NATIONAL NEWS

Samsung Galaxy S24 lineup goes all in on AI

Jan 17, 2024, 11:41 AM | Updated: 11:42 am

Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy S24 smartphones during a media preview event in Seoul, South Korea, ...

Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy S24 smartphones during a media preview event in Seoul, South Korea, on Monday, Jan. 15. Samsung, the world's most prolific smartphone maker, is leaning into artificial intelligence as the key to unlocking greater sales this year. (SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg, Getty Images)

(SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg, Getty Images)

(CNN) — Samsung’s next-generation flagship Galaxy S24 devices aim to take messaging, photos and games to the next level with artificial intelligence.

At its annual Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event on Wednesday, the company showed off its Galaxy S24 Ultra, Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24 smartphones, in what it says will usher in the next era of how people use their smartphones.

The push around AI is part of smartphone makers trying to differentiate themselves in a crowded market and drum up excitement where innovation has largely stalled in recent years.

The 6.8-inch Galaxy S24 Ultra ($1,299.99), which will come in a titanium casing for the first time, will be available in various colors including gray, black, violet and yellow. Additional titanium colors including green, blue and orange are available on Samsung.com. The 6.2-inch Galaxy S24 ($799.99) and the 6.7-inch Galaxy S24+ ($999) are available in onyx black, marble gray, cobalt violet and amber yellow.

Pre-orders begin Wednesday.

By embedding generative AI into the device itself, versus relying on the cloud, Samsung can cut down on lag time and provide better experiences. Its new Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform also makes the most of generative AI and its powerful AI Engine, the company says.

“A lot of AI implementation today is somewhat gimmicky, and Samsung, along with other vendors, don’t have a whole lot to gain from adding these features, rather they probably stand to lose more if they were to exclude AI altogether,” said Jitesh Ubrani, an analyst at market research firm IDC.

The unveiling comes a day after market research firm IDC released data that Apple passed Samsung in smartphone shipments last quarter for the first time.

“The last time a company not named Samsung was at the top of the smartphone market was 2010, and for 2023 it is now Apple,” the report said in the release. “A sort of shifting of power at the top of the largest consumer electronics market was driven by an all-time high market share for Apple and a first time at the top.”

An AI-packed experience

Many of Samsung’s existing features are getting an AI boost. Its suite of live translate products can now translate conversations via a split-screen view while standing next to someone else, providing a transcript in real time. Meanwhile, Samsung’s keyboard will translate messages in real-time in 13 languages.

Samsung Notes is also getting an upgrade with pre-made formats to make note jotting more organized. Using generative AI in the car, Android Auto will allow users to request summaries of messages or suggest replies via voice commands.

To make online searches more personalized, users can long-hold the home button and circle or tap the screen to learn more about what they see, such as a landmark in the back of someone’s social media page, or ask nuanced questions.

Other changes are coming to the camera system. The Galaxy S24 Ultra’s Quad Tele System, with new 5-times optical zoom lens, works with the 50MP sensor to magnify up to 10 times. It also touts upgraded nightography capabilities, and people can use the AI-powered Edit Suggestion tool to make subtle tweaks to photos, such as fixing crooked shots or moving a person or object slightly over to the side.

The company said when its devices use generative AI to change an image, a watermark will appear on the image and in metadata.

Standing out

Although AI on smartphones isn’t entirely new — Google’s latest Pixel 8 lineup launched in October 2023 with many AI features — Samsung’s scale could make more consumers aware of the possibilities. Google’s Pixel line, after all, remains a niche product; its global market share for smartphones remains about 1%, according to data from ABI Research.

Ahead of the iPhone 16 launch in September, however, Apple is rumored to be introducing new Siri features, powered by AI in the release of iOS 18. Some on-device generative AI features could be made exclusive to iPhone 16 models, thanks in part to its custom chips.

“Apple’s silence on all things AI speaks volumes as many in the industry believe that Apple is potentially lagging,” said IDC’s Ubrani. “That said, none of Samsung’s new AI features will be the primary selling point.”

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Samsung Galaxy S24 lineup goes all in on AI