Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Google Pixel 8 — which 'AI phone' will win?

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra render
(Image credit: Technizo Concept/YouTube)

Smartphones are poised to take that incremental step forward in 2024 with a lot of help from artificial intelligence. The Samsung Galaxy S24 is expected to be one of the first major releases in the new year, with increasing evidence of how AI will play a larger role to its success.

Samsung is trying to distinguish them from other phones with new trademark applications for terms such as 'AI Phone' and 'AI Smartphone' linked to the recently discovered filings by GalaxyClub to the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) and European Union Intellectual Property (EUIPO). Even though they haven’t been technically approved yet, we suspect to see similar filings stateside with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Trademarking is one way to get ahead of the curve when it comes to highlighting notable features, but it’s difficult to say if the Galaxy S24 would be befitting as the ‘AI Phone’ of all phones.

That’s because AI isn’t new to the world of phones. In fact, I’d go far to argue that the Galaxy S24 series needs to outdo the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro if it truly wants to earn that title of being the ‘AI Phone.’ Here’s why.

Powered by one the smartest voice assistants

Google Pixel 8 shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Before anything else, I believe that an intelligent voice assistant is fundamental to the success and practicality of AI being leveraged in today’s phones. Out of all the major voice assistants in existence, Google Assistant with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro is the undisputed leader.

Even though Google Assistant is the underlying voice assistant in all of the best Android phones out there, it’s unknown if Samsung will pivot to something else, like Bixby, to be the voice and smarts behind the bigger AI features around the Galaxy S24. Google Assistant can already call restaurants on your behalf for a reservation, but the intelligence of Google-AI is evident most in the Pixel 8’s upgraded Call Screen feature.

Instead of asking callers to leave a message and transcribing them, Google Assistant will intelligently ask why they’re calling and provide users with contextual responses. There’s a lot going on here because not only is Google Assistant transcribing their message in real time for Pixel 8 owners to read on their phones, but the true magic is in the responses that the voice assistant offers.

This is what distinguishes the Pixel 8 from other phones because it’s using AI to intelligently look at contextual information. Considering that the Galaxy S23 lineup doesn’t have anything remotely close to this, the Galaxy S24’s going to need to respond with something that’s just as good.

A photo and video editor in your pocket

Google Pixel 8 shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I’m a videographer at heart and I’ve used the Pixel 8 Pro to capture both photos and video, but it takes a degree of skill to edit them — which is why I’m impressed by its AI magic. Really, it’s like having a dedicated photo and video editor, but on my phone instead of an actual human doing all the tedious work.

If the Galaxy S24 is to earn my vote of confidence in being the king of all AI phones, then it’s going to need to do it most at content creation. That’s because the Pixel 8 Pro is accompanied by superb AI-assisted features such as Best Take and Magic Editor, two photo editing features powered by AI. The former ensures that my photos always come out perfect (smiles included), while the latter leverages generative AI for sorcery such as changing the sky in my photos and even filling in gaps after choosing what objects to move/delete in the photo.

The crazy part in all of this is how unbelievably easy it is for the Pixel 8 Pro to do. For real, I know it would take a few minutes to perhaps remove unwanted stuff in the background of my photos using traditional photo editing software — but the Pixel 8 Pro makes me look like a beginner with its speed and performance.

I’m hopeful that the Galaxy S24, particularly the S24 Ultra, will make photo and video editing its specialty. Again, the current Galaxy S23 lineup doesn’t have any similar features to the Pixel 8 Pro, but Samsung Gauss is expected to be an on-device generative AI model that will run locally. This is important because the Pixel 8 Pro does rely on cloud-based models for many of its AI-assisted features. Most notably, the upcoming Video Boost mode for the Pixel 8 Pro will enhance videos using cloud-based AI via Google Photos.

TL;DR summaries with recordings

Google Pixel 8 Pro held in hand.

(Image credit: Future)

If you’ve ever conducted interviews and had to go back later on to review them, then you already can understand the tedious work involved with the process. With the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, Google leverages AI in many significant ways.

Not only can the pair detect and identify who’s talking in the recording, an upcoming feature drop will also summarize the recordings. It’s the TL;DR feature I’ve been waiting for because there have been countless video interviews that I shot for clients where they just go on and on — so for a phone to summarize them would be fabulous.

This summarizing feature isn’t just locked to recordings, I can actually access it on the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro right now to summarize web pages and other content I pull up in the Google app. AI is being leveraged here to go through all of the text, and then produce a quick TL;DR style summary that I crave.

Samsung AI Phone: outlook

Galaxy s24 ULtra concept

(Image credit: Technizo Concept/YouTube)

There’s no denying that Samsung has a lot of work ahead of itself if the Galaxy S24 series intends to be the king of AI phones. Google has set a tall order already with the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, so Samsung’s going to need to make a huge leap from the get-go with AI.

As I’ve seen with the Pixel 8 Pro, it required Google to take small steps to get to where it’s at now with AI-assisted features. I remember how it all started with the Pixel 3, and with each subsequent release, Google kept on retooling and adding new features — resulting in the impressive AI features of the Pixel 8 series.

Again, I’m hopeful that the Galaxy S24 will continue to prove how artificial intelligence is fundamental to the smartphone’s evolution. But it still has a tough act to beat.

More from Tom's Guide

John Velasco
Senior Channel Editor for Phones

John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.