The smart speaker market is heating up with several companies wanting a piece of the pie. The latest to enter the fray is no other than Xiaomi, a Chinese company known for its quality, yet affordable smart products.
This device from Xiaomi is called the “Yeelight” for reasons we do not understand. It’s as if Xiaomi decided to partner with Kanye West to come up with the name because surely, that’s something Kanye would deliver.
Yeelight uses Amazon Alexa smart assistant
Unsurprisingly, the Yeelight doesn’t come with a new smart assistant. Xiaomi doesn’t have one of its own, so to make up for that, the company chose to add Alexa at the heart of everything.
It’s a great idea on Xiaomi’s part because Alexa is the most popular right now, and it brings a ton of features to the table when compared to Google Home and Microsoft’s Cortana.
A recent report claims the device might even come with support for Microsoft’s Cortana, but nothing is confirmed at this time.
The design and specs
When it comes down to the look of the product, it’s quite similar to the Amazon Echo Dot. The main differences here are the volume buttons at the top, and the LED light surrounding. It doesn’t look bad, but it takes too much from the Echo Dot.
In terms of the internal hardware specs, the Yeelight is rocking a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor with 256 MB RAM and 256 MB internal memory. Additionally, the speaker can listen to 360 degrees and a five-meter range with its six microphones.
With six microphones, the possibility of the speaker giving off an echo during operation is quite high. To get rid of this, Xiaomi went ahead and Beamforming and Acoustic Echo Cancellation technologies to the mix.
The Wi-Fi connectivity makes use of 4 GHz/5 GHz dual-band, and if users wish, they can pair the Yeelight with Bluetooth products in the home.
Connecting the smart speaker with other Xiaomi smart devices
At the moment, the smart speaker is capable of speaking with other Xiaomi smart products. This should be a huge boon for fans of the company who tend to buy a lot of their smart products.
However, for those who just want a cheap Alexa-supported smart speaker for $30, support for your non-Xiaomi smart gadgets will come at a later date.
“Yeelight Voice Assistant is equipped with Dual AI system and can also be used for the control of other Xiaomi home automation products, such as smart LED lamps, table lamps, bedside lamps, ceiling lights, etc,” according to Xiaomi’s official blog. “The device is Currently supporting only of Xiaomi branded home automation products for the Xiaomi smart home, while in the coming weeks support will be extended to more devices.”
The Yeelight will go on sale in China come January 31, 2018, for 199 Yuan, which is a cool 30 bucks.