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### First Look at Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Enhanced AI Features like Circle to Search and Live Translate

Samsung is betting on generative AI to make its Galaxy S24 series stand out from other Android phon…

When I recently contacted a Korean eatery to secure a reservation, I encountered no difficulties conversing with the non-English-speaking individual on the line, thanks to experimenting with the Galaxy S24 Ultra, one of Samsung’s three new phone models unveiled on Wednesday. This device has the capability to translate phone conversations in real-time, facilitating seamless communication.

This narrative is a segment of Samsung Event, a compilation by CNET focusing on news, recommendations, and insights regarding Samsung’s popular products.

Samsung, in alignment with the broader tech industry, is currently captivated by artificial intelligence. The Galaxy S24 series is packed with features like real-time translation, showcasing the utilization of generative AI, which employs extensive language models to generate content or offer conversational responses, albeit not always with pinpoint accuracy. This trend underscores how tech behemoths are increasingly leveraging AI to differentiate their products and stimulate consumer interest in upgrading their mobile devices within a challenging smartphone market landscape.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra, retailing for \(1,300 (£1,249, AU\)2,199), stands out as $100 pricier than its predecessor, the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and is set to be available for purchase on Jan. 31 alongside the more affordable Galaxy S24 Plus and Galaxy S24, all open for preorders currently.

With the Galaxy S24 series, users can benefit from features such as the Notes app’s formatting and summarizing capabilities, the ability to initiate a Google search by circling an image, and the option to rephrase text messages in a different style before sending them. Samsung has consolidated these tools, among others, under the umbrella term Galaxy AI, accessible on the Galaxy S24, S24 Plus, and S24 Ultra. These features will also be extended to the Galaxy S23 lineup through a forthcoming update.

Some functionalities may seem familiar, echoing similar generative AI-powered tools from companies like Google and Microsoft. Notably, Samsung has collaborated with Google on the technology underpinning some of its new AI attributes, including text rewriting, note summarization, and object manipulation in photos.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra introduces an enhanced telephoto camera and a titanium build. All three phones boast Qualcomm’s latest processor and brighter displays.

During a preliminary assessment of the Galaxy S24 series before Samsung’s official announcement, I formed initial impressions of the Ultra model.

Galaxy AI on the Galaxy S24 Ultra

Samsung’s innovative Chat Assist feature can translate and rephrase messages before sending them, enhancing communication efficiency.

The introduction of Galaxy AI marks the most significant distinction between the S24 series and its predecessors, although this discrepancy will diminish as these features make their way to the Galaxy S23 lineup. Noteworthy Galaxy AI attributes include:

  • Chat Assist for modifying tone, translating, or spell-checking text messages.
  • Live Translate for real-time call translations in 13 languages.
  • Circle to Search, enabling users to conduct Google searches by circling objects in photos.
  • Note Assist for note summarization, translation, formatting, and cover generation in Samsung’s Notes app.
  • Generative Edit, akin to Google’s Magic Editor, facilitating object manipulation in photos.
  • Transcript Assist in Samsung’s recording app, offering transcriptions and conversation summaries.

Experimenting with most of these features on the Galaxy S24 Ultra revealed their user-friendly nature, although my assessment was limited to Samsung’s controlled demo environment. While Live Translate required some acclimatization, I was impressed by the seamless conversation I could conduct with a Korean speaker once I familiarized myself with the feature.

By selecting the Live Translate option after dialing the desired number from the S24 Ultra’s contact list, Samsung promptly translated my English speech into Korean. Subsequently, the recipient’s Korean response was swiftly translated back into English by Samsung. This functionality could prove invaluable for travelers, although it might initially bewilder users unfamiliar with the feature.

Another standout Galaxy AI tool is Circle to Search, reminiscent of Google Lens but enabling searches for objects in existing photos by simply circling them. By circling waffles in a brunch photo from the S24 Ultra’s gallery, Google presented restaurant recommendations serving waffles in the vicinity.

Additionally, I circled a pair of shoes in a demo photo, prompting Google to display purchase options for the same shoes. While this process is more seamless with the S Pen on the Galaxy S24 Ultra, it can also be executed on the regular S24 and S24 Plus using a finger.

Samsung’s Notes app streamlines text organization into bullet points and offers various templates, while Generative Edit, akin to Google’s Magic Eraser, empowers users to manipulate and relocate individual photo elements.

In a demonstration, a Samsung representative outlined a skateboarder performing a trick in a photo, adjusting the skater’s position to enhance the jump’s visual impact. Samsung and Google position such features as beneficial for creative endeavors, enabling users to significantly alter photos directly from their phones without requiring photo editing expertise. However, the potential for misuse, as previously highlighted by my colleague Sareena Dayaram, cannot be overlooked.

A photography feature that particularly intrigues me is the capability to eliminate reflections in the edit suggestions section. As someone frequently capturing screen images, I understand the challenge of minimizing glare and reflections. This feature could also benefit avid travelers capturing photos through vehicle windows during vacations.

Samsung’s emphasis on productivity with the Galaxy S24’s AI features is evident, although many functionalities feel more conventional than groundbreaking. While Galaxy AI has the potential to enhance task execution on the S24 lineup, it does not introduce groundbreaking innovations. My perspective may evolve as I delve deeper into the Galaxy S24 Ultra experience.

Galaxy S24 Ultra Specifications and Design

The Galaxy S24 Ultra, available in four colors (with additional options when ordering directly from Samsung), introduces a notable change in the form of a 50-megapixel telephoto camera, replacing one of the 10-megapixel zoom cameras on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. This alteration enables a 5x optical zoom, a deliberate shift from the S23 Ultra’s 10x optical zoom based on user preferences. The impact on image sharpness will become clearer with extended usage.

Apart from this camera enhancement, the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s camera setup mirrors the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s configuration, featuring a 200-megapixel main camera, a 10-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom (in addition to the new 50-megapixel, 5x telephoto camera), and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra boasts a titanium body, slightly reduced bezels, and a lighter design, albeit with marginal differences. Samsung has also elevated the screen brightness to 2,600 nits on all three models, compared to 1,750 nits on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Given Samsung’s already impressive screen visibility, especially relative to Google’s Pixel phones, the enhanced brightness should further enhance outdoor visibility. Nevertheless, these screens do not rank as the brightest in the 2024 smartphone landscape, with the upcoming OnePlus 12 featuring a 4,500-nit display.

All three phones are powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, a customary choice for Samsung’s flagship US models. Qualcomm introduced this chip in October 2023, emphasizing its capacity to run generative AI algorithms on the device. The S24 Ultra incorporates a larger vapor chamber compared to its predecessor, enhancing thermal management during intensive gaming sessions.

Battery capacity, storage options, and memory configurations closely align with those of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

The Galaxy S24 series underscores Samsung’s, and other tech giants’, exploration of generative AI’s utility on smartphones following ChatGPT’s rapid emergence. While Galaxy AI exhibits promise, Samsung may need to further differentiate its offerings, especially with Apple rumored to introduce more generative AI-driven features to the iPhone later this year.

Editors’ note: CNET employs an AI engine to assist in content creation. For more details, refer to this post.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Series Specifications vs. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Specifications Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Samsung Galaxy S24 Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Display size, tech, resolution, refresh rate, brightness 6.8-inch AMOLED; QHD+ resolution; 1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate 6.7-inch AMOLED; QHD+ resolution; 1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate 6.2-inch AMOLED; FHD+ resolution; 1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate 6.8-inch AMOLED; 3,088×1,440 pixels; 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
Pixel density TBD TBD TBD 500 ppi
Dimensions (inches) 6.40 x 3.11 x 0.34 in 6.24 x 3 x 0.3 in 5.79 x 2.78 x 0.3 in 6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 in
Dimensions (millimeters) 163 x 79 x 8.6 mm 158 x 76 x 7.6 mm 147 x 71 x 7.6 mm 163.3 x 78 x 8.9 mm
Weight (grams, ounces) 233 g (8.22 oz) 197 g (6.95 oz) 168 g (5.93oz) 234 g (8.25 oz)
Mobile software Android 14 Android 14 Android 14 Android 13
Camera 200-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (3x telephoto), 50-megapixel (5x telephoto) 50-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (telephoto) 50-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (telephoto) 200-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (3x telephoto), 10-megapixel (10x telephoto)
Front-facing camera 12-megapixel 12-megapixel 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Video capture TBD TBD TBD 8K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
Storage and RAM 12GB RAM + 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 12GB RAM + 256GB, 512GB 8GB RAM + 128GB, 256GB 8GB RAM + 256GB; 12GB RAM + 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Expandable storage None None None None
Battery 5,000 mAh 4,900 mAh 4,000 mAh 5,000 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Under display Under display Under display Under display
Headphone jack None None None None
Special features Titanium frame, 2,600-nit screen, 7 years of OS and security updates, 5G (mmWave), IP68 water resistance, wireless PowerShare, integrated S Pen, UWB for device location, 45W wired charging, Galaxy AI, Wi-Fi 7 2,600-nit screen, 7 years of OS and security updates, 5G (mmWave), IP68 water resistance, wireless PowerShare, 45W wired charging, Galaxy AI, Wi-Fi 6E 2,600-nit screen, 7 years of OS and security updates, 5G (mmWave), IP68 water resistance, wireless PowerShare, 25W wired charging, Galaxy AI, Wi-Fi 6E 5G (Sub6, mmWave), IP68 water resistance, wireless PowerShare, integrated S Pen, 100x Space Zoom, 10x optical zoom, UWB for device location, 45W wired charging
US price starts at $1,300 (256GB) $1,00 (256GB) $800 (128GB) $1,200 (256GB)
UK price starts at £1,249 (256GB) £999 (256GB) £799 (128GB) £1,249 (256GB)
Australia price starts at AU$2,199 (256GB) AU$1,699 (256GB) AU$1,399 (256GB) AU$1,949 (256GB)
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Last modified: January 19, 2024
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