The iPhone 15 Pro Max is so good that it knocked Samsung off the top spot on our list of the best phones. Our previous top pick was the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which is still a great phone. But Apple’s flagship offered slightly better camera quality, faster performance, and longer battery life in our iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra showdown.
Now it’s Samsung’s turn to try to take back the lead with the Galaxy S24 Ultra, and its rise to the top might have nothing to do with specs. Yes, Samsung should continue to offer the longest zoom of any camera phone and a dedicated S Pen. But its real advantage over the iPhone could come from advances in artificial intelligence.
Samsung just announced that a new era of “Galaxy AI” is coming in a new blog post, giving us a glimpse of what’s likely to come with the Galaxy S24 series. Samsung reveals that its mobile AI experience will be powered by both on-device AI and cloud-based AI through collaborations with “like-minded industry leaders.” This could mean a partnership with OpenAI or Google.
As an example, Samsung says AI Translate Call will give users a personal translator so that audio and text translations appear in real time as you speak. That’s pretty clever, but I don’t know how often people call people who speak another language.
Still, this is just the beginning. Other reports about Samsung AI have surfaced in recent days, giving us a more complete look at what’s possible. Samsung will reportedly call its AI Samsung Gauss (named after the mathematician considered the founding father of machine learning) and it will apparently be able to do much more than translate content. Samsung’s AI will reportedly help you write emails, summarize documents, and create AI-generated images.
Presumably the AI could fix your images too. In fact, Gauss is said to help turn low-resolution photos into high-resolution photos.
The problem with all this is that Samsung could put some of its AI features behind a paywall, but I highly doubt this rumor. And that’s because many of the features Samsung is touting are already available on other AI-focused phones, namely the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
Google’s flagship phones offer plenty of AI tricks, including Magic Editor to move (or grow) subjects in photos and turn the day into a “magic hour” with one click. The Pixel 8 series can also remove background noise from your videos, as well as summarize web pages.
So where does this leave Apple? Tim Cook recently said that Apple is investing heavily in generative AI and there are reports that iOS 18 will unleash powerful generative AI to fight ChatGPT. That means you wouldn’t necessarily need an iPhone 15 or an iPhone 16 from next year to have an AI-focused iPhone.
Even now, there are many examples of machine learning in action on the iPhone. Like when I open my phone in the morning and it’s smart enough to know that I need the NJ Transit app when I open Spotlight. Or the fact that I can change the focus point on images that have already been taken. But that’s not generative AI.
It’s clear that Apple is behind Google in the AI phone race, and could soon fall behind Samsung as well with the imminent launch of the Galaxy S24.