While Samsung fans continue to wait patiently for the Galaxy Home smart speaker to ship, it appears the company already has plans for its little brother.
A filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States reveals plans for a new AI speaker, which, judging by the attached imagery, will be smaller and ship minus the metal legs. The cauldron-esque shape remains the same, so it’s likely we’re looking at a cheaper version of the Galaxy Home, but as yet it’s still unclear Samsung plans to charge prospective buyers for the original.
Samsung had planned to ship the Galaxy Home in April this year, but as of this month there’s no firm release date planned for the HomePod rival running the Bixby operating system.
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The rumoured Galaxy Home Mini had been tipped for an unveiling at the February 20 Unpacked event where the Galaxy S10 handset made its debut. Perhaps Samsung held back because it knew the Galaxy Home wasn’t quite ready for prime time yet? Who knows.
If the Mini version does arrive, perhaps alongside the Note 10, it’s unlikely to be as affordable as the Google Home Mini and the Amazon Echo Dot speakers.
Both the Samsung Galaxy Home and the prospective Home Mini will be entering a crowded field of smart speakers. Couple that with the negative perception of the Bixby personal assistant, compared to its rivals, and Samsung is facing an uphill struggle when it comes to penetrating the market.
The original device offers 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. Given the Apple HomePod is reliant on tight integration with Apple Music, it makes sense for Samsung to sign up a high-profile music partner too. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek was present at the Samsung keynote last year to explain how the streaming giant will be neatly alligned with the Galaxy Home and all Samsung devices moving forward.