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Your Brand New Galaxy S8 Will Be Missing This Killer Feature

Bixby, the artificially intelligent assistant coming to Samsung's Galaxy S8, won't be completely ready when the new phones go on sale.
Image: Samsung S8
The Samsung Galaxy S8 at the launch of the Samsung Unpacked event in New York on March 29, 2017.Andrew Gombert / EPA, file

Samsung is dealing with another smartphone snafu with the rollout of a key feature on its upcoming new Galaxy S8 phones.

Bixby, the artificially intelligent assistant Samsung touted as one of the star features of the new devices, won't completely make its debut when customers get their hands on the phones on April 21.

Customers in the U.S. won't be getting the voice feature, which as any Alexa, Siri, Cortana, or Google aficionado knows is a key part of maximizing your experience with a virtual assistant.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 at the launch of the Samsung Unpacked event in New York on March 29, 2017.Andrew Gombert / EPA, file

Related: Will Samsung’s Brand New Galaxy S8 Phone Make Us Forget the Note 7 Debacle?

"I think that what this underlines is the fact that Samsung is a hardware company and obviously it is trying hard to make this transition to software and services," Geoff Blaber, an analyst at CCS Insight, told NBC News.

However, at launch, customers will be able to access features such as vision, which lets Bixby tell you about that landmark or item you're looking at, and home, which will give you smart reminders and other relevant information.

A Samsung representative told NBC News that voice support for the English language should be rolled out "later this spring."

The delay doesn't come as a complete surprise. At a briefing in San Francisco last month, NBC News was shown choreographed demos of Bixby's capabilities, but wasn't allowed to try out the feature.

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If you were looking forward to Bixby, the Google Assistant should be a worthy replacement on your new Android device while you wait.

"Most consumers view assistants as being voice-based and that is the primary means of interaction, so not having voice from day one is going to create further confusion," Blaber said.

He added that stumbling blocks, such as the Bixby delay, should be expected when dealing with artificial intelligence. And when you finally see it, don't expect perfection, he said.

"When you look at AI broadly, the functionality is always improving over time," he said. "If anything, AI defines the concept of a product that is not the same on day two as it was on day one."

Last month, InJong Rhee, Samsung's executive vice president, laid out big plans for Bixby in a blog post.

"In the future you would be able to control your air conditioner or TV through Bixby," he said. "As the Bixby ecosystem grows, we believe Bixby will evolve from a smartphone interface to an interface for your life."