Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Samsung brings AI to 2023 phones in One UI update

Owners of a recent Samsung phone won’t have to upgrade to this year’s latest to see new features.

When Samsung announced that its S24 range would get AI features, we wondered what owners of last year’s phones thought, or even felt. Spare a moment for folks who bought the Flip 5 or Fold 5 in the back half of last year, because they too were missing out on that AI feature set coming to the S24 models.

The one we’ve reviewed, the S24 Ultra, got most of the cool tech, and our guess is both the Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Z Fold 6 will get the tech this year, but that still leaves owners of older devices.

Or does it?

With a recent update to the Samsung Google overlay, owners of last year’s phones are getting some of this year’s tech.

Much like how Google rolled out some of the AI features introduced on the S24 Ultra to owners of the Pixel 8 Pro, so too is Samsung rolling out features for owners of previous Samsung phones.

Specifically, we’re talking about models from the last year, covering the Galaxy S23 and S23 Ultra, S23 FE, Galaxy Z Flip 5, Galaxy Z Fold 5, and even owners of the Galaxy Tab S9 (as a tablet gets an update, too!).

As part of Samsung’s One UI 6.1 update rolling out to its devices, some of the AI features that launched on the S24 range will make its way to those devices, covering the live translation technology to interpret languages over the phone, the interpreter tech to do it in person, and even some of the AI generative edit technology to change photos, too.

Samsung will also bring the “Circle to Search” function to the devices, allowing you to stop what you’re doing and let AI work out what you wanted to search for visually simply by circling it, and its Note Assist tech to help you use AI to format notes using Samsung’s note-taking app is there, as well.

It’s worth pointing out that some of these features may cost money at the end of 2025, and that the AI features on older models will need an internet connection to work. Unlike the S24 range (and likely future models), the older phones don’t have AI-processing on the chip itself, so need to be online to make those AI features work.

But the good news is this: you won’t need to pay for an entirely new phone to get some of the new features found on those new phones, and that’s a win.

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