Another day, another Samsung leak, this time about Samsung’s belated, pint-sized smart speaker, which will—if the rumors are true—be able to take charge of your TV and other appliances with IR receivers.
Just last week, there was a leak claiming that the Samsung Galaxy Home Mini would finally see a South Korean retail release on Wednesday (and just a day before Samsung’s Unpacked event in San Francisco). Over the weekend, XDA Developers’ Max Weinback tweeted a series of videos and screenshots that purportedly show the Bixby-powered smart speaker in action.
Among the most interesting tidbits was that the Galaxy Home Mini could act as an IR blaster, allowing you to turn on your TV, change channels, and take charge of other IR-enabled components from up to 40 feet away.
It’s a feature that reminds us of Amazon’s $120 Alexa-powered Fire TV Cube, which similarly uses built-in IR emitters to control your TV.
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Amazon Fire TV Cube (second generation)
That said, neither the Amazon Echo Dot nor the Google Nest Mini, which would be the Galaxy Home Mini’s closest competitors, boast IR emitters, so the addition of IR functionality to the Galaxy Home Mini would certainly up the ante as far as budget-priced smart speakers go.
Weinbech’s tweeted leaks also noted that the 2.4GHz-only Galaxy Home Mini would feature a microUSB charging port (compared to the barrel-shaped power ports on the Echo Dot and Nest Mini), as well as the ability to pair two Galaxy Home Minis together for stereo sound (a trick that both the Echo Dot and Nest Mini can do). Weinbech noted that the speaker won’t have a line-out jack, a feature that the Echo Dot has but the Nest Mini doesn’t.
Beyond that, most the other Samsung Galaxy Home Mini details have already been thoroughly leaked, including Bixby voice control (naturally), the ability to double as a SmartThings hub, AKG sound, multi-room and Bluetooth audio support.
The one detail we don’t know yet is when the Galaxy Home Mini, which was first revealed last August, would get a U.S. release. Hopefully we’ll hear some news during Tuesday’s Unpacked event.
A since-yanked press release on Samsung’s website said that the Galaxy Home Mini would arrive on Wednesday in South Korea, but it’s not clear when—or if—the smart speaker will arrive in other worldwide regions, including stateside.
And no, there’s still no word about the Galaxy Home Mini’s big brother, the Galaxy Home, which was announced at Samsung’s August 2018 Unpacked event but has barely surfaced since, save for a quick peek at Mobile World Conference last February.