Amazon is refreshing a handful of merchandise in its Echo line: the Echo Present eight and Echo Present 5, plus it’s including a Children Version of the Echo Present 5. The massive new function on each fashions is the digicam, however the improve is extra spectacular on the larger Echo Present eight. It now has the identical 13-megapixel sensor that you just’ll discover on the Echo Present 10. As a substitute of shifting the display round to level at you because the 10 does, the Echo Present eight supplies a wider, 110-degree discipline of view. Inside that vary, it does the pan and zoom trick to maintain topics centered within the body.
To energy that trick and another new software program options, Amazon says there’s a brand new “octa-core” processor contained in the Echo Present eight. In any other case, it’s the same Echo Show 8 that we reviewed in 2019, with twin audio system and a selection of both white or charcoal grey. It nonetheless sells on the similar value, $129.99.
The opposite software program tips embody utilizing the digicam to detect if a human has walked into the room after which plugging that info into routines (like turning on the lights). Amazon emphasizes that that is an opt-in solely function and it even requires customers to manually punch in a code throughout setup to make sure they actually imply to show it on. It additionally does its human form detection regionally.
Amazon will even let all Echo eight and 5 units activate Alexa’s safety mode, so you possibly can remotely view the cameras out of your telephone. Lastly, the Echo Present eight is getting new AR results for Amazon’s personal video chat service, together with “reactions” like filling the display with hearts or setting customized digital backgrounds.
As for the smaller (and extra widespread) Echo Present 5, the upgrades are much less spectacular. The digicam is doubling in decision, from one megapixel to 2. It received’t have the horsepower to do the observe mode on the digicam. Nevertheless, the Echo Present 5 is getting a everlasting value drop; it’s now $84.99. It is available in the identical charcoal and white colours however provides a brand new blue possibility.
If you wish to spend $10 extra, you may get a Children Version of the Echo Present 5 with a wild print on the rear material. That further $10 additionally features a 12 months of Amazon Children Plus companies and a two-year guarantee towards no matter harm your youngster can inflict on the factor.
All three variations of the Echo Present ought to be out there for order instantly, however delivery may take a couple of weeks — even Amazon isn’t absolutely proof against chip shortages, it appears. As for followers of the Echo Spot orb, it’s not seeing any updates as we speak and is in all probability not going to make a comeback — Amazon tells us that the majority clients simply opted for the Echo Present 5 as an alternative.