In November 2018, Samsung announced the Galaxy Home, a smart speaker that uses Samsung’s omniscient digital assistant, Bixby. It’s a clear response to Google’s Assistant-powered Google Home, Amazon’s Echo, or Apple’s Siri on the HomePod. The speaker is one of several new devices launched alongside the Galaxy Note 9, on which Bixby is also installed. Originally slated for a spring 2019 release, the company now says we won’t see a Galaxy Home until the fall.
Samsung says the new Galaxy Home brings together Bixby, amazing sound, and elegant design. It contains six speakers and a subwoofer for surround sound, complete with tuning and audio technology from AKG and Harman — two Samsung-owned companies. There are eight microphones to pick up your voice, even from a distance, when the Bixby voice assistant is called into action.
Samsung made the design considerably more space-age than some other connected speakers. It rests on three stainless steel legs and has a shape that may remind you of a pineapple or a witch’s cauldron. Samsung used 160 of the speakers to provide the audio during the launch event, showing some of its room-filling ability. A set of physical buttons are on top of the device. In the brief amount of time we saw the speaker, it was difficult to get an idea of size, but it certainly looks larger than the Google Home or Amazon Echo speaker.
Outside of music, the Galaxy Home is a hub for Bixby. Samsung has updated the Bixby virtual assistant to become more conversational and more useful than the first version. It understands dates and can check local events, all without a wake word if you use the Bixby key on your phone. It is also designed to follow the conversation and doesn’t need reminding of the subject if you want to ask a follow-up.
Samsung separately announced a partnership with Spotify and confirmed the streaming music service will also be part of the Galaxy Home in the future. Bixby was demonstrated on the Galaxy Note 9 ordering an Uber, booking tickets for a concert, and making a dinner reservation. It was not shown working on the Galaxy Home.
Despite the significant delays in getting the Galaxy Home ready for purchase, Samsung is simultaneously working on a follow-up product, which we think will likely be called the Galaxy Home Mini. The smaller, yet visually similar product is currently making its way through Federal Communications Commission clearances, and at this point, it may even launch with its larger sibling.
We’ll keep you updated with Galaxy Home speaker news right here.
Updated on June 4, 2019: Updated with new launch timing and Galaxy Home Mini details.
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