
This happens more on the Show 8 than even on some of my older Echo devices and it can be frustrating. If responsiveness and speed for both voice commands and the touchscreen are a concern (they should be) go with the newer model.
Both of these Echo Shows offer similar privacy features that weren’t available on earlier-generation devices.
These include a mic/camera off button and a built-in camera shutter that you can open and close. Amazon says this gives you “transparency and control over the whole Alexa experience.”
You also have the ability to delete all your voice recordings that Amazon saves now too.
📚 Related: Echo Show 8 vs Echo Show 5
If you are concerned about the environment then you’ll want to choose the newer 2021 Echo Show model.
Well, this model is included in Amazon’s latest push to sustainability. Whether this is a marketing tactic or not, the fact remains that the 2021 model is just more environmentally friendly.
The display itself and the box it ships in are made of recyclable materials. These include wooden fibers for the Echo Show box as well as recycled plastics, fabrics, die-cast aluminum for the display itself.
📚 Related: Echo Show 10 Vs Echo Show 15
Verdict: Echo Show 8 2021 vs 2019
I am definitely one who likes to save a buck. I would be the first to tell you to go with the older generation Echo Show to save a few if I haven’t been living with it for over a year.
While there isn’t a huge difference in terms of feature upgrades between these two models, the performance boost alone with the new MediaTek 8183 eight-core chip makes the 2021 model worth it in my opinion.
My first-gen Show 8 2019 just hasn’t been as responsive as I would have liked it to be.
On top of that, if you make video calls or use the Echo Show video camera for other things, the better camera and pan and zoom “framing” capabilities make the 2021 model a worthy upgrade.
I am going to take advantage of Amazon’s trade-in program and upgrade my Echo Show 8 this coming Black Friday.
I am super confident that the performance gains alone will make this a worthwhile investment, especially as Amazon moves to more processing on the device instead of in the Cloud.
I’ll leave you with some additional thoughts on upgrading via this YouTube video from Tech Nuovo:
Love the Doctor Evil reference. Oh, be-have!