Echo Show 8
$100 at Amazon
- Physical camera shutter and mute switch
- Certified for Humans program for easy setup
- Similar specs to its bigger sibling
- Alexa integration
- No Dolby audio
- Amazon Photos integration not as good as it could be
- No Google Assistant compatibility
The Echo Show 8 brought the privacy features of the Show 5 with improved speakers and a screen resolution to match the larger Echo Show (2nd Gen). It is the perfect portal for projecting Alexa into your smart home.
$100 at Best Buy
- YouTube support
- Physical mute switch
- Awesome integration with Google Photos
- Google Asistant
- No camera for video chatting
- No Alexa compatability
- Rear-firing sound quality could be better
Not only is the Nest Hub a great gateway for you to control your home with the Google Assistant, it is the best device to display and enjoy your personal photo library on.
Both of these devices sound great, look good, are comparably-sized smart screen speakers, and both can do all of the basic smart screen stuff. You can control your smart home devices, monitor your home security, watch videos, or check the weather on either device. An important factor in the decision process will no doubt be which smart assistant and which ecoystem you are more embedded in, but there are some other factors you may want to consider as well.
Amazon started the Echo Show line on the larger-end, and gradually introduced a smaller Echo Show 5 and a medium-sized Echo Show 8. Google/Nest on the other had began their smart screen journey with the mid-sized Nest Hub and then later scaled up with the introduction of the Nest Hub Max. Either way, both companies landed on a strategy of diversified smart screen sizes. Let’s take a look at how they compare and help you choose the best option for you.
|Size||7.9″x 5.4″x 3.9″||7.02″ x 4.65″ x 2.65″|
|Weight||36.6 oz||16.9 oz|
|Screen||8″ touch screen at 1200x800p resolution||7″ touch screen at 1024x600p resolution|
|Privacy controls||Physical camera shutter and mute switch||Physical mute switch|
|Colors||2 (charcoal, sandstone)||4 (sand, aqua, chalk, charcoal)|
Pictured: Nest Hub.
The Nest Hub was Google’s first attempt at a smart screen speaker, and it was widely praised for its bright, colorful screen and easy interface into the world of the Google Assistant. In our initial review we noted that this was the first smart device we could recommend putting in any room in the house, from the kitchen to the bedroom. It is svelt, doesn’t have a camera to worry about, and has a really useful Ambient EQ mode that adjusts the color and lighting to fit the feel of the room. It just gets the tech out of your face and blends in nicely with its surroundings.
As you might imagine, the Nest Home has great integration with Google apps and services, so if you are heavy into that ecosystem, you’ll be in heaven. It does a fantastic job at showing you your day at a glance, makes it easy to create customized routines, and allows you to cast content to the screen via its built-in Chromecast support. It is also the best digital photo frame on the market, and its integration with Google Photos easily beats out what the Echo Show 8 can do with Amazon Photos.
There have been some complaints about the usability of the touchscreen, its sub-720p resolution, and its backward-firing speakers. While many praised Google for not including a camera with this device, others lamented the fact that they couldn’t make or receive video calls. There are a few key content partners not present on the device, most notably Audible, Netflix, and Apple Music. The Nest Hub has a pretty mature smart home ecosystem (particularly through Nest), but it doesn’t work well anymore with Ring products. Such are the realities of consolodated ecosystems and walled gardens, but device and service interoperability is increasingly becoming something you need to consider when making a smart device purchase decision.
Pictured: Echo Show 8.
The Echo Show 8 is the latest and greatest smart screen speaker from Amazon, and as such it builds on the best features from its predecessors — the smaller Echo Show 5 and larger Echo Show (2nd Gen). It brings the physical privacy controls of a hardware camera shutter and microphone switch up from the Show 5, and takes the higher resolution from the Show (2nd Gen). It also incorporates Amazon’s new Certified for Humans program approach to easy smart device set-up and maintenance.
The fact that you can use this device to video chat with other Echo Show users or drop in on friends and family with Echo smart speakers puts it ahead of the Nest Hub from a functional perspective. Whereas Google said it left a camera off the Nest Hub for privacy reasons (although it later added one to the Nest Hub Max), Amazon addressed this concern first with the Show 5 and now with the Show 8 by prominently featuring physical controls for the camera and mic and reinforcing its online privacy and security controls (a policy Google also has pursued).
In addition to the hardware enhancements, the Show 8 also plays exclusvie content from CNBC and Food Network, and it supports Audible audiobooks and Apple Music (among other services not yet available on the Nest Hub). Notably missing though is support for YouTube and Netflix. The Show 8 is excellent at controlling and monitoring a wide range of smart home products and it works particularly well with Ring and Eero products, though not as well with Nest devices. The same caveat about ecoystems applies here — consider what products and services you have or want to have before making your purchase decision.
Split on screens
This is one of the tougher comparisons to do because these are pretty evenly-matched devices. In this size category I lean ever so slightly towards the Echo Show 8, which is a contrast to the larger Nest Hub Max vs. Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen) comparisson we did earlier. In both reviews, the deciding factors came down to specs and features available on the newer models versus what the older ones had to offer.
Many people will make their choice solely based on their smart assistant and ecosystem preferences, and that’s totally fine. In fact, that might be the best way to make this decision. But if you’re platform or device agnostic, we’d push you towards the Echo Show 8.
Echo Show 8
The “just right” Echo
$100 at Amazon
Not too big, not too little, the Echo Show 8 just fits
The Echo Show comes to a more natural size that’s easier to place than the 10-inch Echo Show (2nd Gen) and still does almost everything the larger device can do.
Gorgeous Google gadget
$100 at Best Buy
The best of Nest and Google on your counter
The Nest Hub takes the best of Google’s app ecosystem and Assistant and combines it with Nest smart home powers to create a powerful home hub.