Behind closed doors: Our opinion on Bixby Voice

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It took a while, but Bixby Voice is finally available across the globe. Samsung’s only just offering support for Korean and US English, so Bixby Voice is far from being as useful as its competitors, but it’s certainly better than not being able to use the feature at all, which was the case for a long time after the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ went on sale. We’ve been using Bixby’s voice capabilities since they went live, and we thought it would be a good idea to let our readers know what we here at SamMobile think of Samsung’s voice assistant. Before you proceed, don’t forget to take a look at our Bixby Voice review and also take a look at how you can set up Bixby on your Galaxy S8 or Galaxy Note 8.

Abhijeet Mishra

Like everyone else, I hated the fact that Bixby Voice wasn’t available when the Galaxy S8 launched, but now that it is, I have to say I’ve been quite impressed. Samsung took additional time to optimize Bixby’s voice recognition for the Indian accent, and it was time well spent, as Bixby Voice is as good as Google Now at understanding what I’m trying to say. I’ve deliberately talked to Bixby in as much native accent as I could muster, and it almost never fails – the optimization for Indian speakers is that good.

As for the things one can do with Bixby Voice (find an exhaustive list here), I have only been using it for basic stuff such as setting alarms and opening apps while in the car. Bixby handles it all with aplomb, although I dislike that it first opens the necessary app or menu for each function before actually carrying it out. For example, if I tell it to set an alarm, it unlocks the phone, opens the clock app, waits a second, then sets the alarm before closing the clock app. I guess it’s not much of an issue, but it doesn’t feel intuitive. I would prefer if it just does what I ask instantly, like Google Now. Oh, and Samsung also needs to fix the fact that Bixby sometimes takes a long time to process requests, although that may also be down to the company’s not-so-optimized Android interface.

Where Bixby Voice needs work is in waking up with the ‘Hi Bixby’ hotword. I’ve set sensitivity to maximum but it still fails to respond at times, especially when there’s music playing in my car. Google Now feels more responsive in such situations. Also, while I’m using Bixby these days instead of Google Now for basic commands, I’m not sure if I’ll be doing that a few months down the line. Voice assistants are great to use initially, but they just fall by the wayside after a while, and I’m afraid Bixby will meet the same fate. Again, I’m impressed by the overall accuracy of voice recognition on Bixby Voice, so at least Samsung has that part of the assistant down pat.

Michel Groenheijde

Samsung’s own voice assistant Bixby is finally here. Was it worth the wait? Well, that depends on what you need and mostly importantly, where you live. As someone who spends more time with Galaxy devices than would be considered healthy, I can say I’ve had some good fun with Bixby. It understands me fine and does what I ask of it. I even think an assistant like this should have its own dedicated hardware key. It’d be silly if a hands-free interface needs a complex touch action to start it. I’m even willing to forgive Bixby not finding RebeKKa (which is how my wife’s name is spelt), because it searches for RebeCCa. Repeatedly. Those kinks will iron themselves out.

However, I am not only a fervent Galaxy user, but a Dutchman as well. My English isn’t complete rubbish, but it is weird talking to my phone in a foreign language in public, something I say on behalf of my colleagues Danny and Martin as well. Unless Bixby learns Dutch, the feature is really of no use to anyone here. Or in any of the other countries whose language Bixby will, in all likelihood, never learn.

It’s not even the fact that most users can and will never use a feature on their smartphone that bugs me. But to have one-quarter of a device’s hardware keys nonfunctional, because you’re in the wrong country is just silly. I understand there are good explanations for this, but they do not amount to a reasonable excuse. If only I could officially make that key do something that is useful to me…

Adnan Farooqui

As I mentioned in my detailed Bixby Voice review, it’s a story of unfulfilled potential. The voice recognition can be frustratingly hit or miss sometimes and its ability to pick up the “Hi Bixby” hotword still leaves a lot to be desired.

However, I really like how Bixby can control system functions effortlessly and that Samsung is working to add support for more third-party apps. There’s still a lot to be done, though. Bixby’s conversational skills need an upgrade and it will take time for an entire ecosystem to develop around the assistant.

It’s a step in the right direction but we need to give Bixby some time to reach its full potential.

Josh Levenson

Truth be told, I’m not a fan of Bixby Voice—and that’s because it’s way too slow. It takes an eternity to process simple requests, like asking for the time in a different country. I commend its ability to control system functions, but I’ll be sticking with Google Now, which is instant in comparison, until Samsung finds a way to make it faster.


As you can see, we’re in two minds about Bixby Voice here at SamMobile. Some of us like it, others think it needs more work, but the general conclusion is that Bixby Voice isn’t bad for a first attempt at a voice assistant. What’s your take on Bixby Voice? Do you think it’s useful, do you stick to Google Now, or do you just ignore voice assistants altogether? Get the conversation going by leaving a comment!

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14 Comments

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smith miguel
1 month 29 days ago
smith miguel
Well I myself must say that I am at Samsung fun boy and I love Samsung smartphones especially the S8 and the new Note 8 now when it comes to Bixby voice assistant I can honestly say that it has great potential and it can be one of the best AI out there. This is an unbiased opinion. Bixby voice is a great feature to have but at the moment it is not a must have feature. Google Now is way more advanced in terms of knowledge-based understanding and more natural listening give you more accurate response. Bixby voice is… Read more »
o0MHJ0o
1 month 29 days ago
o0MHJ0o

Samsung fanboy AND unbiased?! Really? lol

tcan11
1 month 29 days ago
tcan11

bixby does not work without multiple language support. number one Siri.

ace123456
2 months 2 hours ago
ace123456
I do not understand one thing .. do I need Bixby if you have google now? Or what more do we need with the Calendar application when we already have one on the same provider … there are applications that knock on head or complement … besides these are a bunch of bloatware, all of this leads to an increased memory memory, a some slow down of the operating system and implicitly a decrease in battery life and others, we just say that everybody spies on hard … and then there is no better iOS because it is very well… Read more »
o0MHJ0o
2 months 2 hours ago
o0MHJ0o

iOS?! really… you forget that Apple controls your device not the user. And Bixby is used to control your phone like an actual device assistant. can Google turn on your AOD? can it turn on your Samsung TV? You can do a lot with Bixby voice and stock applications if you just bothered to try to use it. unfortunately I don’t take much photos but when I do and I want to share it – I know Bixby can share it much quicker than me.

ace123456
1 month 29 days ago
ace123456

I love samsung phones, but it is very clear to everyone that all these phones include dual, identical, useless, and other applications in the operating system. All this leads to shorter battery life and must be fair play iOS is very good optimized for android .. and now it’s either .. you want to become robots or are you so comfy that you will need Bixby, google now or siri?

1 month 23 days ago
aroutis

There is a misconception that bixby is the same thing with google assistant and/or siri or what not. Actually it is not.
While it can do a lot of the things those personal assistants can do (and others it cannot do), the main power of bixby is its integration to the device to the point that it can act as its user and the quick command functionality.
That is something that people cannot / won’t see and to that end it is a shame because those things are the key differentiation to this service towards to any other.

whqhdrbs
2 months 20 hours ago
whqhdrbs

on 18th bixby 2.0 is comming

o0MHJ0o
2 months 1 day ago
o0MHJ0o

There is an option in Bixby Voice that lets you not show what Bixby does but just do it in the background, and speak the final result. I think this is for custom commands only though. a workaround for direct commands.

2 months 1 day ago
mtbrown262626

What do you mean it’s far from being as good as the competitors It’s better than the competitors in most ways but works best with Google as for the others they dont even come close

RufoNN
2 months 1 day ago
RufoNN

Samsung S5 update to replace its prime J5 7.0 overloaded the site can gain self-end Samsung phones with the Android version of the new update is also suffering from the after that

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