Samsung Galaxy Home Bixby Smart Speaker Announced

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As well as launching the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Samsung used its August 9 Unpacked event in New York to reveal another much-rumoured device; the Samsung Galaxy Home.

What’s the Samsung Galaxy Home?

It’s the Samsung Bixby-powered smart speaker that’s been whispered about for a few months now. As per the rumours, it is based on AKG speaker hardware from Samsung’s acquisition of the audio specialist a while back, but is driven by Samsung’s own Bixby AI platform.

The Galaxy Home has a somewhat unique vase-shaped look compared to most of the other smart speakers we’ve seen to date, being something of a crossover between Google Home and the Apple Homepod, except it uniquely sits on a kind of tripod leg structure made from shiny metal, rather like a lamp. It’s fabric-wrapped like the mentioned competitors.

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What Can Samsung Galaxy Home Do?

Samsung explained that it’s essentially aiming to corner two key aspects of the smart speaker market; the best sound quality, and a high-end, premium, and elegant design.

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The top portion of the speaker has a flat top and features physical button controls for things like volume, track navigation, and power. Of course such things are primarily intended to be controlled via voice commands, but it doesn’t hurt to have a manual backup.

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Rather than being one solo speaker, the Galaxy Home actually incorporates six speakers and a sub-woofer, which allows it to provide a surround-sound-like experience. It also has eight-far field microphones for voice commands, so you can for example say “Hey Bixby, play my favourite album,” and it will do so.

More than that, the speaker has a unique capability where it can follow your location in the room and project sound in your direction.

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As with other rivals, such as Google Home, the Samsung Galaxy Home can form the hub of a smart home. This uses Samsung’s SmartThings hub so that the speaker can automatically sync with other smart devices, including lighting, fridges, dishwashers, doorlocks, TVs, and bigger smart sound systems, as well as, of course, smart devices you can use to control this ecosystem and link it to applications, including smartphones, watches, and tablets.

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When Can I Get One? And How Much Will It Cost?

At present, Samsung is yet to reveal pricing or availability of the Samsung Galaxy Home, we just know it is “coming soon”. We’d hazard a guess that it’ll be ready in time for Christmas at the very latest but frankly we’d expect it earlier to give a good run-up of sales in 2018’s final quarters.

Price wise we have little to go on other than rumours and speculation.

There’s been some suggestion Samsung will try to undercut both the Apple Homepod (£319) and the Google Home Max (£300) – the latter of which is all about sound quality. There’s much debate over which of the two rivals is better in terms of audio, however.

It’s difficult to see how high-quality sound tech from AKG can be sold at a decently reduced price from these rivals, however, particularly as it also has fancy-pants tech to follow you around the room and project the sound at you.

We’ve heard talk of it being priced around the £200-£250 mark, or thereabouts, but it’s anybody’s guess if this will prove true.

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