Samsung Galaxy-S24-Series_main1

Samsung mobile phones incorporating generative AI are now for sale, a move that signals the continuing migration of the technology into mobile devices. Crucially, many AI features are built into the phones, so functionality is not completely dependent on access to the cloud. 

Samsung, the giant Korean electronics hardware manufacture, is betting heavily on the appeal of AI features developed by Google via its multimodal Gemini Nano AI model that runs natively on devices. Also in play is security conscious Gemini Pro software and Imagen 2, the latter allowing for complex photo editing. 

The three Galaxy phones with AI are the S24 ($800), S24 Plus ($1,000) and S24 Ultra ($1300), a price deferential largely determined by storage choices—the S24 Ultra has a 1TB option, for example. The Galaxy phones are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset which the company says is designed specifically for generative AI use.

Buried in the fine print, however, is a notification that AI features will be free only to 2025, an indication that cellphone makers see AI as an ongoing source of revenue via a subscription model in the long term.

Perhaps the most impressive use of AI in the Galaxy phones is an ability to break language barriers. Live Translate offers real-time voice and text translations of phone calls within a native app that keeps conversations private. A Chat Assist feature can suggest appropriate conversational tones. Thirteen languages and 17 dialects are supported.

Adding to easy searching capabilities is a feature called Circle To Search which allows users to circle anything on the phone’s screen and initiate a query for more information.

Photo enhancements include Generative Edit which allows AI to fill in parts of an image background when a subject is moved  in the original image and the background needs to be filled in, for example, making an interesting use of AI’s hallucinatory capabilities. Whenever Generative Edit is used, the resulting image is reality-checked with a watermarked as is the metadata. Similarly, Instant Slo-mo can generate additional frames based on movements for a smoother, more detailed look.

Other AI features might loosely be called organizational in nature. Note Assist offers AI-generated summaries while Transcript Assist can transcribe, translate and summarize recordings. Users can disable online processing of data for AI features but be advised not every bit of AI processing is done on the phone itself; some rely on connection to the cloud.

Analysts like Canalys suggest AI smartphones sales will leap from 4% to 45% in 2027, providing a much needed jolt of excitement amongst consumers who have been holding onto their phones longer. Samsung suggests some older phones also may be the recipients of some AI features. Meanwhile, Apple is in the wings with its AI phone expected later this year.