The smart speaker market is still relatively small, but it is growing rapidly. However, it is largely monopolized by devices from big players like Amazon and its Echo speakers or Apple’s Homepods. So we were excited to try out the new Zebronics Smart Bot, a smart home speaker from homegrown audio brand Zebronics that packs a couple of useful features, including the ability to control all of your infrared-based devices on the go. home.
Here’s our full review of the Zebronics Smart Bot.
A hard plastic body comprises most of the body of the Zeb Smart Bot. The mesh design manages to look funky but not in a very impressive way. Not everyone will be a fan of this design. At the top are four microphones that pick up your voice commands and four action buttons that are used to manually control the volume, mute the mic, and activate Alexa. You also get these features through the Zebronics Companion App.
Near the top edge of the speaker, you have what is perhaps the most interesting thing about this speaker, a 360-degree infrared belt that can communicate with devices in all directions. This allows you to use the speaker as an infrared emitter for all infrared-based devices in your room. These can include a television, air conditioner, and other appliances.
The infrared emitter on the Zeb Smart Bot can be used to first connect to all the devices you have in the room. The pairing process is the same tedious, trial-and-error-based process that you might have witnessed on any infrared smartphone or universal remote. Fortunately, it is a one-time process to configure your devices.
Once done, you can control all your IR devices through the Zeb Smart Bot. The good thing about this is that the smart bot effectively turns all your IR-based devices into voice-controlled ‘smart’ devices, even if they are very basic devices, as long as they are infrared controlled and within range.
Placing the Zeb Smart Bot in a position where you can reach all of your devices from one place can be a bit of a challenge depending on your home setup. Unless your air conditioner is ridiculously high, you should be fine with placing the Zeb Smart Bot somewhere between 5 feet and 7 feet off the floor.
Other Alexa features work great here too, including using the assistant to play music, answering a few general knowledge questions, or even letting you know the weather forecast. While microphone detection is pretty good from all directions, you might miss a trigger or two when music is played at high volumes.
Please note that the Zeb Smart Bot will require you to use both the Zeb Smart Home App and the Amazon Alexa App for maximum functionality. The Smart Bot will also require your Wi-Fi to be set to 2.4GHz, as it doesn’t support the 5GHz band yet.
The Zeb Smart Bot offers a 5W sound output which is quite normal, but not very good at lower frequencies. However, the limitations of a typical 5W sound output apply here, as higher volumes sometimes distort clear vocals and bass drops are not as strong. However, this is comparable to other smart speakers in the segment.
Verdict: Should I Buy the Zeb Smart Bot?
The Zeb Smart Bot isn’t the only smart speaker out there, but its infrared-based feature set makes it a unique proposition at the price of Rs 3,699. Yes, it’s not the best-sounding speaker out there, but the difference in audio quality between this and an Amazon Echo device of the same price is not enough to be a deal breaker.
On the other hand, the Zeb Smart Bot can be a magic gadget for your room if you have infrared-based gadgets like a television, air conditioner, set-top box, DVD player, or similar devices.