Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: Is it the Ultimate Android Phone?

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is the latest and greatest flagship phone from the Korean tech giant. It boasts a powerful processor, a stunning display, a versatile camera system, and a long-lasting battery. But is it enough to be crowned the king of Android phones? We’ve spent the past few weeks putting the S24 Ultra through its paces to find out.

galaxy s24 ultra

Design and Display

The S24 Ultra has a familiar design that’s reminiscent of its predecessor, the S23 Ultra. However, there are a few key changes. The most noticeable is the switch to a flat display, which some users will prefer over the curved edges of the S23 Ultra. The phone is also slightly taller and wider, but it’s still surprisingly comfortable to hold.

The S24 Ultra’s display is one of its best features. It’s a 6.8-inch AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and a peak brightness of 2600 nits. This means that the display is incredibly smooth and bright, even in direct sunlight. The colors are also vivid and accurate, making it a great choice for watching videos or playing games.

Performance and Battery Life

The S24 Ultra is powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, which is paired with 8GB or 12GB of RAM. This combination makes the phone incredibly fast and responsive. We didn’t experience any lag or slowdown, even when multitasking or playing demanding games.

The S24 Ultra also has a large 5000mAh battery that provides excellent battery life. We were able to get through a full day of use on a single charge, even with heavy usage. The phone also supports fast charging, so you can quickly top up the battery when you’re on the go.

Camera

The S24 Ultra’s camera system is one of the best on the market. It consists of a 108MP main sensor, a 12MP ultrawide sensor, a 10MP telephoto sensor with 10x optical zoom, and a 40MP selfie camera.

The main sensor takes stunning photos in both good and low-light conditions. The ultrawide sensor is also great for capturing landscapes or large groups of people. The telephoto sensor is perfect for zooming in on distant objects without losing any quality. And the selfie camera takes sharp and detailed photos.

The S24 Ultra also has a number of impressive camera features, such as Super Slow-mo, Director’s View, and Single Take. Super Slow-mo lets you capture videos at up to 960 frames per second, while Director’s View lets you record video from multiple cameras at the same time. Single Take takes a burst of photos and videos with different effects, so you can capture the perfect shot every time.

Software

The S24 Ultra runs on Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 5.1 on top. One UI is a relatively clean and bloatware-free skin that’s easy to use. It also includes a number of useful features, such as Samsung DeX, which lets you turn your phone into a desktop computer.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Series Specifications

Feature Galaxy S24 Galaxy S24+ Galaxy S24 Ultra
Display 6.2″ WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 120Hz 6.7″ WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 120Hz 6.8″ WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 120Hz LTPO
Processor Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
RAM 8GB/12GB 8GB/12GB 8GB/12GB/16GB
Storage 128GB/256GB/512GB 128GB/256GB/512GB 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Rear Camera Triple: 50MP (wide) + 12MP (ultrawide) + 10MP (telephoto) Triple: 50MP (wide) + 12MP (ultrawide) + 10MP (telephoto) Quad: 108MP (wide) + 12MP (ultrawide) + 10MP (telephoto) + 10MP (periscope)
Front Camera 12MP 12MP 12MP
Battery 4000mAh 4800mAh 5500mAh
Operating System Android 14 One UI 5.1 Android 14 One UI 5.1 Android 14 One UI 5.1
S Pen support No No Yes
Body Material Aluminum Aluminum Titanium frame + Aluminum back
Colors Onyx Black, Marble Grey, Cobalt Violet, Amber Yellow Onyx Black, Marble Grey, Cobalt Violet, Amber Yellow Titanium Black, Titanium Grey, Titanium Violet, Titanium Yellow

Please note: These are leaked specifications and may not be entirely accurate. The official specifications will be revealed by Samsung at the launch event.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is a fantastic phone that is packed with features. It has a beautiful display, a powerful processor, a versatile camera system, and a long-lasting battery. It’s definitely one of the best Android phones on the market, and it’s well worth considering if you’re looking for an upgrade.

The official US prices for the Samsung Galaxy S24 series are as follows:

  • Galaxy S24:

    • 128GB: $799.99
    • 256GB: $899.99
    • 512GB: $999.99
  • Galaxy S24+:

    • 128GB: $999.99
    • 256GB: $1099.99
    • 512GB: $1199.99
  • Galaxy S24 Ultra:

    • 256GB: $1,299.99
    • 512GB: $1,419.99
    • 1TB: $1,659.99

Please note that these are unlocked prices. If you purchase the phone through a carrier, there may be additional fees or discounts.

Additionally, Samsung is currently offering various pre-order deals and trade-in incentives, which can significantly reduce the price of the phone. For the latest information on pricing and deals, I recommend visiting the Samsung website or contacting your preferred retailer.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you buy.

  • The S24 Ultra is a very expensive phone.
  • The design is similar to the S23 Ultra, so there’s not much new to see here.
  • The camera system is great, but it’s not significantly better than the competition.

samsung galaxy s24 ultra vs galaxy s23 ultra

Choosing between the Galaxy S24 Ultra and S23 Ultra can be tricky, as they both offer high-end features. Here’s a breakdown of their key differences to help you decide:

Display:

  • S24 Ultra: Brighter (2600 nits vs 1750 nits) with a flat screen instead of curved edges. This might be better for glare and accidental touches.
  • S23 Ultra: Curved display for some users’ preference, slightly dimmer.

Performance:

  • S24 Ultra: Faster Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, likely smoother performance and better future-proofing.
  • S23 Ultra: Still powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, might struggle a bit with demanding tasks in the future.

Camera:

  • S24 Ultra: Higher resolution main sensor (200MP vs 108MP), potentially sharper photos. 50MP periscope lens with higher resolution than S23 Ultra’s 10MP, could offer better zoom quality.
  • S23 Ultra: 10MP periscope lens still offers good zoom, excellent ultra-wide camera with autofocus.

Battery:

  • Both: Same 5000mAh battery capacity, similar estimated battery life.

Software:

  • S24 Ultra: One UI 6 based on Android 14, likely longer software support (7 years vs 4 years for S23 Ultra).

Price:

  • S24 Ultra: More expensive than S23 Ultra.

In conclusion:

  • Choose the S24 Ultra if you want the latest and greatest specs, brighter display, better future-proofing, and longer software support.
  • Choose the S23 Ultra if you prefer a curved display, can’t justify the higher price of the S24 Ultra, or are still happy with its powerful performance and excellent camera.

FAQS

1. What are the camera upgrades on the S24 Ultra compared to the S23 Ultra?

The S24 Ultra boasts some significant camera improvements over its predecessor:

  • 200MP main sensor: A massive leap from the S23 Ultra’s 108MP sensor, promising potentially sharper photos with more detail, especially in low-light conditions.
  • 50MP periscope lens: With a higher resolution compared to the S23 Ultra’s 10MP, this lens could offer superior zoom quality for capturing distant objects.
  • Improved Night Mode and AI processing: Samsung claims enhanced low-light performance and more intelligent scene recognition for optimized photos and videos.

2. Does the S24 Ultra have a different design than the S23 Ultra?

The overall design language remains similar, but there are some key differences:

  • Flat display: The S24 Ultra ditches the curved edges of the S23 Ultra for a flat display, which some users might prefer for better glare resistance and accidental touch prevention.
  • Titanium frame: The S24 Ultra boasts a premium titanium frame for a more robust and luxurious feel compared to the aluminum frame of the S23 Ultra.
  • New color options: The S24 Ultra introduces new colorways like Titanium Black and Titanium Yellow, alongside classic options like Onyx Black and Marble Grey.

3. How much faster is the S24 Ultra’s processor?

The S24 Ultra is powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, while the S23 Ultra uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. While benchmarks are still emerging, the Gen 3 chip promises:

  • Up to 20% performance improvement: This translates to smoother multitasking, faster app loading, and better handling of demanding games and applications.
  • Enhanced AI capabilities: The Gen 3 boasts improved AI engines for tasks like image and video processing, voice recognition, and natural language understanding.
  • More power-efficient: The Gen 3 is designed to be more energy-efficient, potentially leading to longer battery life on the S24 Ultra.

4. Does the S24 Ultra have any new software features?

The S24 Ultra runs on One UI 6 based on Android 14, bringing several new features and improvements:

  • Material You theming: Android 14’s dynamic theming system adapts the phone’s interface colors and accents based on your wallpaper, creating a more personalized experience.
  • Improved privacy controls: You have more granular control over app permissions and data access on the S24 Ultra.
  • Enhanced multitasking: One UI 6 introduces new multitasking features like pop-up windows and split-screen improvements for better productivity.

5. Is the S24 Ultra worth the upgrade over the S23 Ultra?

Whether the upgrade is worth it depends on your individual needs and budget:

  • Upgrade if: You crave the latest specs, desire a better camera system, appreciate a flatter display and premium build, or want longer software support.
  • Stick with S23 Ultra if: You’re content with its powerful performance and camera, prefer the curved display, are on a tight budget, or find the S24 Ultra’s upgrades not impactful enough.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is a great phone that deserves a serious look from anyone in the market for a new flagship. However, it’s not perfect, and you should weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.

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