Are Samsung’s latest AI-powered phones all they’re made out to be?

Posted on : 2024-01-18 17:07 KST Modified on : 2024-01-18 17:32 KST
Samsung is showcasing AI-powered functions in its new Galaxy S24 line, including image editing and translation
Samsung Galaxy phones come equipped with the “Circle to Search” function that allows users to initiate Google searches by drawing a circle on an image. (Lim Ji-sun/The Hankyoreh)
Samsung Galaxy phones come equipped with the “Circle to Search” function that allows users to initiate Google searches by drawing a circle on an image. (Lim Ji-sun/The Hankyoreh)

Want to get a closer look at the cute cat that popped up in a video? Press your screen, and you’ll be able to see the video in slow motion.

If you want to know where a certain passerby bought their bag, point your phone camera at them, draw a circle around the bag, and voila! The search is already complete.

Recorded audio files can be converted into text, paraphrased, and translated, with artificial intelligence generating different styles of communication based on context.

The camera, with its enhanced zoom feature, will allow anyone, even in dark concert halls, to take clear pictures of their star crush.

Samsung Electronics has lifted the curtain on the era of AI-enabled smartphones. On Wednesday (local time) in San Jose, California, Samsung held its “Galaxy Unpacked 2024” event, where it revealed its new Galaxy S24 premium smartphone series, focusing on its AI features. 

The slogan “Galaxy AI is here” hung in the middle of the event hall, where attendees could experience the new Galaxy smartphone for the first time. The new Galaxy S24 series will be the first phones from Samsung to bear the name “Galaxy AI.”

The phones are also equipped with a new search function from Google, the developer of the Android system, known as “Circle to Search.”  This feature, activated by holding down the home button, provides the user with relevant search results after the user draws a circle on an image or word on the screen, and was one of the most talked-about features at the unveiling. 

Android developers have joined forces to stake out a dominant position in the AI smartphone market.

AI smartphones refer to devices that have been designed with high-performance chips that provide on-device AI technology-related features.

A demonstration of the Galaxy S24 at the event showed that the device could, in real time, translate phone calls into 13 languages, even when disconnected from the internet, and could also transform audio into text.

Roh Tae-moon, the president and head of mobile experience at Samsung Electronics, unveils the Galaxy S24 premium smartphone at the Galaxy Unpacked 2024 event at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, on Jan. 17. (courtesy of Samsung Electronics)
Roh Tae-moon, the president and head of mobile experience at Samsung Electronics, unveils the Galaxy S24 premium smartphone at the Galaxy Unpacked 2024 event at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, on Jan. 17. (courtesy of Samsung Electronics)

The feature that seems to resonate most with the spirit of on-device AI technology is the keyboard. A real-time translation feature has been added to the keyboard itself, which means that texts, as well as messages sent through other messaging apps such as Kakao Talk, can be translated as the words are being typed.

“We’re excited to see how our users around the world empower their everyday lives with Galaxy AI to open up new possibilities,” said Roh Tae-moon, the head of Samsung’s mobile experience division, during the presentation. 

Since the translation will happen through on-device AI intelligence, there is no need to be concerned about the content of a recorded conversation becoming public, Roh said. The user can use the function to their heart’s content without worrying about security breaches. 

However, these features are not without their limitations. Most features that utilize generative AI technology can only be accessed when connected to the internet.

Such features include the image editing features, which allow edits to fill in parts of an image background if a picture is crooked or if the background has been cropped out by mistake, and the Circle to Search feature.

When the device paraphrases various voice recordings, such as phone calls, or notes, the content is sent to Samsung’s servers in order to receive the aid of generative AI.

This is at odds with Samsung’s claim that “the content of the calls will not leave the smartphone.”

Others also expressed disappointment that the “Ultra” line series does not use Samsung’s Exynos 2400 chipset, but Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 9 Gen 3 smartphone processor.

The Galaxy S24 series will be available worldwide starting from January 31.

In South Korea, prices for the basic model range from 1.15 million won to 1.29 million won depending on memory capacity, while the Plus model is priced between 1.35 million and 1.49 million, and the Ultra at 1.69 million to 2.12 million. 

By Lim Ji-sun, staff reporter

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

 

button that move to original korean article (클릭시 원문으로 이동하는 버튼)

Related stories