Taiwanese electronics company HTC recently announced the U11 – the first smartphone with a built in integration with Amazon Alexa.
Alexa is available on other smartphones, but each requires the downloading and opening of an app. With the HTC U11, users just need to say ‘Alexa’!
“No app to tap” and “no buttons to push,” as Amazon so eloquently puts it.
If Alexa is not your favorite virtual assistant, the U11 has Google Assistant and HTC’s own Sense Companion.
The HTC U11 also sports a 16 MP front facing camera and a 12 MP facing rear-camera that allows for features like Optical Image Stabilization, HDR Boost, and UltraSpeed Autofocus. The phone has an octa-core processor with a 5.5” glass screen, has IP67 water and dust resistance, and Dual BoomSound™ Hi-Fi Speakers. The phone comes with USonic noise canceling too.
The new smartphone has another unique feature – users just need to squeeze the sides of the smartphone to open it. After the sides have been squeezed, users can take photos, screenshots, turn on a flashlight, activate the voice assistants, or open up other apps.
How does it stand up to other smartphones?
The Verge referred to the phone as ‘the best phone the company has made in years.’
Despite the praise that the HTC U11 has received from tech press and blogs, some users might not be entirely content with the Alexa integration. Certain interactions possible with the Amazon Echo speaker are not yet available on the U11.
However, the integration still allows users of the phone to control their smart home, play music through Amazon Music, get news updates, look up the weather, etc.
The HTC U11 is available directly from HTC and Amazon. You can also purchase it through Sprint.