Anker one-ups Amazon with Alexa-powered $35 version of the Echo Dot
Move over, Echo Dot – Anker’s just launched a new compact home assistant for the bargain price of $35 (£27) – and its using the same AI as Amazon’s brainchild. Anker’s Eufy Genie is, for all intents and purposes, incredibly similar to the Echo Dot, wielding nearly all of the same features, and exactly the same virtual personal assistant, Alexa.
Its improvements on Amazon’s Echo Dot are reportedly twofold, with the Eufy Genie lording cut-down price (£27 to the Dot’s £50 on Amazon UK) and better audio (according to Anker) over its Amazon counterpart. As the Eufy Genie is Alexa-powered, it’ll be able to respond to the same roster of voice commands an Echo does. So you can play music, turn on your lights, operate smart home gadgets and so on, with the added benefit, purportedly, of clearer audio.
Users won’t be able to put the product to the test until 16 August, when the Eufy Genie is officially available. And whilst the $35 model doesn’t support Bluetooth, Anker plans to launch an upgraded $40 that does, according to Pocket Lint. If this does come to fruition, it means the Eufy Genie will be able to connect wirelessly to external speakers, à la the Echo and the Echo Dot.
And apparently this is just the beginning, with the smart speaker opening the floodgates for a range of new connected devices from Anker, including a new Roomba competitor, light bulbs, switches, and wall plugs. Reservations have been expressed, however, as to how much Anker can claim the product for its own “when it’s so dependent on someone else’s AI”, as Tech Crunch points out.
Anker was founded in 2011 by ex-Google employee Steven Yang, to bring to the market a line of affordable accessories – batteries, cables, chargers – that would put those of Apple and fellow titans to shame. The company’s dependable ethos is codified in its name: ‘Anker’ comes from the German word for ship anchor. It has since gone on to become the most popular brand of portable battery packs sold on Amazon – no mean feat.
As for its foray into the world of smart home assistants, there is no news yet of the Eufy Genie’s availability or pricing in the UK. We will keep this page updated as and when we find out more.