Samsung’s answer to Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home, and Apple’s HomePod is the Galaxy Home A.I. smart speaker. At least, it would be Samsung’s answer if the Galaxy Home launched as planned in April. Alas, that window has come and gone, and there’s still no sign of the tulip-on-a-tripod shaped, Bixby-powered device. What is becoming clear, however, is that when it finally makes its way to stores, it won’t be alone for long. Thanks to a recent Federal Communications Commission filing, we now know that earlier rumors of a “Galaxy Home Mini” are accurate.
When we covered the rumor last year, sources said that the smaller speaker would be available in black, just like the Galaxy Home, and that a model number (SM-V310) had been assigned to it. Judging from the FCC filing, we’re still talking about the same SM-V310, but apparently, the color may now be navy.
We can see from the included images (meant only to indicate the location of the FCC label) that the unnamed speaker bears a striking resemblance to the Galaxy Home, both in shape and style. Gone are the distinctive metal tripod legs, but the top panel clearly bears the same AKG branding as its big brother, along with four touch controls — possibly for volume up/down and two others that aren’t clearly identifiable. We also know that this new device will have Bluetooth and Bluetooth LE, plus Wi-Fi that only operates in the lower bandwidth 2.4GHz frequency.
A visible micro-USB port on the backside of the smaller speaker is a good bet for the device’s power supply, making it consistent with just about every other small smart speaker, like the Echo Dot and the Google Home Mini. While the jury is still out on whether a Bixby-powered smart speaker will be as useful as one that Alexa or Google Assistant, we can say this: If Samsung’s integration of AKG and Harmon audio technology (both owned by Samsung) results in a small smart speaker that doesn’t suck for listening to music, it will be a significant differentiator for Samsung — possibly letting the company charge more than the $50 range these products have occupied for a few years now.
Stay tuned. We’ll hopefully have something real to review from Samsung soon — be it with three legs, or none at all.