Anker's Eufy Genie gives you Alexa and more, all on the cheap

Mobile charging company Anker is taking a new leap into the world of smart speakers, announcing its new Eufy Genie speaker, which includes Amazon’s intelligent voice assistant Alexa.

The speaker, named in part for Anker’s Eufy smart home brand, allows users to control smart home appliances with voice commands and ask Alexa most of the same questions they can on an Amazon Echo speaker. You can verbally inquire about the latest news, traffic, and weather, as well as change music and make orders through the Amazon store online.

The main selling point of the new speaker is that it is more affordable than even Amazon’s cheapest Echo device, the Echo Dot. The Eufy Genie will retail for just $35 on Amazon. 

Although it does not feature every app-integration offered by Amazon’s device at launch, it’s worth noting that the speaker will steadily feature more integrations via software updates. In terms of music, for example, Amazon Music and Pandora’s on demand streaming service will be available at launch, but the company says Spotify integration will come soon as an update.

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

People willing to upgrade to a smart home are unable to do so due to price concerns.

In terms of looks, the Eufy Genie looks much like an Echo Dot. It is a small black puck with rounded edges and a blue LED ring around the top. The Genie features a micro USB port for power and the sound emanating from a small two-watt audio driver can be augmented with a 3.5 mm audio output.

Anker’s Eufy smart home system has been expanding considerably recently, with the company embracing Alexa integration, and setting its sights on consumers who are looking for value in the marketplace. According to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 42 percent of people willing to upgrade to a smart home are unable to do so due to price concerns. Because of this, Anker hopes the new Genie will be the centerpiece of a home which is largely set up with affordable Anker Eufy products.

“Everyone deserves the chance to live in their very own ‘house of the future’; where through one simple platform, 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 at least $1,000,” said Yang. “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.”

Those interested in more information about the new smart speaker are encouraged to check out Anker Eufy’s website.

Smart Home

August celebrates No. 1 ranking with white, limited-edition smart lock

One billion lock operations is a pretty huge milestone for a smart home manufacturer and the top-selling brand, August, is celebrating by releasing a limited edition version of its classic smart lock - in white.
Smart Home

Google Home Mini vs. Amazon Echo Dot: Which smart home speaker is better?

We put the two most popular smart home speakers -- the Google Home Mini and the 3rd generation Amazon Echo Dot -- together and tested them on appearance, audio, and abilities. So which should you buy? Find out how they did in our showdown.
Smart Home

Have Siri control your home with the best devices that work with Apple HomeKit

Though they've been slow to trickle out, the list of HomeKit smart home products continues to grow and will only continue to do so now that the HomePod is available. Here's a list of the best Apple HomeKit-compatible devices.
Smart Home

DI you just get a brand-new Amazon Echo? Here's how to set it up

This hands-free, voice-controlled device can do so much. Here's how to set up your Amazon Echo, how to customize settings to get the experience you want, and how to set up more in-depth commands like smart device control.
Smart Home

Eight Sleep’s Pod bed keeps you cool (or warm) and tells you how you’re sleeping

Americans are chronically sleep deprived and startup Eight Sleep wants to change that. The company recently announced The Pod, a biometric-tracking, temperature-regulating smart mattress.
Smart Home

With new blueprints, Amazon empowers anyone to create Alexa skills in minutes

Amazon launched new tools called Skills Blueprints last year to empower more users to create and publish Alexa Skills and is now fine-tuning the tools, adding more customization as well as live and recorded audio.
Smart Home

Lowe’s offers Presidents Day bargains on Samsung appliances, Nest, and Dyson

Anticipating the demand for DIY makeovers, Lowe's Presidents' Day sale has deals on popular products from Dyson, Nest, and Samsung. If you're shopping for a vacuum cleaner, a stainless steel fridge, or home security devices, head to Lowe's.

Google might release a smartwatch and multiple Pixel phones in 2019

Google seems to have a lot planned for 2019. According to a report, Google is planning on releasing multiple new Pixel phones, a smartwatch, a new Google Home, and a Nest Security camera this year.
Smart Home

Abode Systems taps HelloTech for professional security system installations

Abode Systems has been expanding into the smart home security market and will enhance its technology with a new partnership with tech support firm HelloTech, which will install its security systems for a fee.
Smart Home

Want to publish your own Alexa skill? Here's how to do it

Building new Alexa skills has never been easier! Thanks to Alexa Blueprints, you can pick a template and create any kind of Alexa skill you want. What new skill will you make first? Here's how to do it.
Smart Home

Let a robot do your chores! Here are the best robot vacuums for 2019

Robot vacuums are a convenient way to tidy up your home and minimize your weekly to-do list. From a top-of-the-line model to a handy budget option, here are the best robot vacuums you can buy right now.
Smart Home

Samsung washing machine recall results in $6.55M class-action settlement

Samsung settled a class action lawsuit involving more than 30 top-loading washing machine models for $6.55 million. The suit alleged the machine tops could detach and explode. Original owners may qualify for refunds and cash settlements.
Smart Home

At KBIS 2019, LG brings its biggest lineup of Amazon Dash-equipped appliances

LG announced ahead of KBIS 2019 that its entire line of dishwashers and laundry appliances will now come pre-integrated with Amazon Dash, the online retailer's popular automatic replenishment program.
Emerging Tech

Words are so 2018. The Peeqo robot speaks exclusively in GIFs and video clips

Move over, Amazon Echo! Peeqo is a cute robot that will answer your spoken word questions by displaying a specially selected short video or GIF. Because, you know, it’s the year 2019.