Smart column with Alice: which is better to buy?

Alice is a virtual voice assistant created by Yandex. It allows you to communicate using dialogue simulation, answers users’ questions, solves some problems, for example, allows you to search for answers on the Internet to your request. At the time of writing, Alice works on smartphones, cars, and so-called smart speakers. We want to tell you about the latter in more detail – a small review.

Smart column Yandex.Station

Not so much a column as a multimedia processor with great functionality. Want to listen to music? Just tell me, while Alice will not only turn on your favorite melody, but also advise new music. Would you like to watch a movie? There is no problem, Alice can do this too: she will tell you with the choice of the film and show it on TV. Want to chat with a virtual assistant? And there is no problem: talk with Alice as you like, and if necessary, you can find out her weather forecast, a list of shops nearby, order a taxi, set an alarm or a reminder, ask about traffic jams, etc..

And Yandex.Station allows you to control a smart home, for example, turn on a light in a room or turn on a coffee machine – voice commands are used for this.

It is worth noting that the column itself looks very cool, there is a backlight, it sounds very good. Supports HDMI, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Powered by network.

Smart column Yandex.Station Mini

A small smart column with Alice on board. The case is made in the form of a washer, it looks very interesting and unusual, including due to the fabric casing. And in the center above – an indicator in the form of the logo of Alice’s voice assistant.

One of the main features of this column is the ability to control gestures, which, however, are few: turning off and adjusting the volume, but this, you see, is great.

Like the older version, Yandex.Station Mini allows you to control a smart home (the functionality is the same), and experts say that this device perfectly understands voice commands even in the presence of extraneous noise or sounds, for example, if you watch TV.

As for the sound, everything is commonplace: it is a compact speaker, so miracles should not be expected, but Yandex.Station Mini is perfect for listening to podcasts or, say, bedtime stories. Powered by network.

ELARI SmartBeat

We go further – here we have a smart speaker ELARI SmartBeat. Perhaps one of the main features is that ELARI SmartBeat works on battery power, not on the network, as is the case with Yandex.Station or Yandex.Station Mini. So you can take it with you – on the same picnic.

The presence of shortcuts on the top of the case is highlighted. To connect, use your own Yandex application.

What can? In general, everything is the same as other devices with Alice’s support, but there are nuances: at the time of writing, ELARI SmartBeat is not able to broadcast movies to TV (this function is applicable to Yandex Stations). There is support for smart home.

The battery capacity is 3200 mAh, which should be enough for 5-8 hours of music or talking with a voice assistant.

Smart speaker Irbis A

One of the budget options with Alice on board, which is still on sale..

Irbis A is a compact speaker that works from the network. The speaker power is 2 watts. There is a microphone, supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. At the time of writing, there is practically no support for a smart home, and whether it will appear is a question for which we have no answer. There are quick access buttons on the case, as well as backlight.

Users point to lack of HDMI support, as well as not the best sound.

LG Xboom AI ThinQ WK7Y

One of the latest versions of a smart speaker with Yandex voice assistant support at the time of writing these lines. And according to open sources, in many other markets this column works with Google Assistant.

The column is made very carefully and even strictly: a kind of small cylinder made of plastic and aluminum. Even the backlight is even rather modest that we like. At the top are neat touch-sensitive control keys, as well as Alice’s logo.

The main feature of the device is the sound, for which thanks to the specialists of Meridian who worked on the sound. Two speakers and a 30-watt amplifier are announced. They say that the speaker sounds chic for its size, and this is not surprising, since Meridian produces high-quality acoustics.

The functionality is similar to other devices with Alice. Mains powered.

Prestigio Smartmate Lighthouse Edition

At the time of writing, the Prestigio Smartmate Lighthouse Edition is offered in two colors: classic black and red.

Of the unusual features, one can immediately note 4 sensitive microphones, a capacious battery (2 × 2200 mAh), which provides up to 9 hours of battery life, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The Perenio Red Atom smart console is also announced, which should allow you to remotely control a smart home.

Users note a very good sound.

DEXP Smartbox

When these lines were written, we were not able to find a DEXP Smartbox with Alice on sale. However, we will add it to our review..

According to its characteristics, DEXP Smartbox is very similar to Irbis A, although their design is different. There is no HDMI connector and the ability to connect to a TV or monitor, but the speaker power is slightly higher than that of Irbis A – 3 W.

DEXP Smartbox produces good sound quality, but voice recognition did not suit all users.