Last year, the Samsung Galaxy S23 was expected to adopt a feature that Apple had launched a few months earlier with the iPhone 14: satellite communications. Essentially, the feature lets you connect to satellites in emergency situations where normal phone signal isn’t available. It’s a niche feature that you have to hope you’ll never need, but one that’s already proved to be a lifesaver for some.
But Samsung didn’t introduce the feature, arguing that it was too soon for the company to adopt it. “When there is the right timing, infrastructure and the technology [is] ready, then of course for Samsung Galaxy, for our mobile division, we would also actively consider adopting this feature as well,” Samsung President of Mobile Experience TM Roh said back in February.
Well, apparently the timing is now right. Reporting on a SEDEX Semiconductor Exhibition keynote delivered by Samsung’s Park Yong-in, Sisa Journal states the company confirmed it will support satellite services for smartphones from next year.
While the Samsung Galaxy S24 wasn’t mentioned by name, a premium feature like this feels like a shoo-in for the flagship handset. The only reason it might not appear is if it’s not quite ready for the handset’s predicted February launch — if that’s the case, then perhaps it’ll appear in the company’s foldables which have historically followed in August. If it is in the S24, you’d expect it to appear in the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 too, regardless.
Back when the feature was tipped for the Galaxy S23, the feature was expected to be quite basic, allowing emergency SMS text messages and low-resolution image sharing. It’s not clear if the extra time has allowed Samsung to improve upon this, but back then the rationale was that including things like high-speed data and voice would require a much larger antenna. Understandably, the subsequent design trade-offs don’t seem sensible for a feature that most buyers will never use.
Assuming it does come to the S24 series, it’s unlikely to be the main selling point, with the AI-toting Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 set to power all three handsets — possibly with a souped-up ‘For Galaxy’ variant as with last year.
Cameras are once again expected to be a key selling point, especially on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, which will offer “significant improvement” in the 3x zoom camera and an exciting-looking tool for filmmakers where users can capture tracked zoomed video and a full angle shot at the same time.