Samsung has quietly confirmed it will soon launch a new and smaller smart speaker, the Galaxy Home Mini, to take on the Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot. The manufacturer has invited Galaxy smartphone users in its home country of South Korea to sign up for beta-testing of the forthcoming device.
Through September 1, Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners in South Korea will be able to apply for the beta program. Samsung will send selected candidates the new speaker, who will provide feedback before the public launch.
We’re not sure whether Samsung will expand the beta program to Galaxy owners in other countries. The company hasn’t shared a whole lot of details just yet, but it says the Galaxy Home Mini will be compatible with the company’s own smart home platform, called SmartThings. The speaker, of course, will be powered by Samsung’s homegrown digital assistant, Bixby, and allow users to operate appliances with their voice. Another tidbit we know right now is that the Galaxy Home Mini’s speakers will feature an AKG-branded audio technology.
Samsung has shared product images that reveal a familiar fabric exterior and a compact form factor. The device also sports a standard set of quick buttons for adjusting the volume and muting the mic, as well as a fourth key with a function that is unknown at this point.
Oddly, none of the shots show a cable, which might possibly indicate that the Galaxy Home Mini will run on battery. The feature could enable the speaker to stand out among the Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot, which need to be plugged in at all times.
Since the early adopter program has just begun, it could be a few weeks before Samsung officially unveils the Galaxy Home Mini. It hasn’t specified when the beta program will end.
Samsung joined the smart speaker race more than a year ago with the Galaxy Home. However, the flagship smart speaker missed its original release date and faced a series of delays as the company struggles with production. When questioned, a spokesperson said Samsung is “working to refine and enhance it.”
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