In fact, the firm claims that the device will be the first phone to offer "always-ready, hands-free access to Amazon Alexa." Other devices, such as Huawei's Mate 9, have included Amazon's voice assistant; however, it's necessary to launch an app to interact with it. You won't need to launch an app to get to HTC Alexa, but the device will still need to be unlocked first.
HTC's version of Alexa isn't limited in any way; you should be able to use it to check the weather forecast, control your smart home, listen to music, and more. To control your Alexa settings though, such as to set up a new smart home device, you'll still need to grab Amazon's Alexa application. Naturally, any of the 15,000 skills that Amazon offers will be available.
If you've got an HTC U11 and you want to download the new app, you can grab it from the Play Store here.