smart displays

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021) Review: Alexa’s best display yet

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021) Review: Alexa’s best display yet

The pandemic has made clear that low-resolution webcams are only the tip of the video calling iceberg: in an ideal world we'd all have our own cameraperson to make sure the angles were perfect. That's what Amazon's Echo Show 8 (2nd Generation) promises, turning Alexa into your personal videographer but - to keep the new smart display to $130 - with no moving parts involved.

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Nest smart displays to get Google Duplex support, Guest Mode upgrade

Nest smart displays to get Google Duplex support, Guest Mode upgrade

Google Assistant has always revolved around voice interactions but Google was able to give it a face in the form of smart displays. Now falling under the Nest smart home brand, Google has provided some visual feedback to augment Google Assistant's capabilities in your house. Not all smart Assistant features are available yet on those smart displays, however, and one upcoming addition will make booking tables at restaurants a breeze. At least when Google Duplex does finally arrive on the Nest Hub Max and its kin.

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

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

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.

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The Google Assistant is adding new ways to corral your family

The Google Assistant is adding new ways to corral your family

Google is adding new Assistant features and tweaking some existing ones to make them more user-friendly, including expanding its Broadcast system. The new Family Broadcast takes the existing functionality - where you can pipe your voice through multiple Google smart speakers and smart displays in the house, useful for announcing meals are ready or reminding people it's time to leave - and enhances it for smartphones and replies.

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Google Home won’t ring you anymore if your phone isn’t home

Google Home won’t ring you anymore if your phone isn’t home

We call some products "smart" mostly due to the abilities they have that sometimes go beyond our own skills, at least when it comes to getting information from the Internet. There are times, however, when smart assistants and smart devices don't actually behave that smartly, like things we take for granted because of human behavior or common sense. It is only recently, for example, that these smart speakers and displays have started to adjust their behavior depending on whether there's anyone around in the first place, like ringing them only when you're around to actually answer a call.

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Echo Show 10 deal makes rotating Alexa display far more appealing

Echo Show 10 deal makes rotating Alexa display far more appealing

Amazon's Echo Show 10 has seen a big price cut, with a new deal on the motorized smart display making it a much easier sell for your kitchen counter or desk. Announced late last year, the third generation of the Alexa-powered smart display mounts its 10-inch screen on a twisting speaker body.

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Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) face-tracking Zoom calls now supported

Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) face-tracking Zoom calls now supported

Amazon's Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) has added support for Zoom and Amazon Chime, with the face-tracking smart display getting a lot more useful in the process. Launched earlier this year, the newest - and so far largest - Echo Show has a motorized base that can rotate its 10-inch display so that it's always facing you.

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Nest Hub 2nd Gen Review – The sleep tracking I’ve been waiting for

Nest Hub 2nd Gen Review – The sleep tracking I’ve been waiting for

Google is hoping you'll like the new, second-generation Nest Hub enough that you'll take it into the bedroom, with the third outing for its Soli sensor promising sleep tracking without anything on your wrist. Still $100, the new smart display aims to replace your old clock-radio and give some fresh insight into how restful your night was, though when the lights go out there are still some questions to be answered.

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Apple’s next HomePod surprise might be an Echo Show rival

Apple’s next HomePod surprise might be an Echo Show rival

It's been a day of interesting reports surrounding Apple's HomePod. Earlier today, we learned that there's a secret sensor hiding in the HomePod mini, and while that sensor may not be active right now, it could enable specific functionality in the future. Not only that, but there's also whispers of Apple's plans for the future of the HomePod line, and we could see the company launch something meant to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Echo Show.

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Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) Review – Alexa’s turn to shine

Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) Review – Alexa’s turn to shine

Amazon's Echo Show 10 is big on eye-contact. Now in its third-generation, the rotating smart display has the same screen as its predecessor, but mounted on a swiveling base that uses person-tracking to make sure it's always facing you. At $250, it's also Amazon's most expensive Echo Show model so far.

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Google’s second-gen Nest Hub tracks sleep with no wearable required

Google’s second-gen Nest Hub tracks sleep with no wearable required

Google has revealed its new second-generation Nest Hub, speeding up the Assistant, improving audio performance, and adding a new Sleep Sensing feature. The smart display still has a 7-inch touchscreen and a fabric-covered body, and still leaves out a camera for those with privacy in mind, but Google has added in a Soli motion sensor to make things interesting in the bedroom.

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Nest Hub Sunrise alarm, Weather Frog, Family Sticky Notes arrive

Nest Hub Sunrise alarm, Weather Frog, Family Sticky Notes arrive

Some might question the need or use of a smart display, just as many have questioned the sense of a smart speaker in the first place. Given how we almost always have our smartphones stuck to our hands, it almost feels redundant to have another display in the house. There are, of course, some things that are better or are only possible using smart displays, like these new features that are landing on the Nest Hub and other Google Assistant smart displays.

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