Even as the wait continued for the Galaxy Home to arrive, we exclusively reported in late 2018 that Samsung was working on a second Galaxy Home smart speaker. The information that we had received at that time suggested that this would be a smaller speaker, at least compared to the Galaxy Home.
It wasn’t until last year that Samsung confirmed that this speaker would be called the Galaxy Home Mini. It also launched a beta program for early adopters in South Korea. Those who were interested in trying it out could sign up for the beta program and if approved, would receive a unit. Samsung also showcased the device at its annual developers’ conference in San Jose last year in addition to the Consumer Electronics Show 2020 in January. However, much like the Galaxy Home, the Galaxy Home Mini has still not been released.
Staying true to the “Mini” in its name, the Galaxy Home Mini does away with the brushed metal legs of the Galaxy Home in favor of a flat bottom which lets it sit firmly on a surface. Much of the sphere is wrapped in a premium cloth material while there are for main buttons at the top. There’s also a light ring around the top that illuminates when the speaker is active or the microphones are listening.
Samsung still hasn’t released a lot of technical details about the Galaxy Home Mini so not much is known about the audio capabilities of this device. Given that it is a Bixby-powered smart speaker, it’s evidently going to feature far-field voice recognition and the ability to control SmartThings devices.
The Galaxy Home Mini does have one interesting feature that smart speakers generally don’t. It actually has four infrared remote transmitters and receivers to cover all IR ranges. This means that the Galaxy Home Mini can be used to control any device or appliance that supports infrared regardless of the brand. Since this works on IR alone, no wireless connection is required between the speaker and the appliances.
Price and Availability
Samsung has still not said when it intends on launching the Galaxy Home Mini globally. It did offer the speaker as a pre-order incentive for the Galaxy S20 in South Korea. A company representative later revealed that Samsung currently has no plans to sell the Galaxy Home Mini separately.
It’s a shame that both of its smart speakers are still out of the reach of most customers. Samsung is not being forthcoming with information about when they’ll be available. One can only hope that the company clears this up sooner rather than later.