AI-powered speakers like the Google Home and Amazon Echo have become some of the most popular smarthome products, offering the ability to play music, control other devices, handle search queries, and more. In China, however, these devices and their corresponding services aren’t widely available.

Xiaomi may have the perfect solution with its newly announced Mi AI speaker.

The Mi AI is a tall, squared off speaker with rounded corners and a light around the top flanking five buttons (disable microphone, previous, next, play, and CH). It features a six-microphone array for echo cancellation and voice control, and offers a lot of the same features as the Google Home and other voice assistants. Xiaomi lists that the Mi AI can play music, ask questions (weather, traffic, translation, etc.), control home appliances, set alarms, and take notes.

Using a companion app, you’ll be able to install add-ons and plug-ins to bring additional features to the Mi AI over time. For now, Xiaomi boasts a massive library of online content, including music, audio books, children’s stories, and live radio. Best of all, the Mi AI speaker will sell for just RMB 299 — roughly the equivalent of 45 US dollars.

In addition to the Mi AI speaker, Xiaomi also announced its MIUI 9 software and the Mi 5X (both for China exclusively — at least for now), offering lightning fast performance on a budget. We’ll try to get our hands on a unit and give our full impressions in the coming weeks.


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