Buying the Samsung Galaxy S24 for its AI features? Read the fine print first

Here's which older Galaxy devices will have access to the new AI features, when you can expect them, and how long they'll last.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus AI summarize
June Wan/ZDNET

Samsung launched its new flagship phone, the Galaxy S24, at its Unpacked 2024 event today and while there weren't too many surprises around the newest devices, there was a bit of unexpected news about older phones -- they're getting in on the AI fun.

AI features were a huge selling point of the new S24, including a generative edit feature similar to Google's Magic Editor, the ability to circle information with an app to run a Google search (which is also headed to the Pixel 8), live translation, a chat assist that offers different tones for what you're writing, transcription and summarization of voice memos, and more.

Also: Every Samsung product announced at Unpacked 2024

While some of those AI features are baked into the phone itself and require that specific hardware, some of them are cloud-based and aren't processed on the S24. You'll need the newest device to take full advantage of all the features, but some AI features, Samsung says, are coming to older devices.

This includes the S23 series, the S23 FE, the Z Fold 5, the Z Flip 5, and Tab S9 series. The new features are expected to arrive sometime before June. 

It's not clear which features are coming, but it would have to be the cloud-based ones like photo editing -- the same way Google brought Magic Erase to older devices. The most eye-catching features, like the live phone call translation, are the ones that happen directly on the device though, so users shouldn't expect the heavy hitters. 

Also: Samsung just made to Galaxy S24 users its most ambitious feature promise yet

Unfortunately, there is a catch. The features will only be available for free, Samsung says, until the end of 2025. It's not clear if users will be charged for access to the features at that point or if they'll just go away.

Either way, having the highly-touted AI features for about a year and a half will be a welcome addition for Galaxy users, and will maybe be enough of a taste to encourage them to upgrade or pay up when the time comes. 

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