Samsung Galaxy Home Speaker first look


What was already heralded as a spectacle, Samsung’s Unpacked event in New York City yielded a couple of unexpected surprises. One of them was teasing its Bixby powered smart speaker, the strange looking Samsung Galaxy Home. We spent a short time during the event to check out this upcoming smart speaker, which will more likely receive a fuller introduction during Samsung’s Developer Conference in a few months from now.

During one point at Samsung’s event, they pulled off the curtains from the Galaxy Home speaker by having several of them ceremoniously providing the intro music for its tease. While we were there soaking in everything, the audio performance from the combined speakers did manage to fill the huge void at the Barclays Center. Unfortunately, that was basically the extent of the demo, seeing that later on, we were dealing with non-playing pre-production models.

Even though they weren’t playing any sort of tunes, we did manage to get a good up-close look at the new speakers. For starters, the design is undeniably strange. It looks more like something you’d find sitting somewhere in The Jetsons cartoon show, flaunting one of those crazy looking futuristic designs. We were really shocked by its size, which is easily bigger than Apple’s HomePod. On top of that, the Samsung Galaxy Home packs some serious weight! You wouldn’t realize it until you actually pick it up, but this thing weighs a good amount, so we’d be afraid of what would happen to it and whatever it comes into contact with if it were to fall from a tall height.

Leveraging a mesh-like grill covering that wraps around the entire perimeter of the speaker, it does give the speaker a natural feel, but we’re more concerned about how this kind of material will handle over time. If you’re a cat owner, it’s quite possible that your furry feline may mistake it for a scratching post. On the top of the Galaxy Home speaker, it features a touch sensitive panel that provides access to basic media playback functions such as pause/play, track forward/reverse, and volume adjustment. However, since it’s Bixby powered, we imagine that those functions can be executed through voice commands.

Who knows why they opted to design the speaker with three pronged legs on the bottom of it, but it does add to its strange design. The whole thing kind of reminds us of the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio speaker we reviewed several years ago. Still, the more pressing matter is what it’ll be able to deliver when it comes to being a smart speaker. Voice commands will surely be the focal point, but it’s following after notable speakers such as Apple’s HomePod, Google’s Home Max, and even some cool things like the Lenovo Smart Display.

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