Is 2020 the year Samsung finally brings its Bixby-powered smart speakers to the market? The South Korea-based company sure hopes so.
While Samsung’s first smart speaker, the Galaxy Home, which it announced way back in May 2018, continues to miss timelines, the manufacturer’s chief executive officer of its consumer electronics division, Hyunsuk Kim, has confirmed it plans to launch the more affordable and smaller Galaxy Home Mini sometime in early 2020.
Last year in August, Samsung began beta-testing its answer to the Google Nest Mini and Amazon Echo Mini in South Korea. The company invited Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners in its home country to apply for the beta program and share their feedback.
Samsung didn’t share a whole lot of details for the Galaxy Home Mini but we did learn a few key tidbits. Its official product images reveal a familiar fabric exterior and a much more compact form factor than the larger Galaxy Home. 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.
The Galaxy Home Mini comes equipped with an AKG-branded audio technology. Of course, it plugs into Samsung’s in-house smart home ecosystem called SmartThings and will be powered by its custom digital assistant, Bixby, which allow users to operate appliances with their voice.
The Samsung Galaxy Home Mini will also reportedly won’t have to be constantly plugged in thanks to a built-in battery. Similar to Amazon’s India-exclusive Echo Portable speaker, users might be able to carry the Galaxy Home Mini around their house and employ it as a portable Bluetooth speaker.
As per Bloomberg’s report, it’s unclear whether Samsung will ever launch the Galaxy Home. After all, the speaker has faced sharp criticism primarily due to its odd and bulky design. The company has not shared any specifics on the Galaxy Home Mini either and it could be a while before it hits the shelves. It could potentially make an appearance at Samsung’s forthcoming February hardware event alongside the new Galaxy S11 line of phones.
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