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Apple Intelligence vs. Galaxy AI: Which Smartphone AI Is Best for You?

Apple Intelligence and Galaxy AI are two of the best artificial intelligence systems coming to smartphones. Both promise to change the way we use our devices, but Apple and Samsung have different visions for how customers will use AI.

Galaxy AI is more task-oriented and designed for productivity. It includes features like translating abilities, Circle to Search, and AI-enabled photo editing. Apple Intelligence is designed to connect all the apps in your iPhone. It uses your current personal context to complete tasks and also includes generative features like Genmoji, the Image Playground, and ChatGPT 4.0.

We’ve been studying the wireless industry since 2008 and, in that time, have tracked the rise of AI smartphone technology. In this guide, we’ll break down the new AI options from Apple and Samsung so you can determine which one is best for you.

What is smartphone AI?

Smartphone AI is an artificial intelligence system that can be used with the software and hardware on your phone. Some AI features can complete tasks for you, such as intelligently organizing your messages or supercharging your Google search. Other kinds of smartphone AI are generative, meaning your phone can create new content based on prompts.

The two biggest smartphone AI systems right now are Apple Intelligence and Galaxy AI. Apple Intelligence was revealed to the world during Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in June 2024. Galaxy AI premiered a few months earlier, in February, at the Samsung Unpacked event, which announced the Galaxy S24.

Operating system AI vs. on-device AI

Smartphone AI systems can generally be divided into two types:

  • Operating system AI
  • On-device AI

Operating system-based AI uses the software on your phone to complete tasks. These kinds of features are available on more devices since they require a specific operating system, not major processing capabilities. Galaxy AI’s Circle to Search—which allows you to search Google by circling your screen—is an example of an operating system-based AI. While it premiered with the Galaxy S24 series, it’s tied to Android 14 and is available on every Samsung device stretching back to the Galaxy S21.

On-device AI requires specific pieces of hardware to work. This could be a newer camera lens or a particularly powerful processor. A smartphone that doesn’t have the required components can’t use that AI feature. Much of Apple Intelligence is on-device AI. It requires a phone with at least an A17 Pro processor to operate since most tasks are completed directly on your iPhone. That means the base-model iPhone 15 and earlier Apple devices cannot run the system.

Apple Intelligence

Apple’s vision for Apple Intelligence on your iPhone is a personalized and integrated system connecting every aspect of your device. It offers cross-platform functionality for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The goal is to complete tasks and answer questions within your “personal context.”

Essentially, the software will constantly monitor your apps and messages for specific information to answer questions. It can also organize your messages, photos, and emails to prioritize information it thinks is most important for your current situation. The system also has a generative side, so it can do things like create custom emojis and fix your writing. In addition, Apple has partnered with OpenAI to give Apple Intelligence access to Chat GPT 4.0.

Apple Intelligence is largely on-device. Most questions you ask or tasks it completes use the information on your iPhone, keeping your data secure. If your iPhone does need outside help, Apple has created a feature called Private Cloud Compute that brings Apple’s privacy features into cloud servers, ensuring you’re still protected, even when you’re operating off your device.

Genmoji feature in Apple Intelligence.
Image: Apple

Apple Intelligence features

Apple Intelligence features are located throughout your iPhone and are generally interconnected.

Some of the most important Apple Intelligence features include:

  • Genmoji: Generates custom emojis for iMessage.
  • Image Playground: Generates custom images in seconds based on your descriptions.
  • Chat GPT 4.0: Generative writing integration powered by Chat GPT.
  • Personalized Siri: Allows Siri to utilize information from across your device to create complex answers to questions and carry on conversations.
  • Generative AI in Photos app: Organizes your photos and searches for images using specific details.
  • Clean Up: Generative photo editing feature that removes background objects from images.
  • Mail app organization: Organizes your emails and designates priority messages.

Apple Intelligence devices

Currently, Apple Intelligence will be available on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models. It’s also expected to be part of the upcoming iPhone 16 series.

Galaxy AI

Samsung’s vision for Galaxy AI is largely task-based. Its current version doesn’t offer the same level of integration as Apple Intelligence.

Most features you’ll find on Galaxy AI only work in certain apps, like the Phone, Messages, or Gallery apps. These features—like live translations or image sharpening—are designed to increase your productivity within an app, not change your relationship with your phone. Many of them are also generative and can create new images and text, but they don’t rely on your personal information as background data.

Samsung has done a better job of creating AI features that have backward compatibility. Some Galaxy AI features are tied directly to Android 14, meaning previous Samsung devices that don’t offer the newest hardware can still run a limited version of Galaxy AI.

While Apple has prioritized data and privacy protection, Samsung has not said much about this. Galaxy AI does use cloud-based AI features to complete some tasks, which is why it is available on more devices. That said, it’s not clear how much data is transferred in the process.

Photo of someone using Circle to Search, a new AI feature for the S24 series.
Circle to Search on Galaxy AI.
Image: Samsung

Apple Intelligence features

Most Galaxy AI features are within Samsung’s native apps or available in your phone’s settings.

Some of the Galaxy AI features include:

  • Live translate: Two-way, real-time voice and text translations of phone calls.
  • Interpreter: Split-screen text translation of live conversations.
  • Note assist: AI-generated summaries of notes.
  • Circle to Search: Circle, highlight, scribble on, or tap the screen to search for it on Google.
  • ProVisual Engine: AI-powered tools that sharpen images, enhance zooming, and improve colour.
  • Edit Suggestion: AI-driven suggestions to improve images in post-processing.
  • Generative Edit: Uses generative AI to fill in image backgrounds and adjust subjects.
  • Instant Slo-mo: Generates additional frames to slow down videos.

Apple Intelligence features

Galaxy AI is more widely available than Apple Intelligence. The full suite of features can be found on the newest devices, including:

Some features, like Circle to Search, are also available on older devices, including the Galaxy S21 series, Z Flip3, and Z Fold3.

Recap: Which smartphone AI is right for you?

Which smartphone AI is right for you depends on how you plan to use your phone. Galaxy AI and Apple Intelligence share a few similar features, but each is really its own system.

If you want your phone to act as a personal assistant and have access to your data to make intelligent decisions, Apple Intelligence may be a better choice. It’s also a better option for users who value generative features like custom emojis (Genmoji) and writing powered by Chat GPT 4.0.

Users who want AI to help with specific tasks—like translating or photo editing—will get more out of Galaxy AI. While it doesn’t offer the personal experience Apple tries to provide, it does include a ton of tricks to make your life easier and increase your productivity within some of the most used apps on your phone.

Max McCaskill

Max McCaskill

Max started his career as a newspaper reporter covering public policy. Today, he uses his skills to help readers navigate the complicated world of wireless technology. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him sharpening his photography skills, fly fishing, or complaining about SEC football.


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