Amazon launches new battery-powered Echo exclusively for India

From The Verge: Amazon has launched a new Echo smart speaker exclusively for the Indian market. The Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Edition is a compact speaker with 360-degree sound and, unusually for the Echo line, a built-in rechargeable battery. Amazon says the 4,800mAh capacity should be good for 10 hours of music playback and 11 hours of standby battery life.

The name of the product is a little curious — it doesn’t appear to share the Echo Input’s key feature of adding Alexa to an existing speaker setup. Instead, Amazon is pitching the Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Edition as another way to get Alexa anywhere in the home.

“Portability has been one of the most requested features in India,” Amazon’s Alexa devices VP Miriam Daniel said in comments reported by TechCrunch. “You want to be able to carry Alexa with you from room to room within your homes. So we have designed something just for you.”

Amazon doesn’t currently sell any battery-powered Echo speakers in the West. While the company did release one called the Amazon Tap in 2016, it wasn’t well received and was discontinued last year. But one of its biggest flaws, the need to push a button to activate Alexa, has been rectified in this new product. (Amazon did eventually add the same feature to the Tap.)

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