India is an increasingly important market for Amazon’s retail business as a whole and its smart speaker line in part. The Echo range commanded close to 60 percent of the local market last year and gained support for the Hindi language this September to reach a broad base of non-English speakers. Maintaining that trajectory, and by popular demand, Amazon today introduced the portable Echo Input — its second battery-powered Alexa smart speaker — in the Indian market.
The speaker packs a 4800mAh battery that allows up to 10 hours of non-stop music playback or up to 11 hours of standby time. Its side has a cluster of four battery-indicating LEDs and a power button that is flanked by volume keys. The portable speaker appears to be an overgrown Echo Dot with its fabric-enveloped sides and a plastic top, though it lacks the iconic blue circular light.
A built-in battery for the Echo speakers was perhaps among the most entreated features by Indians. It makes sense for a market where power cuts are frequent, plus portability is a given with the feature. Looking at the other side of the fence, the Google Assistant already has an established lineup of third-party portable speakers, such as the ones under the JBL Link series, which, unfortunately, never officially made it to India.
The new portable Echo differs from the first-gen Input that was designed to latch onto your existing dumb speaker to add Alexa’s smart quirks. The original Input has seemingly been pulled from the official store, though you can still grab one from other local retailers. This battery-powered Echo speaker is priced at ₹5,999 ($84) in India, but is currently listed at ₹4,999 ($70) for the pre-order period that will last until December 18. Amazon plans to expand the speaker’s availability outside South Asia down the line, as it told TechCrunch.
- Amazon India