Samsung’s new Galaxy smart speaker wants you to bring Bixby Home

Samsung's Galaxy Home uses not-so-smart Bixby to do your bidding

Not to be outdone by Google’s Assistant-powered Google Home, Amazon’s Echo, or Apple’s Siri on the HomePod, Samsung has launched the Galaxy Home (seeing a pattern here?), a smart speaker that uses Samsung’s own omniscient digital assistant, Bixby. The speaker is one of several new devices launched alongside the Galaxy Note 9, on which Bixby is also installed.

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 has 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.

samsung unpacked galaxy home bixby speaker
Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

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.

If you’re wondering when you’ll have a Galaxy Home in your house, then Samsung’s not ready to tell you yet. This is very much an early look at the smart speaker, and more about it will be shared at the next Samsung Developer Conference, which takes place on November 7 in San Francisco, California. Even then, Samsung may not be ready to provide a release date or the price for the Galaxy Home and instead may talk about a Galaxy Home software development kit or further app partnerships.

We’ll keep you updated with Galaxy Home speaker news right here.

Updated on August 9: Updated with official announcement details. 

Smart Home

Samsung SmartThings adds A.I.-based Wi-Fi for faster, smarter home networking

Samsung introduced the SmartThings Wifi, an A.I.-based multifunction mesh networking router with an integrated smart home hub. The device intelligently allocates network speed and bandwidth based on device and application needs.
Smart Home

How to set up your Lenovo Smart Display

Here's how to set up your Lenovo Smart Display, including what information you need to provide to the Home app and how to choose the right Google Assistant settings for your new smart screen.
Smart Home

Ecobee’s smart thermostat and light switch speakers support Alexa Announcements

Ecobee added Alexa Announcement compatibility to its Alexa-enabled smart home devices. The ecobee4 Smart Thermostat and Switch+ smart light switch can now remind your kids to start their homework or tell everyone dinner is ready.
Podcasts

Samsung Unpacked, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Home takes on Google and Amazon

On today's episode: Samsung Unpacked presented some of the latest products from the company. We'll cover the best features of the Galaxy Note 9, including the water carbon cooling system designed for gamers. Can the Galaxy Home with Bixby…
News

Airbnb wants to make it much easier for you to plan a trip with your buddies

Airbnb is planning a bunch of new features that'll make arranging trips with friends and family a much more collaborative experience. It includes a way to add co-travelers to a trip so you can more easily develop an itinerary.
Smart Home

Trulia enables homeseekers to know the neighborhood with a new app feature

Trulia Neighborhoods is taking a closer look at neighborhoods with a new digital experience, Trulia Neighborhoods, that aims to use multimedia to depict the local character of American communities.
Photography

The Nixplay Iris might just make digital picture frames cool again

The digital picture frame's popularity has fizzled because of time-consuming updates and low quality -- but can a Wi-Fi connected frame change that? The Nixplay Iris is an 8-inch smart digital picture frame that wireless updates photos.
Smart Home

The best dorm gadgets of 2018

Want to outfit your dorm or college apartment with only the best (and coolest) tech? Take a look at the best dorm gadgets for 2018, from excellent cooking gadgets to the latest phone tech - and everything in between.
Smart Home

Alexa goes to college as Saint Louis University puts an Echo in every dorm room

Smart speakers have been deployed on campus before but Saint Louis University is going all in by providing an Amazon Echo Dot to every on-campus living space on campus, totaling over 2,300 devices.
Smart Home

We’re lovin’ these toaster ovens that do way more than brown bread

Are you looking for a toaster oven that can make jerky or steam vegetables? Do you need a dedicated countertop appliance for making pizza? Fortunately, these toaster ovens provide a wide array of functionality.
Emerging Tech

Lyd is a battery-powered, ‘no-spill’ bottle that is activated by your lips

Lyd is a battery-powered bottle that’s something like a sippy cup for adults. Its no-spill solution is a specialized lid that uses an algorithm to detect when your lips are on the bottle.
Smart Home

Ward off porch pirates with these best outdoor security cameras

Worried about porch pirates stealing your packages, or intruders entering your home? Always be in the know about who or what is on your property by installing one of these outdoor security cameras.
Product Review

“World’s Smartest Camera” is let down by not-so-smart omissions

Ooma Butterfleye’s high quality, auto-adaptive imaging, wire-free operation and free cloud storage delights, but there are some flaws to be aware of, including a lack of proper night vision.
Smart Home

Cortana and Alexa can now call each other as new relationship begins

Microsoft and Amazon announced a public preview of Cortana and Alexa integration. U.S. customers can now open Cortana with Alexa and vice versa. Basic functions such as calendars and shopping lists are available with the preview.