Samsung on Thursday officially entered the smart speaker market by unveiling a new Bixby-powered device called Galaxy Home.
The Korean company is aligning the device as more of a high-end speaker meant for the premium market, rather than something designed to compete against something like the Echo Dot or Google Home Mini.
The Galaxy Home features a unique design; it looks like a modern plant vase, with three legs jutting out from the bottom. On the top, there are capacitive buttons and a circular ring that lights up to indicate interactions.
As expected, Bixby is the centerpiece of the Galaxy Home, allowing users to interact with the speaker as one might Apple’s HomePod. That means instructing it to play, pause, and skip tracks when playing music. Interestingly, the Galaxy Home will know where a user is and aim the audio in that direction.
Samsung said the speaker features eight built-in microphones for far-field voice recognition, so it should catch your voice even when there’s a lot of ambient noise.
Samsung will have an uphill battle to fight with the Galaxy Home, which is entering a crowded market. Apple entered into the smart speaker market late and has found it difficult to compete with the likes of Amazon and Google.
Making it even more difficult for Samsung is the fact that the Galaxy Home is pushing Bixby as its preferred digital assistant. Bixby has evolved since its debut a few years ago, but it’s nowhere near as adept and complete as something like Google Assistant.
Samsung said it will reveal more information about the Galaxy Home very soon. From what the company showed off, it’s very clear that, like Apple’s HomePod is only meant for Apple users, the Galaxy Home is very much designed for Samsung’s most hardcore fans.
No pricing or release date was revealed.