Huawei took to CES 2017 to officially announce that its Mate 9 will go on sale on Jan. 6 in the United States, rocking a powerful ally: Amazon Alexa.

The Huawei Mate 9 made its official debut back in early November, shaping up as a great alternative to the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7. At that time, Huawei only mentioned that its Mate 9 will hit 12 countries at first, but did not offer a specific release date for the United States or other markets.

Recent reports pegged the Huawei Mate 9 U.S. release for Jan. 6 and it turns out they were spot on, as Huawei has now officially confirmed the launch date. At the same time, the company also announced more exciting features bound to make the Huawei Mate 9 more attractive.

"Response to Huawei Mate 9 has been extremely positive, resulting in numerous industry awards and accolades," says Zhendong Zhu, the president of Huawei Device USA. "With Mate 9, we set out to improve every element of the smartphone experience, creating a dynamic and powerful device that takes a big step forward in what consumers expect in a smartphone. We're excited to introduce the Mate 9 flagship device to the U.S. market."

Huawei Mate 9 With Amazon Alexa

Touted as the "first introduced smartphone with Amazon Alexa," the Huawei Mate 9 will offer enhanced functionality thanks to Amazon's cloud-based voice service. Mate 9 users will be able to ask Alexa to make a to-do list, set an alarm, get weather information, traffic reports, news and more. Moreover, Alexa can also control a wide range of smart home devices.

Amazon Alexa will be pre-installed in an app on the Huawei Mate 9 in early 2017. Customers who already own the phablet at that time will get access to Alexa via a software upgrade.

This marks an important milestone for Amazon Alexa, as it's the first time the digital assistant becomes available on a smartphone. Amazon announced plans to bring Alexa to mobile back in October 2016, but it was only for Amazon Fire tablets. With the Huawei Mate 9, Amazon Alexa will now pose a real challenge to Apple's Siri and the Google Assistant.

Huawei Mate 9 Specs

For those unfamiliar with the smartphone, the Huawei Mate 9 boasts a massive 5.9-inch display with a full HD resolution (1080p), Huawei's own Kirin 960 chipset, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of native storage, expandable up to 256 GB via microSD. Other specs include an impressive Leica dual rear camera system with a 20-megapixel monochrome camera and a 12-megapixel RGB one, capable of shooting 4K video. The handset also rocks a highly accurate rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and a 4,000 mAh battery to keep things up and running.

Huawei has also employed machine learning to optimize the performance on the Mate 9 based on the user's needs and habits, allocating resources such as RAM accordingly. This will prevent the smartphone from getting slower with time.

Huawei Mate 9 Price And Availability

The beefy Huawei Mate 9 is all set to go on sale in the United States at a $600 price point, which is lower than the cost of other flagship smartphones such as the iPhone 7.

The Huawei Mate 9 will be available from Best Buy's website and more than 600 Best Buy physical retail stores, as well as from online retailers such as Amazon, Newegg and B&H. The smartphone comes in two color options: Space Gray and Moonlight Silver.

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