Huawei AI Cube Amazon Alexa powered smart speaker launched
02 September, 2018, 18:54 | Author: Rafael Roberts
The AI Cube is an Alexa-powered smart speaker that also doubles as a 4G router, which makes sense given Huawei's expertise in building communications equipment. It is likely to be more expensive than that device though, given the router and 4G elements. Touch sensitive volume buttons, an Alexa button and a physical mute button are all present, providing Echo functionality and completing what is clearly a device inspired by the current holy trinity of smart speakers.
In terms of design, the Huawei AI Cube is similar to the Google speaker, but with a higher height.
That's about it really for Huawei's new smart speaker.
If you want to use the speaker in a normal configuration then you get Wi-Fi 802.11AC 5Ghz 1200Mbps allowing the device to integrate with your existing network.
The 4G connectivity is LTE Cat.6 in nature, with The Verge reporting that cellular speeds of up to 300Mbps.
So far, so ordinary, and the speaker works much as every other smart speaker you can think of.
Huawei has been riding the AI wave since its Mate 10 Pro was announced, and it's at it again, thwacking the buzz-word in the title of this product.
Huawei's reasoning for opting for Alexa over Google Assistant is two-fold. Thanks to it, it will be able to listen to the user's vocal commands to answer questions, control smart home appliances, stream music and much more, by basing on a library with over 50,000 skills. Apparently a 400ml sound cavity and aluminium diaphragm ensure it has "high quality audio with crystal clear midrange and highs, as well as full, rounded bass".
Besides the addition of the 4G router, what sets the AI Cube apart from its competitors are the HuaweiHisten audio technology and its enhanced AI capabilities that offers superior performance, Shudong said, adding that one can call the AI Cube from a maximum distance of five metres.
In the flesh, it is loud, making plenty of noise in a busy room. There are only four microphones, so we're also interested to see if the voice recognition is as good as other Alexa-toting devices, many of which have more microphones. This is an excellent looking router, a decent albeit familiar looking smart speaker, and a very versatile bit of kit. Perhaps Huawei's combination of audio quality, wireless connectivity and Alexa smarts will be enough for the AI Cube to carve out a space for itself in the crowded smart speaker market, but it seems like it's going to be a while before U.S. users find out.
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