Bixby vs. Siri: The Verdict

Is Samsung outpacing Apple in the AI race?

Samsung Bixby product demo

David Becker/Getty ImagesĀ 

It's Bixby vs. Siri in the battle to see which is the superior digital assistant. The functions of both are so different it can be a challenge determining which is better. In terms of voice commands, there are many instances where Bixby excels where Siri fails, and vice versa.

However, both Samsung and Apple are dedicated to updating and improving their assistants to keep users interested. Here are some details on Bixby and Siri that may help determine which smart assistant is superior.

Best Shortcuts

Bixby

Samsung introduced Bixby in 2017 and what distinguishes it from most rival smart assistants, including Siri, is its capacitive Bixby button. While users can pull up the AI function with the "Hey Bixby" voice command, the Bixby button was intended to be the primary mode for engaging with the assistant.

Many users may find it an extreme plus that Bixby can now be reprogrammed to pull up other apps. Users can set a single press of the Bixby button to open a different app, while a double press or a long press will trigger Bixby.

What We Like

  • Users can now remap the function of the Bixby button to pull up most apps, except for other voice assistants like Google Assistant.

  • One of the best Bixby shortcuts is asking to take a selfie. Bixby will pull up the camera app and capture an image with the front camera on a timer.

  • The feature is native on the Samsung Galaxy S10 models.

What We Don't Like

  • Older Galaxy models require a software update to get the feature.

Siri

Siri has been around since 2011 and Apple continues to support it with updates and deeper integration.

What We Like

  • Siri supports a host of shortcut commands that allow users to give the assistant simple phrases for easier interaction.

  • Apple has introduced the Siri to newer MacBooks.

What We Don't Like

  • Siri can an app, but users still have to manually use the app.

Best at Commands

Bixby

Bixby is able to execute various smartphone functions like setting the wallpaper, closing apps, creating contacts, settings apps to uninstall, and checking for software updates. Bixby works will with third-party apps, particularly when searching for results in various apps.

What We Like

  • When prompted, Bixby shows up as a pop up instead of taking over the whole screen. It also disappears after 3 seconds.

  • Bixby can send files and documents to print (if the Samsung device is connected to a printer).

  • New language support on the Galaxy S10 for British English, Spanish, German, and Italian.

What We Don't Like

  • Users have to wake the assistant before they can give a command.

  • Giving Bixby more literal phrases as tasks may cause hiccups in its functionality.

  • Occasionally, Bixby doesn't respond to voice commands.

Siri

Siri happens to be faster and more responsive to voice commands and can more easily grasp the context and pull up detailed results for simple requests.

What We Like

  • Siri is better with languages, voice note-taking, translations, and hard to pronounce words.

  • Siri provides better and more detailed weather information.

  • Siri is better at tasks like pulling up calendars and breaking news, and sending messages and emails.

What We Don't Like

  • Users have to swipe up to clear Siri from their smartphone screen.

  • Because Siri is web-based, some of its missteps may take users to search results instead of launching an app or executing a function.

Best Smart Home Integration

Bixby

Samsung has begun integrating Bixby into other devices, including its latest smart TV models, giving users a chance to expand their hands-free usage of the smart assistant.

What We Like

  • Samsung has a wide range of its own electronics on which to support Bixby.

  • Users can ask Bixby to print files and documents.

Siri

Apple has done a lot of work to get Siri working on devices other than the iPhone and iPad. Users can now connect Siri to products including the Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat, the D-Link Omna Security Camera, and the Beddi Smart Alarm Clock through the Apple Home App. Once connected, users can say "Hey Siri" to control their smart home devices.

What We Like

  • Siri works on Apple's Home Pod smart speaker.

  • Siri can be integrated into various third-party smart home products with the help of Apple HomeKit.

What We Don't Like

  • Siri doesn't work on third-party products as well as it works on stock Apple products.

Verdict

Bixby excels at making Samsung smartphones work better hands-free, while Siri is ideal for more detail-oriented tasks. Overall, users may find Samsung's Bixby to be a more useful smart assistant.

Each smart assistant has its shortcomings, but Bixby works better with the internal settings of Samsung devices and can often get users to more complete solutions than Siri.

With Bixby expanding to more devices in Samsung's native ecosystem there is a big opportunity for the company to tackle limitations in the smart assistant and make it even more appealing to consumers.