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The Samsung Bixby speaker no-one asked for may land early 2018

Samsung will reportedly release a smart speaker, powered by the Bixby personal assistant, in early 2018.

Bloomberg sources say the Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod rival will place a large focus on audio quality and feature integration with Samsung’s SmartThings smart home network.

That means it’ll be used to control in-home lighting, locks, cameras, thermostats and much more. The report says it’ll play nice with Samsung’s phones as well as its TVs and various other connected gadgets.

Although the pricing and release plans are yet to be confirmed, according to the sources, Samsung is planning to sell the speaker for around $200 (about £148). We’d also expect it to be announced at CES 2018, or alongside the Galaxy S9.

The ‘people briefed on the plans’ say Samsung’s current prototype sits between the Echo and HomePod in terms of size. Samsung is also considering multiple colour options with a familiar touch-sensitive top, the sources say.

Related: Sonos One review

Whether there’s much of a market this device, in an increasingly crowded space, remains to be seen.

Samsung is somewhat late to the party given Amazon and Google have numerous products on sale, while Apple’s delayed HomePod will be available in early 2018.

Elsewhere, the Sonos One, with superior sound and the Alexa assistant, might be the smart speaker to beat right now.

Although Samsung has promised significant improvements with version 2.0, it has to be said Bixby is not a popular piece of software. With that in mind, it’ll be interesting to see how it adapts to life within a speaker.

Do you think Samsung’s “me too” speaker can rival the existing leaders in the space? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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