After months of leaks, rumors, and a down-low beta test, Samsung finally announced its Galaxy Home Mini smart speaker on Wednesday, but you’ll need to be in South Korea to get one, and you’ll also have to pony up for a Galaxy S20 smartphone.
As TizenHelp reports, the Galaxy Home Mini popped up on Samsung’s South Korean website Wednesday as a free preorder bonus for the Galaxy S20, which was unveiled with great fanfare at Samsung’s Unpacked event in San Francisco yesterday. The Bixby-powered Galaxy Home Mini wasn’t mentioned at all during Unpacked, nor was its bigger brother, the still unreleased Galaxy Home.
The Galaxy Home Mini appears among a variety of free options for those preordering the S20 in South Korea. According to TinzenHelp’s translation of the webpage, people who don’t want Samsung’s diminutive new smart speaker can replace it with … a free sticky note printer instead.
About a week ago, a leaked Samsung press release announced a Wednesday release date for the speaker in South Korea. But while the Galaxy Home Mini did indeed appear on Samsung’s South Korean site Wednesday as a Galaxy S20 preorder bonus, it’s not available for standalone purchase, or at least not yet. A Samsung rep told TechHive last week that they had “no information” to share about whether the Galaxy Home Mini will go on sale in the U.S. or other worldwide markets.
Details on the Galaxy Home Mini’s features and capabilities remain frustratingly sketchy. According to a Samsung beta test signup form from last August, the speaker features onboard Bixby, a built-in SmartThings hub, and “rich sound” courtesy of AKG, an offshoot of Samsung-owned Harman.
Additional Galaxy Home Mini leaks included details about the Galaxy Home Mini’s IR capabilities, which would allow it to control TVs and other IR-enabled components. The leaks also pointed to the ability to pair the speaker with a second Home Mini for stereo sound, multi-room audio functionality, and dual integrated microphones.
Boasting six drivers, a built-in subwoofer, and eight microphones, the kettle-shaped, three-legged Galaxy Home has a built-in SmartThings hub just like its smaller sibling, along with onboard Bixby, AKG sound, and “sound steering” technology designed to direct the speaker’s sound toward you when you ask it to.
While the Galaxy Home made an appearance at Mobile World Congress last February, it hasn’t been seen since. Tellingly, Samsung never announced a specific release date for the Galaxy Home, although it missed several soft release windows promised by Samsung execs.
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.