The Google Home and Amazon Echo could face yet another rival and it’s long overdue. After a year-and-a-half of delays, Samsung could finally be about to release its Galaxy Home smart speaker… kind of. The South Korean tech giant recently published an announcement confirming the Galaxy Home Mini – the smaller version of the regular Galaxy Home – will launch in Korea on February 12, the day after the firm’s scheduled Unpacked event. A release date for the standard Galaxy Home is still unknown.
The release from Samsung was published on its Korean site and spotted by Android Police. The outlet claimed the Galaxy Home Mini’s price was noted to be 99,000 Korean Won which translates to roughly £65. If true, that would make the smart speaker more expensive than its closest rivals from Google and Amazon – the Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot.
Pre-orders for the Galaxy Home Mini were noted to go live at some point before February 12, although it’s currently unclear when.
It seems as though a member of Samsung’s team let the information about the Galaxy Home Mini slip ahead of schedule. The post in question has since been removed from the Seoul firm’s website.
The Galaxy Home Mini was announced last year and is intended to be a smaller, more portable version of the standard Galaxy Home. The device is similar in size to the Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot, has a fabric design and physical buttons on its top.
Of course, Samsung is making a big song and dance about the Galaxy Home Mini’s audio quality. The device is tuned by AKG, the tech giant’s audio arm, just like the larger Galaxy Home.
The Galaxy Home Mini comes with Samsung’s virtual assistant Bixby built in, meaning it should be able to answer most questions and appropriately act on commands. That said, Bixby is renowned for not being quite as fully-fledged as the Google Assistant and Alexa.
Where Samsung’s miniature smart speaker could have its rivals beat is with its connection to other Samsung appliances. The Galaxy Home Mini comes fitted with four IR remote transmitters that can control other IR-supported equipment. In theory, that means the Home Mini could control other devices, even if it’s not connected to the internet.
Samsung discussed more details about the Home Mini in its now removed press release. As translated by Android Police, it reads: “Galaxy Home Mini can freely control various devices through voice commands through Bixby. Two microphones are built in to support speech recognition over long distances.