Samsung is making its entry into the competitive smart speaker market with the announcement of Galaxy Home, taking on fellow tech giants Amazon, Apple, Google and others.
Samsung unveiled the device today at an event for the latest generation of the Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone. The company revealed few details about Galaxy Home and did not give a price or release date.
We do know that the smart speaker has six speakers and a subwoofer. Samsung boasted about concert-like surround sound and built in technology from AKG and Harman to optimize sound based on where the listener is in the room. It has eight far-field microphones — one more than the Amazon Echo.
Based on the presentation, Samsung appears to be positioning itself to compete with Apple’s HomePod, but we won’t know for sure until we see important details like price. At $349, the HomePod is a much more expensive option than the $99 second-generation Echo or the $129 Google Home.
Sound quality is clearly an important piece of Galaxy Home, but smart home functions could be the biggest draw for the speaker. Samsung SmartThings is one of the main smart home ecosystems, and the introduction of a new smart speaker to control everything via voice fills a missing link for the Korean electronics giant.
The smart home aspect, puts Galaxy Home in competition with the Echo. The Verge notes that the device’s success may ultimately come down to how effective Bixby is. Alexa has been around for years now, and there’s also Siri and the Google Assistant for the relatively new Bixby to contend with.
In addition to Galaxy Home, Samsung announced that the Galaxy Note 9 will be available Aug. 24 with preorders starting tomorrow. Samsung is offering a 128GB model with 6GB RAM for $999 and a 512GB model with 8GB RAM version for $1,250. The phone is bolstered by an improved S Pen, which now includes bluetooth capabilities that turn the stylus into a full-blown remote control for the phone.
Samsung devices will be the first to get the Android version of the massively popular game Fortnite, the company said at the event. Samsung also announced a partnership with Spotify across its network of devices, making the streaming music service the default for Bixby and creating deeper integration for smart home uses.
Watch the full Samsung event below: