This story is part of, CNET's guide to everything you need to know and how to find the best deals.
Amazon's lineup of Echo Showadd a touchscreen to the voice-controlled Alexa experience, and that visual approach to smart home assistance makes for a much better experience when you're asking for a weather forecast or a recipe to follow along with, or if you want to place a quick video call to a loved one or a co-worker. If you've been looking to add one to your smart home setup, then your timing couldn't be better -- is just days away, and early smart home specials include deals on Echo devices, several of which are available right now at their lowest prices ever.
Among them is the first-gen Echo Show 8, from 2019. Like the name suggests, the marquee feature is an 8-inch HD touchscreen, but we also appreciated the decent sound and camera quality, along with the inclusion of a physical privacy shutter that covers the camera lens when you aren't using it. Originally priced at $130, the first-gen Echo Show 8 is available now as an early Prime Day deal for just $55, which is half of what Amazon usually asks for it these days and $5 less than its previous all-time low. That's an outstanding value for an Editors' Choice-winning smart display.
So what are you missing by going with the first-gen Echo Show 8 instead of the second-gen follow-up? Not much, honestly. Along with a faster processor, the primary upgrade withis a much-higher megapixel camera that Amazon uses to artificially pan and zoom to follow you within the frame if you're moving around during a video call. It's neat, but it's not a must-have. Same goes for the second-gen display's built-in Zigbee radio for connecting lights and locks with your network and its person detection feature, which uses motion sensing smarts to trigger Alexa routines when someone walks in the room. They're neat and they're nice to have, but you also aren't missing out on too much by skipping them, especially for value like this.
Your other Alexa-enabled alternatives would be the pint-sized, which is probably a better fit for a bedroom nightstand thanks to its smaller stature and snooze-able sunrise alarms, or the motorized , which can automatically pivot the entire touchscreen to follow you around the room during calls, or the wall-mountable , which is designed more like a king-sized smart picture frame. Even at full price, we like the Echo Show 8 as a good sweet spot selection from that lineup. At $55, it's a steal.