We’re now less than one week away from the official release of Samsung’s newest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. Our first impressions of the two top-tier handsets is more than good, and we can’t wait to get our hands on a review unit.
This week, those who already pre-ordered the Galaxy S8 or intend on getting one got hit in the face with a news story we almost saw coming. On Wednesday we reported that Bixby, Samsung’s new virtual assistant pre-loaded on the Galaxy S8 models, will be limited at launch in terms of its capabilities. The voice and contextual based AI assistant uses machine deep learning to help you go about your day. It is Samsung’s approach in response to competitors such as Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant.
Samsung demoed a handful of Bixby features in front of us at NYC during its Unpacked 2017 event. Some include voice assistive capabilities, on-screen help, camera object recognition, and customization cards for gaining useful information. Turns out, both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will fail to include all these goodies at launch, which could be quite upsetting for those who rushed out to pre-order the phone because of excitement over the new feature. Bixby’s backbone, voice commands, will not be present in front users at launch. The remainder which consists of all the small features are expected to be there from the very beginning.
This is obviously not the news we were hoping for, but it was a late move by Samsung to counter what others are doing in the market space. Buyers should realize that creating something like this isn’t a day or one week’s project. Development can take months just to get core features implemented. So since Bixby got underway so late, it’s very understandable that the service is yet to be fully prepared. Samsung will surely be hard at work over the next unspecified number of weeks in order to get the tool in people’s hands sooner rather than later, as its one of the core variables the South Korean tech giant is using for marketing purposes to cater the new devices to consumers.
With the Galaxy S8 well into its short-lived pre-order period and many customers said to receive their device soon, we want to know your thoughts on Samsung’s Bixby assistant. Is it all you had hoped for? How do you think it stakes up against the Google Assistant, which will also be evailable to use on Samsung’s latest models? Given that we recieved confirmation this week of staggering pre-order statistics in Korea, it doesn’t seem like the minimized version of Bixby said to debut initially is having such an impact on people’s decision to buy the phone. Orders in the U.S. and Korea have already out down those of which the Galaxy S7 received last year, and given the recent Galaxy Note 7 explosion scandal, Samsung seems to have not only weakened the blow to its brand, but used it in order to get better.
This brings us to our weekly poll aka question of the week. Has the fact that Bixby will be limited at launch had any impact on your decision whether or not to buy a Galaxy S8? Let us know and feel free to drop a comment below this post. The poll will remain open all week. We look forward to hearing your response.
Below are the headlines from this week. Click each to be redirected to the full story.