Huawei’s new smart speaker looks very much like the Apple HomePod

[Image credit: The Verge]

At its Mate 20 smartphone event in Shanghai, China today, Huawei has revealed its forthcoming smart speaker, as reported by Engadget (via Engadget China).

The elephant that must have been in the room: its aesthetic likeness to the Apple HomePod, with its slightly squashed cylindrical form and top-panel controls.

Smart speaker hunters on a budget will be pleased to know it’s about a sixth of the price of the Apple rival, though. The report states the ‘Huawei AI speaker’ (the translation of its Chinese name) costs 399 yuan, which is equivalent to under £50.

Perhaps surprisingly, Dynaudio has reportedly had a hand in the acoustic design, which looks to be built around 2.25in drivers and two passive bass radiators from a hardware point of view. 

The AI speaker also utilises Huawei’s ‘Histen’ algorithm, the music EQ feature which appears inside the brand’s smartphones.

Rather than base the speaker on a third-party smart platform like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, the voice control smarts are instead provided by Huawei's ‘Xiaoyi’ voice assistant.

Further technical details are slim, and information about a global rollout is even slimmer. We hope to have more information soon.

MORE: Smart speakers: everything you need to know

Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.