Samsung Galaxy Home: Design, specs and release date for the smart speaker

Everything you need to know about the upcoming Bixby speaker

Complete guide to Samsung Galaxy Home

We've been waiting a while for the Samsung Galaxy Home. After first being announced last August, the Korean company's debut smart speaker is still yet to launch - and that's after a missed release date back in April.

However, there's more to know about the Bixby hub other than the fact it's delayed, and that's where this guide comes in. We'll be updating it regularly with the latest news and information around the upcoming speaker.

Read next: Get started with Samsung SmartThings

Read on for what we know so far about the design of the device, the features it'll offer to the smart home, how much it'll be and when you can pick one up from shelves.

Samsung Galaxy Home guide: Design, specs and release date for the smart speaker

Samsung Galaxy Home: Release date

Initially, it was expected that the Galaxy Home would arrive before the end of 2018, but it's now looking increasingly likely the speaker will land closer to the year anniversary of its first announcement.

Samsung CEO Hyun-suk Kim confirmed in early June that the speaker will now face a delayed launch (after missing the target of April) and launch in Q3 2019. That means we can now expect the Galaxy Home between 1 July and 30 September.

Read more: Samsung officially confirms Galaxy Home delay

Of course, assuming there aren't any more delays, there are a few windows for Samsung to announce the availability of the device. It's expected to once again hold a dedicated event for the upcoming Galaxy Note 10 smartphone, and it also has Berlin's IFA 2019 trade show to make an announcement. It's likely we see it then, though remember it could also come out of the blue, too.

Samsung Galaxy Home guide: Design, specs and release date for the smart speaker

Samsung Galaxy Home: Price

How much will the Galaxy Home be when it does eventually launch? Unfortunately, this is something we still don't know, since it wasn't revealed during the initial announcement.

We can speculate, mind, and everything we know so far would suggest it's likely to be more in line with Apple HomePod's £279 price point, rather than the more budget-friendly tag associated with standard Google Home and Amazon Echo.

The fact there's also a Samsung Galaxy Home Mini - something that now looks likely to launch alongside the standard speaker, and be cheaper - makes it even more likely the Galaxy Home will be the premier option of the two.

Samsung Galaxy Home guide: Design, specs and release date for the smart speaker

Samsung Galaxy Home: Design and features

The Galaxy Home is a bulb-shaped smart speaker with legs that looks like a gadget fondue, or, you know, a decapitated Rosie Jetson, but, unfortunately, there's no exact dimensions available yet, or details about its materials.

However, we do know some of the features. And one of the first things to know about the Galaxy Home is that it's both a Bixby speaker and a SmartThings home hub - which we expected.

It's also built by AKG with Harman technology (both companies, of course, are owned by Samsung) in order to optimize sound based on where you are in the room, and you'll be able to wake up Samsung's assistant with a "Hi Bixby", which the speaker will hear using its eight far-field microphones.

Back at the August event, Daniel Ek from Spotify got up on stage to show how you'll be able to link your SmartThings and Spotify accounts and seamlessly switch from listening on your phone to listening on a Galaxy Home or Samsung smart TV. And controlling Spotify through Bixby voice controls will feature on the upcoming Galaxy Home. However, we don't know yet what other services, if any, will be supported by the speaker.

Samsung Galaxy Home is a Bixby speaker with Spotify and SmartThings

Samsung is touting an "open, unified ecosystem" of home controls, powered by this device. We've been saying for a while that a voice-controlled smart speaker is the missing link for SmartThings, which already has the advantage of Samsung smart TVs in the living room, and inroads into the kitchen and appliances like robot vacs. In recent months, Samsung has been streamlining its various apps and platforms into one easy-to-use service.

The speaker, according to Samsung, will be able to "intuitively moves a wave of sound directly toward you when you ask it to" and we have no idea what that's going to sound like - but we're certainly eager to find out.

Samsung also talks of "scalable AI platform" but the Galaxy Home's weak spot will be Bixby itself, which is widely considered too far behind the voice recognition, accuracy and natural language processing capabilities of Alexa and Google Assistant.

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