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Galaxy S8 problems: Why you won’t be getting a huge feature you were promised

Samsung’s highly anticipated flagship phones, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, are set to be released on April 21. That’s merely a week from today, and fans can’t wait to get their hands on them.

There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the new S8s, including beautiful edge-to-edge screens with virtual home buttons, facial recognition, new processors, DeX desktop support, Bluetooth 5.0 with dual audio streaming, a headphone jack and free high-quality AKG earphones out of the box.

There’s one much-hyped feature, though, that won’t be as functional as promised when the S8 launches in the U.S.: Samsung’s own digital assistant, Bixby.

Bixby is supposed to be Samsung’s answer to the Siris, Alexas, Cortanas and Google Assistants of the tech world, but it looks like Bixby’s voice controls won’t be enabled on April 21.

According to a statement from Samsung, the S8 and S8 Plus will have Bixby’s voice controls, and support for the English language will be turned on via a software update later this spring.

Bixby will not arrive completely crippled when the S8 phones launch. Bixby Vision, a search assistant that uses the camera to gather information, will be functional, as well as Bixby Home and Bixby Reminder, a daily planner. U.S. S8 owners can still use Google Assistant while waiting for Bixby’s voice controls to be enabled.

Samsung has big plans for Bixby, but, as evidenced by this delay, it’s still a work in progress. The company claims Bixby will allow S8 owners to completely control everything on their phones via voice, but, currently, even the voice-control part is still incomplete.

We’re hoping Samsung will sort out this software soon and Bixby will evolve into what it’s promised to be — something more than a generic voice control and search assistant, but a revolutionary new way to control the Galaxy S8.

Prices are expected to start at about $720 for the S8 and $840 for the S8 Plus. U.S. models will come in silver, gray and black.

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