Anker's new Alexa smart speaker is a dirt-cheap Echo Dot

Doris Richards
August 10, 2017

Although the company mentioned that a $40 Bluetooth-enabled version of the device is coming in the future, the lack of Bluetooth pairing in the launch model of the device might be a deal-breaker for anyone who might prefer to use their own wireless speakers in lieu of the Genie's 2W speakers.

"Genie is the core of the Eufy smart home system, but this is just the beginning".

Anker's Dot alternative - called the Eufy Genie - will be priced at $35 and reportedly offer roughly the same functionality as the Echo Dot. The Eufy Genie will be at the center of those efforts, and it will be compatible with all of the devices Anker releases. The company's new Genie, a smaller and cheaper Amazon Echo Dot clone, connects to all of its own smart home devices effortlessly.

So, if the Eufy Genie is basically a [admittedly cool-looking] knockoff of the Echo Dot, why wouldn't consumers just go with the tried and true version from Amazon along with the support staff that comes along with it?

Anker promises that the sound quality is better here than on the Dot. The Eufy Genie includes the ability to listen for Alexa commands and outputting audio to larger speakers or playing back audio through its own speakers. At 70 percent of the Echo Dot's cost, I'd be satisfied if the sound was 70 percent as strong, but that wouldn't be saying much given that the Dot's puny speaker wasn't created to fill a room.

Piecing together a smart home shouldn't be hard. A new, app-enabled version of Eufy's RoboVac will come next in September - you'll be able to buy it bundled with the Genie for just $280, which is about as affordable as voice-connected housecleaning now gets. Though, the company does appear to have cut a corner or two in order to keep the price down - most notably, the inclusion of two microphones, versus Amazon's seven. The family will grow to include smart light bulbs, wall switches, and wall plugs. Of course, it can handle all your other Alexa-powered smart home stuff, but it's designed particularly for Eufy.

Building that base of customers is clearly Amazon's top priority for Alexa as it fights to secure as big a share of the red-hot voice control market as it can. Amazon and Google (and Apple soon) sell the best smart speakers you can buy, but they don't sell you the other parts that complete a smart home. The company started with portable chargers, but now its Bluetooth headphones, portable speakers, dash cams, and Lightning cables are all among the best-reviewed and most popular products in their category.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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