Samsung rolling out its Galaxy AI features on older smartphones


What kind of bird is that? Samsung's S24 Ultra (like Google's Pixel 8) lets you point your camera, circle something and find out more about it in a Google search. — Photo: Christin Klose/dpa

BERLIN: After hailing a new "AI era" of smartphones with the release of its Galaxy S24 phones earlier this year, Samsung is now bringing new features based on artificial intelligence to older smartphones

An update to One UI 6.1, which arrived on March 28, is set to bring several new AI-powered capabilities to last year's S23 series models, as well as the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Fold 5 models and the tablets in the Tab S9 series.

Galaxy AI is the generic term for a number of AI-supported functions on the devices. These include a call assistant that can translate calls into other languages almost in real time and display spoken words as text.

Another service is generative image processing, which can add missing elements or make objects in photos disappear.

The update also introduces Circle to Search on the Samsung models mentioned above – a function previously only known from Google's Pixel smartphones.

Any section of the screen in apps or on the web can be circled with a swipe of the finger. The content in the circle is then immediately searched for online.

That means you can circle the shoes of a celebrity in a photo and found out which online shop is selling them. It also helps work out the name of a bird in a photo you took.

Samsung has also promised to equip other older models with cloud-supported AI functions. Galaxy AI processes data partly on the device and partly in the cloud – for example, live translation. The functions are still available free of charge, but some of them could cost money from 2026 onwards. – dpa

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