HTC U11 Becomes a Conduit for Amazon Alexa

As far as smartphones go, it takes a lot more than bleeding-edge specs to get people excited about them these days. The modern smartphone as we know it today is 10 years old, and over the time period, they have only gotten more indispensable and progressively capable of handling most tasks we throw at them. On the other hand, the differences between devices have become exceedingly incremental and if I may add, barely distinguishable. That explains the heightened need for handset manufacturers to set themselves apart from their competitors. Samsung recently did it with its near-bezel-less Galaxy S8 and now HTC is following suit.

HTC's U11 (Image courtesy: HTC)
Packed with sensors on its sides to detect pressure, the 5.5-inch "squeezable" U11 can be configured to launch your favourite app, in addition to being capable of responding to two different wake words for two different voice assistants from Google (to be expected, this is an Android smartphone after all!) and Amazon (to arrive as an over-the-air update). The big question is will this unique factor alone pay off for HTC. For Amazon, this is all about the ecosystem you see, a way for it to gain access to more users stealthily like a Trojan horse, a tactic that Microsoft has been increasingly adopting after missing the mobile boat completely. For HTC, it may very well be its last ditch attempt to recapture some of its lost sheen, a fact evidenced by its glossy back.

Microsoft loves iPhones and Androids! (Image courtesy: Windows)