Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
Ever since I relocated to Paris, I’ve relished traveling across Europe and getting lost in another culture and language. I communicate in French so some Latin languages like Spanish and Italian are relatively easier for me to comprehend. Attempting to communicate face-to-face in another language is often an enjoyable experience, but all this pleasure gets thrown in the garbage can when I have to phone someone ahead to reserve or plan something.
Individuals are less patient on phone calls — me included — and it’s incredibly difficult to tell someone to wait while I figure out how to use Google Translate and manage the call at the same time. I’ve attempted Google’s Pixel Live Caption for phone calls, but it only helps me comprehend what the other person is saying. It doesn’t translate my words to them.
Samsung Live Translate for phone call works offline and irrespective of what phone the other person is using, even a landline.
Introducing Samsung’s new live translation feature on the Samsung Galaxy S24 series. This new Galaxy AI choice works directly in the phone app and handles translations on the fly for both me and the person I’m conversing with. It works no matter what phone the other person is using — even if it’s a landline — and doesn’t require a network connection. Everything happens locally on the phone.
But is it any good? Can you engage in a conversation on the Galaxy S24 with Live Translate enabled? How well does it handle different languages and local slang? I spent some time making calls in French and English then I tried to reserve dinner at a Spanish restaurant in Barcelona; here are my findings.
Have you ever attempted to utilize translation during a phone call?
Live translation on the Galaxy S24: Languages, options, settings
Live Translate for phone calls isn’t activated by default. You have to open the Phone app, go to Settings > Live Translate to enable it. Once it’s on, it’ll show up during phones calls.
But since you’re here, you should check all the other settings. You’ll be able to choose your language, choose one voice among two, adjust the speech speed, and suppress your own voice so the other person only hears the translation and not your original message. The same settings are there for your callee.
It’s strange to pick the default languages beforehand, but you can still alter them per contact or per call.
I thought it was peculiar to have to pick the other person’s language so early; after all, I might converse with people in different countries and with different languages. But Samsung has thought that through. You can assign different language combos for specific contacts, you can also change the language on the fly during the call.
Samsung supports 12 languages with several different local variations for live translation of phone calls:
- English (US, UK, India)
- Spanish (Spain, Mexico, US)
I also recommend that you hit the More advanced intelligence features button and consider enabling the Process data only on device setting. This affects all of Samsung’s Galaxy AI features and will ensure that your data remains local if you care about your privacy.
I tested live translate for phone calls with the setting enabled and disabled and with data/Wi-Fi on and off, all with the same results. So Samsung seems to be sticking to its guns here and keeping this specific AI feature local. Others, like the S24’s generative photo editing, don’t even work when you select local-only processing.
For me, the choice is rather straightforward. I don’t need to frequently make phone calls to people in other languages, so I enable server-side processing most of the time. When I do need to make a call, I switch to local-only processing to bolster security a bit more. It doesn’t seem to be necessary because Samsung is managing this locally by default, but the placebo effect is real.