Deutsche Telekom is Launching an Entry-Level Smart Speaker With Both Magenta and Alexa
Deutsche Telekom has revealed its new Smart Speaker Mini. The device is a smaller, less expensive version of the company’s first smart speaker, simply called the Telekom Smart Speaker, which debuted last year. The Mini integrates both Deutsche Telekom’s own Magenta voice assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.
The Mini operates much the same as Deutsche Telekom’s first smart speaker just scaled down. Like the Amazon Echo Dot or Google Nest Mini, it’s essentially a smaller version of the standard smart speaker. It can answer questions, play music, or remind you of tasks upon request. The benefit of using a Deutsche Telekom device of either type for Germans is that it offers native support for other product lines manufactured by the company. The smart speaker can replace television remote controls, make phone calls, and integrate with Deutsche Telekom smart home devices into one central hub.
Where the Mini stands out is its flexibility, as well as some of the customization options. For instance, the smart speaker comes in five different colors. It can be black, white, or one of the three unique skins that Deutsche Telekom teased Will be available on June 22 in its announcement. Most noteworthy, however, is the voice assistant choices, and how the smart speaker juggles Magenta and Alexa. Users can switch back and forth at will, using whichever voice assistant makes the most sense at the time. The user could use Magenta to turn on the lights and check the weather before switching to Alexa to play a voice game only available on that platform, for example. The smart speaker even includes a clever way to make sure you are using the voice assistant you want at that moment.
“You can activate it any time you like as your second voice assistant,” Deutsche Telekom explained in their announcement. “Once you have enabled Alexa, you can use the two assistants in parallel. When Alexa is enabled your Mini will light up in blue instead of magenta.”
The biggest difference between Deutsche Telekom’s first smart speaker and the new one is the cost. The smart speaker runs for €50, compared to the €99 for the larger version. But, like its antecedent, the Mini can be rented from the company. Rentals are just €1.95 per month while leasing an original smart speaker costs €4.95 for a month. The price point is clearly aimed at taking some of the potential customers from Amazon and Google’s entry-level devices. The leasing option is also likely to help raise interest since people who might not be sure about buying a new smart speaker can test it out for a month for next to nothing.
With Deutsche Telekom expanding its smart speaker catalog, it will be worth keeping an eye on what happens in France. French telecom giant Orange worked with its German counterpart and Amazon to launch its Djingo smart speaker last year as a kind of twin to what Deutsche Telekom built. Djingo too offers a native voice assistant in addition to Alexa. With so much collaboration on the original smart speakers, there’s every reason to think a French version of the Mini is on its way, though nothing official has been revealed.