Samsung Galaxy Home Mini Smart Speaker Arriving Feb. 12
Samsung will debut its Galaxy Home Mini smart speaker on February 12, according to a since-deleted post on the company’s website first discovered by TinzenHelp. The apparently accidental post confirms the rumors that the smart speaker is coming early this year. Especially as that is the day after Samsung’s Unpacked event.
Smaller Bixby Speaker
The announcement only referred to the Galaxy Home Mini launching in South Korea, priced at 99,000, or around $83. The smart speaker will use Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant as expected, but won’t need to connect to a smartphone to send and receive messages. On the hardware side, the AKG speakers built into the device are supposed to give it a higher quality sound than the standard smart speaker and it comes with sensors designed to detect dangerous problems like fires or burst pipes, alerting the people who live there about the issue.
The description of the Home Mini fits with what has been seen of the smart speaker already at the Samsung Developer Conference with some extra details. One addition that somewhat changes the smart speaker’s place in the market, however, is the price. Entry-level smart speakers from Google and Amazon cost $50 and are frequently discounted below that. An $83 price tag elevates the Galaxy Home Mini into its own category. If Samsung wants to seed the smart speaker into people’s homes, it may have to use a different tactic like bundling it with the Galaxy S20 smartphone pre-orders. There’s precedent for that as Samsung did the same thing with the Galaxy Buds and the Galaxy S10 smartphone.
Missing Galaxy Home
The idea of an entry-level version of the Galaxy Home smart speaker makes sense, except for one crucial detail, the still unknown arrival date of the Galaxy Home. The high-end smart speaker is expected to cost $300 and come with top-of-the-line audio equipment, competing with Amazon’s Echo Studio and devices built by Bose and other audio equipment companies. First demoed in August 2018 and promised to arrive soon after, it never has.
There’s no clear reason for the delay, especially if the Galaxy Home Mini is ready to roll. It could be a marketing problem or a technical issue. Samsung is no doubt keen to avoid the problems that plagued the original Bixby voice assistant or the Galaxy Fold smartphone. The arrival of the Galaxy Home Mini ahead of its bigger cousin could also just be because Samsung is more interested in the lower end of the smart speaker market, which is significantly larger than the premium side. As pointed out, $83 is not the entry price for competing smart speakers, but combining it with a new smartphone could be the key to getting people to try it out and, ideally for Samsung, want to stick with Bixby speakers in future purchases.