British smartphone manufacturer Wileyfox confirmed at IFA 2017 in Berlin that it will bring Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant to a range of its smartphones by the end of September.
Alexa will arrive on the Wileyfox Swift 2, Swift 2 Plus and Swift 2 X via a free over-the-air software update, which will give users the choice between using Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s offering.
You’ll be able to choice which assistant is your default by diving into the settings of the phone, and like Google, you’ll be able to wake your Wileyfox by saying the command word “Alexa”.
It’s another positive step forward for Amazon’s popular smart AI. It’s already appeared on the Huawei Mate 9 in the US, and more widely on the HTC U11, but this is the first time it’s hit low-end handsets.
For fans of Alexa, it means we could be seeing more manufacturers partner with Amazon to offer the assistant on their devices in the coming 12 months.
A Windows 10 phone on a budget
Wileyfox’s second IFA announcement was something a little bit different for the firm, as it takes its first steps into the enterprise market with the launch of the Wileyfox Pro.
This business-focused handset won’t be available to regular consumers, with enterprise and small business users able to pick it up for £199.
In return you’ll get a 5-inch full HD display, Snapdragon 210 chipset, 2GB of RAM, 2,100mAh battery, 8MP rear camera and 2MP front facing camera – not exactly a stellar line up of specs, but the Wileyfox Pro is intended soley for work use rather than gaming or Netflix.
We managed to get hands on with a dummy unit at IFA, and while the plastic construction is obvious, it feels solid and sits reasonably well in the hand.
Wileyfox says the Pro will go on sale during Q4 in the UK, and will then roll out to other markets in Europe.
Whether the low price will encourage businesses dependent on the Microsoft platform to get on board with the handset remains to be seen, but it’s good to see Windows 10 arriving on more affordable devices.