Amazon doesn't seem to care whether you buy its own Echo-branded devices or go for Alexa devices from other companies, as long as the assistant gets into your home. The problem with that suggestion is that while the Echo is a solid smart speaker, it's also $180.
But its recent product announcement, a smart speaker with Alexa integration that looks (and functions) like an Amazon Echo Dot, might take the copycat cake.
Anker's best known for its power accessories, but it carries out its diversified tech interests through subsidiaries like Roav for smartening up cars and Eufy for a more efficient home. It may not be as fully featured as something like the standard Echo, but that's okay.More news: Game of Thrones Episode 5 Preview Trailer
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Of course, speaker quality is always a worry when we begin to dip down to low prices like these, but Anker fixes that problem by including an auxillary port on the device. After all, Alexa is certainly the star of the show, so the Eufy Genie still ticks off the major check box while trying to make home automation more affordable.
Anker's Dot alternative - called the Eufy Genie - will be priced at $35 and reportedly offer roughly the same functionality as the Echo Dot. The Eufy Genie comes bundled with an AUX cable, which means that you can hook it up to your sound system. Although the company mentioned that a $40 Bluetooth-enabled version of the device is coming in the future, the lack of Bluetooth pairing in the launch model of the device might be a deal-breaker for anyone who might prefer to use their own wireless speakers in lieu of the Genie's 2W speakers.
Alexa-powered smart home devices such as Anker's Eufy Genie are not considered as rivals for the Echo line of speakers, primarily because they still introduce Amazon's Alexa platform into homes.