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Samsung’s Sam Explained: Is Sam A Bixby Replacement For Galaxy Phones?

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After Samsung took the internet by storm earlier this week, it looks like Samsung’s virtual assistant isn’t replacing Sam Bixby or coming to a Galaxy phone. As soon as images of the virtual assistant appeared online, the internet immediately responded with approval of the look and design. It was unclear at the time whether the virtual assistant was a genuine and officially supported Samsung design.

Samsung’s current virtual assistant is Bixby and can be used to get answers to questions and provide general feedback. In addition, various smart home products that are compatible with the assistant and Galaxy devices can also be managed and controlled.

However, compared to Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and even Apple’s Siri, Bixby hasn’t proved as popular. This has led to some speculation in the past about whether Samsung might want to replace Bixby in the future.

While this may be the case, it doesn’t appear that Sam is Samsung’s answer to a Bixby replacement. While the virtual assistant has been making headlines in recent days, references to Sam have been posted on some of Samsung’s international websites, including Samsung Belgium. These web pages give a clearer picture of what Sam is and what it is for. While Sam is a virtual assistant, Sam is just a Samsung chatbot.

Sam & Bixby are two different assistants

Samsung explained not only Sam’s purpose but also what Sam should not be. Samsung in particular confirms that Sam is not a replacement for Bixby. To explain this, Samsung points out that unlike Bixby, which installs on consumer devices, including Galaxy phones, Sam is “the chatbot of the Samsung service team.”

If you’re trying to communicate with Samsung through one of the many online platforms, including Facebook Messenger, Sam is the chatbot designed to automatically respond to consumer questions and requests. In addition, depending on the consumer’s location, Sam may look completely different from the one seen in this week’s photos, as seen in the official Samsung customer service promotional video shown below.

YouTube video

That last point may actually help explain the recent photos of Samsung’s Sam that went viral online. It could just be that Samsung is working with different companies to come up with different chatbot designs for individual markets, with Sam’s recent renders being one such design. Possibly one that will never make it to the promotional videos and materials.

In fact, the original Sam post – which has since been deleted – referred specifically to the previous 2D versions and that the most recent Sam design was a reinterpretation in 3D form. In other words, Sam is not new and the current images are just a concept for a 3D version of the existing Sam chatbot. Regardless of whether the viral Sam design will be adopted by Samsung in the future, it doesn’t look like Sam will replace Bixby or even end up as a virtual assistant on a Galaxy smartphone.