Xiaomi and the new Mi AI Speaker are on a collision course with Amazon Echo and the corresponding service Alexa. This is not (yet) available in China, where Xiaomi sees his chances. We bought the Xiaomi Mi AI Speaker and tested the Echo Clone for market.
Processing and Design
The scope of delivery of the Xiaomi Mi AI speaker is limited to the essential, but a compact manual in Chinese, a power supply with CN plug and of course the speaker itself.
The white speaker makes a simple but modern impression at first glance. It is neatly processed and has no processing errors or other defects. With a price of ~$70 the Xiaomi Mi AI is in the price range of an echo dots. With the size of 8,80 x 8,80 x 21,16 cm it is rather the counterpart to the Amazon Echo (8,35 x 8,35 x 23,5 x cm), which is much more expensive with 180€ – a clear battle announcement on the part of Xiaomi.
Sound of the Xiaomi Mi AI Speaker
For the first soundcheck we connected the speaker to the smartphone via Bluetooth, which works without any problems. The Xiaomi Mi AI Speaker is equipped with two speakers, which are mounted on the opposite sides.
Basically, the speaker doesn’t sound bad, the sound is balanced, doesn’t scratch and makes a solid impression overall. However, the AI Speaker doesn’t come close to the strong sound of the Xiaomi Mi Network Speaker. A good comparison would be the sound of the Tronsmart T6 with a bit less bass boost.
For a perfect response of the echo clone Xiaomi has installed six microphones, which are supposed to ensure that voice commands are perceived from every direction.
W-Lan integration and smartphone app
As with the Xiaomi Network Speaker, the app for the Xiaomi Mi AI Speaker is only available in Chinese, so it’s time to sausage through it again with the help of the Google translator. Here you can download the app for Android and iOS.
If you don’t have a Mi account, the first step (unfortunately) is to create one. This can be created either by mobile phone number or by e-mail address, without Mi account the app cannot be used.
To establish the first connection with the Xiaomi Mi AI Speaker, the Bluetooth of the mobile phone must be switched on.
If the smart speaker does not automatically switch to pairing mode, in which the LED ring lights orange, this can also be done manually by pressing the “CH” button for three seconds.
If the speaker is paired with the app, it can be connected to the WLAN via the app. Once the speaker is successfully connected to the WLAN, it can be started. There are many options available in the app.
With the app you can play music, just like with the Xiaomi Network Speaker app. Of course, this includes almost only Chinese music, but there are also titles by American and international artists, which are well known in Europe. Whether this music is legally and lawfully represented there in Germany, I dare to doubt.
In addition, the Xiaomi Mi AI SPeaker can be connected via app with other smart home products from Xiaomi. Possible voice commands to which the speaker can respond are also suggested. Finally, all settings concerning the loudspeaker and the app can be changed.
Smart features that the Xiaomi Mi AI Speaker (in Chinese) masters:
- Set dates
Answer questions about weather forecast, traffic jams or translations
Control of smart home devices (e. g. Yeelight)
Is the speaker interesting for customers in other countries?
Whether the Xiaomi Mi AI, similar to the GGMM E5 or Eufy Genie, can be coupled with Amazon’s Alexa, nobody could tell us. Before we ordered the speaker, GearBest informed us that the speaker Xiaomi Mi AI Speaker will support different languages, but we can’t confirm this. At least our version seems to be designed for the Chinese market only, because at least with the original app nothing can be changed in terms of language.
However, it would be technically no problem to program the Xiaomi Mi AI Speaker in such a way that it could be coupled with Amazon’s Alexa. Whether this is desirable for Xiaomi, however, is not clear.
In its current form, the speaker is definitely not compatible with Alexa, because there is a big difference in handling. While devices that are compatible with Alexa are initially connected to the smartphone via W-Lan, the Mi AI Speaker is initially connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth. This approach does not apply to the Alexa App, which is needed for coupling with the Alexa service and devices such as the GGMM E5 or Eufy Genie.