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Samsung’s Galaxy AI features could be coming to the Galaxy S22 series after all

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We previously reported that Samsung won’t be bringing Galaxy AI features to the Galaxy S22 series owing to hardware limitations, but it looks like the company is reviewing its position on Galaxy AI compatibility.

In the immediate aftermath of the Galaxy S24 launch, Samsung told us that it was “limiting Galaxy AI to last-gen devices” in order to “ensure” that its “AI experiences [could] be supported by mobile performance.” In other words, the company wasn’t able to confirm at the time whether the Exynos 2200 chipset powering the Samsung Galaxy S22, Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra could handle the demands of Galaxy AI.

However, speaking at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Korea (via Naver), Samsung head honcho TM Roh has since teased that Galaxy AI features could be coming to older Galaxy phones like the Galaxy S22, after all. 

“Galaxy AI is aiming for ‘hybrid AI’ that combines not only cloud-based AI but also on-device AI technology that is greatly affected by hardware performance,” Roh explained. “To do on-device AI [on devices with hardware limitations], a lot of efforts are needed […] but resources and efforts are being invested […] We are conducting a lot of review on the previous models.”

We already know that a select group of existing Samsung devices – including the Galaxy S23, Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 – are due to receive Galaxy AI features via the company’s imminent One UI 6.1 update, so “previous models” in this instance must necessarily refer to the Galaxy S22 series (and, perhaps, even older devices).

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

The AI-powered Circle to Search feature in action on the Galaxy S24 Plus (Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)

In truth, Roh’s comments aren’t too dissimilar from what Samsung’s Head of Customer Experience, Patrick Chomet, told us back at Galaxy Unpacked 2024: “We are learning, we are going step-by-step. We know that Galaxy AI works well on the Galaxy S24 series and we know it will work well on [the Galaxy S23 series]. But we don’t know what the intensity of AI usage will be for the average customer, and [therefore how that] intensity will impact on-device resources and cloud resources.”

Evidently, though, Samsung now has a better understanding of what “the intensity of AI usage for the average customer” is, and therefore how the “on-device resources” of older Galaxy phones might reckon with the challenges of this usage.

Temper expectations

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE review

The Galaxy S23 FE uses the same chipset as the Galaxy S22 (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

Of course, Samsung is making no promises regarding the Galaxy S22’s future compatibility with Galaxy AI. But since the Galaxy S23 FE – which is set to receive Galaxy AI features in the coming days – uses the same Exynos 2200 chipset as Samsung’s 2022 flagship, there’s a small glimmer of hope. 

That said, even if Samsung does discover that it can bring Galaxy AI features to the Galaxy S22 series, there’s no guarantee that it will. The company may decide to ‘gatekeep’ its AI software from previous-generation Galaxy phones in order to drive sales of the best Samsung phones. And while, for obvious reasons, that sort of artificial market segmentation won’t go down well with Galaxy S22 owners, it’s not all that different from Apple limiting its ProRaw and ProRes camera tech (among other image-related features) to the very best iPhones.

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