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Samsung launches AI-powered Galaxy S24 series

For the first half hour of Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event Wednesday, one could be forgiven for thinking that it was a software launch, as speaker after speaker touted Galaxy AI, the company’s new set of artificial intelligence (AI) tools driving the Galaxy S24 series of devices.

“Artificial intelligence will bring about great change in the mobile industry, and in the way we live,” noted TM Roh, president and head of mobile experience (MX) business at Samsung, during his keynote address. “We believe Samsung Galaxy will democratize this change. Samsung Galaxy AI is the spark that ignites new possibilities.”

Circle to Search
Credit: Samsung Electronics

Samsung-developed AI features include simultaneous on-device two-way voice and text translation for calls on the new Galaxy S24 series devices (with a ton of fine print saying accuracy is not guaranteed). Partnerships with companies such as Google are providing cloud-based functionality like Circle to Search with Google, a new feature that allows users to circle, tap, or scribble on something on the screen, such as a piece of clothing or a landmark, and get search results about it without having to leave the app they’re viewing it in.

Image editing tools are all AI assisted – but Samsung adds a watermark and info in the metadata when a photo has been manipulated, as in the example it showed transforming a mundane basketball jump shot to a spectacular one, by shifting the player’s position in the photo.

Original image. Credit: Samsung Electronics
Edited image. Note the watermark at bottom left. Credit: Samsung Electronics


There will also be AI enhancements to Lens, but Samsung said they will not be available in Canada.

The AI goodies appear impressive – we’ll know better how they work after trying the devices. However, there is a caveat in the fine print, which says: “Galaxy AI features will be provided for free until the end of 2025 on supported Samsung Galaxy devices. Different terms may apply for AI features provided by third parties.”

Now for the phones. As in previous years, the Galaxy S24 phones come in three flavours: the Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24+, and Galaxy S24 Ultra. All three models feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, with its AI engine that handles on-device AI processing.

The Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24+ are pretty much the same, save screen size (6.2 inches vs 6.7 inches) and battery size (4000 mAh vs 4900 mAh). The Galaxy S24+ also comes with 12 GB of memory, vs the Galaxy S24’s 8 GB.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is where Samsung pulled out all the stops, and it was the device featured during all of the demos at Unpacked. Its display is 6.8 inches, it has a 5000 mAh battery, 12 GB of memory and up to 1 TB of storage, two wide and two telephoto cameras on the rear, and has a titanium frame rather than the aluminum of the other models. The display uses Corning Gorilla Armor, a new, tougher glass that Corning said is also anti-reflective, where the other models offer Gorilla Glass Victus 2. And it comes with an S Pen.

All three devices are available for pre-order now, with availability in retail outlets and from carriers on Jan. 31. The Galaxy S24 starts at C$1,099.99, the Galaxy S24+ at C$1,399.99, and the Galaxy S24 Ultra is priced starting from C$1,799.99, topping out at C$2,279.99 for a model with 1 TB of storage.

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