Galaxy AI is coming to older Samsung phones after all — but there’s a catch

 Galaxy AI features on Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Galaxy AI features on Galaxy S23 Ultra.

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster for owners of older Samsung devices keen to try out the wonders of Galaxy AI.

After promising that the clever artificial intelligence features would be rolled out to the Galaxy S23 series, the Galaxy Z Fold 5, Z Flip 5 and Tab S9, Samsung stopped short of making the same commitment to the S22 and earlier models.

But now it seems Samsung will be offering some AI features to earlier models after all. Hopes were initially raised via a Samsung press release covering the expansion of supported Galaxy AI languages. After listing the currently supported devices, it finished with the intriguing words: “with more coming soon.”

Now we may know exactly which devices are in line for the Galaxy AI upgrade. 9to5Google spotted a forum post on Samsung’s Korean forums, which outlines what devices One UI 6.1 with Galaxy AI will be coming to. It includes not just the S22 family, but the company’s 2021 flagship handsets as well.

But pre-2023 devices won’t get quite the same Galaxy AI experience as the current flagships, the post explains. The Galaxy S23 FE already runs a slightly paired back version of Galaxy AI without the Instant Slow-Mo feature, and it’s this implementation of the software that Samsung’s 2022 devices will be getting. That covers the Galaxy S22 family, the Z Fold 4, the Z Flip 4 and the company’s Tab S8 tablets.

If you own a device from 2021 — the Galaxy S21, a Z Fold 3 or a Z Flip 3 — your Galaxy AI experience will be extremely limited, with just Circle to Search and “Magic Rewrite” supported. The latter seems to be a botched translation of “Generative Edit”, which makes sense as it’s cloud-powered and wouldn’t have to lean on the device’s weaker internals.

Obviously, it would be nice if all of the features were available on older Samsung devices, but any free upgrade is certainly welcome and Circle to Search is one of the better Galaxy AI features in any case. Plus the power of Generative Edit was something that would have seemed like science fiction in January 2021 when the S21 was being shown off to the world, so it’s a free update that most would have been very happy about at the time.

According to the forum post, the update will be rolling out in early May. Though as this insight is from the Korean forum, it’s possible that the global update will need a little longer.