With Alexa’s ever-increasing popularity, new Alexa-enabled products deliver almost daily. Some are duds – some are interesting and valuable. Each week, we take a look at new and important Alexa add-on hardware you might want to consider adding to your Alexa device farm.
This week’s hardware: Eufy Genie Smart Speaker
Description: The Eufy Genie is touted to be better than Amazon’s Echo Dot, but cheaper.
Here’s the set of features as stated by the company…
- Eufy Genie is a voice-controlled smart speaker with Amazon’s intelligent Alexa voice assistant built in. Just say the wake word “Alexa” and Genie plays music, controls your smart home devices, answers your questions, sets calendars, reports the weather and news and more.
- Built with a 2W speaker that delivers dynamic audio and room-filling sound, so you can truly enjoy your favorite playlists from streaming services like Amazon Music, TuneIn and iHeartRadio.
- Enables a true voice-controlled smart home experience. Use Genie to control other work-with-Alexa devices from Eufy and many other brands.
- Easy setup with the free EufyHome app. Use the Amazon Alexa app to access 10000+ skills and services, such as Pandora, Domino’s Pizza, Uber, ESPN, NPR News, and much more. Plus, Genie is always getting smarter. EufyHome requires a smartphone or tablet running iOS 8.0 (and above) or Android 4.3 (and above) to operate.)
- What You Get: Eufy Genie, AC power adapter (5ft/1.5m), AUX cable (5ft/1.5m), user manual, safety instruction card, our worry-free 12-month warranty and lifetime technical support.
Real world use: I think it’s interesting to find an entry-level device that costs less than Amazon’s own Echo Dot. But, more than that, this particular device is touted to have a better speaker. Anyone that owns an Echo Dot knows how much the audio output is lacking and will generally pair it with an external Bluetooth speaker. Recently, I started using the VAUX Speaker and Portable Battery and swear this is still probably the best Alexa-device add-on. But, considering this setup requires both a $49 Dot and a $49 speaker add-on, it makes the Eufy even more appealing.
There are a few caveats you should be aware of. First off, the Eufy only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks (it DOES NOT support 5GHz). Additionally for some reason the speaker does not yet support directly controlling Spotify with your voice. It also does not support the Alexa messaging and calling feature, but the company promises an update soon that will enable it.
But, really….the BIGGEST caveat is that it requires its own app for setup and then for subsequent upgrades – it doesn’t use the Alexa app for those. For this reason alone, you might consider just spending the extra $15 for the Dot because you know for sure Amazon will be providing continual updates. As Amazon releases new features as it frequently does, the Genie could fall way behind in capability.
We have one on pre-order and will be posting a formal review in the next week or two.
Where to get the hardware: Amazon has the this speaker for $34.99: Eufy Genie Smart Speaker With Amazon Alexa
The speaker starts shipping on August 16.
Where to get the software:
iOS app: EufyHome
Android app: EufyHome
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