Anker unveils $35 Alexa-powered Eufy Genie smart speaker

Think Echo Dot, only $15 cheaper.

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Anker, a name that most associate with mobile charging, has today announced the launch of their first Alexa-powered smart speaker.

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Called the Eufy Genie, this device brings the power and hands-free convenience of Alexa to users at the lowest price yet -- only $34.99.

This is $15 cheaper that Amazon's Echo Dot.

"Eufy Genie users will be able to enjoy the majority of benefits Alexa offers at an accessible price point," said Steven Yang, CEO of Anker Technology. "We're excited to deliver a smart speaker with Alexa and high-quality sound at an affordable price point for customers."

And even Amazon is happy to see the Alexa ecosystem grow.

"With the Eufy Genie, customers can get Alexa, her 15,000+ skills, and high-quality sound for less than $35," said Steve Rabuchin, VP Amazon Alexa. "Now even more customers will be able to simply ask Alexa to set a timer, play the news or their favorite music, control their smart home or order a meal with just their voice."

I've been testing a Eufy Genie for the past few days and I'm very impressed. Physically, it's a little bigger than the Echo Dot, but in operation it's hard to tell the difference, although to my ear the speaker in the Eufy Genie feels warmer and a little bassier, and the pickup from the microphones is excellent.

And just like the Echo Dot, the Eufy Genie features an aux port to allow it to be hooked up to additional speakers if required.

And the Eufy Genie is just the beginning for Anker.

"Genie is the core of the Eufy smart home system, but this is just the beginning. Eufy users should expect a complete line of smart devices in the coming weeks, including smart light wall plugs, light bulbs, and even an Alexa-enabled version of our flagship product, the RoboVac 11," said Yang.

And unlike players such as Apple, Anker wants to make home automation more affordable:

"Everyone deserves the chance to live in their very own 'house of the future'; where through one simple service, they can order pizza, turn their lights on, and direct their robotic vacuum to clean. At present, a connected home like that requires an investment of hundreds of dollars," Yang told ZDNet. "What we are trying to do is to turn the smart home concept into something more affordable, accessible and integrated. With less than $600, consumers can experience a Eufy smart home entirely controlled by Genie."

The Eufy Genie comes under Anker's smart home brand Eufy, and will be available for sale on Amazon from August 16.

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