• Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra hot take: AI or nothing

ByHyderabad Now

Jan 21, 2024
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra hot take: AI or nothingSamsung Galaxy S24 Ultra hot take: AI or nothing

In a preview copy filed last week, we wrote 24 reasons why the Galaxy S24 Ultra could be your next phone. Funnily enough, we had to stretch ourselves to list hardware upgrades because unless you’re looking for them with Eagle Vision or something, there’s very little that differentiates this year’s top-tier Galaxy from last year’s. Maybe it’s a sign.

And yet, Samsung somehow managed to convince everyone on stage— at Unpacked— that its Galaxy S24 Ultra is all brand-new. Not just that, it marks the beginning of an all-new era for smartphones as we know it. A tall claim, but one that seems believable for some reason. Even if the secret sauce— Galaxy AI— is a thing you can’t exactly quantify.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra — the AI phone

You see, like Google, Samsung wants to also sell you an AI phone now. And so, there’s a good reason why the conversation has shifted from core and megapixel counts to what this smartphone— the Galaxy S24 Ultra— can actually do, how fast it can do it, and ultimately, whether it would all make sense for the end-user. The jury is still out on that last bit because as we said earlier, how do even quantify a thing like AI in day to day life. What’s smart for some maybe an unnecessary gimmick for others.

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But if there’s anyone who can sell this idea, this concept, or whatever you call it, it is Samsung. No other brand has the scale (and recall). Not unless, Apple decides to launch an iPhone with a super-charged Siri tomorrow. (We’ll see when that happens). But it won’t be Google, definitely not with its current hardware strategy.

And so it doesn’t end up losing out to Microsoft in the generative AI race again, it has entered into a symbiotic relationship with Samsung. For Samsung, it means access to Google’s Gemini Pro and Imagen 2 on Vertex AI to power the S24’s cloud-based generative AI features and Gemini Nano for on-device tasks while also getting first dibs at features like Circle to Search. For Google, it means a hotbed of data and testing since Samsung doesn’t intend to keep Galaxy AI a S24 exclusive for long. The opportunity to eventually make some money from all this, is also on the table. So, win-win for both parties.

As for the all important question of what this smartphone— the Galaxy S24 Ultra— can do, and how fast it can do it, the answer is, quite a lot actually and faster than a Google Pixel 8 Pro. AI conveniences are sprinkled across the length and breadth of Samsung’s OneUI 6.1, and not just in one or two obvious areas either. And so, in addition to letting AI add and remove objects from your photos and generating personalised wallpapers, your phone can be an interpreter/translator, it can take notes and format and summarise them for you, record and transcribe audio into other languages, suggest text tonality so your messages sound casual or more professional depending on who you’re sending them to.

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra — knight in shining armor

Just because you bought the phone, doesn’t mean you have to use these features. (Or, if you’re privacy conscious, you can just as easily flip the switch to process data locally on device and be more selective in what you use.) Conversely, you should not buy the S24 Ultra solely for these features (especially if you have the S23 Ultra). There are other reasons. Let us be candid, they are not must haves, but still enough to make the S24 Ultra worth the higher asking price.

The build is improved with Corning Gorilla Glass Armor and while we are not able to check its strength (and weaknesses) at this point, the latest Corning glass brings a noticeable improvement on the display side reducing glare by a great extent. The sides are —now— made of Titanium alloy, like the iPhone 15 Pro. It doesn’t help reduce weight, but Samsung says, it makes the S24 Ultra the most durable Galaxy phone ever made. Plus, it does not pick up as many fingerprints as the iPhone.

The screen is getting two more upgrades. The panel is completely flat this year, no curves whatsoever. And it can get brighter, at up to 2,600 nits (versus 1,750 nits in the S23 Ultra). When paired with the smooth matte non-reflective finish, visuals on it look stunning, regardless of where you are. The rest of the specs are as follows: 6.8-inch 1440p LTPO AMOLED with up to 120Hz refresh rate.

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The S24 Ultra allows you to switch between all the cameras, front and back, while recording 4K@60fps videos in real time. It also has Super HDR that will show you an HDR preview within the camera app’s viewfinder even before you’ve taken the photo. (The S24 Ultra is also the first phone in the world that can upload HDR photos to Instagram).

Wi-Fi 7 and UWB are useful additions, so is USB Type C Gen USB 3.2 Gen 1 (although Gen 2 would have been nicer).

The Galaxy S24 Ultra comes in a choice of 12GB/256GB, 12GB/512GB, and 12GB/1TB for Rs 1,29,999, Rs 1,39,999, and Rs 1,59,999, respectively. That’s Rs 5,000 higher than the S23 Ultra’s launch price. But again, a good mix of specs backed by some nifty software tricks and Samsung’s commitment to support it for up to seven years, make the Galaxy S24 Ultra compelling, both as a hardware proposition and a possible democratiser of generative AI.

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