Samsung confirms the Galaxy Home Mini, as beta testing gets underway in Korea

Company website gives us our first official glimpse of the speaker

Samsung Galaxy Home Mini is official

The Samsung Galaxy Home Mini has been officially confirmed after months of leaks and speculation, with the company opening up beta testing for the smart speaker in South Korea.

Though we're still waiting for the release of the original Samsung Galaxy Home - unveiled last August - we now have our first glimpses of its bitesize equivalent, which was first reported at the start of this year.

Read up: Complete guide to Samsung's Bixby

Those looking to participate in the testing can apply through the official website, and, if approved for the program, will receive a Home Mini from Samsung ahead of its full release. When that release will actually materialize is still unclear - however, this confirmation does lend itself to the idea that Samsung could talk about the miniature speaker for the first time at IFA 2019.

If it does decide to have a presence at the Berlin tech expo, it could also take the opportunity to finally announce the availability of the regular Galaxy Home, a MIA case that grows curiouser by the month. We've seen no similar beta program for the missing speaker announced, like we're seeing with the Home Mini, and after it was scheduled to land earlier this year, Samsung last suggested it would launch in the "mid-second half of the year".

Samsung officially confirms the Galaxy Home Mini, as beta testing gets underway

Unless it's encountered another delay we don't know about yet, this timeline would also point towards some kind of announcement at IFA 2019 for the Galaxy Home. However, although it would make sense on paper to launch the pair at the same time, the fact the Galaxy Home Mini is only just going through beta testing now means it's more likely to actually launch later in the year, or even in 2020.

Aside from any speculation regarding release date, not only do we know what the speaker will look like, courtesy of the images released for the new beta program, but we also have a fairly basic idea of how it will operate. As described in the application page: "Galaxy Home Mini is a smart home speaker that can control home appliances and IoT devices by voice through Bixby and SmartThings."

No surprises there, but it's also described how Samsung's audio subsidiary, AKG, will handle sound - something that was hinted in early leaks from SamMobile, as the device passed through Bluetooth certification and FCC approval.

Of course, we'll have to wait until on Samsung for official pricing details, too, at which point we'll know exactly where the Galaxy Home Mini will sit in the market, and who it will rival.

Until then, let's hope for a smooth beta testing period.

TAGGED   speakers

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