Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Some of the currently free AI features of the Galaxy S24 series could get a price tag after 2 years. Wikimedia Commons

Samsung's newly launched Galaxy S24 series smartphones boast an impressive array of AI-powered features, but some won't stay free forever. Notably, you should be prepared for a possible paywall if you want to continue accessing all AI features.

After floating around the rumour mill for a long time, the Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24 Plus and Galaxy S24 Ultra smartphones were officially unveiled at the Galaxy Unpacked event.

The newly launched Galaxy S23 series successors are teeming with new features, especially AI-powered features. To recap, the Korean brand unveiled Galaxy AI for its upcoming Galaxy S-series smartphones a few months ago.

"Galaxy AI is universal intelligence on your phone as you've never seen it before," Samsung explained in a blog post in November 2023. There are no prizes for guessing that the Galaxy AI-powered Galaxy S24 series comes with a lot of AI features such as live translation for phone calls, generative editing and a Google AI feature called circle to search.

Galaxy S24 series offers AI-powered features, but there's a catch

During the presentation, Samsung focused on highlighting how artificial intelligence (AI) has been incorporated into the Galaxy S24 series. However, the company did not mention that these AI features, which are branded as Galaxy AI, will become a paid service after 2 years.

Yes, that's right! In a footnote in the Samsung Australia newsroom post, the company has indicated that the Galaxy AI features are only free until 2025. "Galaxy AI features will be provided free of charge until the end of 2025 on supported Samsung Galaxy devices," the notation reads.

However, the web page now shows a message that reads: "The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable."

While this is not a major sign that the Galaxy AI features will be available only to those who pay a subscription fee, the possibility remains open. So, it is safe to assume that Samsung may not offer lifetime access to AI tools for free to Galaxy S24 users.

Surprisingly, the Samsung U.S. newsroom post does not mention anything about a 2-year free trial of the Galaxy AI features. However, the product page for Galaxy S24 phones in the US has a slightly different disclaimer.

"Galaxy AI features will be provided for free until the end of 2025 on supported Samsung Galaxy devices," the footnote reads. "Different terms may apply for AI features provided by third parties."

Aside from that, Samsung fan and X user @AnxiousHolly posted a screenshot of what appears to be a Samsung Croatia ad, which implies Galaxy AI features will be free of charge until 2025. There is also a possibility that the Galaxy AI features will only be free forever for Galaxy S24 users in specific regions.

What else could be in the offing?

Samsung is marketing the Galaxy S24 series trio as AI-powered smartphones. Notably, the Korean smartphone giant is offering 7 years of OS and security updates for the Galaxy S24 series, which matches Google's promise from last year.

However, the Galaxy AI features might only be free for 2 of those 7 years of supported upgrades. Ambient wallpapers for photos, edit suggestions and translation tools are the only Galaxy AI tools used with on-device processing.

The rest of the tools require an internet connection for off-device processing. Since Samsung has confirmed that different terms apply for third-party AI services, features provided in collaboration with Google could either stay free or become a paid service by Google.

Samsung is not the first company to offer features free for a limited time and hinted at the possibility of it becoming a paid option later. Apple did this with its iPhone 14 series' Emergency SOS via Satellite feature.

The company initially said iPhone 14 users would get 2 years of Emergency SOS via Satellite service, but added an extra year of support at the end of the first year.

It will be interesting to see whether Samsung will do something similar and delay the date when Galaxy AI features become paid or keep them free forever.