Science & Environment

Mi Smart Speaker review: Shut up and take my money

Written by Sneha Saha
| Kolkata |

Updated: October 17, 2020 11:49:51 am


Xiaomi Mi Smart Speaker review (Express photo: Sneha Saha)

Xiaomi has been expanding the Mi portfolio in India this year with the launch of a smart speaker to top up the flurry of TVs, fitness bands, smartwatch and, of course, smartphones.

With most of us stuck at home or working from home, a smart speaker comes across as a necessity to bring in some entertainment into our mundane lifestyle. There are lots of smart speakers available in the Indian market, pretty good ones from Google and Amazon.

But how’s the Mi Smart Speaker?

I have been using the Mi Smart Speaker for a few days now and absolutely love the sound quality, pretty clear and crisp. But, what else is good about the speaker and what is not so good?

This smart speaker comes at an aggressive price point of Rs 3,999. The deal gets even better for the festive season as Xiaomi drops the price of the Mi Smart Speaker to Rs 2,999.

Mi Smart Speaker: What’s good and not so good

The Mi Smart Speaker offers a very minimal design and can be placed at any corner of the home. It comes only in black colour variant. I wish there were other colour options to match my home decor. In my opinion, the design of the Amazon Echo and Google Home is much better in comparison. The Mi Smart Speaker comes with a warm matte stone black finish with 0.7mm metal casing which feels sturdy. The speaker is very well built.

There are finger touch control keys on the top of the Mi Smart Speaker including volume up and down, mic and forward option. But if you are lazy to get up, you can always ask Google to perform these tasks just by saying, Hey Google, volume 5.

There are finger touch control keys on the top of the Mi Smart Speaker (Express photo: Sneha Saha)

The entire body of the Mi Smart Speaker includes 10531 sound holes which help the device offer mesmerising sound experience. At the bottom of the speaker there’s the Mi brand logo. Overall, the design has a minimalistic touch and is extremely easy to use as well.

Mi Smart Speaker includes 10531 sound holes which help the device offer mesmerising sound experience (Express photo: Sneha Saha)

Connecting the Mi Smart Speaker is also very easy. A WiFi connection at home is mandatory to connect the smart speaker to your phone. Ensure both devices are connected to the same network for seamless connection. You can also connect the speaker using your phone’s Bluetooth. Just head over to the Settings menu and pair the devices. If you’re connecting the speaker using WiFi you will be able to control the smart speaker using the Google Home app available on both Google Play store as well as Apple App store.

You can also ask the Mi Smart Speaker to make a Google Duo call to your friend or family member but before that ensure to open the Google Home app and enable all the required settings. You can also use the Google Home app to link your Google account, and also services like Spotify, Ganaa, YouTube Music and Jio Saavan. The Mi Smart Speaker also lets your family members connect to the speaker as well and set up Google Assistant’s voice match functions for personalised responses.

You can also ask the Mi Smart Speaker to make a Google Duo call to your friend or family member (Express photo: Sneha Saha)

The Mi Smart Speaker, in my opinion, does everything that you would want from your smart speaker. The sound quality is crisp, clear and loud. The 12W speaker with 63.5mm massive sound driver covers a wide range and offers impressive sound throughout the home. I placed the speaker on my study table turned work desk most of the time. The sound of the Mi Smart Speaker was evenly spread all through my home at a mid-volume.

At first, you will find the speaker on the heavier side. I personally found the speaker extremely bulky and that’s because before this I was using the Amazon Echo 3rd generation which is almost the same price as the Mi Smart Speaker. One good thing is you will get used to the weight in just a few days of using the device.

Mi Smart Speaker comes with 16 million lights combined that creates an aurora inspired light ring in the living room as soon as you say Hey Google! When the microphone is enabled, the lights turn blue and when it’s turned off the lights turn orange.

Mi smart speaker, Mi smart speaker rveiew, Mi smart speaker price When the microphone is enabled, the lights turn blue and when it’s turned off the lights turn orange (Express photo: Sneha Saha)

The Google Assistant worked well on the Mi Smart Speaker with decent wake word recognition all through the room. There were some misfires but for me most of the time Google Assistant understood my commands and responded properly. It also heard my mom as she asked Google Assistant to tell the weather update in Hindi.

Should you buy the Mi Smart Speaker?

At Rs 3,999, the Mi Smart Speaker is undoubtedly one of the best smart speakers you can get in the Indian market today. It serves all your purposes and does everything one would expect from a smart speaker. The Mi Smart Speaker offers a clear and crisp sound and looks fairly decent. It is also very easy to set up and Google Assistant responds to most commands.

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