As the biggest Android smartphone maker by far, the pressure is always on Samsung to go a lot further than everyone else with their Galaxy S line. It has to justify the higher price tag, and has to justify their top spot in the Android world. So, in an era of AI frenzy, it’s no surprise that during their Unpacked event in San Jose yesterday, the Samsung Galaxy S24 line was introduced with the most robust set of AI features we’ve seen so far. That and a tough new glass from Corning are the big changes, which is welcome for phones that have similar specs to last year’s models — and that’s not a bad thing, with Samsung continuing to step up their sustainability efforts.
But, before we get into what’s new in Galaxy phones, here are a few preorder deals to take advantage of while you can, using the links we have below!
Samsung Galaxy S24 series preorder deals
Best Buy – Best Buy has some pretty good trade-in values — if you pre-order a Samsung Galaxy S24 series phone and trade in a qualifying device, you can get as much as $870 towards one of the new phones. Not only that, you’ll get twice the storage and score a $150 Best Buy gift card in the process!
Samsung – You can also get a solid deal from Samsung directly, with up to $750 in trade-in value. By using this link to preorder the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, you can also get $50 in credit on top of another $100 in credit from Samsung, plus a free storage upgrade. Students can get an extra 15% off, too, so there’s lots of savings to be had here. That Samsung credit is $75 and $25 for the Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24, respectively, with student discounts of 7.5% and 5%. Finally, you can score 20% of Samsung Care+ with Theft and Loss with the purchase of any of the three Galaxy S24 phones.
Verizon – Verizon is going the hardest on trade-ins — trading in a Samsung phone (new or existing customers) can get you a Galaxy S24 or Galaxy S24+ for free, plus a Galaxy Watch and a Galaxy Tab. That same trade-in deal will give you $1,000 off the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. They’re also offering a free storage upgrade, giving you twice the amount of the configuration you purchase. During the preorder period, you can also get 15% off screen protectors and cases for the Galaxy S24 line, and 25% off chargers.
T-Mobile – Similar to Verizon, new and existing T-Mobile customers can get a free Galaxy S24+ or S24, or $1,000 off the Galaxy S24 Ultra, when they trade in a device on T-Mobile’s Go5G Plus or Go5G Next plans. Plus, T-Mobile is offering $200 gift cards for every line you bring to T-Mobile, up to five lines – up to $1,000 for you to spend. And, like everyone else, T-Mobile is offering a storage upgrade for free, too.
We’ll stop short of saying the Galaxy S24 AI features are too far afield from other new flagship Android smartphones. After all, a lot of AI features will be handled by models in the cloud, meaning many other devices could in theory make use of them. However, thanks to the NPU that’s in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chipset, the Samsung Galaxy S24 line will run some AI features on the device itself.
Samsung is packaging all the Galaxy’s AI features within Galaxy AI, and you will need to log in to your Samsung account to access the whole suite, so heads up for folks who don’t usually use a Samsung account.
Many of the Galaxy AI features are built around translation and interpretation. Live Translate is an on-device feature that translates voice and text during real-time conversations, while Interpreter allows two people to communicate more effectively in person — using a split-screen interface, one person can talk while the other looks at their side of the phone to read a live, translated transcription (imagine two people sitting opposite each other at a desk, with the phone sitting lengthwise between them). Samsung has also built into the keyboard live translation in up to 13 languages, so you can type in one language and see your input translated as you type.
In the car, the Samsung Galaxy S24 phones work with Android Auto to enable AI to summarize incoming texts, giving you better and more relevant voice prompts for responses. So, if the AI figures out that someone is asking where you are, it can suggest that you provide an ETA. Not so much a game changer here, but it does make the receive and reply process just a little bit faster.
Samsung is leaning on Google to round out their set of Galaxy AI features, striking a deal to make Gemini Pro and Imagen 2 models accessible on the Samsung Galaxy S24 phones. The former will help power a lot of productivity features, mostly centered around transcriptions. The phone will be able to transcribe, summarize, and translate recordings, even going so far as to identify individual speakers.
There’s also a Google-powered Circle to Search feature, which allows you to circle parts of an image or text to search for either one on Google.
The rest of the AI features powered by Imagen 2 are, no surprise, camera related. This has been the most popular use case for AI on phones by far, and Samsung didn’t skimp. Like the Google Pixel 8, the Samsung Galaxy S24 phones allow you to use AI to edit photos by moving objects around, changing backgrounds, or removing objects altogether. However, Samsung says there will be a watermark on the image and an indication in the file’s metadata that the image has been altered through the use of AI.
There are a couple features that seem fresh to us, though. One neat little trick uses AI to expand and fill in borders of a crooked photo, making it straight. And, on the video end, the phones can improve the results of slo-mo videos by using AI to insert frames that the camera wasn’t able to capture, making the finished result still look smooth.
That’s a whole lot, and that’s also in the face of AI maybe not being super popular with everyone — from perceived threats to employment to a general unease with AI-altered images, there are detractors. Samsung figured they’d get out ahead of that — there will be one master switch in settings that will turn off cloud-based AI features, which also means your data won’t be used to build out those models.
Aside from Galaxy AI. the other big change to the Samsung Galaxy S24 line, specifically the Ultra, is in the body itself. The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra now has a titanium case, and is thinner as a result. The Ultra also drops its curved display — it’s now completely flat from end to end. While the Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24 will still have aluminum cases, all three phones will get Corning Gorilla Armor, new protective glass that will do an even better job at reducing scratches and glare.
Hardware hasn’t seen much of a change, aside from the upgrade to Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy upgrade. Still the same LTPO AMOLED 2X display (6.8-inch, 6.7-inch, and 6.2-inch for the 24 Ultra, 24+, and 24, respectively), although peak brightness has been cranked way up to 2600 nits. The Galaxy 24+ also snags the QHD+ display that was exclusive to the Galaxy S23 Ultra last year.
The camera hardware is also largely unchanged from the Samsung Galaxy S23 line. The Galaxy 24 and 24+ have 10MP telephoto cameras with 3x optical zoom, 50MP wide cameras, and 12MP ultra-wide cameras, while the Ultra’s wide camera is 200MP, and there’s an additional 50MP telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom. That’s actually a step down from the 10x zoom telephoto camera in the Galaxy Ultra 23, but thanks to some AI pixel magic and a little cropping, 10x digital zoom is supposed to look just as good, if not better, than 10x optical zoom on the Galaxy Ultra 23. We’ll have to see!
Samsung is also flexing their sustainability efforts — in addition to making use of recycled plastic, glass, and aluminum, each battery has a minimum of 50% recycled cobalt, and speakers use 100% recycled rare earth elements. On top of that, their guarantee of seven generations of OS updates and seven years of security upgrades is the longest guarantee we know of.
More importantly, Samsung is making good on their promises when they made them in years past. Samsung confirmed that most Galaxy AI features (we assume those not being run on the device itself) will be coming to other Galaxy phones in the near future. It’s good to see Samsung not looking at AI as an asterisk on their promise to support older models.
The whole Samsung Galaxy S24 line will be released on January 25, with preorders open now. The Samsung Galaxy S24 and Samsung Galaxy S24+ will start at $800 and $1,000, respectively, and will be available in onyx black, marble gray, and cobalt violet. The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra will start at a big $1,300, and will come in titanium gray, titanium black, titanium violet, and titanium yellow.
All in all, the new series isn’t a huge departure from last year — while some of the AI-powered image editing features are new for Samsung, most everything else builds on ideas that have been in place for a while. But, that’s OK! With longer and longer OS upgrade and security upgrade guarantees, huge leaps from year to year aren’t necessary. If you’re an S23 owner, you probably have more incentive not to upgrade your phone. As long as the S30 blows the S23 away when that time comes, all will be well — as long as Samsung and other smartphone makers continue to make good on increasingly generous upgrade guarantees.