It’s the one we’ve all been waiting for: the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024 event, with the Korean tech giant finally revealing the Samsung Galaxy S24, S24+, and S24 Ultra. This new series of flagship phones represents the latest smartphone technology available, with Samsung turning to AI innovation in its continued effort to combat Apple’s iPhone and other Android brands like Xiaomi and OnePlus.
Taking place live in San Jose, California, this year’s first Galaxy Unpacked event emphasized the relationship between the new Samsung phones and AI from the outset. Before getting into the details, though, we got confirmation that Samsung is offering seven years of security and OS software updates with its latest phones, a move not dissimilar to Google’s promise of continued support for the Pixel 8 Series.
The first big Galaxy AI reveal was one we’d heard about in advance, live voice translation for both calls and text via Chat Assist, with the S24 acting as a digital interpreter in countless different languages. Those tuning in saw an example of the seamless Chat Assist feature in action, with Samsung keen to show off just how easy it is to use while messaging.
It’s not just communication that Samsung is looking to simplify with Galaxy AI and the S24 series, but productivity, too, thanks to the introduction of Transcript Assist. As you can probably guess by the name of this feature, Transcript Assist can transcribe information before breaking down the key information into bullet points. That’s a feature I could have done with before the Unpacked presentation began.
The next innovation on display during the Galaxy Unpacked event saw representatives from Google step onto the stage to detail a new way to search on Android: Circle to Search. As the name implies, this new feature allows you to search simply by circling anything on the screen, whether it be text or part of an image. It works in messages, social media, YouTube, and beyond. The Circle to Search function is coming to all three of the new S24 models first, though there’s no word yet as to whether it’ll come to Google’s own Pixel smartphones.
After detailing Circle to Search, Samsung touched on the AI-powered camera capabilities of the new S24 Ultra, including the ProVisual engine that combines with a 50 MP camera capable of 5x optical zoom to offer higher quality images than on any other Samsung phone. Galaxy AI isn’t just for taking pictures, though, but editing them too, with the S24 series suggesting edits while scrolling through images in your gallery. Before moving on from the camera, in a truly perplexing turn of events, Samsung introduced a short clip from Mr. Beast – yes, that one – offering a quick demonstration of the S24’s zoom quality and Picture Assist features.
Following Mr. Beast’s perplexing cameo, we got another from streamer Pokimane, who discussed the new ray-tracing hardware in the S24 Series and how it looks to improve realism in gaming. Combine this with a peak brightness of 2,600 nits across all three devices, as well as the S24 Ultra utilizing a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, and this fresh series of flagships is ready to compete with the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s AAA gaming capability.
The creator of the new S24 series was also keen to highlight just how durable the new handsets are, especially the S24 Ultra, which now employs a titanium frame while introducing the world to Gorilla Glass Armor, the latest screen technology from Samsung and Corning. This display innovation provides the premium model with 4x scratch resistance, adding an extra layer of value to the expensive device.
Finally, after all the hardware and software reveals, we got to the pricing and release date details. The big news is that pre-orders are open from today with a release date of January 31. In terms of pricing, the S24 starts at $799, the S24+ hits the market at $999, and the premier S24 Ultra begins at $1,299. That makes the Ultra $100 more expensive than last year’s version on release, but whether it’s worth it or not is up to you, especially with the news that Galaxy AI is rolling out to select devices in the next few months.
With the release date reveal out of the way, Samsung had one more thing up its sleeve to cap off the Unpacked presentation thanks to the reveal of the Samsung Galaxy Ring. Yes, the tech brand is stepping further into the wearables market by producing its first smart ring. We still don’t know much outside of the fact that it’s real, but we’re looking forward to hearing more at the next Unpacked event.
There you have it, the highlights from the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024 presentation. If you’re wondering what the next generation of Samsung phones are competing with in the Android arena, check out our guides to the best Google Pixel phones, the best Xiaomi phones, and the best OnePlus phones. Or, if you’re more of an Apple fan, see our guide to everything we know so far about the iPhone 16.