Best Alexa Built-in Phone Android Central 2020
These days, Alexa seems to be everywhere you look. Amazon's voice assistant is in speakers, displays, and even microwaves! To no one's surprise, you can also find Alexa built into certain Android phones. Amazon has a collection of what it calls "Alexa Built-in Phones" to highlight these devices, and these are our favorites — including the Motorola One Action as our top overall pick.
- Best Overall: Motorola One Action
- Best Alternative: Moto G7
- Best Flagship: Sony Xperia 1
- Best for Audiophiles: LG G8
- Best Battery Life: Moto G7 Power
- Best with a Stylus: LG Stylo 5
- Best Modular Phone: Moto Z4
Best Overall: Motorola One Action
Leading the charge for phones with Alexa built-in is the Motorola One Action. This is one of the newer additions to Amazon's Alexa phone lineup, and when you factor in its features, specs, and price, it stands out as the best overall option.
From a hardware standpoint, the Motorola One Action has a lot to offer. Its 6.3-inch Full HD+ display has a unique form factor of 21:9, giving you an extra tall and narrow canvas. It can be a little unwieldy, but it's great for content consumption and looks quite good. There's also a snappy Exynos octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage, a 3,500 mAh battery, and NFC for Google Pay support.
The triple camera system on the back is quite noteworthy, and it consists of a 12MP main camera, 5MP depth sensor, and a 16MP "action camera" that sort of functions like a GoPro — giving you a wide 117° field-of-view to capture everything you see. What's even more impressive is that the action camera is flipped horizontally inside the phone, meaning you can hold the One Action upright in a vertical landscape and still record horizontal video. It's pretty impressive.
Android 9 Pie is running on the One Action out of the box, and Android 10 should arrive at some point. Alexa can be accessed at any time by just double-pressing the power button, and no matter if you use AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon for your cell service, the Motorola One Action will work just fine.
- Super unique camera setup
- Reliable performance
- NFC for Google Pay
- Works with all U.S. carriers
- Push-to-talk Alexa
- Form factor may be awkward for some to use
This is the one to get
The Motorola One Action is the best phone on this list. It offers a great display and camera package at a competitive price.
Best Alternative: Moto G7
If the Motorola One Action costs a bit more than what you were hoping to spend on a new Alexa phone, we'd recommend turning your attention towards the Moto G7. It offers a similar experience while costing a few dollars less, resulting in a solid all-around package.
The Moto G7 has a sleek glass design, giving it a nice premium feel despite the affordable sticker price. A 6.2-inch Full HD+ display ensures all of your apps, games, and more look sharp and colorful, and the dual 12MP + 5MP rear camera combo takes pretty good photos all things considered.
You get a great software experience on the G7, with Android 9 Pie available right now and an Android 10 update coming at some point down the road. Motorola's software goodies are here, too, including Moto Display and Moto Actions (allowing you to chop the phone to enable its camera and twist it to launch the camera app). And, just like the One Action, the G7 has hands-free Alexa support and works on all four major U.S. carriers.
We aren't so keen on the lack of NFC with the Moto G7, but as far as mid-range Android phones go, it's one of the best ones out there.
- Build quality is great
- Large and colorful display
- Cameras are pretty decent
- Works with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon
- Alexa access is hands-free
- Doesn't have NFC
Don't like the One Action? Check this out
A great runner-up to the One Action is the Moto G7, offering a well-rounded overall package with an even lower price tag.
Best Flagship: Sony Xperia 1
Should you be in a position where money isn't an object, and you want the best that Alexa built-in phones have to offer, look no further than the Sony Xperia 1. This is Sony's big flagship for 2019, and boy oh boy is it a treat.
Similar to the Motorola One Action, the Xperia 1 also has a tall 21:9 display. However, the Xperia 1 kicks things up a notch with a larger 6.5-inch size and full 4K resolution. Hands-down, this is one of the best smartphone displays you can find. It has rich colors, razor-sharp crispiness, and the aspect ratio lends itself wonderfully for watching movies.
Another big win for the Xperia 1 is its camera offering. You get a combination of three sensors, including a 12MP primary camera, 12MP telephoto camera, and 12MP ultra-wide camera. In short, photos taken with the Xperia 1 look incredible. Colors are great, the dynamic range is excellent, and it handles difficult shooting situations just fine.
Internally, the Xperia 1 is a beast. It has a flagship Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage, and a 3,300 mAh battery. The lack of wireless charging is a bummer considering how expensive the Xperia 1 is, but other than that, this is an outstanding phone from head to toe.
- Downright gorgeous display
- Triple cameras are fantastic
- Buttery performance
- Long battery life
- IP68 water-resistance
- Lacks wireless charging
Only for those who aren't on a tight budget
Have more cash to spend? The Xperia 1 is one of 2019's best flagships that does a lot to justify its steep cost.
Best for Audiophiles: LG G8
The LG G8 came and went without much fanfare when it was released in 2019, but now that some time has passed and its price has come down, it's a much more interesting option.
LG designed the G8 to be a flagship phone, and by most accounts, it holds up pretty well for 2020 standards. You're getting a 6.1-inch OLED display with a resolution of 3120 x 1440, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage, and a decently-sized 3,500 mAh battery. The dual rear cameras aren't as good as what you'll get on the Xperia 1, but the G8 also costs substantially less.
Audiophiles will be especially interested in the LG G8, as it features a Hi-Fi Quad DAC with its 3.5mm headphone jack. This is a port so many companies are keen on getting rid of, but on the G8, LG makes it one of its best features. Adding to that sentiment, the G8 has Meridian tuning, Qualcomm's aptX HD audio codec, and support for MQA.
On the Alexa side of things, the G8 boasts hands-free access so you can talk to the virtual helper without having to lift a finger.
- Sleek design
- High-res OLED display
- 3.5mm headphone jack with Hi-Fi Quad DAC
- Flagship performance
- Alexa is hands-free
- LG is bad at software updates
- Only works on AT&T and T-Mobile networks
Best for Audiophiles
Your ears will thank you
Not only does the LG G8 have a headphone jack, but it's outfitted with a Hi-Fi Quad DAC for top-notch audio. Yes, please.
Best Battery Life: Moto G7 Power
There are a lot of features/specs to keep in mind when buying a new phone, but above all else, battery life is one of the most important. No matter how good a phone's display, processor, or cameras are, it doesn't matter if you can't get through a full day of your normal use before needing to refuel. Enter the Moto G7 Power.
For the most part, the G7 Power is a pretty typical mid-range smartphone. It has a mid-tier processor that's fine for everyday tasks, a 6.2-inch HD+ display, and a single 12MP rear camera. What helps this phone stand out is its gigantic 5,000 mAh battery. Motorola says that's enough endurance to get through 2.5 days on just one charge, making this one of the Android battery champs. If you're frequently on the road or away from a power source, the G7 Power is a great fit.
Another massive benefit of the Moto G7 Power is that it works on all U.S. carriers. This includes AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and any prepaid MVNOs that also use those towers. You can also invoke Alexa at any time by double-pressing the power button, and Motorola's software experience is clean and easy-to-navigate.
- Huge 5,000 mAh battery
- Dual cameras
- Motorola's great software
- Expandable storage
- Compatible with all major carriers
- Bulky, plastic design
Best Battery Life
It refuses to die
The Moto G7 Power is a road warrior's dream. With a 5,000 mAh battery, you can expect two days of use on just one charge.
Best with a Stylus: LG Stylo 5
Samsung's Galaxy Note phones are beloved by folks all around the world, mainly because of the included stylus. If you like the idea of a stylus-touting phone but don't have the kind of cash for a Note, the LG Stylo 5 is worth a look.
As the name suggests, the Stylo 5 comes with a free stylus that can be hidden inside the phone when you aren't using it. You can use the stylus for handwriting notes, drawing pictures, or just navigating the phone in general. You get a roomy 6.2-inch display to do this, along with a good-looking Full HD+ resolution of 2160 x 1080.
An NFC chip is included for Google Pay, allowing you to pay at stores using the Stylo 5 for easy, contactless transactions. This is something you won't find on the Moto G7 or G7 Power, which is something to keep in mind if you're a big Google Pay fan. We also love that LG allows you to expand the Stylo 5's storage up to an impressive 2TB. And, for invoking Alexa, just do a quick double-press of the power button.
The presence of just one (unimpressive) 13MP camera is a downer, as is the plastic design. Even so, the LG Stylo 5 stands out as an original and enticing budget option.
- Built-in stylus
- Large 6.2-inch display
- NFC for Google Pay
- Storage can be expanded to 2TB
- Just one camera
- Plastic back
Best with a Stylus
Doodle the day away
A stylus is an excellent addition to any phone, and the Stylo 5 is the only one on this list to come with one built right into it.
Best Modular Phone: Moto Z4
Rounding out this list, we have the Moto Z4. As far as original smartphones go, this is one of the most interesting.
On its own, the Moto Z4 is a pretty typical affair. You've got a 6.4-inch OLED display with a Full HD+ resolution, 128GB of expandable storage, long battery life thanks to the 3,600 mAh battery, and a pretty solid 48MP camera. As for the Alexa functionality, you can talk to the assistant at any time by saying, "Alexa."
Where things get really interesting, however, is when you factor in the Z4's support for Moto Mods. Moto Mods are Motorola's modular accessory system, and this allows you to attach a variety of goodies to the back of the Z4 — including a speaker, projector, Polaroid printer, and game controller, just to name a few. These Moto Mods can be pricy, but it's one of the cooler ideas out there in the smartphone space at the moment. And, just like the other Motorola phones on this list, the Z4 works with all U.S. carriers.
The Moto Z4 loses some points due to choppy performance and an in-screen fingerprint that's honestly pretty bad, but if you're looking for an Alexa phone that'll help you stand out, this is it.
- Works with Motorola's Moto Mods
- Reliable camera
- Great battery life
- Clean and simple software
- Alexa is hands-free
- Middling performance
- Bad in-display fingerprint sensor
Best Modular Phone
Mod it your way
We appreciate the Moto Z4 for how unique it is. The Moto Mod accessories can change the entire phone in the blink of an eye!
The lineup of Alexa built-in phones is greater than ever, but above everything that's on offer, the one we recommend the most is the Motorola One Action. While not as popular as Motorola's iconic G-series, the One Action brings a lot of good to the table while keeping the cost low.
Right off the bat, the One Action impresses with its 21:9 display and unique action camera. The display form factor is seldom seen on smartphones, and the ability to record landscape video while holding your phone vertically is a first-of-its-kind. Other core features, such as the snappy processor and NFC for Google Pay, are great to see.
And, since the One Action works on all carriers in the U.S., no one has to miss out on its awesomeness just because of the wireless provider they rely on. Add all of that up, and it's easy to see why the Motorola One Action is our top pick for the best Alexa built-in phone of 2019.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joe Maring is Android Central's News Editor and loves talking about all things Android (just ask the drawers full of phones in his office. He also goes to Starbucks way too often and can often be found with some sort of latte in his hands. Have a hot tip or want to say hey? Reach out on Twitter @JoeMaring1 or send an email or firstname.lastname@example.org!
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