Amazon Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5 get a 2021 camera upgrade

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Amazon has revealed two new smart displays, and while the 2021 updates to the Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5 may not have an auto-swiveling screen like the Echo Show 10, they're also a lot more affordable. Both get upgraded cameras, with the Echo Show 8 adding digital panning and zooming for video calls to help keep you centered int the frame as you move around.

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2021)

Where the Echo Show 10 does that by physically moving the whole smart display around, the Echo Show 8 relies on a wide-angle, 13-megapixel camera instead. From that, it can pan and crop to make sure whoever is in-frame stays centered.

It'll work with either an individual person, or with multiple people. Amazon plans to add in animated visual and audio in-call reactions, too, such as hearts, laughs, and falling confetti. There'll be augmented reality (AR) effects too, to make it look like you're in a street art scene, a classic painting, or other environments.

The 8-inch screen is HD resolution, and supports adaptive color to adjust to the lighting conditions in the room. Inside, there's a new, faster octa-core processor, Amazon says, along with dual stereo speakers for a bump in audio quality. On the software side, Alexa rules the roost as usual, but there's also a shared home screen option now which allows approved family and friends to share their photos and have them appear on your display.

The new Echo Show 8 (2021) is priced at $129.99, and will be offered in Charcoal and Glacier White. Preorders are open from today, and the two new smart displays will ship from June.

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2021) and Echo Show 5 Kids

Amazon's smaller version of the smart display is now also cheaper. The Echo Show 5 (2021) keeps the 5.5-inch screen, but pairs it with a new HD camera that Amazon says packs double the pixels. It doesn't have the auto pan/zoom of the bigger model, but you can still use it for Drop In calls – if enabled – along with remotely accessing it through the Alexa app for security.

It'll also help with Alexa's updated Routines. For instance, you could have a lighting Routine triggered automatically when you walk within view of the camera. Soon, Amazon says, there'll be support for audio triggers too, recognizing sounds such as a baby crying, dog barking, or coughing or snoring.

The Echo Show 5 Kids, meanwhile, gets a vibrant makeover for kids' rooms. It has child-friendly clocks, plus supports video calls to pre-approved contacts. If you've got an Amazon Kids+ subscription you can have audiobooks and more read out to young users, with matching on-screen graphics.

The Echo Show 5 (2021) is priced at $84.99, and will be available in Charcoal, Glacier White, and Deep Sea Blue. The Echo Show 5 Kids (2021) is $94.99 and comes with a 1 year Amazon Kids+ subscription and a 2-year worry-free guarantee. Preorders are open from today, and the two new smart displays will ship from June.