Earlier this year, Samsung was rumored to be developing a smart speaker to compete with likes of Google Home. Today, a new report provides the first concrete details on the device, as well as a possible launch date. Meanwhile, another report notes a possible launch for the rumored Google Home with a display.
According to Bloomberg, the Samsung smart speaker is between the size of Amazon’s 2nd-generation Echo and Apple’s delayed HomePod. Lacking a display, interaction will be signaled by lights at top of the device, with Samsung reportedly planning to sell the device in different colors, including matte black
Besides controlling smart home appliances via Samsung’s SmartThings ecosystem, the speaker will also be able to sync with the company’s televisions and Galaxy smartphones. However, there will also be a “strong focus” on audio quality, which puts it on the same footing as the HomePod and Google Home Max.
Unsurprisingly, it will be powered by Bixby. Facing criticism when launched on the Galaxy S8 in May, Samsung has been slowly updating it. Version 2.0 of the virtual assistant was announced in October, however, Bloomberg notes that the company is still working on improving the common task of voice-based web searches.
A launch is scheduled for the first half of 2018, with Samsung targeting a $200 price point that would undercut both the Google Home Max and Apple HomePod. However, it would still be more expensive than the $129 Google Home and $99 Amazon Echo.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg today confirmed the existence of Google’s Echo Show competitor which would feature a touchscreen. It noted a launch as “early as next year.” We’ve previously heard of this codenamed “Manhattan” device, while also spotting references to “Quartz” in our teardown of the Google app over recent weeks.