Samsung Galaxy S24 could skip this safety feature again

Samsung Galaxy S24 in three of its four colors
(Image credit: Windows Report)

Last year, Apple introduced satellite communications with the iPhone 14. This emergency feature is designed to send limited SOS messages in dangerous situations where no cellular reception is available. Plenty of feel-good stories of lives being saved have duly followed, and Apple has even extended the timer that the service remains free for early adopters.

With this year’s Galaxy S23, Samsung said it was too soon to follow suit, but we had high hopes that the Galaxy S24 would have its own introduction of satellite communications next year. Indeed, back in October, Samsung’s Park Yong-in reportedly said that 2024 would be the year.

But apparently the Galaxy S24 won’t be Samsung’s debut satellite handset. ET News states that it “will not be installed this time.” Why? The company has apparently decided to introduce something more useful, rather than to rush a similar product to Apple.

Instead of the one-way satellite communication structure enjoyed by recent iPhones, when Samsung does strike, it will apparently offer a two-way service, according to an insider. In other words, while Apple just lets you send messages via satellite, Samsung will apparently let you receive them too. 

It’s not clear whether that means Samsung has revised its 2024 ETA, or if it the technology will just emerge in a different line of phones later in the year. It would be surprising if the company debuted such a desirable feature on a mid-range handset, but there is, of course, another premium launch in the pipeline. Perhaps the Galaxy S24’s loss is the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6’s gain?

According to the ET News’ sources, network connection testing for the S24 began on the 28th December with the SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ carriers — the final step before commercial sales begin, which fits with the strongly rumored January 17 launch date

Samsung apparently provided the handsets in disguise: a “‘box phone’ shaped like a lunch box” for secrecy. That feels like shutting to the stable doors after the horse has bolted, given we’re not short of S24 design leaks already, but there we are.

In fact, there have been so many leaks that there’s very little mystery left about the Samsung Galaxy S24 family. New chipsets and an improved telephoto camera for the S24 Ultra aside, the most exciting thing about the upcoming handsets is the reported integration of generative artificial intelligence. We’ll know soon if it’s a genuine game-changer or just a souped-up Bixby.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.