The Samsung Galaxy S8 has plenty of great features - the edge-to-edge "Infinity" display, top-end specs, configurable software navigation buttons, and more. Samsung's Bixby voice assistant has been a bit controversial, as most of its functionality is already available in Google Assistant and the Google Now feed. Now it looks like a major component of Bixby won't even be ready before the phone's release in the United States.
According to a statement from Samsung, Bixby's voice search functionality won't arrive until "later this spring." Here's the full quote:
With its intelligent interface and contextual awareness, Bixby will make your phone more helpful by assisting in completing tasks, telling you what you’re looking at, learning your routine and remembering what you need to do. Key features of Bixby, including Vision, Home and Reminder, will be available with the global launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 on April 21. Bixby Voice will be available in the U.S. on the Galaxy S8 later this spring.
To clarify, Vision is the augmented reality camera feature, Home is a clone of the Google Now feed, and Reminder is... setting reminders. Considering the S8's huge focus on Bixby, including adding a dedicated button for it, launching it without any voice capabilities is almost laughable.
There's no telling when Bixby Voice will become available in other markets either. If you're buying the S8, you might want to remap the Bixby button to something else.