Samsung Teases Innovative New Galaxy S24 Ultra Capabilities
Fears over the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra’s camera capabilities may be unfounded in light of Samsung’s latest teaser videos, published ahead of this month’s much-anticipated Galaxy Unpacked event, but there’s a catch.
In a recent official announcement entitled “Zoom with Galaxy AI is coming,” the company reveals a sequence of images showing a camera zoom range of at least 10x alongside a bizarre effect that appears to enlarge individual objects within a scene to comical sizes.
That zoom range of 10x won’t have been chosen by accident—The Galaxy S24 Ultra is expected to “downgrade” the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s powerful 10x optical telephoto lens to a 5x version, albeit at a much higher sensor resolution of 50 megapixels vs just 10 megapixels in the current model. The hot air balloon images appear to have been captured in low light, most likely around dawn. These are challenging conditions for such long-range telephoto optics which typically capture less light than the primary wide lens. Here, the gap between 5x and 10x magnification will likely be filled using digital zoom and new AI processing, digital zoom being helped greatly by the much higher 50-megapixel resolution of the new 5x camera.
The “object zoom” effect revealed in the later video clips is harder to pin down. The videos show a woman performing a familiar pinch-to-zoom gesture, first on a plush toy and then on an ice cream cone, both of which then expand to enormous dimensions in real time. It’s a radically different feature, but both this and the low-light zoom feature above appear to fall under the banner of “Zoom with Galaxy AI.”
These two new features bear a striking resemblance to certain elements of Samsung’s recently leaked Eureka AI software, indeed downloading the official teaser videos reveals filenames containing the word “Eureka.” Specifically, Eureka AI is expected to include new “Nightography Zoom” and “Generative Edit” functions, which would appear to match the features Samsung is now teasing.
The one catch is that some Eureka features will require a Samsung account and Internet connection, suggesting that at least some of the most demanding AI-based features will be processed in the cloud rather than on device.
While this could leave the door open for some of these features to trickle down to older Samsung smartphones such as the Galaxy S23 Ultra, it’s possible that Samsung could take a hybrid approach where certain hardware features are required for this cloud-based processing to work, as is the case with Google's “Video Boost” feature, currently exclusive to the flagship Pixel 8 Pro.
Despite numerous leaks surrounding the S24 Ultra’s radically different camera hardware and now new AI software, this is shaping up to be an exciting new release for Samsung.
Monckton, P. (n.d.). Samsung Teases Innovative New Galaxy S24 Ultra Capabilities. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulmonckton/2024/01/03/samsung-teases-innovative-new-galaxy-s24-ultra-capabilities/?sh=5a9a5d8e6144