Samsung's New S24 Series: the beginning of a new era for smartphonesby Arthur Watine, on Jan 18, 2024
Samsung unveiled the Samsung S24 series yesterday. And it looks exactly the same as the S23 series… at first. While such releases usually showcase hardware novelties, this time it's the software stealing the spotlight. And by software, I mean Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). Writing the same article about Apple’s iPhone 15 series launch last September was a bit boring to be honest. The iPhone 15 is a better phone than the iPhone 14. It could have been summarised like this, and maybe I should have done that. But yesterday, Samsung clearly set new benchmarks in smartphone technology.
Samsung’s New S24 Series: the beginning of a new era for smartphones
Samsung unveiled the Samsung S24 series yesterday. And it looks exactly the same as the S23 series… at first. While such releases usually showcase hardware novelties, this time it's the software stealing the spotlight. And by software, I mean Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Writing the same article about Apple’s iPhone 15 series launch last September was a bit boring to be honest. The iPhone 15 is a better phone than the iPhone 14. Maybe I should have just simply summarised it like this? Because recently, Samsung clearly set new benchmarks in smartphone technology that far outweigh Apple’s launch! Fret not if you are interested in a refurbished or slightly older Samsung model, however. Samsung’s new Galaxy AI is due to also be added to the following list of devices:
Samsung partners with Google
What I found most interesting is not about the device itself, but about the fact that Samsung and Google announced a new multi-year partnership to bring Google Cloud’s AI technology to Samsung smartphone users around the globe. Apple probably found it “interesting” as well…
So what does it do exactly? The standout feature, Live Translate, enables real-time voice and text translations for phone calls, breaking language barriers without third-party apps and ensuring privacy with on-device AI. Additionally, Interpreter offers split-screen translations for live conversations, even offline. The series goes beyond communication with Chat Assist perfecting conversational tones, Note Assist providing AI-generated summaries in Samsung Notes, and Transcript Assist for voice recording transcriptions. Notably, the integration of Circle to Search with Google allow users to perform intuitive searches by circling, highlighting, or tapping on the screen, enhancing the overall user experience.
Circle to Search: with a long press on the home button, users can circle, highlight, scribble on or tap anything on Galaxy S24’s screen to see helpful, high-quality search results.
No, you don’t need a better camera
Interestingly, while every smartphone press-release is about battery life, storage and camera performance, there isn’t much to write about it. Oh yes, Samsung decreased the optimal zoom from x10 to x5, they basically made it worse. But is that so? Once again, AI will cover the flaws and make your images and videos stand out.
The Galaxy AI editing tools on the Galaxy S24 offer a range of easy-to-use features for enhancing photos and videos. Users can easily make simple edits like erasing, recomposing, and remastering. For more convenient adjustments, Edit Suggestion uses AI to propose suitable tweaks for each photo. The Generative Edit feature is particularly creative, filling in parts of an image background with AI. If a picture is crooked or an object needs repositioning, the AI helps users straighten things out and blend backgrounds seamlessly. Additionally, the new Instant Slow-mo feature slows down action-packed videos by generating extra frames, providing a more detailed and captivating viewing experience.
And because all of this is as cool as it is scary, when the S24 uses generative AI, a watermark appears on the image and metadata.
The Galaxy AI editing tools on the Galaxy S24 offer a range of easy-to-use features for enhancing photos and videos
The star is the chip
A few words on the hardware. As said, it looks alike the S23 series. But it’s powered like a formula 1 thanks to the Snapdragon® 8 Gen 3 Chip. I could write about the storage and the display as well, but it really is a normal phone.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 brings AI on-device.
And because we must acknowledge brands efforts towards sustainability when they are noticeable: the Galaxy S24 features components made with recycled cobalt and rare earth elements (only the Ultra version according to the company’s press release). Which is not enough obviously, but it is something. It surely changes from the recycled plastic of the packaging.
So, should you buy this phone or are the previous Samsung series more your vibe?
Please don’t. Or at least not now. It’s new and it’s crazy expensive. You can wait six months and get it refurbished on refurbed. Unfortunately, these phones are always over produced (we are talking about hundreds of millions of items shipped yearly) and find themselves on the secondary market after a few months. And sadly the 50% refurbished cobalt in the speakers of the S24 Ultra won’t compensate the mass production.
And if AI feels like an expensive gadget to you, you can buy the same phone at a more affordable price: just buy a Samsung S23, S23+ or S23 Ultra on refurbed. They are all powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor making them incredibly powerful smartphones. This means that they can handle even the most demanding tasks, such as gaming and video editing, with ease. To be honest, even the Samsung S22 series is still a solid choice, delivering powerful performance with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. These refurbished devices not only provide exceptional value but also showcase advanced features, including impressive camera capabilities. In essence, whether you opt for the S23 or S22, you're getting a reliable and capable smartphone that won't break the bank, making them smart alternatives without compromising on quality and performance.