It’s been over a year since Samsung revealed their plans for the Galaxy Home, the company’s first entry into the crowded smart speaker market, at the Note 9 event in August 2018. During the event, Samsung’s representatives delayed giving details about pricing and the new product’s availability.
Since then, we’ve entertained several forecasts about an upcoming launch. At the November 2018 Software Developer Conference, the Samsung booth had Galaxy Homes on display. Similar predictions arose at the Galaxy S10 Event in 2019 when there were rumors the product would finally be ready. Then again at the Note 10 launch in August 2019.
More recently, the company has announced the Galaxy Home Mini and an accompanying beta program for smartphone owners in South Korea to test the new version of the product. There was already some speculation about this due to the company’s FCC filing back in May.
Samsung states that the new Mini connects to and controls IoT devices, incorporates sound technology from Samsung’s AKG brand, and integrates with their own smart home platform, “SmartThings.” It’s worth noting that the announcement of the Galaxy Home Mini and its beta program has no mention of the current state of the original Galaxy Home speaker.
It’s also unclear if Samsung will expand the Mini beta program to customers in other parts of the world. Not many details have been shared yet, but the company says the device will be powered by Bixby, Samsung’s own voice assistant. Since the beta program was only announced in August, it could be a few weeks before Samsung officially unleashes the Galaxy Home Mini. The company also hasn’t said when the beta program will end.
Right now there doesn’t appear to be any rumors of a beta program for the original, full-sized Galaxy Home Smart Speaker, and the Mini beta program is still confined to smartphone owners in South Korea for now. After the Galaxy Note 10 launch, Samsung said it’s continuing to “refine and enhance” the original device before officially launching.
With the Galaxy Home’s later-than-planned release, one thing impatient Samsung fans might want to consider is that the company already has a whole product ecosystem of smart home devices and appliances that connect and communicate with each other. Being able to unify and integrate each of these devices can be difficult to pull off and very time-consuming. While this means more time to work on the device, it’s most likely better for everyone that Samsung takes the time to fully prepare for a successful launch.