The Eufy Genie: Will it grant all of your smart home wishes?
If you’re unfamiliar with the Eufy brand, then you’ve probably heard of their big brother Anker — known for their high-quality power banks and cables. Eufy is Anker’s brand for home and lifestyle devices offering the same high quality, but under a different name. The Eufy Genie enters the fold as a cheaper alternative to the Amazon Echo Dot. Read on to find out if it’s worth the savings!
I can’t say I’m as big of a fan of the Eufy Genie design compared to the Echo Dot. I really dig the hockey puck design of the Echo Dot and how compact it is. The Eufy Genie, on the other hand, is slightly taller and tries to add some design flair by having a rounded base and a narrower top. They’ve moved the light ring closer to the center on the Genie and the logo lights up as well, but I still prefer the ring of light on the Echo Dot. The Genie features four buttons much like the Echo Dot, even in the same places with the same functions, but they blend into the Genie’s mostly flat top. Overall I’m not a fan of the design, but design isn’t everything.
Setting up the Eufy Genie is easy but requires a separate Eufy Home app to do so and you’ll still need the Alexa app from Amazon. There is little use for the app outside of setting up your Eufy Genie. Besides, most of the available settings are available from the Alexa app. However, a couple of missing features from the Eufy Genie are the ability to change the wake word from anything other than Alexa and no way to set an audible tone at the beginning or end of a command. Unfortunately, these are a couple of big options I miss. It can be very useful to customize the wake word or to hear an audible tone to let you know when the device is ready for your command.
The Eufy Genie comes with Alexa inside, much like the Echo and a growing list of other products. This gives you access to controlling your smart home, playing music, and an ever-growing list of over 10,000 skills. Controlling my smart home devices worked great, and I had no trouble playing music through Amazon. The Genie also supports music playback through Spotify, Pandora, Sirius XM, and Tune in.
However, here comes the bad news and what the Eufy Genie doesn’t support. There are some key features missing from Alexa such as calling, messaging, and drop in functions. It also doesn’t support 5Ghz WiFi or Bluetooth. If you’re looking to connect any speakers you’ll have to do so through the 3.5mm aux jack on the back.
Microphones are an important feature on Alexa devices and thankfully the Eufy Genie does it right. In comparison to my Echo Dot, I never noticed much of a difference in the volume or distance needed to activate them. That is, with the exception that the Echo Dot appeared to hear me slightly better with music playing at loud volumes. Otherwise, the Eufy Genie did great and sometimes heard me down the hallway when I was trying to talk to the Echo Dot in the other room.
The speaker on the Eufy Genie surprised me by being slightly louder and sounded ever so slightly better than the Echo Dot. It’s not going to win any awards for sound quality, but it gets plenty loud to fill up a bedroom or the kitchen while listening to some music.
The Eufy Genie doesn’t offer all of the features you can expect from an Echo Dot but some people won’t miss what it is lacking. For the most part, I only use Alexa for a handful of actions and that doesn’t often include the features the Eufy Genie is missing. If you won’t miss Bluetooth, 5Ghz Wifi, calling, or messaging then it might be worth it to you to save a few bucks and go with the Genie for $34.99. If you find those are must-have features then splurge and grab an Echo Dot for $49.99 instead. The Eufy Genie won’t grant all of your wishes, but if a lower price is one of them, then it’s a pretty good buy!