Jul 18th, 2020

While you may assume that Google was the first to the market with a smart display, that assumption would be incorrect. Amazon was actually the first to get a smart display out to the masses with the Amazon Echo Show all the way back in 2017. Since then, Amazon has changed up the design, along with releasing smart displays with a few different size options for different applications. All of these work with the lineup of Echo speakers, so you can get the display in areas you need, while Echo speakers everywhere else. These are the best Smart Displays powered by Amazon Alexa that you can get!

If you’re looking for something with Google Assistant support, be sure to check out our Best Google Assistant Smart Displays roundup.

Amazon Echo Show 5

If you’re looking to get started or want something for your nightstand, then you can’t go wrong with Amazon’s Echo Show 5. This sports the smallest display, outside of the Echo Spot, measuring in at 5.5-inches. You can use this to interact with all of your smart home products, and install any Alexa Skill to make your Echo even smarter than it is out of the box. The built-in Privacy Shutter disables the camera mounted on the front, or you can turn off the camera and microphone with a dedicated button.

The Good

  • Best for on a side table
  • Personalize with Amazon Photos
  • Control privacy with a built-in camera shutter

The Bad

  • Too small to watch videos
  • Must install Skills to unlock full potential
  • Speaker may sound tinny

$60 from Amazon

Amazon Echo Show 8

When Amazon decided on how it would cater to the Alexa Smart Display market, it really thought of everything with devices hitting the most useful display sizes. The Echo Show 8 sports an 8-inch display with a resolution 1280×800 of, which is, coincidentally, the same resolution as the new Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Plus tablets. You’ll also find dual 10W speakers for some pretty solid audio playback, and there’s even a 3.5mm headphone jack if you happen to still have a phone with one available. Amazon includes the same privacy controls for the microphones and camera, so you can shut everything off when the time is right.

The Good

  • Dual-Speakers for surround sound
  • Built-in privacy controls for microphone and camera
  • 3.5mm audio output on back

The Bad

  • Camera is only 1MP
  • Adjustable stand sold separately (or as a bundle)

$90 from Amazon

Amazon Echo Show

This behemoth of a smart display is the way to go for those who want the best that Amazon’s Echo lineup has to offer. There’s a 10.1-inch display, to go along with the dual 10W speakers with Dolby processing for incredible sound quality. With a display this big, it’s a perfect companion for the kitchen or a common area where you make video calls with your friends and family. The built-in Zigbee Hub can detect and connect to compatible smart home products, removing the need to have different hubs for different lights, cameras, and more.

The Good

  • Vibrant 10.1-inch display
  • Built-in Zigbee Hub
  • Dual 10W speakers with Dolby processing

The Bad

  • Can’t just be placed anywhere due to the size
  • Lack of 3.5mm audio port

$180 from Amazon

Amazon Echo Spot

For some, there is a real benefit for having a smart display double as your alarm clock for the nightstand. That’s what you’ll find with the Echo Spot, as this is small enough to place anywhere in the home, and the four-microphone array ensures that Alexa will be able to hear all of your requests. Instead of relying on a switch for the camera and another button for the microphones, the Echo Spot features a single button to control both. The only real downside is that we wouldn’t recommend using the Echo Spot to play any audio back, other than to give you a rundown of what’s on the agenda for the day.

The Good

  • Best for the nightstand
  • Four-microphone array
  • Single-button to enable/disable microphones and camera

The Bad

  • Tiny 2.5-inch display
  • Speaker is not all that powerful

$90 from Amazon

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus Tablet

It had been a few years since the Fire HD 8 had been updated, but we are extremely thankful that they have finally seen some attention. There are two models of the 8-inch Fire Tablet, with the HD 8 Plus taking the cake as a pseudo-smart display thanks to the included wireless charging dock. When placing the tablet on the dock, your Fire HD 8 Plus automatically turns into an Echo Smart Display with all of the same features as others. Then, you can just take the tablet off the dock and use it as a traditional tablet with access to all of Amazon’s applications and services. Just remember, there is no Play Store on Amazon’s tablets, so you’ll have to use the Amazon App Store.

The Good

  • Wireless charging via Charging Dock
  • Can recharge 100% in less than 4 hours
  • Charging dock turns tablet into Smart Display

The Bad

  • Only 3GB of RAM
  • Google Play Store not built-in

$109 from Amazon

Facebook Portal

Regardless of the privacy concerns that come with using Facebook, the company has released some pretty solid smart displays that integrate quite nicely. These are powered by Amazon Alexa but have deep integration with Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp messaging applications. Out of the bunch, the Facebook Portal looks like one of those smart picture frames, but there’s a whole lot more under the hood that the Portal can do. Facebook also offers the Portal in several different sizes, along with the Portal TV so you can use your television as the display while this accessory provides all the smarts.

The Good

  • Amazon Alexa built-in
  • Can make video calls with Messenger or WhatsApp
  • 4 microphones built-in

The Bad

  • Thick bezels
  • No audio input

$105 from Amazon

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