Xiaomi’s run for value-for-money products continues as the Chinese technology company forays into categories other than smartphones. After a successful showing in the smart television and smart fitness wearables space in India, the company has now entered the smart speaker segment with the launch of Mi Smart Speaker.
The Mi Smart Speaker is a Google Assistant-powered device, with built-in Chromecast for easy content streaming. Besides being a smart speaker, it lets you manage and operate supported internet-of-things (IoT) products through voice commands. Priced at Rs 3,999, the Mi Smart Speaker is an entry-level voice-enabled speaker that promises audio quality better than Google’s and Amazon’s budget smart speakers. But does it live up to its name and promise? Let’s find out:
The Mi Smart Speaker is a lot bigger and heavier than its palm-sized peers from Amazon and Google. Its big stature, however, gives it space to accommodate a 2.5-inch audio driver, which is the biggest you get in any entry-level smart speaker. It is a 12W full-range speaker, with DTS Professional audio tuning. It is powered by Texas Instruments’ TAS5805M Hi-Fi Audio processor.
Technical details aside, the speaker does sound better than Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot. It is loud and clear and manages the high and low frequencies well. The output is slightly overpowering, which works great for acoustics but not so well for vocals. It is a front-firing speaker, so the audio is directional, not omnidirectional. That said, the Mi Smart Speaker delivers a better experience if kept in a room corner rather than somewhere in the centre.
Speaking of smart capabilities, the Mi Smart Speaker is a voice-enabled speaker with Google Assistant. Once set up through the Google Home app, you can simply wake it through ‘Hey Google’ command. The speaker has two far-field speech and voice recognition microphones which work well and pick up voice commands in most cases.
The Google Home app also lets you pair and manage the Mi Smart Speaker other smart home products like smart fan, smart lamp, smart TV, etc, and other smart speakers like Google Nest, Google Home Mini, etc. Additionally, there is Bluetooth for conventional connectivity. However, you need to set up the speaker first through the Google Home app to enable the Bluetooth function. Besides, the speaker has built-in Chromecast that lets you stream music files, podcasts and much more on the speaker or a connected television.
Overall, the Mi Smart Speaker makes a better proposition in the entry-level smart speakers’ segment simply because it has better audio output than peers from Google and Amazon. Moreover, its smart capabilities are similar to what you get from other Google Assistant and Chromecast -integrated smart speakers. The addition of Bluetooth connectivity makes the package wholesome. Currently available at an introductory discounted price of Rs 3,499, the Mi Smart Speaker is simply great for experiencing and exploring the smart world.