Motorola just announced a new Moto Mod for its Moto Z phones: a $150 speaker attachment with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
Officially called the Moto Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa, the new modular attachment is more or less what you’d get if you took the existing Soundboost 2 speaker mod and built in Alexa. There’s even a giant, glowing blue LED ring on the back, just like you’d get on an actual Echo device.
Now, turning a phone into a mini Echo isn’t really a bad thing, per se, but it is kind of a weird product, seeing as any phone that you’d attach the Mod to would already have Google Assistant available for free. If you simply must have an Amazon Echo, the $149.99 that Moto is charging for the Alexa Smart Speaker Mod could get you both a $99 Amazon Echo and an Echo Dot (or an Echo Plus or an Echo Spot) for the same price.
The only real market I can imagine for this is someone who is so deeply committed to the Alexa ecosystem that they want to have an Echo assistant with cellular data that they can take anywhere, who also has a Moto Z smartphone that they wouldn’t mind some better speakers on.
And hey, if you fit into that (possibly imaginary) demographic? You’ll be able to pick one up sometime in November from the usual batch of major electronic retailers (including Best Buy, Amazon, and of course, Motorola).
Alternatively, Motorola also announced that the Moto X4 — which has Alexa directly integrated into the device — will be available for preorder in the US on October 19th; the phone is set to go on sale on the 26th for $399.99. Motorola will also be selling the X4 in a cheaper “Prime Exclusive” variant, which will include lock screen adds for $70 less.