Samsung announced plans to enter the smart speaker business when it unveiled the Galaxy Home alongside the Galaxy Note 9 at an Unpacked event in August 2018. Since then the smart speaker has been met with countless delays and still doesn’t have a firm release date. However, the South Korean tech giant has now confirmed its Galaxy Home Mini smart speaker will be made available in early 2020.
That’s according to Bloomberg, which recently spoke with Samsung’s chief executive officer of consumer electronics, Hyunsuk Kim. According to Kim, the Seoul-based tech is confident that it can leverage its range of existing smart home appliances to build a compelling smart speaker.
The outlet said Kim is currently testing the Galaxy Home Mini is his own home and has it synced with 63 devices – ranging from curtains to lighting. Speaking with Bloomberg, Kim was eager to trump up the functionality of the forthcoming speaker.
He said: “It’s not about when we release the product, but it’s more crucial how much further we can evolve the technology. No other speaker in the world can control gadgets as much as Samsung can.”
Samsung showed off the Galaxy Home Mini publicly for the first time in October at its Developer Conference in San Jose, California. As its naming convention suggests, the Galaxy Home Mini is a smaller variant of the mysteriously absent Galaxy Home. Although pricing details are unknown, the device seems designed to compete with the Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot.
The design of the Galaxy Home Mini is fairly minimalist. The hardware sports a fabric-like material on its top and sides with a plastic ring at the top. Physical buttons to adjust the volume and to turn its microphone on and off are located on top, too.
Samsung has leveraged the expertise of its audio division AKG to tune the Galaxy Home Mini’s speaker array. But of course, we’ll have to wait until it actually releases to see how good it truly sounds.
Of course, Bixby comes built into the Home Mini – Samsung’s virtual assistant will be able to answer a variety of question and act on commands. That said, the chatty helper is not quite up to snuff with the Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, so don’t expect its list of functionality to be as lengthy.
Samsung is holding an Unpacked event in San Francisco on February 11 where it’s expected to unveil its Galaxy S11 series of smartphone in addition to a new foldable flagship. It’s possible the South Korean tech giant could also discuss its release plans for the Galaxy Home Mini during the showcase.
Express.co.uk will be covering Samsung’s February event live, so stay tuned for all the biggest announcements.