Samsung enters 2024 the same way it began the previous year — with a full schedule of phone releases stretching from now until the late summer. But unlike last year, this year's parade of new Galaxy phones is expected to lean heavily on AI.
Samsung has said as much already. Back in November, the phone maker forecast that it would sell 35 million phones in the coming year — a 15% year-over-year gain — and that on-device AI would be a big reason why.
"Mobile technology has an incredible power to enable connection, productivity, creativity and more for people around the world, but until now, we haven’t seen mobile AI ignite that in truly meaningful ways," said Wonjoon Choi, executive VP and head of R&D for Samsung's mobile business in a post announcing Samsung's focus on AI for the coming year. "Galaxy AI is our most comprehensive intelligence offering to date, and it will change how we think about our phones forever."
We'll get a chance to see what Samsung has in mind sooner than usual. While Samsung hasn't set a date for its next Galaxy Unpacked event where we're likely to see its first major phones of the year, rumors suggest a January 17 date. That would be the earliest Samsung has shown off new flagship phones in some time.
But it looks like Samsung wants to use 2024 to show off some seriously improved hardware, so why not get started on that right away? Here's what we're expecting to see from Samsung this year — not just in January but throughout 2024.
Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Ultra
Samsung starts off the year with an update to the Galaxy S lineup every year, and 2024 should be no exception. This time, it's the Galaxy S24 lineup, which should see the usual trio of new phones. In addition to the standard flagship, we're likely to get a Galaxy S24 Plus as well as a Galaxy S24 Ultra.
The Ultra figures to offer the most significant updates, especially if a leaked Galaxy S24 specs sheet that appeared late in December is to be believed. While the S24 and S24 Plus are slated to use the same aluminum frames as their predecessors, the S24 Ultra is tipped to switch to titanium, much like the iPhone 15 Pro models did in 2023. The result should be a more durable phone, and possible a lighter one, too.
The other big change to the S24 Ultra is expected to be to the phone's telephoto lens, with rumors suggesting an upgrade to a 50MP sensor for one of the lenses. The specs sheet promises a 10x zoom, though some reports have the S24 Ultra scaling back to a 5x zoom.
Other specs figure to be shared among the three phones. For example, a report claims Samsung will offer a brighter display that's capable of hitting a maximum of 2,600 nits. That addition seems to be slated for every Galaxy S24 model. And in North America, at least, we're expecting that every phone will be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 system on chip that promises faster performance, better power efficiency and on-device support for AI. (More on that in just a moment.) in other parts of the world, Samsung might turn to an Exynos 2400 system-on-chip for the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus.
The true power of the Galaxy S24 phones could be the addition of new AI features that Samsung has dropped hints about. A possible addition could be Samsung Gauss, a generative AI that will run locally on the phones. Since Gauss wouldn't need a cloud connection to function, it should offer much faster performance, tackling tasks like composing emails and summarizing documents. Other potential features include instant translations as well as generating images.
Samsung has indicated that Gauss will be able to help with emails and offer improved predictive text. It will also offer document summarization into easy-to-understand cliff notes. It will also be able to translate text in apps, rather than needing to swap to Google Translate.
An early leak of the One UI 6.1 update expected to run on the new Galaxy S24 phones points to addition AI features related to images and photos. You'll be able to use AI-designed wallpapers that help personalize the device, and the S24 could feature advanced photo editing similar to the Magic Editor tools that Pixel 8 owners enjoy. (Magic Editor lets you change everything from the lighting on an image to where the subjects are positioned in the shot.) Several video editing additions would also be possible.
Galaxy S launch dates have been getting earlier and earlier in recent years, and in 2024, we could see our earliest launch date yet, with rumors pointing to a January 17 Galaxy Unpacked event. If true, that would be mean Galaxy S24 models could hit store shelves before the end of the first month of the year.
Samsung Galaxy A55
The last couple years have seen a big improvement in Samsung's midrange lineup, with 2023's Galaxy A54 ranking as one of the best cheap phones we reviewed last year. So what does Samsung do for an encore for the people looking for a serviceable phone that costs less than the Galaxy S lineup?
We don't know much about the rumored Galaxy A55 at this point, but some leaks show off a design that appears to draw heavily on the S24 for inspiration. That's not surprising in that the Galaxy A54 looked an awful lot like the Galaxy S23 when it came out in the spring of 2023.
Rumors tip the Galaxy A55 to offer a 6.5-inch display — the screen on the A54 is 6.4 inches — and we could see a switch from plastic to aluminum with this year's frame. Expect an upgrade from the Exynos 1380 chip that powered the A54 in the form of an Exynos 1480 couled with 8GB of RAM. As with its predecessor, the Galaxy A55 is tipped to have a 5,000 mAh battery and 25W wired charging support.
As for the Galaxy A55's camera, indications are that it will be the same 50MP main camera as last year, with a repeat of the 12MP ultrawide and 5MP macro sensors that completed the rear camera setup on the A54. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as the main camera on the A54 featured the same sensor as Samsung's flagships.
The big question we have about the Galaxy A55 is whether it will offer some level of AI-powered features as well or whether Samsung will limit those capabilities to its pricier flagships.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6
Just as the start of a new year means new Galaxy S models, by the second half of the year, Samsung's attention has turned to foldables. For 2024, that likely means the arrival of both the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and the Galaxy Z Flip 6, the latest iterations of Samsung's well-established foldable devices.
While there are few solid rumors about the Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 at the moment, there figures to be a lot of pressure on those two devices. As good as the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 proved to be, neither one can claim to be the best foldable phone anymore. We think the OnePlus Open is top pick in the category, while the Motorola Razr+ has the edge for flip phones.
How does Samsung respond? Recent leaks indicated that the cover display of the Galaxy Z Flip 6 will increase once again to 3.9 inches — it's currently 3.5 inches on the Z Flip 5. Having a more useful cover display is one of the areas where the Razr tops Samsung's flip phone, so it's good to hear that we might see an improvement from this year's model.
The same leak hinted that the Galaxy Z Fold 6 may include a size increase of its own. Specifically, the Z Fold 6 could see a larger cover display screen and a decrease in bezel size. This would be a considerable turn from the Z Fold's skinny design, but it could make the foldable easier to use.
As always, there are hopes that Samsung will come out with a more affordable foldable — the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is currently the cheapest option at $999. A rumor this past summer hinted at a Galaxy Z Fold FE debuting in 2024, but Samsung has dismissed rumors that it's working on a foldable in the $400 to $500 range.
Outlook: Samsung in 2024
AI will be the feature to watch this year any time Samsung introduces a new phone, and there will always be interest in how much Samsung charges for its phones. (Good news on that front for the upcoming S24 release — rumors expect no change in pricing on the Galaxy S24.)
We'll get answers about Samsung and its AI plans soon enough, with the Galaxy S24 launch looming. That event will go a long way in defining the upcoming year for Samsung.
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Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.