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Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024: live blog, everything you need to know about the Galaxy S24 launch

We're about to get a first look at the Galaxy S24.

Ad for Galaxy Unpacked, scheduled for January 17th 2024
(Image: © Samsung)

HELLO!

In case you were wondering, Samsung’s first major event of 2024 has kicked off, and as has been the case for the past few years, you’ll be able to watch as the latest Galaxy devices are unveiled. 

You’ll be able to watch from the comfort of your own home, but there are a few different options at your disposal, and you can learn about them all here.

Join Android Central as we live blog the whole event! 

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By this time tomorrow, we’ll know everything there is to know about the Galaxy S24 lineup, and many of us will have our pre-orders in. While Samsung hasn’t shared all of the details just yet, you can lock-in your pre-order and save yourself up to more than $1,000 on the latest and greatest Galaxy device. This includes a $50 instant credit and up to $970 when trading in your current (or old) phone.

The rumor mill began churning in regards to the Galaxy S24 series before the Galaxy S23 was even announced, back in December, 2022. Some leaks suggested that while the Galaxy S24 Ultra would be getting an improved telephoto sensor, Samsung was planning to use the same 200MP primary camera that eventually debuted with the Galaxy S23 Ultra. 

Another rumor hit the Galaxy S24 lineup ahead of the S23 launch, suggesting that “Samsung could drop the Plus model from the S24 series in 2024 due to consumers’ lack of interest in the phone.” This came on the heels of a report that claimed of the 31.5 million Galaxy S22 units sold, only 5.5 million of those were of the Plus model. This was also shortly after Apple unveiled the iPhone 14 lineup, which dropped the iPhone 13 Mini in favor of the iPhone 14 Plus. 

Things were mostly quiet for a few months, with only a few random rumors cropping up here and there. However, that all started to change in July, as a Geekbench entry appeared for what appeared to be the Galaxy S24 Plus. This was the first of the upcoming Samsung devices to be leaked, appearing to confirm that it would be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which had yet to be officially announced. That same day, another rumor claimed that Samsung would be implementing its Exynos 2400 chip into the Galaxy S24 series in certain regions.

One complaint that you could make about both the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus is that Samsung still opted for LTPS displays with these models, leaving the Galaxy S23 Ultra as the only option if you wanted an LTPO screen. However, another leak claimed that Samsung would be bringing its LTPO display to all three models for the Galaxy S24 series. Not is an LTPO display more power efficient, but it also allows for the 1-120Hz dynamic refresh range that we’ve become accustomed to with many of the best Android phones.

Exynos rumors were again swirling in late August, with seemingly further confirmation that the Exynos 2400 would be utilized in European markets. CPU clock speeds were also leaked, revealing that the SoC was still a bit behind when compared to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, suggesting that performance could fall a bit short of Galaxy S24 devices released in other regions. 

Fast forward to the end of September, and we finally got an idea of when Samsung might take the wraps off of its upcoming flagship lineup. A leak on Weibo revealed the rumored announcement date of January 18, which came as a bit of a surprise as Samsung has been traditionally hosting its first Galaxy Unpacked event in February. The reason for the shift remains a bit unclear, however, it could be as simple as Samsung wanting to get the latest Galaxy devices into the hands of the masses, sooner.

Just a few days after the potential announcement date was leaked, we got our first look at alleged renders for the Galaxy S24. According to these renders, it’s apparent that “Samsung doesn't want to rock the boat too much with its smallest flagship.” The biggest changes came in the form of a flatter frame, “ a slight repositioning of the LED flash unit, and will have slightly different dimensions.” Because the phones weren’t slated to arrive for a few months, some were still hoping for more of a design overhaul, as opposed to just a few small tweaks.

In early October, Samsung finally took the wraps off of its latest flagship Exynos chip with the Exynos 2400. The company shared that the chip was almost twice as powerful in CPU performance compared to the Exynos 2200, and a staggering 14.7x jump in AI performance. However, the “problem” with these comparisons was that the Exynos 2200 was two years old, as Samsung notably opted to forgo the Exynos 2300 in favor of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with the Galaxy S23 series. 

A couple of weeks later, another rumor gave us an idea of what colors Samsung had in mind for the Galaxy S24 lineup. While there weren’t any accompanying renders, display analyst Ross Young revealed that all three models would be available in Black, Gray, Violet and Yellow. This came a day after Young backed up previous rumors and leaks in regards to Samsung utilizing on LTPO displays for all three models, and goes on to say that this move “will put some pressure on the iPhone 16.”

Also in October, Qualcomm hosted its yearly Snapdragon Summit where the company unveiled the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC, amongst other products. It’s clear that this chip was designed with multi-modal AI models in mind, as the company’s latest AI Engine is capable of “generating images from text queries in just a second.” As for performance, Qualcomm claimed a “30% increase” over the Gen 2, while offering “20% better efficiency with the same workloads.” 

Shortly after the sun set on the Snapdragon Summit, Qualcomm announced its FY Q4 2023 earnings, confirming that the newly-announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 would “have a majority share with the upcoming Galaxy S24 launch.” This all-but-confirmed the rumors about Samsung’s plans to introduce the Exynos 2400 in certain regions with the Galaxy S24. 

If you were wondering why we focused a bit on the gaming and performance aspect of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, it’s largely because of a report that surfaced in early November. A report claimed that Samsung “is working on creating its own ray tracing algorithm,  which could rival prominent PC graphic card makers.” The report goes on to say that we might not see this until “after 2025,” however, it’s become fairly apparent that the Snadpragon 8 Gen 3 and Exynos 2400 are helping to lay the groundwork for this. 

Rather unsurprisingly, December was when things really started to pick up, as we learned that despite rumors about Samsung releasing the Galaxy S24 Ultra with 16GB of RAM, the flagship would “only” max out with 12GB. This latest rumor seemingly confirmed that all three models would have an 8GB configuration with the Galaxy S24 Plus and Ultra also being available with 12GB options. The reason for this was said to be a “cost-cutting measure” in an attempt to “keep the prices of the Galaxy S24 and the Plus model more affordable.” 

Later in that same day, some official-looking renders were leaked for the Galaxy S24 lineup, also revealing the four colors that we now expect to see with the Galaxy S24 Ultra — Titanium Black, Titanium Gray, Titanium Violet, and Titanium Yellow. Perhaps more importantly, it also seemed to confirm that Samsung would be ditching curved displays altogether, in favor of flat panels, for the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

The leak went on to give us a look at the supposed camera specs for all three models, with the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus being equipped with a 50MP main lens, a 12MP ultrawide, and a 10MP telephoto capable of 3x zoom. As for the Galaxy S24 Ultra, it’s said to be using a 200MP primary camera, a 12MP ultrawide, a 10MP telephoto with 3x zoom, and a 50MP secondary telephoto lens capable of 5x zoom. Galaxy S23 Ultra owners looking to upgrade might want to think twice, as the S24 Ultra’s 5x optical zoom is a “downgrade” from the 10x available on the previous model.

As is usually the case with leaks and rumors for an upcoming device, it wasn’t until fairly recently that some of the software changes Samsung is planning was leaked. Up to this point (mid-December), all we knew was that the Galaxy S24 would be shipping with Android 14 in-tow. However, a post on X (formerly Twitter) leaked a variety of “features and improvements,” which include many features with a focus on AI. Some of the expected features include AI generated wallpapers, similar to the Pixel 8, weather and portrait affects for the lock screen, relocate objects in scenes and expand photos beyond their borders, better organizational tools for Samsung Notes, and much more.

With all of these expected changes, there was an obvious concern about whether we will be seeing a price hike for the Galaxy S24. A report in mid-December claimed that Samsung would be opting for a “price freeze,” meaning that prices in the U.S. would come in at “$799, $999, and $1,199 for the S24, S24 Plus, and S24 Ultra, respectively.” Another report claimed that Samsung is expecting the Galaxy S24 to “account for 38% of its sales in 2024.” Meanwhile, the company is set to lean heavily into on-device AI with the likes of the Samsung Gauss AI model, along with ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini. 

Just before the the 2023 holiday break, four massive leaks revealed practically everything we need to know about these devices. It started with just a post on X (formerly Twitter) revealing the RAM and storage configurations of all three models with the Galaxy S24 Ultra maxing out with 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. It also refutes previous leaks and claims suggesting Galaxy S24 Plus and Ultra models with 8GB of RAM, as both devices are now expected to feature 12GB, with just the standard Galaxy S24 being limited to 8GB.

The next leak was massive, as there more than 100 official renders were leaked, along with the colors for all three models, and we learned that Samsung was set to launch these devices on January 17 at 1PM ET. According to the renders and accompanying commentary, the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus are said to be available in “Amber Yellow, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet, and Onyx Black.”

Shortly after all of the renders were revealed, prominent tipster Evan Blass, posted a photo revealing the spec-sheet for all three Galaxy S24 models. This confirmed many of the leaks and rumors leading up to now, including the camera configurations, battery size, and that all three devices are capable of reaching up to 2600 nits of peak brightness. It also confirmed that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 would be at the helm, while also suggesting other features such as “Dynamic Lock Screen” and “Smart Keyboard.” 

One of the last leaks that we’ve seen leading up to Galaxy Unpacked came in the form of the Exynos 2400-powered Galaxy S24 Plus appearing on Geekbench. This time, it seems that Samsung was able to improve performance as the Geekbench results revealed a 2193 single-core score and 6895 multi-core score. For comparison, leaks of the Galaxy S24 Ultra with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 showed scores of 2297 and 7104, respectively. Because Samsung is in control of the “tech stack,” it was seemingly able to optimize the Exynos 2400 for better performance. However, we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed that this remains true once you are able to actually purchase one. 

The clocks ticking as we’re now just minutes away from seeing the Galaxy S24 lineup officially announced. Needless to say, we’re pretty darn excited about seeing what one of the potential best phones of the year has to offer. The event itself is being live streamed from Samsung.com and the company’s YouTube channel, so you can follow along and learn more about the Galaxy S24 series.

Unpacked has started y'all!

Samsung now offering seven years of OS updates....that's cool. 

Here it is! The S24 series has been launched: Here's our hands on written by Nick Sutrich!