Galaxy S24’s best AI features are coming to these older Samsung models with One UI 6.1

Kerry Wan/ZDNET

The trickling of Samsung’s latest Galaxy AI features will begin as soon as late March, the company confirmed today. With the latest One UI 6.1 update, older Samsung devices including last year’s Galaxy S23 series, Z Flip and Fold 5, Tab S9 series, and more will gain access to key Galaxy AI features, such as Circle to Search, Chat Assist, and Generative Edit.

Also: Galaxy AI features, including Live Translation, are headed to Galaxy Buds

“Our goal with Galaxy AI is not only to pioneer a new era of mobile AI, but also to empower users by making AI more accessible to all,” said TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile eXperience Business at Samsung Electronics in a Wednesday press release. “This is only the beginning of Galaxy AI, as we plan to bring the experience to over 100 million Galaxy users within 2024 and continue to innovate ways to harness the unlimited possibilities of mobile AI.”

The full list of Galaxy AI features coming to older Samsung devices includes:

Communication services: Chat Assist, Interpreter, Live TranslateProductivity services: Circle to Search, Note Assist, Browsing Assist, Transcript AssistCreative services: Generative Edit, Edit Suggestion, Instant Slow-Mo

I tested just about every one of the latest AI features when I reviewed the Galaxy S24 series a month ago and was pleased to find most of them leaning more toward the utilitarian side than gimmicky. Circle to Search, in particular, has become my go-to way to quickly learn more about what’s on my phone screen, and I have a feeling Interpreter mode will come in handy when I travel to Barcelona this weekend.

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Live Translation on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Kerry Wan/ZDNET

With the upcoming One UI 6.1 update, it’ll be nice to see users of older devices get in on the action too, though it seems Samsung is prioritizing models released in 2023 first. That includes the Galaxy S23, S23 Plus, S23 Ultra, S23 FE, Z Fold 5, Z Flip 5, Tab S9, Tab S9 Plus, and Tab S9 Ultra.

Also: Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Galaxy S23: Should you upgrade?

What qualifies an older device for the handy Galaxy AI features? Samsung’s evening press release only suggests that it must be an “AI-supported model.” Whether that implies a minimum RAM requirement or a specific chipset remains up in the air. ZDNET has reached out to Samsung for clarity. 

If the chipset does have anything to do with it, my guess is that the Galaxy S22 series, Z Flip and Fold 4, and Tab S8 series will be next on the receiving end, as they’re all powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the same processor on the S23 FE. Considering Samsung’s recent hot streak of software updates, I wouldn’t be surprised if that moment comes sooner rather than later.

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