Lenovo brand Moto has expanded its ongoing partnership with Amazon by launching a new Moto Mod with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant. The new speaker attachment by Moto is available in the US with a price tag of $150 (approximately Rs. 9,800) and is compatible with Moto Z series handsets. Notably, the new launch comes days after the Moto X4 debuted with Alexa integration.
Called the Moto Speaker with Amazon Alexa, the new Moto Mod has two, 27mm diameter speakers with 8W power to produce stereo sound. Four far-field microphones are also available to help you pass your voice commands directly to the speaker by saying hotword, "Alexa". The modular attachment packs a 1530mAh battery that delivers up to 15 hours of life on a single charge, as per the company's claim. Furthermore, the speaker has an advanced nano-coating that makes it a splash-resistant accessory for your Moto Z phone.
What makes the new Alexa-powerd Moto Mod an attractive piece of technology is the blue LED ring which is featured on its back. The LED ring glows just like the one on an Echo device - distinguishes the new modular attachment with the existing JBL Soundboost 2 that has similar stereo speaker construction with a 1000mAh battery.
The Alexa integration within the new speaker mod works identically to Echo devices. You can ask any of your favourite questions to the voice assistant to get them answered instantly or listen to the updates to your to-do lists, calendar or weather alerts on the go. Similarly, some localised skills are likely to be added with the worldwide expansion of Alexa.
However, all this isn't something that would persuade you to pay the high price of $150. You can pay much less (read $99 or Rs. 6,999) to bring an Amazon Echo speaker to your home, and even less if you are satisfied with the Echo Dot lineup.
Last month, Motorola unveiled the Moto X4 as its first smartphone with Alexa on board. The handset comes at a price of EUR 399 (roughly Rs. 30,700) and supports Google Assistant in addition to Alexa.
All these continuing developments make Alexa a strong contender against Google Assistant and Apple's Siri. According to a recent report by market research firm eMarketer, Alexa has already captured more than 70 percent of the total smart speaker market. But in the growing world of smartphones, Alexa is facing heat from Siri that so far has over 60.5 million users only in the US.