Amazon has launched its first portable Echo speaker, the Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Edition.
The new battery-powered Echo speaker was designed exclusively for India, but will be coming to other markets in the future, according to Tech Crunch, and will begin shipping from December 18.
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It's priced at 5,999 Indian rupees, which works out at around $84 / £70 / AU$160 based on current conversion rates – although the pricing could be quite different when it launches in Western markets.
That's significantly more expensive than the $34.99 / £34.99 Echo Input, the speaker-less Alexa device that was launched in 2018 to allow users to bring the smarts of Alexa to their old-school Hi-Fi systems. The new portable speaker shares the same 'hardware architecture' as that device.
It's also more expensive than the $49.99 / £49.99 / AU$79 Echo Dot, although the convenience of portability could justify the new Input's relatively high price.
Plus, you can currently preorder the new Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Edition for an introductory price of 4,999 rupees (about $70 / £60 / AU$130).
A long-awaited feature
With a wraparound speaker grille, much like the Echo Dot, the new Input Portable Speaker Edition comes with up to 10 hours of battery life when playing music (or up to 11 hours of standby time).
An LED array on the top of the speaker indicates battery life when you press the power button.
Like all Echo speakers, the Amazon Echo Input Portable Speaker Edition comes with the smarts of Alexa built right in, so you can ask the voice assistant questions, control your other smart home devices, and access around 30,000 Alexa skills.
There's no word on when the new speaker will come to Western markets, but portability has been a long-requested feature for Echo speakers.
The launch of a new portable Echo speaker could prompt rivals such as Google and Apple to create their own portable models – so could we see a battery-powered Google Nest Mini in 2020?
Via Tech Crunch