The smart speaker market is only a few years old, but it’s already pretty crowded with the Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, and numerous 3rd party speakers running Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Heck, there’s even a Harman Kardon smart speaker running on Microsoft’s Cortana. Do we need another platform in the ring? Arguably not, but that’s not stopping Samsung. Enter the Samsung Galaxy Home.
The Samsung Galaxy Home is the world’s first Bixby powered smart speaker
The Samsung Galaxy Home is powered by the company’s own virtual assistant, Bixby. Yes, the same assistant that is forced on Samsung Galaxy handset owners and is often enough one of the first things these owners disable. For more on Bixby, check out our Samsung Bixby features guide.
While Bixby’s virtual assistant still has a lot to prove before we recommend it, Samsung has quite a few improvements planned for Bixby in the near future including improved intelligence for things like ordering rides, making reservations, and more. This is all thanks to new partnerships with companies like Uber, Yelp, and Spotify.
Samsung Galaxy Home offers a space-age design and the promise of amazing sound
Unfortunately, we haven’t had the chance to hear the Samsung Galaxy Home just yet, though we were on scene to check it out at Samsung’s Unpacked event (held on 8/9/18). The design of the speaker is pretty space-agey, resting on three stainless steel legs and with a design that kind of looks like a vase. Whether this look is hot or not comes down to preference, but it certainly stands out.
Samsung Galaxy Home features audio tech from AKG and Harman
There are a set of physical buttons on the top for those who want the ability to do a few things without having to actually use your voice.
As for the sound quality? Without hearing, we can’t judge. That said, Samsung promises great quality backed by technology from AKG and Harman – both of which are companies owned by Samsung. The Galaxy Home will feature six internal speakers and a subwoofer, as well as eight microphones built in.
From what we are seeing so far, the Galaxy Home is set to compete more with Apple HomePod and Google Home Max in the sound department than speakers like the Home and Echo.
Killer feature: Samsung SmartThings integration
Samsung’s Bixby is severely lacking on killer apps and isn’t necessarily great at smart home integration either… sound familiar? That’s basically the same situation with Apple HomePod right now. If sound quality and a half-baked assistant were the only things going for the Samsung Galaxy Home I’d loudly proclaim there’s nothing to see here. Except Samsung was smart enough to offer what could be a killer feature.
Right now smart home owners are often forced to turn to a smart hub - Galaxy Home could change this
Right now smart home owners are often forced to turn to a smart hub if they want to get the most out of their smart home experience. Sure smart speakers can control some things without the need for a hub, but your options become limited. The only smart speaker on the market with a hub integrated right now is the Echo Plus, but it only supports ZigBee and leaves out Z-Wave. That’s what makes us excited for the Galaxy Home, it reportedly has a Samsung SmartThings hub integrated right in.
We don’t know a lot about this integration yet, only that it will be there. If Samsung pulls everything off well, this could make the Samsung Galaxy Home a great choice for those who are looking for more than just a smart speaker and want a voice-powered hub that controls their entire smart home setup.
Galaxy Home price and release date
So how much is the Samsung Galaxy Home going to cost, and when can we expect it to hit stores? Honestly, we have no clue. Samsung has given little details on that front yet, though they say we can expect more at the Samsung Developer’s Conference in November. It’s possible that the Samsung Galaxy Home release date could be right after the developer’s conference to make a splash in time for the holidays, but we really can’t say for sure.
The Samsung Galaxy Home’s price point is equally a mystery, but we’d imagine it will end up coming in somewhere around the Apple HomePod and Google Home Max if Samsung wants to stay competitive. If this prediction proves true, that would mean somewhere between $350 and $400.
What do you think of the Samsung Galaxy Home speaker based on what we know so far? Is there room for yet another smart speaker or is the market already crowded enough?