Xiaomi has just unveiled its answer to Amazon’s hugely successful Echo smart speaker — in the form of the new Mi AI Speaker. The Mi AI was unveiled together with Xiaomi’s latest Mi 5X smartphone. It is expected to be launched in China next month through a beta program in which 1,000 beta users are expected to test it out first. Xiaomi hopes to use the beta program as a means to fine tune the Mi AI’s voice controls.
Like the Echo, the Mi AI can connect to various other products and act as a personal assistant that announces traffic, weather and calendar reminders. It can also play music, audio books, read kids stories and function as a radio.
While these features are nothing new in the market of smart speaker devices, what truly sets the Mi AI apart from the competition is its price tag — 299 Yuan or roughly $45. That is about $135 less than the Echo. The Amazon Echo Dot comes closer to the Mi AI’s pricing at $49.99 but is smaller in size which could also mean less impressive audio. Xiaomi claims that the speaker is equipped with six microphones for 360 degree sound in all directions.
As with many other Xiaomi products that were released before this, the Mi AI isn’t expected to be available outside China anytime soon after its beta program.