Samsung recently revealed that it'll be baking generative AI into its next smartphones – and the Samsung Galaxy S24 now looks increasingly likely to be its first 'AI phone', according to new trademark applications.
As spotted by Galaxy Club (via SamMobile), Samsung applied for trademarks in the EU and UK on November 24 for the phrases 'AI Phone' and 'AI Smartphone'. Given the Galaxy S24 series is expected to launch on January 17, it seems likely that these trademarks are for its next flagship phones.
Whether or not these trademarks will be granted is another matter. But Samsung's intention is pretty clear – AI is going to be the big selling point of the S24 series, and this could set the trend for all smartphones in 2024.
But what exactly does this AI branding mean? After all, Samsung phones have long had AI-powered features, from the Galaxy Enhance-X image editing app to computational photography tricks like the S23 Ultra's moon photos.
Well, the difference is that this time AI is likely to sit closer to the heart of the Samsung's flagship phones, rather than being an add-on. Samsung has already revealed that it's "deeply developing" ways of integrating generative AI into its phones, and earlier this month its teased Samsung Gauss.
Gauss is an on-device LLM (large language model), named after the mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, that Samsung says will help power offline virtual assistance, automatic document summaries, image generation and more. For the latter, Samsung has also applied for trademarks for Magic Pixel, Flex Magic and Flex Magic Pixel – and while we don't yet know exactly these are referring to, they could well be new generative AI imaging tricks.
So while the latest Galaxy S24 leaks suggest it'll bring minor design changes like a more flat-edged display, bigger AI-powered changes are likely to come under the hood alongside that Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset.
Analysis: The big battleground for 2024
Samsung is actively pursuing the option of offering the on-device AI features of the S24 as a ‘subscription’ service.November 6, 2023
With smartphone sales still plummeting – global shipments have been down for eight successive quarters – the big brands clearly need a new feature to get us all excited to upgrade again. And judging by Samsung's trademark applications, on-device AI is going to be that feature for the S24 series in January – even if it is, as the leaker Revegnus suggests (above), potentially a subscription add-on.
The big question is how useful these AI-powered features will be in the real world. Qualcomm was very keen to show off the AI potential of its Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip – which will be at the heart of a huge range of Android phones – last month, with its generative AI engine capable of creating new images from simple prompts. It can also double the size of images or do a kind of 'reverse crop' that lets you zoom out of your photos.
Yet Samsung will need to build features around these capabilities in its S24 series – and these will need to be genuinely compelling rather than just mildly amusing tricks.
For example, Qualcomm showed us how machine learning models on its latest Snapdragon chip can help determine the quality of the air around you – clever, but not exactly earth-shattering. We're looking forward to seeing which AI features Samsung highlights during its big launch, which is expected to be on January 17.
This event will likely set the tone for all the big smartphone launches of 2024. Honor has already announced that the Magic 6 will use an on-device LLM to power features like Magic Capsule, which lets you navigate some aspects of the phone using your eyes.
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Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at both TechRadar and Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.