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Unpacking Memories: My Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Experience

When I first got hired as a content producer for the tech department of Philippine STAR, one of the perks that came with the job was the opportunity for travel.

Little did I know that in the first month of joining the team, I would literally be sent thousands of miles away to the USA for my first ever media trip. (Talk about Trial by Fire!)

I’m sure you’re all curious about what goes on during media trips like these, so allow me to give you a peek into what I can now include in my list of Top 10 Most Memorable Trips of My Life.

The Arrival and Pre-Unpacked Events

Anticipating the inevitable jetlag, the first two days of our trip was kept open. This gave us enough time for rest and the opportunity to get to know everyone in our merry band of media professionals.

On day three, our first order of business was Content Capture Day. We were given the exclusive opportunity to see and experience the phones and their new features before the official launch.

So off we go to Signia Hotel where a function room was transformed into a product showroom with everything you needed to know about the Galaxy S24 series.

Phones in every color and model were placed strategically around the room and in each corner were demonstration areas showcasing the new AI features of the Galaxy S24.

We were given 2 hours to go around and fiddle with the phones and ask questions about the different features. We were also allowed to take photos and footage that we could use for our upcoming write-ups and video content.

(L-R) Jamie Inocian of, AA Abjelina of Samsung Philippines, Gelo Gonzales of Rappler, Lia Espina of PhilSTAR Tech, Gian Viterbo of Gadget Pilipinas

The BIG Day

Finally, it’s January 17, 2024, in the USA and the BIG day has come. It’s time for Galaxy Unpacked!

We arrived early at the SAP Center in San Jose, and as soon as we reached the front doors, we could feel the excitement in the air. A long queue was already forming but fortunately for us, as we were accompanied by a Samsung representative we were ushered in immediately inside the building.

And because we were early, we were able to grab good seats, right smack in the middle of the arena!

As I sat in my chair while looking around, I started thinking about how a few years back, I wondered how it felt to be like one of those tech journalists who would do live tweets/posts while covering huge tech events such as CES, MWC, Tokyo Game Show, and the like. Lo and behold, look at me, doing the same thing at that very moment!

It was then, that I decided that this was going to be a trip to remember!

So finally, the show starts, and we were greeted with this incredibly amazing light show followed by an AVP.

As soon as the AVP ended, we were greeted by TM Roh, President, and Head of Mobile eXperience (MX) Business. His opening remarks included the unveiling of the Galaxy S24 series, highlighting Samsung Galaxy’s role as an accessible gateway to secure and meaningful AI experiences on a global scale.

Next, Drew Blackard, Vice President of Mobile Product Management at Samsung Electronics America, unveiled a set of innovative features for the Galaxy S24 series through a live demonstration.

The features were as follows: Live Translate, which offers real-time, two-way call translations directly within the native call app; Interpreter, in which the device can act as your personal interpreter while on-the-go; Chat Assist, a feature with which you can exchange chat and text messages with other people even though you do not share the same language; Transcript Assist, a feature which can help users create and share summaries of recorded conversations; Note Assist, a god-send feature which automatically organizes your summaries into nifty bullet points; and lastly, Android Auto, which allows users to drive safely and stay connected while on the road.

TM Roh then returned to the stage to introduce Hiroshi Lockheimer, Senior Vice President of Platforms and Ecosystems at Google. They spoke briefly about Google being Samsung’s key collaborator in spearheading the mobile AI era.

Next presentation was done by Cathy Edwards, VP of Google Search. She demonstrated the Circle to Search feature which is a new way for users to search for information on the internet using the S24 series. All you must do, is hold the home button, circle whatever thing you’d like to search about on your screen and your phone will come up with search results related to your encircled image. No need for app switching!

The next set of presentations then concentrated on the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s enhanced camera features.

Dr. Hamid Sheikh, VP, Intelligent Imaging Samsung Research, spoke about the all-new ProVisual Engine which is a suite of AI-powered tools that can help users maximize their creativity while using the S24 Ultra’s camera and video capabilities.

Tara Rael, Product Specialist at Samsung Electronics America, then joined the stage to demonstrate the Nightography Zoom on the S24 Ultra.

Other camera-related features were also presented, such as the new Galaxy AI editing tools which can easily remove subjects, reflections and even shadows in your photos; Super HDR, which gives you more lifelike photos and videos; and Instant Slow-mo, with which you don’t need to be taking a live-video to apply slow-motion on your videos. This feature uses AI to generate extra frames to give you that slow-mo effect. 

Then the first surprise guest of the day was unveiled! A short video featuring Mr. Beast using the Galaxy S24 Ultra was shown, highlighting the S24 Ultra as a good choice of phone for content creators.

Next, David Thompson, Product Specialist, joined the stage and spoke about the Galaxy S24 series’ enhanced CPU and GPU performances which makes it not only a tool for content creators, but for gamers as well!

He also discussed the S24 Ultra as the first ever Galaxy phone to have a Titanium frame. He then introduced a video of John Bayne, SVP Mobile Consumer Electronics of Corning Incorporated. The video highlighted the S24 Ultra’s display made of Corning Gorilla Armor, which makes it Samsung’s toughest display yet.

And the second surprise guest of the day — Pokimane! She talked about the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s intelligent displays and how it can adjust to ambient lighting, making sure gamers enjoy visibility in any given environment.

Second to the last speaker was Inhee Chung, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability Center at Samsung Electronics. She discussed Samsung’s vision for a more a sustainable future.

And lastly, Matthew Wiggins, Head of Samsung Research America’s Health Solutions Lab, spoke about how Galaxy AI will usher in a new era of digital health, especially in the topic of sleep health.

The event then finally ends with a frustratingly quick teaser of the Samsung Ring, which sadly will not be launched in the Philippines as some features will not be available.

So many new things unpacked in this year’s Samsung Galaxy Unpacked that I left the event feeling happily overwhelmed.

BUT WAIT! It’s not over yet.

Post-Unpacked Events

On the last full day of our trip, I was invited to join a roundtable discussion with Joshua Cho, EVP, and Head of Visual Solution Team of Mobile eXperience (MX) Business. Also present in the roundtable discussion was Dr. Hamid Sheikh.

It was held at the Samsung Research America in Silicon Valley. We were given a quick tour and then went straight to business.

Mr. Cho and Dr. Sheikh briefly talked more in detail about the enhanced camera features and the pivotal role of AI in improving the capabilities of the camera of the S24 series. Afterwards, we were then given 20 minutes to ask questions.

Mr. Joshua Cho, Head of Visual Solution Team, Mobile eXperience (MX) Business

As it was my first time to join a roundtable discussion, I was more of an observer while the other journalist asked a lot of highly technical questions about improvements done on the S24 series’ camera.

While I may not have been an active participant in the roundtable discussion, I was, however, able to use the Transcript Assist feature of the Galaxy S24 Ultra unit they lent us. And let me tell you, the S24 series could be a journalist’s dream phone!

I was able to record and transcribe the whole roundtable discussion with a push of a button. And with another push, I was able to create a summary of the roundtable discussion, neatly organized in bullet points!

Simply amazing.

After the roundtable discussion, back to the hotel we go, to rest and freshen up.

To end our trip, our last activity was a dinner in Downtown San Francisco where we were able to try out the Nightography feature of the S24 Ultra.


I hope everyone enjoyed reading about my Samsung Galaxy Unpacked experience.

As I sit here in my chair back in Manila, I would like to thank Samsung for having me on this very wonderful trip. It has unquestionably set the bar for the next media trips I will be attending in the future!

So, the next question is — Is the S24 Ultra worth the upgrade?

Look forward to my review here!