January 18, 2024
SEOUL – Samsung Electronics on Wednesday unveiled the new flagship Galaxy S24 smartphone, its first smartphone powered by artificial intelligence, bringing generative AI to the everyday life of its users.
The South Korean tech giant held its Galaxy Unpacked 2024 event at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, with some 2,000 journalists and industry people in attendance. It is the first time that Samsung has held its most important unveiling event of the year in Silicon Valley, the home turf of its archrival, Apple.
“The Galaxy S24 series transforms our connection with the world and ignites the next decade of mobile innovation,” Roh Tae-moon, president and head of the mobile business division, said during the event.
“Galaxy AI is built on our innovation heritage and deep understanding of how people use their phones. We’re excited to see how our users around the world empower their everyday lives with Galaxy AI to open up new possibilities.”
The new Galaxy AI, based on both on-device and cloud technology, aims to innovate mobile communication drastically as it supports brand-new features such as real-time translation and upgraded photo editing.
The Live Translate feature translates phone calls and text messages immediately within the native app. All the conversations are translated and live-captioned to be shown on a split screen, allowing users to communicate in different languages. The feature works regardless of the other caller’s smartphone type or brand.
Most of the key functions work directly on the device, even without cellular data or a Wi-Fi connection, which means more heightened security. Cloud communication will be activated upon the user’s approval to use more sophisticated functions, such as summarizing conversations.
Another key feature is the Chat Assist feature, which helps not only to correct grammar or spelling mistakes, but also to adjust the styles and tones of the texts for different occasions. For instance, a more polite message is suggested to be sent to a coworker, while a shorter and more catchy phrase is offered for a social media caption. The feature works on various messenger apps, including KakaoTalk, Line and Google Messages.
The new phone also comes with Provisual Engine for enhanced photo editing, which Samsung calls an attractive feature, especially for younger users who enjoy diverse social media services. Its Generative Edit allows users to change or fill in the background of an image or the object itself and create a new image.
The phone’s online search function has also been upgraded. The Galaxy S24 is the first phone to feature Google’s AI-powered Circle to Search. With a long press on the home button, users can circle, highlight, scribble on or tap anything on the phone screen to see high-quality search results.
Its new 5x optical zoom lens and Adaptive Pixel sensor have enhanced optical quality with zoom magnification levels of 2x, 3x, 5x and 10x.
The higher-end Ultra version is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform for Galaxy processor. An optimal thermal control system has also been added to improve the overall gaming performance.
The new Ultra is also the first Galaxy phone to feature a titanium frame for heightened durability, while the thinner body allows a more comfortable grip.
The new phones are priced at 1.15 million to 2.12 million ($854-$1,570) depending on screen size and data capacity. The basic model price remains the same as its predecessor, while the highest-priced premium model is about 10 percent more expensive than the previous model.
The new phone comes at a crucial juncture for Samsung potentially to take back the title of No. 1 smartphone maker from Apple. According to market tracker IDC, Samsung shipped 226 million smartphones in 2023, which was slightly outpaced by Apple with 234 million units. Their market shares stood at 19.4 percent and 20.1 percent, respectively.