Smartphones

Huawei’s Mate 9 is the world’s first Alexa-enabled smartphone

Amazon AlexaAlexa, Amazon’s voice-based virtual assistant, is everywhere at CES 2017! We’ve seen televisions, refrigerators, home hubs, portable pucks, LED lamps and even charging docks with built-in Alexa support. Surprisingly, there were no smartphones in this veritable list of consumer electronics!

Well, Huawei just announced that its latest flagship, the Mate 9 will be available in the US from tomorrow. More interestingly, it will come with a pre-installed app that lets consumers use voice commands through Alexa! All Mate 9 phones sold in other markets will receive the same app through an OTA update.

 

Dual-Lens Camera by LeicaLaunched in November 2016, the Mate 9 is powered by Huawei’s own Kirin 960 processor and 4GB RAM. Not for the small-handed, the Mate 9 encroaches phablet territory with a 5.9-inch Full HD display. With 64GB extendable storage, a 4,000 mAh battery, a 20MP/16MP dual-camera module on the back, a 8MP front camera and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, it checks all boxes in terms of specs. Huawei says that the dual-lens camera setup has been ‘co-engineered’ with Leica and features a Dual-Tone Dual-LED Flash, Optical Image Stabilization and Hybrid Zoom. Priced at $600, the Mate 9 will be available in Gray and Silver colors.

Huawei Mate 9

Amazon must be over the moon at the quick adoption of its voice-based virtual assistant. However, I’m left wondering if Alexa on an Android smartphone makes sense. Almost every Android phone in the market comes with Google Now, and more recently, Google Assistant. So, does adding Alexa support help the user? After all, both assistants do almost the same thing – set alarms, make lists, and get news and weather info.

Alexa’s functionality keeps increasing as it learns more ‘skills’.

So users will be able to do more with Alexa than Google Assistant. But is Google going to stand still and let Amazon steal its crown? On the Mate 9 and similar phones in the near future, will the Alexa app override the Google Assistant? Interesting questions that will answered as the year progresses. And once I get my hands on a Mate 9!

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Argam Artashyan

Back in 2010, he was dismissed from his position as a lecturer at the university. This made him get another job at his friend’s digital marketing company as a blog writer. After a few years, when he was thinking the article writing is his mission, Google pushed the Panda update and affected the company and websites he was working at. (Un)fortunately and surprisingly, he got an offer to head a large knitting factory. In 2016, he got his Ph.D. and resumed teaching at the University … and writing tech-related articles following his passion.

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