Amazon is refreshing its lineup of smart displays, or at least, the smaller models in the family. The second-generation Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 were announced today, with the biggest upgrade being in the built-in cameras.
Starting with the Echo Show 8, it comes in the same body, and the display size and resolution is also the same. The camera, however, has seen a major bump from just 1MP in the first-generation product to a 13MP wide-angle unit in this new version. The camera can digitally zoom and pan to follow users around as they move, which is somewhat similar to what Facebook offers with its Portal devices. This is primarily useful for video calls, and on that note, Amazon also says it's working on new AR effects that users can enable during those calls to make them more fun. Finally, the new model has a new octa-core processor instead of the previous quad-core one.
As for the second-generation Echo Show 5, the upgrades are a bit smaller, with the 1MP camera being bumped up to a 2MP unit. The new model also comes in a new blue color option, but it's otherwise the same as before.
The bigger news for the Echo Show 5 is the introduction of a Kids Edition, which comes in a Chameleon color and offers some features like kid-friendly clock themes. Children can also ask Alexa for help with homework, and parents can set up approved contacts for kids to make calls to. As usual for Kids Edition devices, this also includes a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, and a free replacement unit if the device breaks within the first two years.
The new Echo Show devices are available to pre-order today, with a full launch on June 9. The new Echo Show 8 costs the same $129.99 as its predecessor, while the Echo Show 5 has dropped to $84.99, $5 less than the original version. As for the Echo 5 Kids Edition, that will set you back $94.99.
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