Samsung Galaxy S24 is going all in on AI instead of hardware — and it could change how we use phones forever

    When the next Galaxy S24 phones are unveiled at the forthcoming Galaxy Unpacked event on Wednesday (January 17), we probably won’t be discussing the hardware upgrades Samsung made to its top phones. Instead, if reports are correct, the software should pique everyone’s interest, particularly the new capabilities backed by Samsung’s push into artificial intelligence.

    The Galaxy S24 will prioritize AI capabilities, which is not exactly a surprise. Samsung has previously stated that AI will be a primary emphasis of its next big phone release, even though particular features are yet to be revealed.

    “Samsung has been fairly open in its advance marketing that AI will be used for at least improved camera features,” said Avi Greengart, chief analyst at Techsponential. “I also expect that Samsung will announce ways of using AI for content creation, because that’s an area where generative AI offers unique capabilities, and people buy Samsung phones to create photos, videos, and to be more productive.”

    Expect Samsung to dedicate a significant portion of its Galaxy Unpacked presentation to discussing the intricacies of its AI features. And as it does, we should have a greater understanding of how much AI will influence how we use our phones.

    What Samsung has said about AI

    Samsung Galaxy S24

    Samsung clearly has high expectations for what it wants to introduce. “Galaxy AI is our most comprehensive intelligence offering to date, and it will change how we think about our phones forever,” said Wonjoon Choi, executive vice president and head of R&D for Samsung’s Mobile eXperience Business, when the company revealed its AI intentions in November.

    At the time, Samsung stated that new AI features will be available on Galaxy phones in early 2024, implying that these capabilities would debut with the Galaxy S24 series. In general, Samsung stated that the AI incorporated into the phones will allow for seamless communication, increased productivity, and “unconstrained creativity.”

    Specifics were few and far between, but Samsung did provide one clear example of what it hopes to do with AI. The business introduced a new technology dubbed AI Live Translate Call, which allows you to hold a phone conversation with someone who speaks a language other than your own. Both voice and text translations will occur in real time, with the latter appearing on your Galaxy device’s screen, eliminating the need to use a third-party translation software. Samsung further defined the experience as occurring entirely on the smartphone, ensuring that your chats remain private regardless of language.

    It’s very evident that the AI Live Translate Call function will be available on all Galaxy S24 devices, not only the high-end Galaxy S24 Ultra. A leaked version of the One UI 6.1 software interface, which is likely to run on the upcoming S24 models, indicates that the Phone app will support live translation.

    What Galaxy S24 rumors say about AI

    The One UI 6.1 breach exposed more than simply realtime translations during phone calls. Other highlights of the software included AI-generated backgrounds, the ability to arrange notes into bullet points, and various smart charging capabilities aimed to increase the phone’s battery life.

    Samsung’s AI intentions for the S24 range look to include photo-editing tools as well. The One UI 6.1 leak suggests a picture editing function that may increase photographs’ boundaries by filling in the backdrop. Another function allows you to edit the subject of a photo, moving them to a different location in the frame. (This appears to be a comparable function in the newer Google Pixel 8 phones.)

    Additional rumors suggest that further AI technologies will be included to the Galaxy S24 phones. Among the rumored changes are the ability to automatically produce e-mail responses, upscale movies for better low-light performance, and speech transcription technologies that detect different voices.

    “I don’t think it’d be out of the question to expect additional AI capabilities along the lines of what we’ve seen from previous Unpacked events as well as competitor smartphone launches,” said Tuong Nguyen, a director analyst at Gartner. Nguyen anticipates AI technologies to improve photo quality, provide translations, and track activities such as physical and mental health or security data.

    “While these are all features we’ve seen before from Samsung phones, other smartphones as well as other consumer electronics devices, I think the innovation will come in terms of *how* this is applied, what improvements they bring over previous iterations,” he added.

    Galaxy AI outlook

    Details regarding the Galaxy S24’s AI-powered capabilities will help determine the significance of these enhancements. Even then, it remains unclear if AI will be a driving force in convincing smartphone consumers to switch to the Galaxy S24.

    “I doubt that AI capabilities in themselves will prompt people to upgrade their current phones because most phones in the past few years have some kind of AI functionality,” Nguyen said in a statement. “It’s more about what those capabilities will enable that make them fundamentally different or more useful than what a consumer currently has that will make them want to upgrade.”

    “It’s more about what those [AI] capabilities will enable that make them fundamentally different or more useful than what a consumer currently has that will make them want to upgrade.”

    –Tuong Nguyen–

    Greengart agrees that any mention of the neural processing unit (NPU) in whatever silicon Samsung uses — most likely the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for S24 models released in the United States and the Exynos 2400 for S24 and S24 Plus models released elsewhere — is unlikely to entice customers to visit Samsung’s virtual store. “Consumers don’t know what an NPU is,” he went on to say. “However, if you can tell them a compelling story about how this phone can help them be more productive or more creative, and you can deliver those experiences, yes, that can speed up the upgrade cycle.”

    Ultimately, how significant Samsung’s AI moves turn out to be depends largely on Samsung — and not just how the features are implemented initially on the Galaxy S24 but how they evolve over time.

    “It’s like any new technology: we have some idea of what it can do, but not how best to use those capabilities in a way that consumers or businesses value,” Greengart said in an interview. “There’s always some trial and error involved with new platforms, but Samsung is known for being an innovator: it brings new ideas and capabilities to market early, and then aggressively invests in what works best and builds on that.”

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