A few weeks back, the Eufy Genie Smart Speaker made our weekly Alexa-enable Product of the Week series. At the time, it was one of the first non-Amazon Alexa speakers available that provided most of the same features. If you want a good look at the specs and a list of the caveats, see: Alexa-enabled Product of the Week: Eufy Genie Smart Speaker
Since then, I’ve had a good chance to get the speaker installed and tested thoroughly and I’d thought I’d stop back by to revisit this speaker with some updated thoughts. As I mentioned in that initial article, there are some caveats. Eufy says its working on them, but, here they are in a nutshell:
- Only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks (it DOES NOT support 5GHz) – this is really not a big deal really.
- Does not yet support directly controlling Spotify with your voice. Eufy has been promising a fix, but a month later and its still not working.
- Does not support the Alexa messaging and calling feature. This is another item the company says it is addressing, but for which an update hasn’t arrived yet.
- While the Genie does show up in the Amazon Alexa app, you have to use Eufy’s EufyHome app to configure it. This is really not a big deal, but if you have a lot of third party Alexa devices in your environment, the number of additional apps you must use can become its own monster.
We are literally running out of places in the house to install new Alexa devices. The Genie is the first Alexa-enabled device that now resides in one of our bathrooms. But, that’s not a bad thing, considering we have almost 100% Alexa coverage in our home now. Just about no matter where you are (2-story home with a basement), an Alexa device can hear you.
So, yes. The Eufy Genie has become a bathroom device. That’s not to say the Genie has been relegated to the potty room because its *ahem* crap. No, quite the contrary. The Genie resides in the bathroom with the whirlpool. We chose this because the Genie’s speaker is actually pretty good. Obviously, its not as good as Amazon’s flagship Echo device, but it clearly puts the Dot to shame. In the bathroom with the whirlpool, the Genie adds to the relaxing ambiance with soft tones and Amazon Unlimited Music playback.
We have noticed that the Genie does “hear” quite as well as the pure Amazon devices. Also, the bathroom echo can throw it off even further. Its not enough to frustrate, and, it does still work as long as you speak with authority and remember to enunciate.
The Eufy Genie costs $20 less than the Echo Dot. Is a $20 savings worth not having Calling and Messaging and Spotify? I think so – however, you have to keep in mind that as Amazon continues updating its services, the Genie may fall way behind as Eufy scrambles to keep up with its own updates. $20 may seem like chump-change, but the Genie is still a good device and if you’re buying an Alexa device as a gift or to supply our college student with Alexa capabilities in the dorm room, that $20 is golden.
Amazon has the Genie for $29: Eufy Genie Smart Speaker With Amazon Alexa
(tap or click each image for a larger view)
Works Just Like the Dot
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