Samsung Galaxy Home mini tipped as cheaper Bixby-powered speaker

The Bixby-powered Samsung Galaxy Home speaker will reportedly be accompanied by a budget option akin to the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini speakers.

SamMobile sources say the company is plotting a second device, which would conceivably give the company a better shot at attracting mainstream consumers, beyond those it is targeting with the premium Galaxy Home.

Samsung is yet to announce the pricing for the Galaxy Home, but it is expected to be up there with the Apple HomePod speaker, which costs £349/£319. While that might appeal to buyers of Samsung’s Galaxy S10 range in 2019, it’s unlikely to help with the greater proliferation of the Bixby personal assistant.

Today’s report points to a newly discovered model number, which is often a key insight into Samsung’s future plans. The Galaxy Home is dubbed SM-V510, but another model baring the model number SM-V310 has now been uncovered.

This may be a cheaper version of the Galaxy Home, which is likely to lack some of the audio tech and power of the original version, if it comes to fruition. The site speculates that it may arrive minus a subwoofer and fewer microphones, but that’s all conjecture at present.

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Unveiled alongside the Galaxy Note 9 back in August, the Galaxy Home is Samsung’s effort to muscle in on the smart speaker market.

There’s a metal tripod stand and a cloth-covered speaker unit offering a built-in subwoofer for deep, rich base. There’s natural sound processing from Samsung-owned Harman, which the company says will make it seem as if you’re experiencing music at a live concert. This will also enable the speaker to optimise the sound depending on where you are in the room.

Speaking of location, there are also eight far-field microphones designed to handle voice commands from any direction. Users will be able to say “Hi Bixby” and the music will be directed right at them.

It’s entirely possible that Samsung could choose to unveil this product at the CES 2019 expo, which kickstarts in less than two weeks. However, Samsung could also wait until MWC 2019, or whenever it decides to debut the Galaxy S10 range.

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