Amazon’s new battery-powered Echo can go with you everywhere

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Echo-Input-Portable-Edition
You can't own one yet.
Photo: Amazon

Those who consider Amazon Alexa one of their closest friends can now take her almost anywhere with the new portable Echo speaker.

The confusingly named Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Edition has a built-in battery that lasts up to 11 hours in between charges. But you can’t buy one (yet) if you don’t live in India.

Yes, Amazon already sells an Echo Input. You can plug it into any speaker to add smart functionality, including Alexa and its more than 50,000 skills. But the new Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Edition doesn’t do that.

Instead, this model is focused on making Alexa available wherever you may be.

Amazon’s new Echo Input can go anywhere

Its 4,800mAh battery means you can carry the new Echo Input between rooms while you’re at home. It has a 360-degree speaker for playing your music, and ensures Alexa is always ready to help.

“Portability has been one of the most requested features in India,” Alexa devices VP Miriam Daniel told TechCrunch. “You want to be able to carry Alexa with you from room to room within your homes.”

Its portable design means the new Echo Input is also better suited to traveling. Of course, it still requires an internet connection for smart features, so it won’t be of much use to you in the middle of nowhere.

The new Echo Input lasts for up to 11 hours on standby mode, and for up to 10 hours of continuous music playback. It offers the same skills as other Echo devices, including smart device control.

Preorder now … in India

This isn’t Amazon’s first portable Echo speaker. You may remember the Echo Tap offered similar functionality, but required users to press a button every time they needed Alexa’s assistance.

Amazon later addressed this issue but couldn’t prevent the Tap from becoming a flop. It will be hoping for greater success with Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Edition.

The device can be preordered today in India, where it sells for 4,999 rupees (approx. $70) and will start shipping on December 18. Amazon says other markets will get it eventually.