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Samsung debuts Galaxy S24 smartphones with built-in AI tools

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Samsung on Wednesday unveiled its latest lineup of Galaxy smartphones featuring a suite of baked-in AI tools, as it aims to widen the appeal of its Android devices and win back its spot as the world's biggest phone seller from Apple.

The company debuted the devices during its annual product launch in San Jose, California, emphasizing the new AI integrations, including smart translation and interpretation services and in-app image searches. The focus on AI marks a shift in the tech giant's previous hardware-heavy approach to developing and marketing its smartphones. 

The next-generation lineup includes three phones: 

The Galaxy S24 Ultra's price represents a price hike of $100, or an 8% increase, from last year's comparable model. The increase mirrors what Apple did with its fanciest model, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, released in September.

Samsung vice president of product management Drew Blackard unveils new flagship Galaxy phones packed with artificial intelligence features on January 17, 2024. Samsung is seeking to win back its spot as the world's biggest phone seller from Apple. GLENN CHAPMAN/AFP via Getty Images

Customers can preorder the devices starting Wednesday. The new phones will begin shipping on January 31. 

Here's what to expect from Samsung's next-generation Galaxy smartphones.

Live foreign language interpretations

The new phone will allow users to access a function that enables foreign language interpretation during calls. The feature will support 13 languages and 17 dialects, and it will be accessible for calls to and from any type of smartphones as well as landlines. 

The feature saves users' preferred language settings, in addition to collecting data on which languages are used on each of the users' phone calls. 

In-app image searches

Google will offer "Circle To Search" on the newest Galaxy smartphones, allowing users to circle snippets of text, parts of photos or videos to get instant search results about whatever has been highlighted.

The new Galaxy phones will also enable quick and easy ways to manipulate the appearance and placement of specific parts of pictures taken on the devices' camera. It's a feature that could help people refine their photos, but could also make it easier to create misleading images.

AI-powered photo editing tools 

The new smartphones will come with a range of AI-powered photo editing tools. With the generative edit tool, users can erase or modify the position of objects in their images, in addition to filling in images' borders to correct a crooked photo frame.

Galaxy's AI will also offer an edit suggestion option, allowing users to receive automated feedback on how to optimize and tweak their photos. 

How does this compare with Apple's iPhones?

Apple is expected to put more AI into its next generation of iPhones in September, but now Samsung has a head start toward gaining the upper hand in making the technology more ubiquitous, Forrester Research analyst Thomas Husson said.

It's a competitive edge that Samsung could use, having ceded its longstanding mantle as the world's largest seller of smartphones to Apple last year, according to the market research firm International Data Corp.

"Samsung's marketing challenge is precisely to make the technology transparent to impress consumers with magic and invisible experiences," Husson said.

—With reporting by the Associated Press.

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