HTC U11 becomes first phone with Amazon Alexa hot-word support

July 17, 2017

The HTC U11 on a beach.

HTC has been promising Amazon Alexa integration for its newest flagship, the U11, since before it hit the market. Two months after release, it has finally arrived. U11 customers can now download the HTC Alexa app to enable the feature.

This isn’t the first Android phone with Alexa integration (that honor goes to the Huawei Mate 9), but it’s the first smartphone to have always-on, hot-word support for Amazon’s digital assistant. This allows you to say “Alexa” at any time and have the phone wake up and respond, basically turning it into a portable Echo. You can also trigger Alexa by mapping it to the U11’s pressure sensitive side button or by just tapping the app icon.

The U11 also supports the Google Assistant hot-word, and both can be enabled at the same time, so just shout “OK Google” to get Google, or “Alexa” to get Amazon. The U11 is outfitted with a whopping four microphones, and after the hot-word pickup, the phone will detect where you are relative to the phone and use the microphone that is getting the clearest recording of your voice.

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