Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa is now available for the HTC U11 in the United Kingdom. This comes a week after the handsets sold in the United States received an update activating the said feature. Amazon's dedicated companion app for the company's digital assistant needs to be downloaded as it provides Alexa with the access to the device's microphones. Through this functionality, the device owner can now access the virtual assistant by simply saying its name, which is also how the assistant is activated in Amazon's Echo lineup of Internet-enabled speakers. After activating Alexa, the user may instruct it to do certain tasks like create shopping lists or play music. It can also answer questions on a wide variety of topics.
The Taiwan-based electronics firm has previously announced that its flagship device will support multiple virtual assistants and when the HTC U11 was launched, the smartphone already included the Google Assistant and the company's very own Sense Companion. Support for Amazon's Alexa was promised for the devices sold in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany. The Chinese version of the smartphone, on the other hand, also included Duer, the virtual assistant developed by the local search giant Baidu. The manufacturer may be looking to incorporate more digital assistants into its mobile ecosystem in the future, treating them all as equals. The company's current approach is widely deemed to be a good move on HTC's part, as it allows consumers to choose what assistant to use, depending on their preferences and previous investments in individual IoT ecosystems.
Aside from supporting multiple virtual assistants, the HTC U11 has many other features that should appeal to many demographics. One of them is the company's proprietary technology Edge Sense which utilizes pressure sensors placed inside the frame of the phone, allowing the device to react to pressure and providing users with the option of launching apps or performing other actions by simply squeezing the handset. Hardware-wise, the device is powered by the Snapdragon 835 chipset, which is currently the most powerful SoC from Qualcomm. The handset also sports a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 2560 by 1440 pixels and is equipped with 64GB of internal flash storage and 4GB of RAM. The U11 ships with a 3,000mAh battery that isn't removable and runs Android 7.1 Nougat and HTC's Sense UI out of the box.