The Galaxy Note 10 doesn’t have a hardware button for Bixby, Samsung’s AI smart assistant. The reveal came during the Samsung Unpacked event on Wednesday. Bixby debuted on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in 2017 and was an attempt to answer Apple’s Siri on the iPhone, the Google Assistant is on pretty much any Android phone and Amazon’s Alexa. Fine, but the biggest issue with Bixby has to do with the placement of a dedicated hardware button that triggered the assistant. Frequently when grabbing a Galaxy phone, it was easy to accidentally press the Bixby key and activate the assistant when you didn’t want to.
Samsung also did away with the headphone jack on the new Note and there will no doubt be people mourning its loss. However, news that the Note 10 will lack the Bixby Key might actually spur figurative celebrations and parties. Remember, it wasn’t until earlier this year that Samsung officially allowed people to remap the Bixby button to trigger another task or change Bixby’s activation from a single press to a double one. These compromises made the “accidental press” go away, but the physical button now seemed to lack a purpose.
Samsung moved the power button on the Galaxy Note 10. Previous Galaxy phones had the power button on the right side of the phone. The Note 10 migrates it to the left side, in the place formally occupied by the Bixby key. In other words, the Bixby button became the new power button and the old power button was removed.
Despite Samsung removing the physical button, the Bixby assistant will still live on in the Galaxy Note 10’s software. You will be able to activate the assistant by saying, “Hey Bixby,” long-pressing the power button or using onscreen buttons. Besides phones, Bixby will still be around on the Galaxy Home speaker and Samsung’s wireless Galaxy Buds.
It remains to be seen how the power button will hold up in its new location on the Note 10. Will it get pushed by accident? Will the controls and shortcuts the button triggers be immune to accidental presses? We look forward to testing the Galaxy Note 10 for an in-depth review. in the meantime, check out CNET’s first look review of the Galaxy Note 10. For more about what products Samsung launched today, check out CNET’s complete coverage of everything announced at its Unpacked event.
Galaxy Note and Note 10 Plus are here to wow you