Samsung Galaxy S24 first impressions

Making AI accessible to all

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Staying on brand for 2024, Samsung kicked off things with AI as the buzzword for their much anticipated Unpacked event. While they just revealed their Galaxy S24 series of premium smartphones to the world, we were given an exclusive sneak peek at the S24, S24 Plus and the flagship S24 Ultra a day ahead of launch. Having an hour to familiarise ourselves with the deep integration of AI, the S24 range is the first to have AI baked right into the device, which most of its native apps can make use of effortlessly. 

Make no mistake, these are still very much premium Galaxy devices, so the build and hand feel is on point. The S24 Ultra even joins the Apple iPhone 15 Pro in becoming a Titanium crusader for the sake of strength and lightness. The screens have gotten flatter, the sides have gotten softer and the overall effect is still very much on par with its asking price.

AI stuff

But the big changes are under the hood and deep inside the silicon. Samsung aims to democratize AI with the Galaxy S24 Series and everything from live call translate to real-time message translate and photo editing gets more than a little help with the silent star of the show. Supporting 13 languages at launch, including Hindi, I tried out the live phone call translate feature that translates your spoken language into Hindi (or vice versa) in a matter of seconds so you can continue having a normal conversation with someone speaking another language on the other end of the phone! In theory, it’s game-changing and while it did get the gist of the conversation right in my time toying with the feature, it also had a few glitches in terms of response times and accuracy. But it always stayed within the realm of acceptability so you could still get your point across to the other side and that is a huge step up from sign language or even Google Translate. 

Similarly, messages benefit from this AI magic as well and even images. Find something arresting on social media during your doom scroll hour? Just long tap the home button and circle whatever you need more info on and it just pops up right there on top of the page along with a search bar to dig deeper into things. In case you need a 3-night/4-day itinerary for that place!

As expected, the areas where AI comes through most obviously are photo capture, editing and even post-sharing. Auto-fill for background, cut-and-move objects around and even convert a shared video to slow-mo just by long tapping on the screen…it’s all just as simple as it sounds and works using either on-device or cloud processing, depending on the feature. What I liked though were the more casual, everyday use-case scenarios that were helped by AI, like removing reflections and shadows instantaneously. 

But the extent of AI might be fully realised by everyone, in everyday tasks like browsing, connecting to Android Auto or going through notes. The little AI icon can summarise any web page into key highlights, giving you options to choose between standard and extended summaries. You can then even translate this summary into any other language instantly. I can’t stress enough how many times I used this even within my short time with the device because it simply makes light work of reading through pages and pages of text. In messages, the AI will also tailor your message to a specific style, depending on whom the message is intended for. So if you type “yo, imma be late to your crib” to your boss, it will probably save your job by converting that to a polite, “Sir, I may be delayed reaching your house”. And yes, it did work pretty well in my hands-on experience.


Samsung is finally on board with Super HDR support for third-party apps so Instagram Reels shot on Samsung will now pop as much as content shot with an iPhone. In fact, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Series phones will even let you preview in Super HDR, which goes one step beyond! 

The screen on the S24 Ultra is even better than before, if that was possible! And it’s tangible in both smoothness and brightness. Samsung claims 2600 nits peak brightness, up from 1750 nits and the adaptive refresh rate coupled with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy SoC, it just felt incredibly smooth and totally addictive.


The big change to the camera is the new 50MP 5X telephoto lens and while in the closed-door environment, it wasn’t appropriate to zoom into anyone that much, I would reserve my judgement on the photography chops for a full review. But simmer down ya’ll, the mega 200MP sensor for the primary camera remains along with the 10x telephoto and the epic Nightography capabilities, now with pixels that capture more light and gyro-sensing ISP that distinguishes between handshake or the subject moving for more effective removal or noise and shake.

As expected, the list of minor improvements is long but the message is short - AI is here and it’s for everyone to use, every day. The Samsung Galaxy S24 series might be better at gaming, security, and cross-device compatibility with Windows PC and other Android devices, but in the end, it’s going to be the built-in AI flex that is going to be the trump card for Samsung’s marketing boffins. And for the most part, they won’t be wrong!