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Inside the new
Samsung S24 range

On the surface, the new Galaxy handsets have barely changed. The difference is all about the insides, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

Samsung this week declared an end to the race for the highest specs on smartphones. During the launch of the Galaxy S24 Ultra, Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24 in San Jose, California, hardware specs were secondary to the revolutionary artificial intelligence functionality of the devices.

However, the noise around the new Galaxy AI overshadows a wide range of advances in the smartphones, which will be released in South Africa on Friday, 14 February 2024.

“The Galaxy S24 Series transforms our connection with the world and ignites the next decade of mobile innovation,” said TM Roh, president and head of mobile experience business at Samsung Electronics, during the launch.

Aside from the AI photo editing and live translation features highlighted previously, the phones also come closer to delivering on the promise of high-end camera specs of previous editions. 

The Galaxy S24 Ultra’s Quad Tele System sees the previous 3x optical zoom lens upgraded to 5x, and the 50MP sensor enabling enhanced optical-quality performance at zooms of up to 10x magnification, thanks to its Adaptive Pixel Sensor. Enhanced digital zoom still offers up to 100x, but the software has yet to catch up to the promise of such levels of digital magnification. Objects remain readily recognisable up to about half of that.

Nightography capabilities have been upgraded, courtesy of the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s larger pixel size, now 1.4 μm, 60% bigger than the previous model. Wider optical image stabiliser (OIS) angles and better hand-shake compensation reduce blur.

Front and rear cameras are equipped with something called Dedicated ISP Block, for noise reduction while shooting videos, as well as analysing gyro information to separate the movement of the camera from that of the subject.

Serious content creators will love Super HDR, which offers previews before the shutter is pressed. Once a photos and videos are shot, it integrates the phone Gallery directly with one’s Instagram feed and reels, allowing for a more lifelike range of brightness, colour and contrast by analysing highlighted sections of the images.

Those who are frustrated by the current limitations of Android Auto in cars will cheer for a new ability that the S24 brings to the software. Using AI, it will automatically summarise incoming messages and suggest relevant replies and actions. If someone sends an address via WhatsApp, it can instantly be applied to Google Maps.

Note Assist brings AI to Samsung Notes, offering AI-generated summaries, and pre-made formats.

If you use Otter, you are likely to abandon it once you use Transcript Assist, which uses AI and Speech-to-Text technology to transcribe, summarise and translate recordings.

Search is transformed, with a Google collaboration producing gesture-driven Circle to Search. Samsung spelled it out: 

“With a long press on the home button, users can circle, highlight, scribble on, or tap anything on Galaxy S24’s screen to see helpful, high-quality search results. Seeing a beautiful landmark in the background of a friend’s social media post or a surprising fun fact on YouTube Shorts can quickly become an accurate search to learn more – without having to leave that app. And depending on a user‘s location, for certain searches, generative AI-powered overviews can provide helpful information and context pulled together from across the web, and users can ask more complex and nuanced questions.”

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform. The chip will power the other models in the range only in major markets. Versions sold in South Africa will run on the Exynos processor.

The Ultra boasts another hidden weapon, specifically for keeping it cool during heavy-duty activity: an optimal thermal control system with a vapor chamber that is almost double the size of its predecessor, improving surface temperature and increasing sustained performance.

Design enhancements with slimmer bezels enable larger screen sizes on the Galaxy S24+’s 6.7-inch and Galaxy S24’s 6.2-inch displays, despite having  almost the same physical dimensions as before. The Ultra has a 6.8-inch display, and along with the S24+ supports  QHD+ display..

The colour tones for the S24 Ultra include: Titanium Gray, Titanium Black, Titanium Violet and Titanium Yellow. Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24 colours include: Onyx Black, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet and Amber Yellow.

Sustainability in the S24

Samsung provided the following description of its environmental efforts with the S24 series:

Establishing a new category of mobile experiences also means re-imagining how Galaxy technology is designed and packaged to do more with less for people and the planet. Galaxy S24 continues to scale the variety of recycled materials in Galaxy devices by applying recycled plastics, glass and aluminium to internal and external components.

It also takes these efforts one step further. For the first time, Galaxy S24 features components made with recycled cobalt and rare earth elements. In Galaxy S24 Ultra, a minimum of 50% recycled cobalt was used in the battery, and 100% recycled rare earth elements were incorporated into the speakers. Galaxy S24 is also the first Galaxy S Series to be designed with recycled steel and Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU). Galaxy S24 Ultra features a minimum of 40% recycled steel in the speakers, and it includes a minimum of 10% pre-consumer recycled TPU in the side and volume keys. Additionally, every Galaxy S24 comes in a packaging box made from 100% recycled paper material.

The latest flagship continues Samsung’s commitment to extending the product life cycle, offering seven generations of OS upgrades and seven years of security updates to help users reliably experience the optimised performance of their Galaxy devices for even longer. Lastly, Galaxy S24 is Ecologo certified, and its carbon footprint has been measured and verified by The Carbon Trust.

Galaxy S24 is a demonstration of progress against Samsung MX’s environmental roadmap. Samsung remains steadfast in delivering on its set of goals to be achieved by the end of 2025. At the end of 2022, Samsung achieved the first of these goals by incorporating recycled materials in all mobile products, from Galaxy smartphones and tablets to PCs and wearables. Today, the company is setting a new recycled material goal. By 2030, Samsung will incorporate at least one recycled material in every module of every mobile product.

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