The Samsung Galaxy S8 arrives in Europe on April 28, but when the phone hits European shores it'll be missing one of the key features in Samsung's Bixby AI platform.
Bixby needs a little more time to understand British accents, and learn some new languages.
Announcing the Galaxy S8 and S8+ at its European satellite event in London today, Samsung revealed that Bixby's much-hyped voice recognition feature will support Korean and American English initially, with British English and other European languages being added in the months following release. In supported apps (only 10 Samsung apps at launch) Bixby's voice comments let you do just about anything you'd be able to do via touch — but it'll be exclusive to these two languages immediately at launch. Other Bixby features like vision (through the camera app) and Bixby home are supported on European devices, it's just the voice interaction stuff that'll have to wait. (Though admittedly that's a significant part of the Bixby experience.)
The omission leaves the Bixby button on European GS8s largely working as a secondary home button, only one that takes you straight to the Bixby home app as opposed to your main home screen. It's still early days for Bixby right now, and it's clear Samsung plans to build out the AI throughout its entire portfolio of connected devices, not just phones. Nevertheless, launching a major new product with a missing feature is less than ideal — whether it's Samsung with Bixby in Europe, or Apple with portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus.
If you're considering buying a GS8 in Europe, hit the comments and let us know whether having to wait a few months for a complete Bixby experience might sway your buying decision.
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