While most of us know Xiaomi for its extensive smartphone lineup, it maintains an even bigger ecosystem of IoT products back home. Looking specifically at smart speakers, Xiaomi does have a bunch on offer, but they all use a local voice assistant that only speaks Chinese. One of those speakers is now making an international debut as the Mi Smart Speaker with Google Assistant and Chromecast on board.
The Mi Smart Speaker is comparable in size to the Google Home and delivers 12W output using its 2.5” forward-facing driver. This directional audio can come handy when you pair two units for a stereo setup. The metal-clad unit has its touch controls on the top, while a ring light, heavily inspired by the Amazon Echo range, encircles the top edge. It’s also got two far-field microphones to pick your voice commands. The entire design takes some heavy cues from the Bose Home Speaker line-up.
As previously said, the Mi Smart Speaker gets its smarts from Google Assistant, which brings along its full bouquet of connected features, including the ability to speak both Hindi and English in the first launch market, India. It should work just like your usual Google-branded speakers, except for a few features that are exclusive to or land first on Home/Nest units.
You can set up the Xiaomi speaker using the Google Home app. In India, it’s priced at ₹3,999 (~$55), but you can get one for ₹3,499 (~$47) as part of an early-bird offer from Mi.com, Flipkart.com, and Xiaomi’s offline retail network — at this rate, you can grab two for stereo pairing and pay less than what a single upcoming Nest Audio should cost. Buyers will also get a free 1-year subscription to local music streaming app Gaana.