Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone line, the Galaxy S24 series, has finally been unveiled at the Unpacked event today. As expected, the Korean tech giant has brought some major enhancements to its new line, featuring the Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24+, and Galaxy S24 Ultra, with prices starting at $800, $1,000, and $1,300, respectively.
But what truly sets the Galaxy S24 series apart from its predecessors are the upgraded camera capabilities and innovative AI features. Samsung is taking full advantage of the AI tech that has been gaining popularity and will continue to do so in the coming years, especially after last year’s explosion of generative AI. The Galaxy S24 series is among the first devices to incorporate this technology into its software, but it won’t be the last. Get used to hearing about generative AI, as it will become a recurring buzzword in device launches for the next few years.
The camera enhancements on the S24 line are predominantly focused on image editing. Samsung has introduced new Galaxy AI editing tools that make it easy to erase, recompose, and remaster images. These tools use AI to suggest suitable tweaks for each photo, making the optimization process more efficient. In addition, the Generative Edit feature uses AI to fill in parts of an image background, while also correcting any crooked angles. However, in order to maintain transparency, the device will add a digital watermark to the image and meta data whenever generative AI is used in the editing process.
“After great shots are captured, innovative Galaxy AI editing tools enable simple edits like erase, recompose, and remaster. For easier and more efficient optimizations, Edit Suggestion uses Galaxy AI to suggest perfectly suitable tweaks for each photo. To give users even more creative control and freedom, Generative Edit can fill in parts of an image background with generative AI. When a picture is crooked, AI will fill in the borders.” – Samsung
But that’s not all – Samsung has also partnered with Google to introduce a new feature called Circle for Search. This feature allows users to circle a piece of text with their finger or S-Pen and trigger a Google search on that word. While Google usually launches these features on its own Pixel devices, this is a surprising departure from recent trends. This collaboration between the two companies isn’t entirely unexpected, as they have been working together closely on the software front in recent years, including Google’s foldable version of Android and Samsung’s embrace of Wear OS on its Galaxy Watch devices.
In fact, the Galaxy S24 series will be utilizing Google’s house model, Gemini Pro. According to Google, this model is the best for scaling across a wide range of tasks, allowing for more helpful interactions with familiar Samsung apps. Apps like Samsung Notes, Voice Recorder, and Keyboard will use Gemini Pro to provide better summarization features. For instance, users can record a lecture using Voice Recorder and quickly receive a summary of the most important parts of the lesson. Plus, with Imagen 2, Google’s advanced text-to-image diffusion technology, users will have access to helpful photo editing capabilities through Generative Edit within the Galaxy S24 Gallery app. The Galaxy S24 series will also come equipped with Gemini Nano, which is the most efficient model for on-device tasks, allowing for a new feature in Google Messages while ensuring that data doesn’t leave the smartphone. Additionally, Samsung will be one of the first partners to test Gemini Ultra, the largest model for highly complex tasks, before it becomes available to developers and enterprise customers later this year.
AI isn’t just limited to post-production this time around. It also plays a role in improving the quality of shots themselves, further pushing the boundaries of computational photography. While Apple is showcasing the Vision Pro to select reporters this week, Samsung is highlighting its “ProVisual” imaging engine.
“Galaxy S24 series’ ProVisual Engine is a comprehensive suite of AI-powered tools that transform image capturing abilities and maximize creative freedom every step of the way, from setting up a shot all the way to sharing it on social. Gone are shaky, pixelated images taken from far away. Galaxy S24 Ultra’s Quad Tele System, with new 5x optical zoom lens, works with the 50MP sensor to enable optical-quality performance at zoom levels from 2x, 3x, 5x to 10x magnification thanks to Adaptive Pixel Sensor. Images also show crystal clear results at 100x with enhanced digital zoom.” – Samsung
An interesting update for the S24 Ultra (previously reported) is that it will now feature 5x optical zoom instead of 10x. However, users can still capture quality shots at 10x zoom thanks to the camera hardware. Shots taken at 3x and 5x zoom are considered optical zoom, while shots at 10x zoom are considered “optical-quality,” although the image may be slightly degraded depending on lighting conditions. The S24 Ultra also boasts 60% larger pixels compared to its predecessor, allowing for more light to filter through. This improvement will enhance low light photography, also known as “Nightography.” Additionally, optical image stabilization (OIS) has been optimized for less blurry photos, and the ISP (image signal processor) has been enhanced to reduce image noise.
Samsung explains, “Galaxy S24 analyzes gyro information to distinguish between the filmer’s movement and the subject’s. This allows more effective noise removal and clear videos in the dark, even from far away.”
But that’s not all – there is also a new Super HDR feature that includes previews, meaning users can see the full effect of HDR before the photo is even snapped and processed. Samsung is also opening up its HDR capabilities to third-party app developers. Much of the AI features on the Galaxy S24 series are enabled by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip.
“Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy instills its advanced AI capabilities in the Galaxy S24 series, to enable new experiences with AI features to empower users’ everyday life,” stated Chris Patrick, Senior Vice President at Qualcomm in a release tied to today’s announcement. “It also fuels advanced professional-quality camera, gaming experiences and ultra-fast connectivity including Wi-Fi 7, plus offers one of the most reliable authentication solutions available with our Qualcomm® 3D Sonic Gen 2 technology.”
The Galaxy S24 Ultra will be available in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options, while the Galaxy S24+ will come in 256GB and 512GB, and the Galaxy S24 will offer 128GB and 256GB of storage. All three models will have screens measuring 6.2, 6.7, and 6.8 inches, respectively. Each device will feature adaptive refresh rates ranging from 1 to 120 Hz, along with an impressive peak brightness of 2,600 nits. The displays also come protected with optically enhanced Corning Gorilla Armor glass for improved scratch and drop resistance.
Samsung is also making efforts towards sustainability with the use of metal made from 40% recycled steel and 100% recycled rare earth elements for the speakers on the Ultra. Additionally, at least half of the cobalt used in the battery is recycled, and the packaging for all three models is made of 100% recycled paper. Pre-orders for all three devices are now open, with a release date set for the end of the month.