Samsung could be the next smartphone giant to sprinkle generative AI into its new products, and we're likely to hear more about it next year. Generative artificial intelligence, or AI that can create new content after being trained on data, took the tech industry by storm in 2023. Samsung is no exception; it recently announced its own generative AI model and teased a new experience called Galaxy AI, which sounds like it's poised to play a big role in its 2024 phone lineup.
Samsung makes a lot more than just phones and wearables; its product lineup spans TVs, monitors, laptops and home appliances. But Samsung holds significant influence in the mobile market as one of the two dominant players that makes up the majority of worldwide smartphone shipments. Its Galaxy S launch is usually the first major smartphone launch of the year, meaning it could set the tone for what to expect throughout 2024.
Like many tech companies, Samsung tends to release new smartphones and smartwatches on an annual basis. While only Samsung knows precisely which new Galaxy products will be launching and when, it's possible to make educated guesses based on the company's launch patterns in years past.
For example, Samsung usually starts the product year sometime in the first quarter by releasing new versions of its flagship Galaxy S phones, while its new foldable phones typically arrive in the late summer.
Here are the mobile products we're expecting to see from Samsung next year based on the company's typical product launch cycle, reports and leaks.
The Galaxy S23 (left) and S23 Plus (right)
Assuming Samsung follows the same launch pattern as in years past, the Galaxy S24 lineup will likely arrive in the first couple of months of 2024. Samsung announced the Galaxy S23 family in early February, while a report from Korean news outlet SBS Biz suggests the new phones could debut on Jan. 17. If the report ends up being accurate, the Galaxy launch would happen just days after the CES 2024 tech conference in Las Vegas.
Artificial intelligence will likely be a major focus for the Galaxy S24 series. Samsung recently announced its new generative AI model, called Gauss, which is essentially its answer to ChatGPT. As with similar AI tools, Samsung says Gauss can compose emails, summarize documents and assist with writing code.
Samsung also teased Galaxy AI in November, which it describes as a new AI experience coming next year. The company hasn't revealed many details about Galaxy AI, but did say that it will be capable of translating phone calls. Also, in October Samsung announced its Exynos 2400 processor, which it says boasts a 14.7x boost in AI performance and enables text-to-image AI generation.
Samsung usually only puts its Exynos chip in certain Galaxy models sold in specific markets and uses Qualcomm's latest chip in areas like the US. But Qualcomm too has supercharged its next mobile processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, with more AI prowess. Qualcomm in late October showcased the chip's AI features during its Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii, potentially indicating that AI could be prominent on both the Exynos and Qualcomm versions of Samsung's expected new phone. A report from the blog Sam Mobile suggests that will indeed be the case, as it says Samsung plans to emphasize AI features in the Galaxy S24.
We don't know what that will look like yet, but the camera seems like a plausible area to infuse with AI. Samsung recently announced a new feature for its 200-megapixel camera sensor called Zoom Anywhere, which should allow future phones to zoom in up to 4x when shooting moving objects. But since Samsung specifically says this feature is based on its 200-megapixel sensor, it would likely only be available on the rumored Galaxy S24 Ultra.
Samsung already uses AI for its Bixby Custom Voice Creator, which lets users record sentences that the assistant can analyze to copy one's voice and tone. It wouldn't be surprising to see Samsung explore more voice-related AI features following Google's recent improvements to the Google Assistant, such as its more realistic voice for screening calls.
The Galaxy A54 5G
Samsung's Galaxy A series phones aren't as well-known as the company's Galaxy S devices. But they stand out for their premium features -- like multilens cameras and screens with high refresh rates -- at lower prices. But keep in mind that they often compromise in certain areas like performance and camera quality.
Samsung usually releases new versions of its Galaxy A phones in March, as was the case with the Galaxy A54 5G in 2023 and the Galaxy A53 5G in 2022. There haven't been any leaks or rumors about the Galaxy A55 yet, but we can likely expect routine upgrades to the processor, camera and design.
But don't expect it to have the same chip as the Galaxy S24 lineup, considering the processor in Samsung's Galaxy A phones is usually a step below what's found in its flagship devices. The Galaxy A54, for instance, uses the company's Exynos 1380 processor, which is a noticeable step back from Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 series. That means if Samsung does release a successor to the Galaxy A54, it likely won't have the same AI features we're expecting to see in the Galaxy S24.
Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 5 pictured half-open.
Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 5 was a significant step up from the Galaxy Z Flip 4, largely thanks to its bigger cover screen, gapless design and improved camera. The rumored Galaxy Z Flip 6 will likely build on the Z Flip 5 with typical upgrades like a fresh processor and perhaps more software features that take advantage of its foldable design. A report from the blog Galaxy Club indicates that the Galaxy Z Flip 6 could have a 50-megapixel main camera sensor, which would represent a notable step up from the Galaxy Z Flip 5's 12-megapixel camera.
The company also usually puts the same chip from its flagship Galaxy S series into the Galaxy Z Flip, so there's a chance it will inherit the same AI tricks as the Galaxy S24 series. Of course, this is all just speculation for now; we won't know for sure until Samsung makes an announcement.
Samsung typically announces new Galaxy Z Flip phones in the August timeframe, although it announced the Z Flip 5 slightly earlier this year, in July.
Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 5
Like the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung's newest Galaxy Z Fold also usually arrives in the late summer timeframe. Rumors about what's next for the Z Fold are scarce. But a recent patent showing a device that looks a lot like the Galaxy Z Fold with an S Pen slot has generated speculation that Samsung's next book-shaped foldable will finally have a place to store its stylus. That could make the Galaxy Z Fold 6 more useful as a productivity device.
Based on Samsung's previous Galaxy Z Fold launches, the Z Fold 6 could have a new processor that matches the one in the Galaxy S24, some new software features and a slightly improved design. But we'll likely have to wait until the summer to know for sure.
Health and exercise tracking is usually a big focus for Samsung's Galaxy Watch.
While we don't know what's next for Samsung's smartwatch lineup, we can expect health tracking to remain a big theme. Samsung has been focused on sleep; it even conducted what it claims is one of the largest single health sleep studies ever by examining the sleep behaviors of Galaxy Health users worldwide. Samsung's One UI 5 Watch software update from earlier this year also puts sleep statistics front and center on the company's smartwatches.
The biggest changes between the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 6 had to do with software, screens and battery life, as my colleague Lexy Savvides wrote in her review. It's possible that Samsung could take a similar approach with the Galaxy Watch 7. Given the company's expected focus on AI next year, it also wouldn't be surprising to see AI features baked into the next Galaxy Watch.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Samsung launched its pair of "fan edition" Galaxy Buds in 2023, but it's been a while since it's released regular and pro models. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro arrived in August 2022, and the Galaxy Buds 2 came in August 2021. While both pairs of earbuds got high marks from CNET's David Carnoy for their comfortable design and good sound quality, there's room for improvement.
Some Galaxy Buds 2 Pro features only work with Galaxy phones, for example, which could limit their appeal to other Android phone users. And the regular Galaxy Buds 2 have low-level, IPX2 water resistance. Hopefully Samsung's next generation of Galaxy Buds addresses these shortcomings and others.
The Oura ring
Samsung has been selling smartwatches and wireless earbuds for years, but the tech giant may expand into a new genre: smart rings. A report from Korean news outlet The Elec indicates that Samsung could release a smart ring in the third quarter of 2024 or early 2025. The ring is expected to be a wellness device similar to the Oura ring and may come in four sizes, according to the report.
While Samsung hasn't made any announcements yet about plans to release a smart ring, health tracking seems like a plausible use case for such a device. The Oura ring, for example, has two big advantages over smartwatches: It's more discrete and compact, making it easier to wear overnight. And it offers significantly longer battery life than a smartwatch since it doesn't have a screen.
Samsung has a lot of ideas about where foldable phones could go next, but none of its future concepts have graduated to becoming real products yet. At CES 2023, for example, Samsung showcased the Flex Hybrid, which has a tablet-sized screen that can extend to provide more screen space. That's just one of several concepts Samsung has shown over the years; it's also created prototype mobile devices that bend in multiple areas like an accordion.
The company hasn't said when or if any of these concepts will make it to market. But shipments of foldable phones are expected to grow, even though they only account for a small portion of the mobile market today. Worldwide shipments of foldable phones are expected to grow 43.9% compared to 2022, according to market research firm International Data Corporation.
Samsung's Gear VR headset from 2017
It's been a big year for mixed reality, with Apple introducing its first headset, called the Vision Pro, Meta launching the Quest 3 and Sony debuting the PlayStation VR 2. But Samsung's plans for mixed reality are still largely a mystery.
Samsung, Qualcomm and Google are working on a mixed-reality project, although we haven't heard much about it since the three companies announced their partnership in February 2023. It's possible that we'll hear more at Samsung's expected Galaxy S24 launch event since it may take place roughly one year after the partnership was announced.
Samsung hasn't mentioned whether any specific mixed reality products, like a new headset, are under development.
"It's more of a declarative announcement about how we are going to get it right in trying to build the XR ecosystem," T.M. Roh, president of Samsung's mobile division, said through a translator in an interview with CNET in February.
Although we don't know what the company's plans for mixed reality are yet, Roh hinted in a separate CNET interview in July that phones will play a big role in the experience.
"So for the short term, perhaps many features or experiences [in] mixed reality would be in connection with [the] smartphone," he said.
We'll know more about Samsung's product plans as 2024 unfolds. But what seems clear, given the tech industry's direction, is that AI will be a big part of what's next.