Skip to main content
Loading...

Huawei AI Cube Review: Hands-on Impressions

The Huawei AI Cube smart speaker isn’t an actual cube. Think Google Home design but with Alexa built-in. Here's our hands-on review...

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED
  • TBC
Huawei surprised us at IFA 2018 by announcing the AI Cube, its answer to Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod and Google Home. And yes, it looks a lot like the latter.


It’s also not a cube, despite the name. Is AI Cylinder a better name? No, not really. Huawei’s obsession with the term AI won’t go away.

But to give it it’s due, the AI Cube is three products in one: smart speaker, sound system and 4G/Wi-Fi router. We went hands-on at IFA to see if it can compete with similar speakers already on the market.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The AI Cube will go on sale in Europe during the Christmas period, with a release date to be confirmed. Strangely, Huawei told us that the price will not be announced until it goes on sale – this could be in line with a potential pre-order date, which it also could not tell us.

There are no plans to release the speaker in the US, where Huawei phones are practically banned from general sale.

DESIGN AND BUILD
The Cube is not a cube. It’s a nearly cylindrical tower that looks quite similar to the regular Google Home with a white plastic top section and coloured speaker fabric at its base. In a briefing, we saw grey and red versions.

And while the body is quite Google, the blue circular light around the top rim of the AI Cube gives away the fact this is an Amazon Alexa speaker as this light takes its cues from Echo devices.

The inside of the Huawei AI Cube is 400ml in volume and uses an aluminium diaphragm inside to enrich the sound it can blare out.

On the top are buttons for volume and a mute switch if you don’t want the mic listening for your voice at all times. A couple of other buttons on the back are for 4G and Wi-Fi connections.
It’s a step up from other popular smart speakers with this router function, so there is also an Ethernet port and SIM card slot on the bottom of the AI Cube. It’s a clean look and well made, but it’s very hard to not compare it to the Google Home.

But then again, it’s difficult to make these speakers look much different form each other in this form factor.

FEATURES AND SPECS
While it is a router, the AI Cube is a voice assistant and speaker foremost. When asked if Huawei had actively done anything to differentiate or improve Alexa on the AI Cube from other Alexa devices, Huawei spokespeople said "yes" but did not elaborate.

In our short time with the speaker (which was set up in German), Alexa accurately responded to commands in the way we’d expect, but no differently to other Alexa products.

Sound quality seemed above average and perhaps a little more rounded than what is offered by the Google Home and regular Echo. But it was still noticeably not as amazing as the HomePod sounds.

Music played to a decent volume without distorting but as we only had about ten minutes with the AI Cube we’ll have to reserve full audio judgement for our full review.

It’s also hard to judge what to expect from the sound quality of the AI Cube without knowing the price. The Amazon Echo does not have room filling audio, but you don’t expect it when it costs £90. The £319 HomePod justifies its high price with exceptional sound.

Huawei said it is using its proprietary Huawei Histen audio solution to enhance sound quality on the AI Cube. It said it does this by adding features like virtual bass, linear phase equalizer, adaptive gain control and far-field voice recognition.

With a SIM inserted Huawei says the AI Cube will be able to achieve LTE Cat 6 speeds of 3000Mbps downlink. It’s also 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi compatible, and can run this channel with speeds up to 1200Mbps.

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

2019 BMW i8 Review

The 2019 BMW i8 is a head-turner for its looks, which hides its plug-in powertrain. That’s good or bad, depending on your priorities.Even among six-figure cars with two doors, the 2019 BMW i8 steals stares. That could be because of the dramatic wing doors and futuristic shape, its laser headlights at night, or the 2019 i8’s silent propulsion for up to 18 miles.
Or it may steal attention because, even after more than four years on sale, it’s a very rare sight.

LG G5 Review In-Depth

Can LG take on the Galaxy S7 with a metal design, dual-cameras and an accessory slot? Here's our first LG G5 review, focusing on LG G5 design and build, LG G5 specs, LG G5 cameras and LG G5 software and apps.
Alongside the Galaxy S7, the LG G5 is one of the biggest phones (not literally) to launch in 2016 – and we're not just talking in the Android world. It's one of the heavyweights and LG will be looking to set the market alight with the G5's alternative and innovative modular design.

Apple iPhone XR Review

If you aren't sure you are ready to leave the Home button behind and embrace Face ID, think again. We'll tell you why the iPhone XR is worth the sacrifice - especially because it's just as good (if not better than) the iPhone XS. Find out more in out full review.
Should I Buy The Apple iPhone XR?
The iPhone XR brings Face ID to the masses. We’re sure people will continue to rebel against the lack of Home button, but eventually we expect them to come round and embrace the larger screen, Portrait mode (front and back), animoji and memoji.We have no doubt that this will be a popular iPhone and it deserves to be. The only question is why would anyone buy an iPhone XS when the iPhone XR is just as powerful and has a bigger screen.

Google Pixel Review

Not everyone wants a phone with a big screen, but most small-screen phones compromise on performance and cameras. Not so with Google’s latest flagship Android phone: Here’s our Google Pixel review.
Joining the ranks of the Pixel C and Chromebook Pixel are Google’s new Pixel phones. We’re reviewing the smaller 5in Pixel here, but you can read our separate Pixel XL review if you’re after a bigger phone.

BlackBerry KEYone Review

BlackBerry soliders on with a curious Android device that gets nearly everything right. It’s not for everyone though, in fact, it’s not really for anyone. But if you want a physical keyboard you will absolutely love it.
Should I Buy The BlackBerry KEYone?
But then, the KEYone is the best BlackBerry phone for years. It has (finally) successfully melded classic BlackBerry design with the necessary mix of Android and nostalgia. Importantly, the latter is only faint this time – this is a device for 2017, not 2007.If you love your iPhone or Samsung, you’ll hate the KEYone and won’t even consider buying it. But if you’ve made it to the end of this review, chances are you’re weighing up a buy. If you think you’ll love the BlackBerry KEYone, then I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. You’re part of a minority, but finally BlackBerry has a phone for you that doesn’t force you to compromise.

Like Fan Page