What Was Announced At Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024 Event

AI-created, human-edited.

Earlier this week, Leo Laporte and Mikah Sargent covered Samsung's annual Galaxy Unpacked event as the company unveiled the latest additions to its Galaxy S series lineup: the Galaxy S24, S24 Plus, and S24 Ultra phones, which focused heavily on its AI capabilities through a strengthened partnership with Google. 

The overall tone of the event was described by Laporte as "cold and dystopian," though he and Sargent were intrigued by the AI features demoed. A key integration is Samsung's replacement for its oft-maligned Bixby voice assistant. "Galaxy AI" aims to bring Google's advanced natural language model Gemini to Samsung devices.

Real-Time Translation a Highlight

One feature that impressed both hosts was real-time translation during phone calls, with the Galaxy S24 able to detect languages and provide live audio and text translations. "I want to be able to place a call and have that live translated as it's taking place," said Sargent, who called it "rather compelling."

Laporte likened it to simultaneous translation earpieces that have existed before but noted this implementation directly in Samsung's calling app could make the feature more seamless and accessible.

Circle to Search: Another Notable AI Addition

Building on Google Lens visual search, Circle to Search lets users draw a circle around any object on their Galaxy S24 screen to look it up and get contextual information instantly. Laporte called this "a nice feature, especially since you've got the S Pen built into the S24."

Sargent said he wants this kind of OS-level AI where he doesn't have to copy and paste items into a separate app. He said it shows "what we can do whenever [AI] is more baked into the device."

Other AI Highlights: Productivity, Photos, and Health

From intelligent meeting transcripts to enhanced editing and photography features, the Galaxy S24 lineup leans heavily on AI advancements. Laporte cautioned that we'll have to see the final photo quality, noting Samsung's propensity for overprocessing images compared to Apple's more natural iPhone pictures.

On the health front, Samsung announced new sleep-tracking capabilities to detect sleep apnea and a wellness-focused Galaxy Ring wearable coming later this year. Sargent and Laporte were skeptical about the accuracy of these miniature devices but were intrigued by the concept and Samsung's increased focus on the health ecosystem.

Lasting Partnership with Google

Ultimately, Laporte said Samsung's close collaboration with Google suggests the tech giants see their futures intertwined in the face of Apple's dominance. With Samsung allowing Google's AI expertise to shine through more on its flagship Galaxy devices, Laporte wondered if this could mean the end of Google's Pixel phone line for Google to fully back Samsung as the premier Android phone maker.

Sargent noted the partnership is a significant turnaround from Samsung's previous attempts to downplay its reliance on Android. The hosts will surely discuss the implications of this alliance down the road. But for now, the Galaxy S24 series stands as Samsung's biggest effort yet to showcase how AI can enhance smartphones when deeply integrated at the operating system level.

Become a subscriber and never miss an event: TWiT News

All Tech posts