Seizing on the current obsession with all things AI, Samsung today unveiled its Galaxy S24 series of flagship phones that promise to let uses easily “fill in” details in a photo and identify people and things from an image in an intuitive, accessible manner.
The new devices, out in Singapore on January 31, have been teased as the Korean electronics giant’s big step up in AI after similar offerings from Google’s Pixel range in recent years.
The Galaxy S24 series will come in three sizes – the S$1,288 Galaxy S24 with a 6.2-inch screen, the S$1,528 Galaxy S24+ with a 6.7-inch display and the top-end S$1,928 Galaxy S24 Ultra with a 6.8-incher.
One star feature, which Samsung executives were keen to show off at a recent preview in Singapore, is the ability to easily select a part of a photo and have an AI tool help identify it.
This could be an object, say, a watch or statue, or a person if he or she is popular enough to have been “seen” before by Samsung’s AI during its earlier training.
Of course, Google Lens already does something similar with live images and Google’s reverse image search offers this on a Web browser, but Samsung is touting its AI tool’s ease of use.
Having this Circle to Search feature built into the phone gallery means there’s no need to open up another app to check out something.
Perhaps more powerful is another AI smart called Generative Edit, which promises to fill in parts of an image background with generative AI to make it better.
If your image is not perfectly level, the AI will shift it and fill in the missing details with what’s on screen in a seamless fashion.
Then there’s Instant Slow-mo, a feature which generates additional frames based on movements to give you a dramatic slowed-down effect. Maybe the Internet will be filled with Zack Snyder moments now.
On the new Galaxy S24 phones, there are other AI smarts built in which are practical and, more importantly, for Samsung, easily within reach.
A Live Translate feature, for example, lets you speak on the phone with someone using different languages by having two-way, real-time voice and text translations within the native app.
With so much AI built into the phone, what happens to that Samsung AI assistant that came before today’s “co-pilots”? Yes, we’re thinking of Bixby, which many users simply just hide in a corner these days. Its future is unclear.
To drive all its new AI enhancements, Samsung has thrown in the kitchen sink once again into its candy-bar flagship models for the performance needed.
The top-end Galaxy S24 Ultra packs Qualcomm’s beefy Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip in Singapore, though the lesser Galaxy S24+ and S24 will have an Exynos 2400 from Samsung.
The basic Galaxy S24 will come with 8GB memory while the other two more expensive models will offer 12GB, so you’d have enough capacity to run the latest games.
Storage-wise, the entry-level Galaxy S24 comes with either 128GB, 256GB or 512GB. The “middle-child” Galaxy S24+ offers 256GB or 512GB, while the big brother Galaxy S24 Ultra comes with 256GB, 512GB or 1TB.
All three phones will sport Dynamic AMOLED 2X displays from Samsung that support adaptive refresh rates from 1Hz to 120Hz. This offers smooth yet energy-saving displays, depending on the need.
Notably, the Galaxy S24 only supports a 2,340 x 1,080 Full HD-plus resolution on its smaller screen, while the two bigger boys have 3,120 x 1,440 Quad HD-plus for a sharp display.
Looks-wise, Samsung has also improved on the design. The bezels are slim across the three models, though there are clear differences.
The smaller two come with rounded edges reminiscent of Apple’s iPhones, perhaps to lure in these iOS users thinking of switching.
However, the Galaxy S24 Ultra has sharper corners that you’d associate with Samsung’s previous Galaxy Note phones. It’s aimed at the Samsung and Android hardcore fan.
Plus, the top-end model comes with a built-in S-Pen stylus that you can use to draw and annotate documents or images.
The Galaxy S24 Ultra also comes wrapped in a titanium frame, unlike the aluminium on the other two Galaxy S24s. The new material is said to provide better protection against knocks and bumps.
The devices all look attractive with the slimmer, sleeker bezels on the screen. There is also a lack of a huge camera bump at the back for all three of them.
That includes the hefty quad-camera setup at the back of the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which comes with:
- 12-megapixel ultrawide camera
- 200-megapixel wide camera
- 50-megapixel telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom
- 10-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom
Notably, the telephoto cameras can offer a digital zoom of up to 100x, though you’d need a tripod or some steady hands to take a picture at the level of zoom.
The other two Galaxy S24 models have a similar ultrawide camera and a telephoto camera. However, their wide-angle camera comes with a 50-megapixel sensor (instead of 200 megapixels) and they lack the additional telephoto camera capable of 5x optical zoom.
So, another year, another bunch of Samsung Galaxy flagship phones? Well, the Galaxy S24 series will be important for the Korean company to recapture the top spot from Apple after falling behind for the first time in more than decade.
Will the new AI smarts be able to sway users? Possibly, because it seems Samsung has integrated them into the system tightly, making them easy to use.
If smarts don’t sell, then at least looks should. Samsung has made the updated models sleeker than before and last year’s models were not so bad to be begin with. This year is one of those years when Samsung has upped its game, design-wise.
As you’d expect, prices are high for these flagship phones. The most expensive in the lineup is the 1TB version of the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which costs a cool S$2,458. Yes, that’s more expensive than many a premium laptop.
How well the Galaxy S24 series will do is a question for now. The new candy-bar phones will face competition from foldable models that will become more affordable this year.
Think of foldables like the just-launched S$1,999 Honor Magic V2. And there’s even talk of an “FE” or flagship-minus version of a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold this year, which could catch the eye of users as well.
We’ll have more on the Galaxy S24 series in a review soon. Look out for it!