Will UK Samsung Galaxy S8 Owners Miss Out On A Key Feature At Launch?

By James O Malley on at

So the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are finally here. A dramatic new flagship handset with some big new features. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Samsung devoted plenty of time at the press event to talk about Bixby, the company's new voice/camera assistant and rival to the likes of Siri And the Google Assistant.

But sadly, UK S8 owners may as well have stopped listening - as Samsung has confirmed that Bixby won't be available on British handsets at launch. Or at least - as far as we can tell.

The assistant is designed to do the same sort of things as its competitors: Tell you the weather, set alarms and so on - and it's got baked in support for all of Samsung's own first party apps. (Third party support is apparently coming soon.). It will also make use of the camera to identify objects and offer contextual information.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S8: Best Phone Ever?

Where the story gets curious is that it isn't clear what UK S8 owners will get to do at launch - and not even Samsung's representatives appear terribly sure themselves.

The official line from Samsung is as follows: "At launch, Bixby will be available on all Samsung S8 smartphones. Its Voice function will be available in Korean at launch and U.S English from May, and will expand to more languages globally over time".

So our guess is that the clever camera stuff will work from day 1 - but if you want to do clever voice stuff, you'll have to wait for a software update. Whether the UK will get it at the same time as the US again isn't clear - but if the update does land, perhaps the safest thing to do will be to do your best American accent.

We'll let you know if we get any more details.

More Samsung Galaxy S8 coverage from Giz UK: