For a while now, we were starting to believe that Samsung’s Bixby-powered smart speaker would keep existing as vaporware. After all, it was first announced over a year ago, in 2018 alongside the Galaxy Note9. Earlier today, Samsung Korea accidentally posted an announcement article for the Galaxy Home Mini. The article was posted on Samsung Korea but has since been taken down.
The post specified that the Galaxy Home Mini will be arriving to Samsung’s home market of South Korea on February 12, the very day after Samsung’s Unpacked event will take place in San Francisco. The speaker is expected to arrive for KRW 99,000 (~$83). Here’s some of the text, translated from Korean.
Galaxy Home Mini voices freely through Bixby. Commands can be used to control various devices. Two built-in microphones allow for voice recognition at long distance[…] It is equipped with an IR remote control function. – Translated from Korean
Samsung intends to differentiate the Galaxy Home Mini with IR remote control capabilities. It can be cumbersome to adjust volume or switch tracks using only voice commands, and some customers might prefer a more classic way to control their entertainment.
Samsung Galaxy Home Mini
Samsung has delayed the Galaxy Home at least a couple of times, perhaps to further refine Bixby, its in-house voice assistant. Although the announcement mentioned Korea, we wonder when the Galaxy Home Mini would arrive in Western markets. We expect to be hearing at least some kind of acknowledgement of the Galaxy Home Mini at the Unpacked event next week.
We wonder if Samsung is entering the smart speaker game too late. Both Google and Amazon have a strong presence in the smart speaker already, so will there be enough room for yet another smart speaker platform? We’ll see.