Samsung's One UI 6.1 update adding Galaxy AI to S23, Fold5, Flip5 and Tab S9 devices from late March

Samsung has announced its Galaxy AI features, released with the S24 range of smartphones earlier this month, are being added to older devices through an update coming in around a month.

The One UI 6.1 update will be available for the following devices in Aotearoa: the Galaxy S23, S23 Plus, S23 Ultra, S23 FE, Z Fold5, Z Flip5, Tab S9, Tab S9 Plus and Tab S9 Ultra.

An exact release date for New Zealand was not announced, but the company said the update will be "starting to roll out from end of March".

Galaxy AI includes both cloud-based and on-device features, so it is unclear how quickly the on-device features will be performed on older devices with inferior chipsets to the S24 range.

At the S24 launch event in California earlier this year, Samsung's head of customer experience Patrick Chomet told Newshub recent AI advances meant Samsung had "hundreds" of ideas from "every single department", but most of those weren't developed as there was a tight focus on "useful stuff".

"We don't do gimmicks," Chomet said.

"When we decided to take the direction to create a new, AI-based device ecosystem, the reason was we believe the technology can empower users to do more. So each of the Galaxy AI features empowers either communication, productivity or creativity."

The Galaxy AI features coming in the One UI 6.1 update include:

  • Circle to Search with Google, which enables users to select any item on their phone's screen for instant access to relevant information, such as identifying clothing or providing details about buildings and landmarks seen in photos
  • Interpreter, a real-time translation feature intended to facilitate seamless communication between speakers of different languages during in-person conversations, functioning offline without the need for an internet connection and initially offering translations for 13 languages, with potential additions in the future
  • Live Translate, similar to Interpreter, but for phone conversations instead of in-person
  • Chat Assist, which applies the translation service to text messages and can help with tone and grammar
  • Transcript Assist, a speech recording transcriber that provides auto-summaries
  • Note Assist, a tool that can automatically provide summaries of notes, create templates for them, and create covers with brief previews so notes can be more quickly found.
  • Browsing Assist, which summarises any web article or text document
  • Photo editing tools such as shadow removal, reflection erasure and blur reduction which are done on-device and will be automatically suggested
  • Generative Edit, a cloud-powered AI tool for generating an artificial background where needed on photos, similar to Photoshop's Content-Aware Fill
  • Instant Slow-mo, which adds a slow-motion effect to videos by generating additional frames.