Samsung launched its Galaxy AI alongside the Galaxy S24 series in January. In some ways, it's a rebranding of some of the "AI" tricks we've seen on past Samsung phones, such as camera post-processing. In other ways, the Galaxy AI brings wholly new tricks to the table, primarily generative AI tools.
The Galaxy AI isn't a specific app or function; it's the backbone behind a number of features spanning your entire Android/ One UI experience. It has similarities to Chat-GPT or Google Bard, but it's more closely tied to a mobile experience.
Exclusive to recent Samsung phones, the Galaxy AI will provide some excitement for die-hard fans. But for everyday Android phone fans or Pixel owners used to their phones leading the charge on AI, you may wonder whether it's worth buying a Galaxy S24 Ultra to get access to Galaxy AI.
Here's everything you need to know about Samsung's Galaxy AI, from availability and features to how it compares to other popular AIs.
How Galaxy AI works
Samsung president TM Roh said after Galaxy Unpacked that "Galaxy AI is built on our innovation heritage and deep understanding of how people use their phones." While that's true to an extent, there's more to it than that.
In fact, the Galaxy S24 series relies on Google Gemini for many of the Galaxy AI tricks we'll describe below — the same tech behind the Google Bard AI. Specifically, Samsung uses Gemini Pro to add smarts to its apps and the mobile Gemini Nano for on-device LLM tools.
Samsung also borrows Google's Imagen 2 on Vertex AI, which it calls "Google's most advanced text-to-image diffusion technology" in its press release. This tool is how the Galaxy S24 series uses its Generative Edit tool for photo processing.
Google Gemini and Imagen 2 are the backbones for Galaxy AI, in other words. But while some AI tricks are native to Android 14, Samsung had to figure out the Galaxy AI-exclusive tools itself, and you'll find features that the Pixel 8 Pro lacks. You're still getting a unique experience.
Galaxy AI availability
We've also learned that several recent Samsung phones and tablets will get the Galaxy AI with the One UI 6.1 update, sometime in the first half of 2024. This is the current list:
- Samsung Galaxy S23 / S23 Plus / S23 Ultra
- Galaxy S23 FE
- Galaxy Z Fold 5
- Galaxy Z Flip 5
- Galaxy Tab S9 / S9 Plus / S9 Ultra
That said, these phones will specifically get the Galaxy AI features based on cloud computing. Anything that requires on-device processing, like Live Translate, won't come to these devices because they lack the NPU power for them to work.
Unfortunately for Galaxy S22 owners, these phones won't get any Galaxy AI features, cloud-based or otherwise. The same applies to the Galaxy A series of phones.
We can expect future phones like the Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Galaxy Z Fold 6 to have the fully unlocked version of Galaxy AI out of the box since they'll have the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chip as the S24 series.
Key Galaxy AI features (so far)
Generative Edit: Any Android phone has a button to auto-edit photos to provide better color balance, brightness, detail, and so on. The Galaxy AI is no exception, with an Edit Suggestion for each photo that should make it look more professional.
Generative Edit, like Google's Magic Editor, goes a step further. It analyzes the components of a photo, lets you select something (like a person, pet, or object), and transform, move, or remove that element. You can even tilt the entire photo and have the Galaxy AI fill in the empty portions of the canvas.
Because of the potential for people to abuse this feature with misleading photos, Samsung watermarks Generative Edit photos so people can tell that they're altered.
Live Translate: Your Galaxy S24's Phone app can understand and translate 13 languages in real-time, one of the few Galaxy AI features that works without an internet connection.
You'll find it under Call Assist whenever you make or answer a phone call, but your phone will only have one or two language packs downloaded by default. Our guide on how to use Live Translate walks you through how to download language packs and assign them to specific contacts so your phone auto-translates any time you talk to them.
Chat Assist: While using your favorite messaging app, you can have the Galaxy AI Chat Assist fix your spelling and grammar, change the tone to be more professional or casual, or translate the text into the same 13 languages — all through the default Samsung Keyboard. You'll have to enable it so you can follow our how-to guide to get started.
Instant Slow-Mo: One of our absolute favorite Galaxy AI features so far, this allows you to add slow motion to any video, including ones taken on older phones; it works by creating new frames to fill in the gaps, using AI tricks behind the scenes.
You no longer have to decide to film in slow-motion mode ahead of time to get this cool effect, and you can restrict the effect to specific portions of the video.
Summarize notes and recordings: After typing or sketching out a Samsung Note, you can tap a sparkle icon and find options to translate or summarize what's written, so you can better parse the highlights later.
The same applies to voice notes: After recording speech, the Galaxy AI can transcribe the words to text, then summarize or translate them as needed. Our how-to guide runs through how to use these features.
Google AI features: Google has shared several AI tricks with Samsung that Pixel 8 users will recognize, such as Circle to Search — the option to highlight a specific object or text in an image and have Google Search interpret what you're trying to recognize.
Other familiar AI tricks for Google fans will be Magic Compose for recommending text responses and an Android Auto upgrade that summarizes long text chains while you're driving and suggests responses based on your past texts.
Do you have to pay for Galaxy AI?
Aside from having to buy a new Samsung phone? No, not yet. But people quickly noticed in the footnotes of Samsung's Galaxy AI press releases that Samsung might start charging for Galaxy AI after 2025.
To be clear, most of the features above should remain free, especially those that competitors offer. But when asked about the possibility of paying for Galaxy AI, president TM Roh said that "there could also be customers who wish for even more powerful AI capabilities and even pay for them. So, in the future decision-making, we will take all these factors into consideration."
Part of this may stem from Samsung's partnership with Google. We've learned that Google plans to charge for Bard Advanced, aka Gemini Ultra, or bundle it in with Google One subscriptions. Google's most powerful AI is on par with Chat GPT-4, and it'll be capable of cutting-edge generative AI tricks.
Samsung itself said in a press release that it was "one of the first customers to test Gemini Ultra." But there's no feasible way Samsung can offer it for free; it'll have to pass the cost of using it onto its customers.
So, inevitably, there will come a day when the Galaxy S25 or S26 has features locked behind a paywall out of the box. It's understandable from an economic standpoint, but it's still a shame.
If you want to test out Galaxy AI for yourself but don't have a new Galaxy phone, Samsung opened up eight Galaxy Experience spaces across the world where its newest phones and software are available.
We have yet to officially include the Galaxy S24 series on our list of the best Android phones, but our initial review impressions of the phone have been quite positive. Our Galaxy S24 Ultra camera review shows the benefits of specific Galaxy AI tools, but the best benefit is the subtle improvements behind the scenes to post-processing to make photos look better. After the Galaxy AI gimmicks grow old, better photography will keep you invested.
With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 powering its neural processing to new heights, the Galaxy S24 gives you all of the Galaxy AI tools above for $500 less than the S24 Ultra. It's comfortable to hold, has a gorgeously bright display, and all of the tools like Live Translate and Generative Edit that put the power of AI in your hands.
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Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.
For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.