echo show 8 vs echo show 5 - 2021 vs 2023 - 2nd gen vs 3rd gen

Echo Show 8 vs Echo Show 5 [2021 2nd Gen vs 2023 3rd Gen]

In Echo & Alexa by Tim Brennan

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In this post, I will give you the lowdown on the latest Echo Show 8 vs Echo Show 5 smart displays from Amazon.

Since you may not have the time to read the full details, here’s a quick summary of the major differences between these two devices:

The Echo Show 8 2021 (2nd Generation) has an 8-inch and 1280 x 800 resolution touchscreen and a 13MP camera, while the Echo Show 5 2023 (3rd Gen) has a 2MP camera and a 960 x 480 resolution. The Show 5 also has a compact 5.5-inch touchscreen with a lower 960 x 480 resolution, but new improvements include a faster Amazon AZ2 Neural Edge processor and improved audio with deeper bass.

A Choice Between the 8” or 5” Echo Shows

echo-show-8-vs-5-2021-400-x-400-px-7000791I have the Echo Show 8 on my bedside table and a Show 5 in my living room, and I absolutely love both of these devices.

Apparently, I am in good company. Market research firm Statistica recently reported that smart speaker revenue worldwide will likely climb to a whopping 28 billion this year.  That is up starkly from 11.8 billion just a few short years ago.

I recently upgraded to the new Echo Show 8 2021 model, and I have the new Show 5 on order.

My new Echo Show 8 is more responsive than the previous model, and I am excited about the better sound quality and design enhancements the latest Show 5 will bring.

But what are the differences between the latest Echo Show 8 vs Show 5 models from Amazon really?

I‘m here to help break it down and ensure you make the best choice for your needs, so let’s start with a side-by-side comparison table.

Echo Show 8 vs Show 5: Tech Specs Comparison

Following are the key technical specifications of the Echo Show 8 2021 vs Show 5 2023, side-by-side.

Table could not be displayed.

Echo Show 8 (2021 Release)

The 2nd gen Echo Show 8 offers superior camera hardware for high-quality video calls. It has a faster octa-core processor that makes it more responsive to your commands.

While the 1280 x 800-pixel resolution seems a bit inadequate for its screen size, it’s a significant upgrade from the Echo Show 5.


  • Large size.
  • Much better camera (13MP).
  • Stronger audio.


  • No Zigbee Hub.
  • No Dolby Processing.

Video Review

Video Credit: TechFlix

Echo Show 5 (2023 Release)

The 3rd Generation Echo Show 5, Amazon’s compact smart display, sports an infinity edge cover glass design, housing an improved screen for comfortable nighttime viewing. It sports the same 2MP camera as it predecessor but has the faster Amazon AZ2 Neural Edge processor, promising clearer video calls and more responsive Alexa interaction.

Notably, its updated audio features heightened include better voice clarity and deeper bass, while an extra mic enables better command detection. This unit doubles as a smart home hub, allowing remote camera viewing.


  • Streamlined, compact design
  • Expanded color options including blue
  • Kids Edition now available


  • Lack of Zigbee Hub integration
  • Absence of Dolby Processing
  • Relatively lower resolution 2MP camera

Video Review

Video Credit: Craig’s Tech Talk

Echo Show 8 vs Echo Show 5: Buyer’s Guide

amazon-echo-show-8-vs-5-9163904At first glance, these two devices look incredibly alike, with the Echo Show 5 looking like a compact version of the Echo Show 8. But even though they were released at around the same time this year, there are many differences under the hood.

Let’s take a deeper dive as I explore a few differences that you may otherwise miss.


These smart displays retain the same design theme as the previous versions – a touchscreen on the front with a wedge-shaped rear, allowing them to stand on a flat surface.

However, if you want to be able to tilt and rotate them, I recommended adding a stand. If you want to know more about why check out this blog post on the Best Echo Show Stands.

The Echo Show 5 is the more compact device with a 5.5-inch touchscreen and a 960 x 480-pixel resolution. The Echo Show 8 has a larger 8-inch touchscreen that packs more pixels at 1280 x 800.

The Echo Show 5 is Amazon’s smallest smart display, measuring 5.8 x 3.4 x 2.9 inches, while the Echo Show 8 comes in at 7.9 x 5.4 x 3.9 inches. These two are still small enough to make excellent beside companions or be used as an accessory for your kitchen counter or living room side table.

As for color options, both come in Charcoal and Glacier White. The Echo Show 5 2021 also has a third color option, Deep Sea Blue.

🏆 My Pick: Tie, it depends on the size you prefer.


echo-show-8-vs-5-camera-4244163The Echo Show 8 2021 has a significant lead here, as it sports a 13MP camera. The Echo Show 5 2021 gets an upgrade compared to its previous model, but it clocks in at only 2MP.

Apart from the hardware, there’s not a lot that separates the two. You’ll be able to enjoy the zoom and pan function on both. This feature allows you to always be in the center of the frame whenever you make video calls, even if you move around.

The two cameras can also act as rudimentary security cameras, allowing you to check in on your home whenever you’re not around. By accessing it via the Alexa app, you should be able to see through the cameras.

If you’re concerned about privacy, both cameras now have physical switches that cut them off so you can be sure nobody can use them to spy on you and your home.

🥈 My Pick: Echo Show 8 2021 (2nd Gen)


The Echo Show 8, being the larger device of the two, has an advantage in audio capabilities. It comes with much larger 2-inch speakers with a passive bass radiator, offering significantly better sound quality. The Echo Show 5, on the other hand, only comes with 1.65-inch drivers that aren’t as powerful.

These smart displays aren’t really going to be your primary listening devices, so this should not be much of an issue; they’re decent enough for some quick video calls and Alexa queries.

However, the Echo Show 5 does have something that might make you think about choosing it; Amazon did not remove the 3.5mm audio out port, allowing you to link an external speaker.

🥉 My Pick: Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen)

Verdict: And the Winner Is…

Both the Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 come with pros and cons. However, as Alexa devices, they come with everything the assistant offers. If you’re looking for a smart display that works with Alexa, you can never go wrong with these two.

Size is a significant factor, though, and it will depend on how you want to use your smart displays apart from Alexa. If you’re looking for a device that you can rely on for video calling, the 13MP and better audio of the Echo Show 8 is going to be the standout.

🏆 Winner: Echo Show 8  (2nd Gen)

Final Thoughts

Both these smart displays are excellent devices. They differ in size and some of their hardware, but they will offer you the complete Alexa experience.

It will all depend on whether you want a smaller bedside smart display or one that you can turn into a video conferencing companion with the added features.

As for me, here’s what I did.


I decided to keep using the earlier generation Echo Show 8 on my bedstand, but I also bought the Echo Show 5 to put on my bookshelf in my living room.  I can’t seem to get enough Echos in my apartment here. LOL.

I’ll film an unboxing video of the Echo Show 5 over on my YouTube channel soon. Please subscribe if you haven’t already!

Considering what you are getting, both of these devices are reasonably priced. However, if the price is a concern, I suggest you wait for Amazon’s special deals on  Prime Day, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday when these devices are steeply discounted. I got a sweet deal on the Echo Show 5 on Cyber Monday this year.


Tim Brennan

Tim Brennan, a tech blogger and host of the @TecTimmy YouTube channel, writes about smart homes at oneSmartcrib, home theaters at UniversalRemoteReviews, and AI in writing at Writeinteractive. He holds a Journalism degree from Northeastern University and has covered technology for three decades. He lives on the ocean in Nahant, Massachusetts.

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