In context: Huawei joins the ranks of Amazon, Google, Apple and others with its first smart speaker, but so far there is not much to distinguish from the rest.
As a result of a new partnership between Huawei and Amazon, the Huawei AI Cube will be a smart speaker with full Amazon Alexa integration. The only function that makes it different from an Amazon Echo is the possibility to use a 4G LTE SIM card to become a Wi-Fi router.
Even if you do not notice it in the picture above, it is not actually a cube …
Although there are no independent reviews yet, Huawei claims that this is a "high-end" and "groundbreaking" wireless 360-degree speaker with a powerful sound system. It has four microphones and is about the same size and shape as an Amazon Echo, so we'll have to see if it really sounds better.
The Wi-Fi functionality is an interesting concept, and something that Huawei has already thought about – I happen to be online via a Huawei router that is now connected to 4G – but this is limited.
The AI Cube has, just like my router, theoretical speeds of 300 Mbps and 802.11ac dual-band, but your speeds are limited by the 4G support in your area. This can be anywhere from 10 Mbps to 70 Mbps, but it is quite dependent on the number of people using the 4G network in your area and you can not have more than 3 or 4 devices that use Wi-Fi at a time. The 4G network can also be more expensive for intensive use, so I only recommend the AI Cube as a router if there are a small number of people who would use it.
Prices were not part of the announcement and so far Huawei only said that Europe will receive the device for the Christmas period. An American release is still in demand and China will not receive a model using Alexa, but can see something similar in the future.