Ni hao, Marusya: review of the speaker Xiaomi Mi Smart Speaker with a Russian assistant

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Xiaomi Mi Smart Speaker is not the first smart speaker of the company, however, all previous devices in this category barely fit into the Russian language environment. Either Xiaomi’s own AI assistant, or Google integration. Now Xiaomi has chosen something closer – Marusya. After taking a closer look at the column, I can draw conclusions. Which? Read on.

Design

10531 holes and nice metal

Since the speakers are part of the interior, it is worth starting with the appearance. Despite the impressive size of the box, the device itself impresses with its compactness. Case dimensions: 131 × 104 × 151 mm. In shape, the Mi Smart Speaker resembles a slightly flattened cylinder – it looks pretty neutral. Considering the color of the case (white + silver), we can safely say that the speaker will fit into any modern room, and with the right location, it will not be conspicuous at all. I like this approach.

If the front grille is interrupted by the minimalist Mi logo for decorative purposes, then the back is already for functional purposes. There is the only connector on the speaker, which is needed to connect the power. The required power supply is included. This is an 18 watt charger with a round DC Jack at the end. But there was no room in the column for a 3.5 mm jack.

With a greenish glow, the column responds to user commands

On the top of the Mi Smart Speaker, there is a small recess with touch buttons and two microphones for capturing sound. It would seem that due to the proximity of the buttons, it should be inconvenient to press them, but no. “Volume +” and “Volume -” are spaced along different edges and therefore do not conflict with each other, and I personally do not use the “Pause” and “Mute” buttons so often. By the way, when you press around the white panel, an LED ring flashes, which colorfully reflects the playback volume and the state of the microphone.

Sound

12 watts give decent sound

While many have just recently switched from 3W to 5W in their speakers, Xiaomi has fitted a 63.5mm 12W full-range speaker in such a compact package. The Mi Smart Speaker definitely sounds better than the competition, delivering clear and detailed sound with noticeable bass. At the same time, the speaker’s volume reserve is impressive – most of the time I used it at 30-35%. At high volume, the sound becomes more spacious, but still does not lose in detail and, importantly, does not start to make noise.

Red means mute

If desired, Mi Smart Speaker can be connected via Bluetooth directly to the device, and not play music from Vkontakte or Spotify. To do this, you just need to ask Marusya to turn on Bluetooth, there is no separate button for activating the module.

Marusya

Excellent in theory, in practice there are questions

I already met the Mail.ru assistant earlier this year. Then Maroussia seemed to me a rather lively assistant with an impressive set of functions. She knows how to manage a smart home and order food from McDonald’s if necessary. Of course, all this is also available to Mi Smart Speaker users. It should be borne in mind that Marusya is deeply integrated into the VK Group ecosystem and for full access to all the features of the column, it is better to purchase a VK Combo subscription for 169 rubles per month. However, there is a way to listen to music without it – Spotify Connect.

But what upset me was the quality of voice recognition. I won’t say that I have a perfect accent, but Alice and even Maroussia in the Mini Capsule usually understood what I wanted, but Mi Smart Speaker has certain problems with this. For example, instead of Maneskin, the column includes “Molly – Under my skin”, and instead of Boy Harsher, “Bhad Bhaby – Whachu know”. At the same time, basic commands like “remind me to turn off the potatoes in 30 minutes” or “what the weather is like now” are perfectly recognized.

Review

Great sound for your money

Mi Smart Speaker is Xiaomi’s attempt to establish itself in the Russian smart speaker market. In my opinion, the company has every chance of doing this. Firstly, thanks to the 12-watt speaker, the speaker has an impressive sound. Secondly, its simple and straightforward design will definitely win many hearts.

As for the functionality of the voice assistant, Marusya copes well with this task. The ecosystem of VK Group includes a whole heap of useful products, so that inside it you can live comfortably: listen to music, order food, groceries, taxis. Marusya does not have any problems with a smart home. Perhaps, in the course of using the column, I formed only one complaint – she stubbornly does not want to recognize the names of the English-language tracks I pronounced. However, I had a pre-sale sample on my hands, so this behavior could easily be the result of a non-final firmware.

pros

  • Stylish design.
  • Great sounding.
  • Wide functionality of Marusya.
  • Compactness.

Minuses

  • Sometimes it doesn’t recognize track titles correctly.

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