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Alexa on the Huawei Mate 9 isn't worth the effort

Alexa on the Huawei Mate 9 isn't worth the effort
From Engadget - April 1, 2017

Plus, having a continued conversation with Alexa becomes frustrating if there are long pauses between your commands, since the phone goes to sleep after its preset time (between 15 seconds and 10 minutes) and you will have to unlock if you want to talk to the assistant again. You could work around this by setting your Mate 9 to only go to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity (the maximum period allowed), but that's a compromise security-minded folks wo not likely tolerate.

Still, it's a flaw I am willing to overlook since having Alexa on a smartphone is not just about hands-free convenience. Amazon's helper currently has a more robust set of functions than its rivals, with more than 7,000 skills that enable voice control for a plethora of services. Many of these are available on the Mate 9, but a few big ones are missing. In particular, not being able to play music or set alarms and reminders feel like major oversights, considering these are the tools I use most frequently on the Echo. Thankfully, at least, you can still use Google Assistant or Siri for those tasks.

Despite these shortcomings, the Alexa integration still offers a few conveniences. If the phone is already in your hands or within reach, and you want to do more than simply turn on a light, it's easy to just open the app and say, "Alexa, change the lights to movie mode." For Mate 9 owners who want to link their smart home devices to Amazon's helper but do not want to shell out for the Echo or Echo Dot, this is a nice bonus. Alexa on the Mate 9 also responded quickly to my commands and understood me most of the time even with noisy coworkers in the background.

But it's not a feature that will convince shoppers to buy a Mate 9. Android users can lean on the Google Assistant to carry out similar tasks. Many smart home devices already work with Google Home, and more are expected to join in, making the Assistant potentially as capable as Alexa.

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