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The Moto Smart Speaker puts Alexa on the back of Moto Z smartphones

Motorola has announced the new Moto Smart Speaker. It has Amazon's Alexa built in and a 15-hour battery life, but comes with some compromises.

Published onOctober 18, 2017

Motorola has done an excellent job supporting the modular functionality of its Moto Z lineup. When it was announced last year, Motorola promised this wasn’t a flash in the pan and it would be supporting the standard for years to come and would bring out many of its own mods. It has also made it easier for third-parties to make their own mods through the MDK program. So far we’ve seen battery packs, style shells, a car dock, and more.

What exactly is modularity and is the Moto Z really modular?
Today, Motorola announced we’re getting a brand new Moto Mod. The new mod is called the Moto Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa. The speaker connects to the rear of the phone like other Moto Mods and gives you instant, on-the-go access to the personal assistant. It comes with 15 hours of built-in battery life so you don’t have to worry about draining your phone’s battery to power it.

In addition to using the speaker to communicate with Alexa, you will be able to use it for listening to music or while watching videos too. The speaker is shaped so that your phone will face you when sitting on your nightstand, and has its own charging port so you can easily plug it in.

Now, don’t get us wrong — we love when Motorola releases new Moto Mods, but there are some issues with this one. First off is the asking price. The Moto Smart speaker comes in at $149.99. In its press release, Motorola says that “now you can have access to all of your favorite Alexa in-home capabilities no matter where life takes you, and at a price you can afford.” But, I have to disagree. I think its much more affordable to open up the Alexa app or the Amazon shopping app and access Alexa from there.

For comparison, the JBL Soundboost 2, another Moto Mod speaker, sells for $79.99.

Additionally, the Moto Smart Speaker covers the camera. As in, it covers the camera and you cannot use it with the speaker attached. I know that some sacrifices have to be made when you attach things to the rear of a phone, but giving up the camera might be a bridge too far for some people. Stuffing a phone with a speaker attached to it into your pocket is bad enough, but needing to remove the speaker just to use your camera seems pretty cumbersome.

We’ll reserve further judgment until we can get our hands on the speaker. Motorola has a track record of putting out pretty high-quality products so hopefully, our fears are a little overblown here. The Moto Smart Speaker hits store shelves in November and will be sold at Amazon, Best Buy, Verizon, and

Are you interested in picking up the Moto Smart Speaker? What do you think about the price and design? Let us know down in the comments.

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