Samsung turns to AI to regain smartphone throne

A woman looking at a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra smartphone displayed during a media preview event at a Samsung store in Seoul on January 15, 2024. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP)

Samsung on Wednesday released its latest Galaxy smartphone with new artificial intelligence features as the South Korean giant seeks to regain its spot as the world’s biggest phone seller from Apple.

The premium S24 Ultra — unveiled at an event in San Jose, California — was said to have the capability to translate foreign language phone calls and texts simultaneously.

Available in 13 languages, the on-device function is powered by Samsung’s own AI technology.

Through a partnership with Google, which makes the smartphone’s Android operating system, the S24 also offers an unprecedented search function.

This, also using AI, functions by allowing users to simply circle a phrase or image they want to search.

The feature eliminates the need to juggle between apps for searches with meddlesome cut and pasting, the company said.

AI also strengthens the phone’s camera powers, with generative AI helping to fill in or remove backgrounds.

These AI features are powered both from the cloud or from the phone itself and several use Google’s Gemini foundational model that also powers the search engine giant’s Bard chatbot.

Similar AI features are widely rumored to be part of the next iPhone 16, probably to be released later this year

Much like Apple’s already released iPhone 15, Samsung’s S24 comes with a titanium frame, which the company said allowed for better durability.

The Galaxy S24 series will begin shipping on January 31 with the top of line Ultra starting at $1,299.

The S24 came out just days after industry data showed that Apple’s iPhone for the first time became the world’s biggest selling smartphone after Samsung’s 12-year run as leader.

According to the International Data Corporation, the iPhone stole Samsung’s crown in 2023 with 234.6 million units sold, compared to the South Korean firm’s 226.6 million units.