Samsung will launch a Bixby-powered smart speaker in the second half of 2018


Samsung will soon join the smart speakers market by launching its own device in the second half of 2018. The news was announced at MWC 2018 by the chief of Samsung Mobile – DJ Koh. The Korean company has been in the making of a speaker for a while now, but it seems like we will be seeing the results sooner rather than later.

The upcoming smart speaker will be powered by Bixby – Samsung's smart assistant, which is present on the Galaxy S8 / S8+ and the newly announced Galaxy S9 and S9+. Mr. Koh mentioned the speaker will "focus on the premium" and not try to compete with budget options like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, but rather raise the price tag in addition to bringing in some new features. There's also the option of a tiered price model, which could lead up to a cheaper speaker with less features and a regular priced one.

Although details on the functionality are yet to be uncovered, it is safe to bet you'll be able to control the Samsung SmartThings system by using voice commands via the Bixby speaker. In case you don't know, SmartThings is Samsung's smart home ecosystem, which connects sensors, appliances and electronics into one network, allowing for easier control. 

The option to control your home using entirely your voice might sound promising, but Samsung will not be the first to implement it. Google Home already gives you the option to control a big part of your smart devices at home, including light bulbs, TVs and locks, all at once, just by the use of voice commands.

The price tag of the speaker is still unknown, but insiders at Samsung have reported it to hover around the $200 mark. As mentioned, this would make the Bixby speaker more expensive than the Amazon Echo and Google Home, but also cheaper than what could be it's main rival – the Apple HomePod.

What feature would you like to see making an appearance in Samsung's smart speaker? Leave your comment below.

source: WSJ

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13 Comments

1. gamehead unregistered

I'm willing to bet it'll be cheaper and overall better than the Homepod

5. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

Definitely when it comes to options and connectivity, Apple's homepod is pathetic in that department, it can't even do bluetooth. I want to bet Samsung is smart enough to launch a smart speaker with bluetooth.

6. patrickf3

Posts: 43; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

A potato can do almost as much as a HomePod, but nothing really comes close to it in terms of sound quality, especially for its size.

7. iushnt

Posts: 3083; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Now let’s see if Samsung can match the audio quality of HomePod, since they can have the technologies from Harman.

10. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

The Google Home Max already matches the audio quality of the Homepod, just like the Sonos play 5 is around the same price (At least in my country) and will outperform it. Both of these has much much superior connectivity and features, as the Homepod essentially doesn't have any connectivity or features, unless you pay Apple money on top every month, in which case it's still incredibly limited. It doesn't have bluetooth, a simple wired connection or even the capability to do stereo. For 350$, that's pretty pathetic. I would expect more when i throw down 350$, especially when Siri is so poor compared to Alexa and Google Assistant.

9. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

Alright you're just saying what Apple PR told you. "Nothing comes close to it in terms of sound quality" Bulls**t. Do you honestly believe this yourself? comeon. You're just eating up the Apple PR and paid reviewers/Apple biased american reviewers at this point. Blind tests were done and other tests, and the Homepod didn't do specifically better than the Google Home Max. A significant amount of people actually prefered the sound of the Google Home max. The Homepod has good sound quality for the price, for a smart speaker, but let's not act like it's just straight up better than the Google Home max, because it's not. You're also forgetting that the Google Home Max also has room adjustments, and it has something that the Homepod doesn't have, stereo sound. The homepod is a mono speaker, a 350$ one. If you were to venture outside of the smart speaker category, then you could easily find speakers that would outperform both the Google Home Max and Apple Homepod.

11. patrickf3

Posts: 43; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

I said for its size, its about 6 inches tall and 5 inches wide. The Google Home Max is 2.5 times the size of it, same with the play 5. And yes I have heard it in person, along with the Google Home Max, and the HomePod sounds better but its not as loud. So maybe try understanding my comment before you call me out for bulls**t.

12. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

You said the following: "nothing really comes close to it in terms of sound quality, especially for its size." Do you not understand what that sentence means? You're saying that nothing comes close to it in terms of sound quality. You then further state that it is "especially" the case when you account for size. You didn't say that when you account for size, it's better, as that would require a sentence such as the following: "If you take size into consideration, then nothing comes close to the Homepod in sound quality" So instead of saying i'm calling you out for nothing, you should probably read your comment and see if the person had a point, which i definitely did. The funny part is the fact that you end off your new reply with exactly the same sentiment. You said the following: " And yes I have heard it in person, along with the Google Home Max, and the HomePod sounds better but its not as loud.". You're saying the Homepod is better, regardless of size, once again. The very thing you said i misinterpreted, and then right after saying that you claim this. Are you serious? I will agree that no smart speaker beats the Homepod, if you take size into consideration, but if you don't take size into consideration, then the Google Home Max can easily compete with it.

13. patrickf3

Posts: 43; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

And I will repeat, it is the best sounding smart speaker and I emphasized that it was even more impressive considering its size. We were all talking about smart speakers on this article, so I don't know why you would interpret that as me comparing the HomePod to other Hi-Fi systems etc. It may not be as loud as the Max but it sounds better. Sure the Max can compete but it doesn't sound as good as the HomePod. "You're saying the Homepod is better, regardless of size, once again." yes thats because regardless of the size of any SMART SPEAKER the HomePod sounds better, including the Google Home Max.

2. ph00ny

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 26, 2011

If they add smarthub capabilities into the smart speaker, count me in for one

3. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Its going to compete with Apple's homepod of which will be the most useless smart speaker.

4. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1025; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Gonna make good use of that Harman/Kardon purchase

8. ShadowUnleashed

Posts: 87; Member since: Feb 08, 2018

Eager to see how it will be.

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