Echo Show 8 vs. Nest Hub: Does Amazon or Google offer the best smart display?

Anyone in the market for a reasonably priced smart display has probably stumbled across the Echo Show 8 and Nest Hub. Both clock in at under $150 (often less when on sale) yet provide homes with many of the same features found on premium alternatives like the Nest Hub Max and Echo Show 10.

But is the Echo Show 8 better than the Nest Hub? And what exactly is the difference between these two smart displays? Here’s a comprehensive look at both to help you decide which one to bring into your smart home.

Pricing and design

Google Nest Hub 2nd Gen on table.
John Velasco / Digital Trends

The Echo Show 8 costs $150 and is available in black or white. It’s built to sit on a countertop, with an angled display and rounded back, making it easy to fit nearly anywhere in your home. Just above the display is a webcam, which can be turned off with a shutter toggle located on the top edge of the device. The Nest Hub shares a similar design, with a large screen sitting atop an oblong base so you can easily place it on a countertop. The base raises the display off the ground a bit farther than the Echo Show 8. Aside from that difference, the two share many of the same design cues, though note that the Nest Hub does lack a webcam — but it’s also $50 cheaper.

Winner: Nest Hub

Display size and quality

The Amazon Echo Show 8 sits next to an Echo Dot for scale.
Nick Mokey / Digital Trends

The Echo Show 8 is equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen. It’s a responsive display and one that works great at close range. But move a few extra feet away, and you’ll be straining your eyes to see its tiny screen. Inside the device, you’ll find two 2-inch neodymium drivers with passive bass radiators, which do a solid job of pumping music through your room. It’s not going to fill your whole home with crisp sound (check out the Echo Studio for that), but it definitely punches above its weight.

The Nest Hub features a slightly smaller display at just 7 inches, though it’s just as responsive and vibrant as the Echo Show 8. However, its small size makes it even harder to parse info from across a room, forcing you to move out of your way and get closer to see what’s on display. For sound, the Nest Hub uses a full-range speaker with a 1.7-inch driver. Like the Echo Show 8, it sounds better than you’d expect for such a small device but won’t be confused with something larger or specifically designed to handle music.

Winner: Echo Show 8

Features and smart home connectivity

Google Nest Hub 2nd Gen.
John Velasco / Digital Trends

The Echo Show 8 and Nest Hub share many of the same features. This includes making video calls, accessing popular apps like Spotify and Netflix, or showing off your favorite digital photos. They also serve as hubs for other smart home devices — the Nest Hub works with Google Home, and the Echo Show 8 works with Alexa. The Nest Hub even works as a sleep tracker, though you’ll need to place it next to your bed, which may not be the ideal location if you’re hoping to use it as a central hub for your home.

Winner: Nest Hub

Which is the better smart display?

Both the Echo Show 8 and Nest Hub are easy to recommend. They both do so many things right, and you truly can’t go wrong with either option. But because it’s $50 cheaper yet offers many of the same features, the Nest Hub is likely the better choice for most homes. It comes with a vibrant display, support for today’s hottest apps, and great sound quality, and it doubles as a sleep tracker when placed near your bed. That’s a long list of features packed into the $100 device — making it easy to recommend for most shoppers.

However, if you want a slightly larger screen or need support for Amazon Alexa, the Echo Show 8 is a better choice. And if you plan to use your smart display for video calls, you’ll want the Echo Show 8 instead of the Nest Hub.

You’ll also find the Echo Show 8 on sale during major shopping holidays, and if you can snag it for the same price as the Nest Hub, it’s even more compelling. Regardless of your choice, consider your current smart home setup and pick the device that pairs nicely with your existing devices.

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