Amazon introduces portable Echo smart speaker in India with 11 hours of battery life

(Amazon Photo)

Amazon added a new portable Echo device to its lineup of smart speakers, but for now it is only available in India.

The new Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Edition features an 11-hour battery life, including 10 hours of continuous music streaming. The device, which can also be plugged into an outlet, goes on sale Dec. 18.

“Portability has been one of the most requested features in India,” Miriam Daniel, Amazon’s vice president of Alexa Devices told TechCrunch. “You want to be able to carry Alexa with you from room to room within your homes. So we have designed something just for you.”

Amazon has tried out a portable Echo speaker before: Amazon Tap. However, the company discontinued that device in 2018.

The new speaker has a similar name and shares the same “hardware architecture” as the Echo Input, per TechCrunch. The small, hockey puck-shaped device was released last year, and it connects to other speakers and makes it possible to control them via Alexa. TechCrunch reports that

The portable Echo’s debut in India is another indication of the importance Amazon places on the country. Amazon has invested at least $5 billion in India in recent years.

Amazon has debuted a number of new features in India in recent years. In October, Amazon unveiled a new program to let users in India pay their utility, cable and cell phone bills via an Alexa voice command. Alexa has more than 30,000 skills in India, and the digital assistant recently added Hindi to the list of languages it speaks.

Though the portable Echo speaker only available in India for now, Amazon executives told TechCrunch the company plans to bring it to other markets in the future. Amazon is selling the device for an introductory offer of 4,999 Indian rupees ($70), a 17 percent discount off the original price of 5,999 Indian rupees ($84).

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