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Amazon’s excellent Alexa AI is coming to Huawei’s Mate 9

Huawei isn’t launching a new device here at CES 2017, but the Chinese brand isn’t completely absent from the show.

In fact the actual announcement is rather interesting: the Mate 9 will be the first device to ship with Amazon Alexa built in, meaning you’ll have one of the best virtual assistants right on your phone without having to buy an Echo.

Alexa will come as an app on the Mate 9, but we’re not sure at this stage how deep it will bury itself into EMUI 5. You’ll be able to do all the regular stuff like ask it questions, directions and to set an alarm.

Watch: Huawei Mate 9 review

This is the first time Alexa has come to a phone, and we’d be very surprised if it was the last. Considering the iPhone has Siri and Google’s Pixel line has the Google Assistant, Alexa seems like the perfect alternative.

Huawei is also releasing the Mate 9 in the US, starting January 6 for $599.99. When we reviewed the phablet last year we found it a very capable Note 7 replacement with a lovely screen and much improved software, but the dual-lens Leica camera failed to match lofty expectations.

Amazon EchoAmazon’s Echo smart speaker

The version shipping in the States will be the same as in other countries; boasting the same Kirin 955 CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB of internal storage and a 1080p 5.7-inch display. There’s a huge 4,000 mAh battery too, plus two cameras on the back and Android Nougat.

If you’ve already picked up a Mate 9 you’re not out of luck, as it’s coming to all versions of the phone via a software update.

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