Whether you love or hate Samsung's proprietary "Bixby" smart assistant, it's always nice to have the option to disable the AI's dedicated smartphone side button should you get tired of activating it with accidental presses.
Indeed, this is something Samsung seemed to understand with its previous flagship smartphones. By simply taking a trip to the Note 8, S8, or S9's settings menu, you could set the "Bixby Key" to do nothing.
However, as The Verge discovered, that doesn't appear to be possible with Samsung's recently-launched Note 9. The outlet noticed that, when searching the Note 9's settings menu, there wasn't a Bixby Key menu of any kind.
This is a small change, but certainly a noticeable one. By actively taking away its users' choice in the matter, Samsung has drastically increased the chances that Note 9 owners will interact with Bixby at some point, even if by accident.
Personally, I have relatively big hands, and I accidentally tap my Note 8's Bixby Key quite frequently. It's never a big deal since I disabled the function long ago, but it's unfortunate that anti-Bixby Note 9 owners don't seem to have the same luxury.
To be clear, Bixby is far from terrible in the realm of smart assistants. I've used it a few times myself, and it has some pretty neat features, like the "XP" system which earns you special rewards the more you use the AI.
The trouble is, it's just not as good as its competition. As The Verge notes, Google Assistant, Alexa, and even Siri have Bixby beat by a considerable margin when it comes to answer accuracy and human-sounding voices.
Regardless, Samsung's Note 9 smartphone is looking like a pretty solid device overall, and you can snag one for yourself via physical or digital retailers right now for a starting price of $1000.