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Cyber Monday has come and gone, but if you’re still looking to pick up a new smart display or two ahead of the holidays, a newer deal on Amazon’s Echo Shows may be of interest: The retailer is currently offering a bundle that pairs its Echo Show 8 with the Kids edition of its Echo Show 5 for $70.
We’ve seen the Echo Show 8 alone go for $70 for much of the last two months, but that still equals the lowest price we’ve tracked. Normally, it retails closer to $100. With this deal, you’re effectively getting an Echo Show 5 Kids thrown in at no extra cost. That device is currently available on its own for $40, but its average street price over the last few months has sat closer to $60.
Most people don’t need a smart display, but for those who like using a voice assistant to pull up the weather, control smart lights and doorbells, stream podcasts and so on, it can provide more context than a screenless smart speaker. Amazon and Google are really your only options in this market, but if you’re already partial to Alexa, the Echo Show 8 is your best bet.
We gave the 8-inch display a review score of 87 last year and currently recommend it in our guide to the best smart displays: It can’t double as a smart home hub like the bigger Echo Show 10, but its display is big and sharp (1,280 x 800) enough to comfortably stream video or display photos around the house, its speakers are powerful enough to fill a room, its processor can keep up with most tasks and its 13-megapixel camera is suitable for video calls. And while no Alexa or Google Assistant device is ideal for the privacy-conscious, there’s at least a physical camera shutter and mic mute button built in.
The Echo Show 5 isn’t as quick, spacious or loud, and its 2-megapixel camera is a noticeable downgrade. Still, it can do just about everything the larger models can do, and its 5.5-inch screen makes it a better fit for bathrooms or bedside tables. We gave it a score of 85 last year. The Kids version has the same hardware as the normal model, but it comes with a two-year warranty, a year of Amazon’s Kids+ content service and a more child-friendly interface. Whether you’re okay putting an Amazon mic and camera in your kid’s room is up to you, but there is a camera cover and various parental controls for limiting and monitoring how the device is used.
If you’re not beholden to Alexa, we’ll note that Google’s Nest Hub, our top pick among Google displays, is still on sale for $50. We generally find the Google Assistant to be a little smarter than Alexa, particularly for web queries, and it naturally plays nicer with widely-used Google services like Gmail, Google Calendar, YouTube and the like. The Nest Hub also lacks a camera, which may be a positive if you don’t care about video calling. That said, if you already own a bunch of Alexa-enabled devices and want a couple new displays for around the house, this is a good deal, regardless of Alexa’s broader struggles.