The Samsung Galaxy S24 might again miss out on a key iPhone feature

iPhone 14 satellite test
Testing out the satellite messaging support on an iPhone (Image credit: Future)

If the rumors are right, we're just a few weeks away from the official unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S24 range – and in the meantime, unofficial leaks continue to give us some idea of what to expect from these flagship phones.

According to ETNews (via SamMobile), the Galaxy S24 phones won't be coming with satellite connectivity for emergency messaging, a feature that Apple added to the iPhones with the launch of the iPhone 14 series last year.

The idea is that if you're in trouble somewhere without any Wi-Fi or even cellular network coverage, you can still send an emergency SOS message to share your location and to get help – and the functionality works pretty well, too.

Where one of the big phone manufacturers goes, the others usually soon follow, but if this latest report is correct, then Samsung hasn't been able to add satellite connectivity to the Galaxy S24 range – and it's not immediately clear why.

It's been coming

If the Samsung Galaxy S24 series does indeed launch without the ability to talk to satellites, it would be something of a surprise. The feature was originally rumored to be arriving with the Galaxy S23, launched after the iPhone 14 range.

That didn't happen of course, but then it seemed even more likely that satellite support would be built into the Samsung Galaxy S24 phones, with a Samsung exec going on the record to say that the company was developing the technology.

Those comments might give us a clue as to why the tech isn't ready yet: Samsung is apparently trying to integrate two-way satellite support into its phones, rather than the one-way communications that the iPhones offer.

Perhaps the functionality isn't quite ready – or perhaps this latest report is inaccurate. We'll know for sure when the Galaxy S24 series launches, and that almost certainly seems to be happening on January 17, 2024.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.