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Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024 LIVE: Galaxy S24, S24 Plus, and S24 Ultra revealed!

Get up to speed with everything to expect at today's Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event, live with Laptop Mag!

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event
(Image: © Samsung)

Hello and welcome to Laptop Mag's Samsung Galaxy Unpacked live blog! Today's the day the South Korean tech giants take to the stage to officially unveil the all new Galaxy S24 lineup, including the hotly anticipated Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Stick with us throughout the day as we run through what you can expect to see at todays show, with further coverage to follow afterward.

Samsung's Galaxy S-series has been one of the world's most popular smartphone choices for many a year now, and is often seen as the flagship device for the Android  platform. With a strong showing in the Galaxy S23 Ultra to follow up on, and stiff competition from the iPhone 15 Pro and Google's Pixel 8, we're expecting Samsung to defend its accolades by revealing its most powerful, versatile, and competitive phone to date.

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Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024

(Image credit: Samsung)

Today is the big day for Galaxy and Android fans looking for their first dose of Samsung's mighty flagship hardware in 2024. It's highly likely that the brand's main and only focus of today's showcase will be of its latest smartphone lineup, and that's alright by us — especially after learning what to expect so far from reputable sources and tech tipsters around the internet.

So to kick things off, let's go over what we know so far about the smartphones set to be included in today's Samsung Galaxy Unpacked announcements.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked: Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung S24 and S24 Ultra smartphones on gradient background

(Image credit: Samsung)

While there's still a level of uncertainty around whether or not Samsung will stick to providing its base model with Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets over its Exynos counterpart in all regions, there's little doubt about the quality of the smartphone Samsung intend to unveil.

As the most affordable model in the Galaxy S24 lineup, we expect Samsung's mainstream offering to feature a 6.2-inch, FHD+, Dynamic AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz,  8GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage.

We're also expecting to see a return of the triple sensor camera array, with a 50MP main lens being the star of the show. This array will include a 2x and 3x Telephoto zoom with Samsung's Space Zoom able to provide 30x zoom capabilities.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked: Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

Taking a step up from the base model to the Galaxy S24 Plus, we're once again hoping for Samsung to stick with Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor throughout all regions, but we'll have to wait for the official announcement to be certain.

However, from what we've learned so far, you can expect the Galaxy S24 Plus to include a sizable 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X, QHD+ display with a refresh rate of 120Hz, 12GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage.

Expect the same trio of lenses here as with the base model, once against lead by a 50MP sensor capable of shooting up to 8K video.

The Galaxy S24 Plus is also reported to feature an expanded battery capacity of 4,900mAh — a solid boost from the 4,000mAh offering of the base S24.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

No doubt set to steal the show, Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra is likely to be where we see the biggest updates to the Galaxy S-Series of devices. Not only will this device lead the charge when it comes to Galaxy AI (more on that later), but it'll reportedly include the highest specs featured in a Samsung smartphone to date and will almost certainly include Qualcomm's aforementioned Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset across most (if not all) regions.

Expect the S24 Ultra to feature a 6.8-inch, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, QHD+ display, up to 12GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage. We're sad to have heard that previous reports of a 16GB bump to the flagship's RAM won't feature, but that's still a more than serviceable level of memory at hand for multitasking and managing your day-to-day usage with ease.

Of course, the S24 Ultra will have a major focus on photography with Samsung's flagship device being a favorite among smartphone shutterbugs. The S24 Ultra will feature a four-lens camera array with Laser Auto-Focus assist, captained by the wild 200MP main shooter found in the previous Ultra model.

Add to this the replacement of Samsung's Armor Aluminum 2.0 chassis with an all-new titanium frame and a 5,000mAh battery capacity (with 45W Fast Charging) to top off the biggest and baddest Galaxy S-Series phone to date. 

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024: Galaxy AI

Samsung Galaxy AI

(Image credit: Samsung)

AI tools, features, and chatbots launched a massively successful invasion of 2023 that has seen the tech rise to all-new heights. 2024 looks set to be a year where AI is adopted into more and more devices, including smartphones.

While Google's Pixel phones have everyone beaten to the punch when it comes to onboard AI, Samsung will at least be able to say they pipped Apple to the post when it makes AI one of the key features of the upcoming Galaxy S24 lineup.

The length and breadth of what to expect when it comes to Samsung's AI adoption isn't yet fully known, but thanks to recently leaked information it looks like we can expect the Galaxy S24 to include similar computational photography capabilities to the Google Pixel lineup.

This means advanced on-the-go editing capabilities akin to Magic Editor, which lets you manipulate images with a few simple taps, enhance your snaps with ease, and remove unwanted elements from your photos with Photoshop Autofill-like results.

Samsung Galaxy Enhance-X AI photo editor app

(Image credit: Samsung)

It's not the first time Samsung will have dabbled with AI image editing, with the Samsung Galaxy Enhance-X app giving compatible devices an AI-assisted makeover to photos with features like blur removal, light balancing, photo restoration, upscaling, and shadow removal.

Samsung Galaxy AI photo editing software

(Image credit: Android Headlines)

In a recent leak unearthed by Android Headlines, we got a closer look of what we can expect to be able to accomplish with Galaxy AI's computational photography as reported marketing images showcase the ability to move subjects in photos much like the Pixel 8 Pro's Magic Editor.

Samsung Bixby virtual assistant

(Image credit: Samsung)

Another area where AI could be implemented is in Samsung's virtual assistant, Bixby.

We've seen traditional virtual assistants like Microsoft's Cortana replaced by AI LLMs like Copilot for Windows, and Bixby could be the first mobile assistant to follow suit and go fully AI.

This could result it a more advanced and capable version of Bixby as a natural-language virtual assistant, and could deliver impressive features like real-time translation, image/wallpaper generation, better hands-free control over your device, generative replies to texts and messages, and potentially a call screener akin to Google's Pixel devices.

Samsung Bixby AI for all Spatial AI upgrade

(Image credit: Samsung)

The potential of an AI Bixby upgrade has been further bolstered by a recent "AI for all" press conference at CES 2024. Here Samsung showcased its vision for a more intuitively connected network of devices — Bixby included.

This announcement was more related to Bixby's smart home assistant capabilities, using new Spatial AI capabilities to better track your home's smart devices and follow user commands with better accuracy and more understanding. If Bixby is mid-way through an AI overhaul, then its capabilities as a mobile virtual assistant could be next in line for a refresh.

Samsung Galaxy AI, Zoom with Galaxy AI is coming

(Image credit: Samsung)

Another impressive, though not very well defined, feature that appears to be a part of the Galaxy AI feature set is Zoom.

The ambiguous feature appears to be similar to Google's Super Res Zoom, a Pixel-based tool that uses AI to to maintain the quality of high-res images even while zoomed in up to 30 times.

In the example we see a hot air balloon in the distance, with each zoom in maintaining the crisp and clear quality of the original image. 

This same image could also be relative to the new AI-enhanced photography feature called Nightography Zoom.

Nightography Zoom brightens your low-light images while maintaining sharp, noise-free quality even while zoomed in.

Speaking of zooms, there is one thing we can't wait for Samsung to clarify later today...

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024: Will the 10x optical zoom remain?

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in white with cameras facing towards the viewer and an image of the night sky captured on the Galaxy S23 Ultra behind it.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

The Galaxy S24 Ultra's telephoto lens is currently the subject of some debate online, and it all revolves around the rumor that Samsung are about to ditch the S23 Ultra's popular 10x optical zoom.

The impressive optical zoom capabilities of the S23 Ultra were a strong selling point for smartphone snappers, and the threat of removing it has ruffled more than a few feathers. Contrasting rumors indicate that the 10x optical zoom will make was for a 5x optical zoom with a bigger 50MP telephoto lens replacing the previous 10MP telephoto lens.

In contrast, others claim the 10x optical zoom to be a returning feature, making the 50MP sensor an all the more impressive upgrade.

We'll be keeping our eyes peeled to Samsung's S24 Ultra announcement to get the final word on these all-important camera specs.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024: S23 Ultra vs. S24 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

(Image credit: Samsung)

The potential lack of a 10x optical zoom for the Galaxy S24 Ultra isn't the only difference between Samsung's new flagship and the S23 Ultra. In fact, we've already draw together the differences between the two based on information that's leaked online ahead of today's event.

From projected price, design, display, processors, and cameras here's how the Galaxy S23 Ultra compares to the new Galaxy S24 Ultra:

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024: An early peek at Galaxy preorders?

Samsung Galaxy Buds FE

(Image credit: Samsung)

While Samsung's S24 lineup hasn't had its official announcement, we have had unofficial word of what to expect when it comes to preorder incentives thanks to a "related company source."

Those looking to preorder after today's announcement can secure a FREE storage upgrade at no extra cost, similar to the free storage upgrades offered alongside the unveiling of the Galaxy Tab S9 last year.

It's reported that preorders will also include discounts on the Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Buds FE. So if you're in the market for wearables alongside a new phone, today might just be a very good day to lay down your cash.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024: Tough competition

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. OnePlus 12, smartphone face-off

(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra might be the definitive Android device for some, but there are other contenders for your cold hard cash.

What if we told you there was a flagship smartphone going head-to-head with Samsung's latest that had the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor with more RAM and storage, for less than the Galaxy S23 Ultra's original launch price?

We'd like to take a moment to introduce you to the OnePlus 12 and see how well it really holds up against the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Asus ROG Phone 8

(Image credit: Asus)

Another flagship smartphone challenging Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra for Android dominance is the Asus ROG Phone 8.

Asus had a fantastic year in 2023 that included the launch of their highly-regarded ROG Ally handheld gaming console. For 2024 the brand is going even more mobile with its gamer-first devices with the ROG Phone 8, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3-equipped powerhouse that offers much more than gaming performance.

We got our first glimpse at the newly released smartphone during CES 2024, and we were more than impressed with what it had to offer. Interested in a Galaxy-alternative with just as much of a performance punch from its processor, but even more RAM and storage? Check it out below.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in hand against blue black ground

(Image credit: Apple)

Then, of course, there is Samsung's direct competition by way of the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple's flagship has the head start, having released late last year, which has pushed the company to overtaking Samsung in the smartphone market for the first time ever.

This reign might be short-lived, but it does underscore the threat Apple poses to Samsung. Will the Galaxy S24 Ultra be the phone that hands Samsung its market dominance back, or are we stepping into an iPhone generation that lasts?

That much remains to be seen, though with two excellent devices on the market, consumers are spoilt for choice. But which is better? Based on early information we pondered this ourselves, and you can read our thoughts below.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023: Things you're unlikely to see at today's event

Samsung booth show floor CES

(Image credit: Samsung)

We've spoken at length about what you can expect from today's event, but what about the things Samsung has cooking up that aren't quite ready for an unveiling just yet?

Known for its broad range of products, Samsung has some exciting irons in the fire that branch far beyond smartphones. Sadly, we highly doubt we'll be seeing these devices today — but you can never say never.

Lets take a look at these outside chances, and what might be heading our way from the South Korean tech giants in the near future.

Samsung Galaxy Ring Mockup

(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

The Samsung Galaxy Ring has been a persistent rumor circulating throughout the latter half of 2023 after trademarks were filed for a number of possible names alluding to a future smart ring.

The Galaxy Ring would seemingly fill the role of similar devices, a finger-worn wearable able to track the wearer's health metrics and fitness data — similar to what the Galaxy Watch is capable of.

Very little is known about the Galaxy Ring's design or features beyond this. However, patents filed by Samsung do indicate it may have further uses as a method to interact with our next unlikely unveiling...

Samsung Mixed Reality Headset concept shaded out

(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

Apple, Meta, and Lenovo aren't the only companies with skin in the virtual reality/augmented reality/mixed reality game. Samsung has been knee-deep in the development of its own VR/AR/XR headset for some time now.

This year promises to be a proving ground for this tech as the Meta Quest 3 grows an audience and Apple's Vision Pro arrives to stores. If there was ever a time to cash in on all those hours spent toiling in the engineering department, now could be it.

However, with so little known about Samsung's headset, it's highly unlikely that the company are ready to unveil it to the public. It would be a complete surprise to many if Samsung pulled this one out of its bag of tricks, but it would be a shot fired in the direction of the competition and a serious statement of intent.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

(Image credit: Samsung)

Unless you plan on strapping the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra to your forehead to make use of its flashlight as some rudimentary form of spelunker's torch, today's event is unlikely to be a bit hit with wearable fans.

Galaxy Watch and Bud devices tend to be unveiled in the latter half of the year. Which would actually line up pretty nicely for an unveiling of the Galaxy Ring alongside a potential Galaxy Watch 7 and Galaxy Buds Pro 3.

If those devices pique your interest then keep your eyes peeled in July for Samsung's follow-up Galaxy Unpacked event.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9

(Image credit: OnLeaks / MySmartPrice)

The same goes for Samsung's tablet lineup. You can expect the Galaxy Tab S10, S10+, and S10 Ultra to be announced at Samsung's Unpacked event in July, with a release likely to follow in August.

Little is known about these tablets at present, but given how solidly the Galaxy Tab S9 holds up, it's unlikely that there will be radical changes when the new lineup is unveiled.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024: How to watch the event online

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked, January 2024

(Image credit: Samsung)

We're now less than two and half hours away from Samsung Galaxy Unpacked kicking off, and you may be wondering if there's a way you can watch the Galaxy S24-Series reveal live. Thankfully, you can!

Watching along from home couldn't be easier. You can catch the event as it happens live on Samsung's official website, the Samsung Newsroom, or the brand's official YouTube account.

  • US & Canada: Wednesday, Jan 17 @ 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET
  • United Kingdom: Wednesday, Jan 17 @ 6 p.m. GMT
  • Europe: Wednesday, Jan 17 @ 7 p.m. CET
  • India: Wednesday, Jan 17 @ 11:30 p.m. IST
  • Australia and New Zealand: Thursday, Jan 18 @ 5 a.m. AET / 7 a.m. NZDT

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024: It's not all hardware

Samsung One UI

(Image credit: Samsung)

The launch of the Galaxy S24-Series is likely to coincide with the release of One UI 6.1, bringing about a slew of improved features and performance enhancements in its wake.

It'll be interesting to see how Galaxy AI blends into this updated environment as well as improvements to the overall UI and usability. Those with early access to the update have been impressed with its speed and smoothness so far, so here's to hoping some interesting features are announced as well.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024: S24 Ultra's cinematic slow-motion

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One leak highlighting an impressive feature of the upcoming Galaxy S24 Ultra focuses on being able to capture some ultra-smooth and cinematic slow-motion videos using the smartphone's 4K video recording at 120 frames per second.

This super-high FPS rate allows for video playback at 30 FPS for incredibly good-looking slow-mo shots! Check out the example above.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024: Extended support for the S-Series devices?

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

Claims online indicate that Samsung won't just be following in Google's footsteps when it comes to AI, but also in extended support.

Google recently promised seven years of OS, security, and Feature Drop updates for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. If reports are to be believed, Samsung is likely to announce a similar level of support today, offering 7 years of software and OS updates that would potentially carry support for the Galaxy S24-Series right through to Android 21!

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024: Processor perils

Samsung Galaxy S23

(Image credit: Samsung)

New phone, new chip. But which chip, exactly? That's a question many are pondering  as the release of the S24-Series of phones approaches.

Samsung aren't above changing the specifications of their devices depending on which region you pick one up in. While two people can buy the exact same phone in the U.S. and Europe, their performance has in the past been anything but identical.

This is a primary concern for those typically only able to grab at the short end of the stick, and something Samsung needs to be up-front and clear about during today's unveiling.

From what we know so far, if you pick up one of the S24-Series models, you'll either have a device packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 or an Exynos 2400 processor.

Lets go over what we know so far in our next few posts.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is seen as the more impressive option between the two, packing improved overall and graphical performance. So much so, that it has genuine potential to become the best non-gaming smartphone for playing games on with its global illumination and hardware-accelerated ray tracing.

It's a powerful processor in its own right, but its AI engine lends it further support to manage all of the multi-model generative features Samsung hope to pack into its newest models. These AI features can bolster just about everything from face-recognition unlocking to photo post-processing.

Sound great, right? Well, according to recent reports, if you want a phone guaranteed to be packing this powerful processor and you live anywhere outside of the United States, then you're going to need to pick up the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra to be certain.

Samsung Exynos 2400

(Image credit: Samsung)

When it comes to the standard S24 and S24 Plus models, things get a little less black and white.

If current rumors hold true, then these phones will only feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipsets when sold in North America. Those residing anywhere else on our known Earth will have to settle for the Samsung Exynos 2400 SoC instead. Please, calm your boos and hisses.

Historically, Samsung's Exynos chips have left a lot to be desired. However, Samsung claim that the new 2400 model is a healthy step forward for the chipset (and its new GPU, based on AMD's RDNA 3 architecture), and promise faster performance this time around.

In Samsung's defense, recent benchmark results do show it closing the gap with Qualcomm's processor. However, it's still the lesser chip, and there's no real arguing with that point.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked, January 2024

(Image credit: Samsung)

We're now just 30 minutes away from showtime! To reiterate once more, you can watch the event online live via Samsung's official website, the Samsung Newsroom, or the brand's official YouTube account.

Times for the start of the event by region are as follows:

  • US & Canada: Wednesday, Jan 17 @ 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET
  • United Kingdom: Wednesday, Jan 17 @ 6 p.m. GMT
  • Europe: Wednesday, Jan 17 @ 7 p.m. CET
  • India: Wednesday, Jan 17 @ 11:30 p.m. IST
  • Australia and New Zealand: Thursday, Jan 18 @ 5 a.m. AET / 7 a.m. NZDT

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024: It's show time!

It's showtime! Well, almost. There's just enough time to get settled in before the show kicks off in full.

Of course, if you don't want to leave us just yet then why not stick around and watch the event right here? Just be sure to stick around once things are over for in-depth coverage of everything that's revealed.