Motorola has announced a new Moto Mod for its Moto Z smartphones that brings Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Called the Moto Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa, the new Moto Mod allows users to experience Alexa like they have an Amazon Echo speaker wherever they are.
The new Moto Mod was promised by Motorola and Amazon earlier this year. Back in February during the Mobile World Congress, the two companies revealed that they were working together to bring Alexa to Moto Z smartphones as a Moto Mod accessory.
The new Amazon Alexa Moto Mod is pretty much what most would expect. The Moto Mod can easily snap on the back of the Moto Z2 Force and the Z Play. The Moto Mod speaker houses four microphones so that it will be able to clearly pick up the user’s voice when initiating a voice command.
Design-wise, the new Moto Mod looks a bit similar to the Soundboost 2 speaker Mod, as pointed out by The Verge. The diffrence here is that there’s no cutout for the camera and there’s a blue LED light. The blue LED light makes the new Moto Mod look more like an Amazon Echo speaker.
The new Amazon Alexa Moto Mod is primarily intended to be used to control the user’s smart home devices. This is also the reason why the Moto Mod comes with a dock design. When using this accessory, it’s really supposed to be stationary. This is also why the Moto Mod blocks the Moto Z smartphone’s camera, as pointed out by XDA.
Users can still have the Alexa Moto Mod on their smartphone wherever they go, but this does eliminate the ability to take quick photos. When in dock mode, the user’s Moto Z smartphone is also perfect for their nightstand. The dock design also makes it convenient to charge the Alexa Moto Mod.
Speaking of charging, the Moto Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa comes with its own built-in battery. This means that the Moto Mod won’t eat up the battery life of their Moto Z smartphone. Motorola claims that the built-in battery on the Alexa Moto Mod can last up to 15 hours.
Overall, the new Moto Mod is another easy way of getting Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to more users. It also seems like having an Amazon Echo speaker right in the user’s pocket, wherever they go.
Unfortunately, this Moto Mod doesn’t come cheap. The Moto Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa will sell for $149.99 in the U.S. starting in November. For comparison, the Amazon Echo sells for $99, while the smaller Echo Dot sells for $49. The new Moto Mod also matches the price tag of the brand new Amazon Echo Plus.
Users that have compatible Moto Z smartphones will really have to think about buying this new Moto Mod. If they’re really intent on having Alexa wherever they go, then this seems like a no-brainer. If they simply want to have Alexa in their homes, then buying an Amazon Echo speaker seems to make the most sense.
The Moto Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa will also arrive in November for other markets where Alexa is officially available.