Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023 release) review: Amazon’s best smart display yet

Is the third generation of the Echo Show 8 better than the last? Find out in T3’s review…

T3 Platinum Award
Amazon Echo Show (3rd gen) review
(Image credit: Beth Girdler-Maslen / T3)
T3 Verdict

The third generation of the Echo Show 8 is truly Amazon’s best smart display yet. Compared to its predecessor, its redesigned audio and touchscreen sounds more powerful and adapts more intuitively to its surroundings. As a smart speaker, display, assistant and smart home hub all in one, it’s a joy and some would say a necessity to have in your home. A well deserved 5/5 stars.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Smart speaker, display, hub and virtual assistant all in one

  • +

    Easy to set up and use

  • +

    Alexa is improved for better conversations and assistance

  • +

    Impressive audio, screen and camera

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    The second generation is still good (and cheaper)

  • -

    A little chunky

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The Amazon Echo Show range consists of the best smart speakers and the best smart displays you can buy. Since its original launch in 2017, the collection has significantly expanded, with its latest addition, the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023 release), being championed as the best Amazon Alexa smart display yet.

The third generation was announced at an Amazon product event in 2023, with promises that the new Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) would have an improved design and better audio and screen quality than before. I put the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) to the test to see how it performs… here’s my full review and thoughts.

Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) review: Unboxing and set-up

The Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) arrived in a small cardboard box and simply came with the smart display, cable and a booklet on how to set it up. I always appreciate when a product arrives with minimal packaging and Amazon has taken this a step further by making its Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) more sustainable than before. The device is made with 29% recycled materials and 99% of the packaging is made from responsibly managed forests and recycled sources.

I was pleasantly surprised by how little the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) needed to get started and found the entire set-up process incredibly easy. To get the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) ready to use, I simply plugged it into an electrical outlet, connected it to my Wi-Fi and signed into my Amazon account. This is all detailed in the booklet and once you’ve done those steps, the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) will take you through further set-up, like naming it, where it’s situated in your home and whereabouts you live.

Once set-up, the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) will explain how it works and give you examples and tutorials on how to use it. The entire process took about 10 minutes to do and was extremely easy and painless.

Amazon Echo Show 8 3rd gen review

(Image credit: Beth Girdler-Maslen / T3)

Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) review: design and features

The Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) has a wide and clear 8-inch HD touchscreen. The display is crisp, attractive and is full of helpful icons, information and photos that make the device easier to use. At the top of the screen is a 13MP camera which can be covered when not in use by a built-in camera cover. A new feature of the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) is its Adaptive Content which senses how close you are to the screen and gives you more useful and engaging content when you’re near it.

The Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) can be used in many different ways. Its camera and audio delivers high quality images and sound, so you can easily make video calls, listen to music and stream content using the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023). The speakers are situated at the back of the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) and have a very rounded design to allow for clearer vocals, bass and audio. At the top of the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) are two volume buttons which control the audio, plus a Mic/Camera off button when you don’t want to be heard.

Speaking of being heard, the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) comes with Alexa. While you can use the touchscreen or buttons to search and adjust the display, Alexa voice control is easy to use and offers hands-free control to set timers, play songs, create shopping lists and organise your calendar. The Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) can also be used as a smart home hub, as you can pair and control compatible devices to the display with Zigbee, Matter and Thread. This puts all your security cameras, smart bulbs and other smart devices in one place for you to control and customise. 

The Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) is available in two colourways: charcoal and glacier white colours.

Amazon Echo Show 8 3rd gen review

(Image credit: Beth Girdler-Maslen / T3)

Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) review: changes from the 2021 version

There are a few major differences between the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) and the Echo Show 8 (2nd gen, 2021 release). First, the latter doesn’t have the Adaptive Content feature which gives different types of information depending on how close or far you are from the screen.

The main difference between the two displays is the design and audio technology. The Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) has a rounder bump behind the screen which gives a more modern look but can also be hidden depending on where you put your display. The Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) features redesigned audio technology which supports spatial audio and provides a wider sound experience. The Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) also has tuning features that assess its surroundings and adjusts its sound depending on the room that it’s in.

Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) review: performance

The Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) is the first Amazon smart display I’ve owned and I’ve really enjoyed using it. It can be used in so many ways, as a speaker for music, for controlling your smart home, making shopping lists, looking up recipes, and much more.

I particularly enjoyed using the Alexa voice control for easier searching and questions, but I also liked scrolling on the display’s screen to find other answers and add smart devices to it. The buttons were also a welcome addition, as were the camera cover and mic off features. Security is so important when it comes to smart home devices and I didn’t want to feel like I was being listened to all the time, so I appreciate the security measures that were in place.

Amazon Echo Show 8 3rd gen review

(Image credit: Beth Girdler-Maslen / T3)

As the audio technology has been redesigned, I tested this by playing lots of different music and asking Alexa questions from different parts of the room. Where I put the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) is in my living room which is connected to my dining room and kitchen. I called to Alexa often from my kitchen and found it picked up my voice easily, submitted my request and called back to me at the same level of volume as my own voice. The Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) spatial audio was pretty impressive and I noticed how it adjusted its volume and screen depending on how close I was to it.

As with most Amazon devices, Alexa was the standout feature for me. The Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) is expected to get the new generative AI-driven version of Alexa in 2024 which improves Alexa to be more conversational and easier to talk to. But, I found Alexa on the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) to be smooth and chatty, without feeling disjointed or awkward. Alexa rarely didn’t understand what I was asking and I didn’t need to overly explain what I wanted it to do.

Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) review: price

The Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) is £149.99 / $149.99, and is available to buy at Amazon. Compared to its predecessor (the second generation is £119.99) and other Amazon smart displays (the most expensive being the Echo Show 15 at £299.98), this price is fairly reasonable, particularly as it's a newer model.

Amazon regularly runs sales and generously discounts its Echo products so I expect the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) to drop in price next year, during the Prime Day and Black Friday sales.

Amazon Echo Show 8 3rd gen

(Image credit: Amazon)

Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) review: verdict

The Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) is easily the best Amazon smart display on the market to date. Its improved audio is powerful and adaptive, its design is more refined and the 8-inch touchscreen is as responsive and attractive as before.

While it hasn’t had huge updates compared to its predecessor, the Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) is still an impressive smart display that lets you take more control over your daily life. I can’t imagine not having it in my house now and think it’ll be a welcome addition to many homes around the world.

Echo Show 8 (3rd generation, 2023) review: Alternatives to consider

If you’re not too fussy about audio and Adaptive Content, the Echo Show 8 (2nd generation, 2021 release) is a good alternative to consider. It’s the previous generation with much of the same features. The audio isn’t as good but it’s still an impressive smart speaker, display and hub, plus it’s cheaper.

For a similar product from another brand, the Google Nest Hub Max is a 5-star smart display and Google’s best model yet. It has a big, bright screen that recognises your face, strong audio and video quality, and has Google Assistant at your fingertips.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.


Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!