The iPhone 15 Pro Max is so good that it has reclaimed the top spot from Samsung on our best phones list. Our previous top pick was the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which remains a great phone. But Apple’s flagship offered slightly better camera quality, faster performance, and longer battery life in the face of the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Now it’s Samsung’s turn to try to reclaim the mantle with the Galaxy S24 Ultra, and its rise to the top may have nothing to do with specs. Yes, Samsung should continue to offer the longest zoom of any camera phone and its unique S Pen. But its real advantage over the iPhone could come with AI advances.
Samsung has just announced that a new era of “Galaxy AI is coming” in New blog post, and it gives us a glimpse of what is 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 collaboration with “like-minded industry leaders.” This could mean a partnership with OpenAI or Google.
For example, Samsung says AI Translate Call will give users a personal translator so that voice and text translations appear in real-time as they speak. This is very neat, but I don’t know how often people connect with others who speak another language.
However, this is just the beginning. Other reports about Samsung AI have emerged in recent days giving us a fuller 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 looks like it will be able to do more than just translate content. Samsung’s AI will reportedly help write emails for you, summarize documents and create AI-generated images.
The AI will also supposedly be able to fix your photos. In fact, Gauss is said to help convert low-resolution images into high-resolution ones.
The point of all this is that Samsung could put some of its AI features behind a paywall, but I highly doubt that rumour. That’s because many of the features Samsung is touting are already available on its other AI-focused phones, the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
Google’s flagship phones offer a slew of AI tricks, including a magic editor to move (or zoom in) subjects in photos and turn daytime into a “magic hour” with a single tap. The Pixel 8 series can also remove background noise from your videos, as well as summarizing 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. This means you won’t necessarily need an iPhone 15 or iPhone 16 next year to get an AI-powered iPhone.
So far, there are plenty of examples of machine learning on the iPhone in action. Like when I open my phone in the morning and it’s smart enough to know I need the NJ Transit app when I open Spotlight. Or the fact that I can change the focus point on photos that have already been taken. But this is not generative AI.
Apple is clearly falling behind Google in the AI phone race, and it may soon fall behind Samsung as well, with the imminent launch of the Galaxy S24.
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