Samsung has already announced that it will be unveiling its newest flagship smartphone on the 25th of February. And now the company has turned towards teasing that incoming handset, basically confirming it will be called the Galaxy S9 (and Galaxy S9+), while also making sure we know that the camera is going to be a huge focal point for the company this year.
Samsung is probably pretty excited to lift the curtain off what it has been working on. And plenty of customers are excited to see the next big thing, too. Which is why the rumor mill has so much traction.
Just recently we got to see and hear all about the Galaxy S9, many days ahead of the official announcement. That’s par for the course, to be sure. We typically know what a new phone has to offer long before a company announces it, and the Galaxy S9 was not going to be the device to break that trend.
As such, barring any major changes, we know the processor, amount of RAM and built-in storage, and what the camera situation is going to be for both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. There is a lot to look forward to!
And then there’s the Bixby button.
This is a feature that Samsung launched with the Galaxy S8 and Bixby in general. Bixby itself is marketed as a feature that goes beyond the standard digital personal assistant, going as far as to let users actually control specific functions on their phone just by using their voice. Plus, Bixby Vision is included, too, and the standard digital personal assistant features for good measure.
But the inclusion of a physical button, which serves only as a means to summon Bixby, didn’t necessarily go over all that well. It wasn’t dinged as heavily as the unfortunate positioning of the fingerprint reader on the back of last year’s flagship smartphone, but it seemed to be pretty close in some reviews and feedback.
So when these latest renders of the Galaxy S9 surfaced, I had to double check to see if the Bixby button was still around. These aren’t the only leaked renders of the upcoming handset, to be sure, but back then I wasn’t thinking about it. Now, though, closer to unveiling, I couldn’t help but wonder if Samsung was going to keep it around.
I wasn’t surprised to see it there, to be honest. Samsung has invested a lot of time and money in Bixby, and it wants (needs?) the feature to take off for Samsung customers. After all, the company wants Bixby everywhere. The same way that Amazon wants Alexa everywhere, and Google wants Google Assistant everywhere.
So maybe the big question should be whether or not Samsung is going to allow Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ owners to remap the button. Keep the button, and have it be mapped to launch Bixby out of the box, but if customers don’t want to use it let them use that button to launch something else.
What do you think? Should Samsung ditch the Bixby button altogether, or let customers remap it? Or is this a button that should be all Bixby or nothing? Let me know!