Samsung Galaxy S8 won’t launch with Bixby Voice feature

One of the key features of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus handsets will not be available when the phones ship, the smartphone giant has revealed.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will be released on April 21 in the US and April 28 in all other regions, including the UK and Australia, but Samsung has just disclosed that the voice-control element of its Bixby assistant won’t be ready at launch. We’ve known that Bixby Voice was going to roll out to English territories starting with the US first, with other regions to follow, but a new statement from Samsung has now clarified that “Bixby Voice will be available in the US on the Galaxy S8 later this spring”.

Bixby is the new integrated digital assistant that Samsung is launching alongside its S8  flagships phones, which aims to compete with the likes of Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant.  Despite the lack of voice-driven features, the three other major components of Bixby will still be mostly functional, with Samsung’s statement saying that “key features of Bixby, including Vision, Home and Reminder, will be available with the global launch”.

We looked at Bixby’s features in detail a couple of weeks ago, but for a quick refresher, Bixby Vision acts as a kind of augmented reality camera that can detect items and products and help compare prices online, Bixby Home is Samsung’s equivalent of Google Now, showing user-relevant information and reminders in a scrolling feed, and Bixby Reminders basically just does what it says on the tin.