From www.phonearena.com

Intro

Well, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is now official, proudly waving its titanium design in our faces. Succeeding the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a phone that heavily relies on AI and comes with a faster processor, much brighter and finally flat screen, a different camera setup, and finally, higher price. 

But should you consider upgrading from the Galaxy S23 Ultra? If cooler heads prevail, you’d probably be wise to hold off on upgrading, as the differences in-between such close device generations are not that big. And yet, who’s to say the Galaxy S24 Ultra wouldn’t be the hottest commodity on the market come 2024? 

Let’s see how the new Galaxy S24 Ultra stacks up against the older Galaxy S23 Ultra, which still seems perfectly capable super-phone!

Galaxy S24 Ultra Galaxy S23 Ultra
Galaxy S24 Ultra has a new titanium design and most flat corners A more rounded and flat aluminum design with slightly more curves, about the same size
Mostly the same screen with higher 2,600 nits peak brightness Similarly sized display, lower 1,750-nit peak brightness 
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in all units across the globe Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 globally
Runs on Android 14 with Samsung One UI 6.1 Android 14 with One UI 6
Will come with 12GB RAM in all versions 12GB RAM in all 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB versions
Four cameras on the back, including both a 3X zoom and a new 5X telephoto Four cameras on the back, with a 10X periscope and 3X telephoto. 
Comes with S Pen Also comes with an S Pen
Large 5000mAh battery size (but battery life will likely remain same-ish) 5,000mAh battery with very decent battery life
Seven years of software updates Four years of software updates 
Fast 45W wired charging and 15W wireless charging as predecessor 45W max wired charging speed and 15W wireless charging 
$1,300 starting price, $100 pricier than Galaxy S23 Ultra $1,200 at launch

Design and Size

Not many changes, but expect some important changes

With the Galaxy S24 Ultra, Samsung keeps same general design language as the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but ditches aluminum in favor of titanium, the premium new material to grace super high-end phones. The display on the Galaxy S24 Ultra is now completely flat, whereas the one on the Galaxy S23 Ultra has a very slight curve to the extreme sides: the Galaxy S24 Ultra is therefore more utilitarian. 

Both phones feel excellent in the hand, with the Galaxy S24 Ultra providing a bit more grip thanks to the brushed titanium frame. Yet, let’s face it: you’ll slap a case on it, so doesn’t really matter. 

There is still an S Pen on the Galaxy S24 Ultra, but there isn’t anything new in terms of features in comparison with the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Speaking of features that persist, the IP68 water- and dust-resistance is here to stay.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra colors are Titanium Yellow, Titanium Violet, Titanium Black, and Titanium Gray; the intriguing Titanium Orange, Titanium Green, and Titanium Blue are exclusive to the Samsung.com store. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is available in Lavender, Cream, Phantom Black, and Green; there are a few more Galaxy S23 Ultra colors exclusively available on Samsung.com.

Display Differences

Bright future ahead of us

The Galaxy S24 Ultra doesn’t change the essential display specs and comes with the same 6.8-inch LTPO OLED display with a dynamically switching 1-120Hz refresh rate. This makes its screen smooth, vibrant, and gorgeous. In all honesty, the Galaxy S23 Ultra isn’t that much different, but it has a slight drawback.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra’s display can achieve the super-high peak brightness of 2,600 nits. After two years of mostly staying one step behind most of the competition when it comes to maximum display brightness, Samsung finally joins the eye-scorching club. This would make the Galaxy S24 Ultra a phone that’s perfectly legible in even the brightest environments. 

By the way, Google recently joined as well with the 2,400-nit peak brightness on the Pixel 8 Pro, while Apple has resided in >2,000-nit territory for a while now with its latest iPhones. 

No changes in the biometrics department: an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner built into the display is the main biometrics unlocking mechanism of choice on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Face unlock is also on deck, so generally, no changes in comparison with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Performance and Software

Crouching tiger, hidden Snapdragon

Unlike the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy in all regions around the globe (the smaller phones only have this one in the US).

Just like the S23 Ultra’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip, which was a slightly spiced-up version chip that most other Android flagships got, the Galaxy S24 Ultra gets a slightly better Snapdragon from the get-go as well.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy is an octa-core affair consisting of a prime Cortex-X4 core running at 3.3GHz, triple high-performance Cortex-A720 3.15GHz cores, dual Cortex-A720 clocked at 2.96GHz, and two efficiency Cortex-A520 cores that hum at 2.27GHz. The chipset will boast the Adreno 750 GPU, which is much faster than the one on the previous Snapdragon generation. Samsung boasts a much better performance in ray-traced graphics, as well as optimization for some of the most popular mobile games out there, good news for gamers worldwide.  

In terms of storage and RAM, the Galaxy S24 Ultra comes with 12GB of RAM in all 256, 512GB, and 1TB storage versions. At the same time, the Galaxy S23 Ultra was available with 8GB of RAM in its most basic version, but also came with 12GB of RAM in the 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage tiers. 

Software-wise, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will likely come with One UI 6 based on Android 14, and will be supported for the massive amount of 7 years! This is huge, as it means you will be able to use your next Galaxy until the end of the decade and beyond if you wish so! 

Camera

Upgrades… or downgrades?

Samsung made some radical changes to the camera setup on the back of the Galaxy S24 Ultra. It got rid of the 10X periscope and instead opted for a 5X telephoto camera with significantly improved resolution, enabling optical-grade zoom up to 10X. This is a departure from most previous Galaxy Ultra phones, where the 10X periscope camera was the standout feature delivering 100X Space Zoom. As luck would have it, the Galaxy S24 Ultra‘s 50MP telephoto still supports 100X Space Zoom.

The main camera on the Galaxy S24 Ultra sticks to 200MP, but boasts more capable software supercharged by AI. Samsung boasts much greater low-light capabilities (Nightography) on the Galaxy S24 Ultra, for example. 

There’s also a plethora of AI features that aim to make the Galaxy S24 Ultra camera experience better than before. Some of these include Magic Eraser, Generative Edits, and improved remaster are coming to the Galaxy S24 Ultra. You can also remove reflections from photos with the power of on-device Galaxy AI. 

As a refresher, the Galaxy S23 Ultra came with a 200MP F1.7 main camera, a 10MP 3X F2.4 telephoto, a 10MP 10X F4.9 periscope, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera, along with a 12MP front-facing camera. 

As far as image quality goes, we have some preliminary camera samples taken with both the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Galaxy S23 Ultra. These are just to give you a general idea of what each phone is capable of.

Audio Quality and Haptics

Like the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung’s next flagship phone employs a dual speaker configuration. If it’s anything like its predecessor, we’d be happy campers, as the Galaxy S23 Ultra is one of the better-sounding flagships of 2023, so our hopes for the Galaxy S24 Ultra are quite high. The same applies to the haptic feedback as well: Samsung has nailed the accurate vibrations, which enrich the premium flagship experience. 

Battery Life and Charging

No changes in battery size

If you’ve been hoping that Samsung could have pulled out a magic wand and magically enlarged the Galaxy S24 Ultra‘s battery to larger proportions, then you’re out of luck. There’s a 5,000mAh battery making the rounds on the newest Galaxy flagship, which is just as much as the battery on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Thus, don’t expect the Galaxy S24 Ultra to last considerably longer than the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which isn’t a bad thing at all: the latter isn’t too shabby when it comes to battery endurance.

Charging-wise, Samsung sticks to 45W wired charging and 15W wireless charging, as well as reverse wireless charging that can top up your Galaxy Watch or earbuds., as well as just about 

Specs Comparison

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Galaxy S23 Ultra
Size, weight 162.3 × 79 × 8.6mm, 233gr 163.3 x 78 x 8.9 mm, 234gr
Screen 6.8″ OLED
1-120Hz dynamic
2,600 nits
6.8″ OLED
1-120Hz dynamic
1,750 nits
Processor Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
RAM, Storage 12/256GB
12/512GB
12/1TB
LPDDR5X
8/256GB
12/256GB
12/512GB
12/1TB

LPDDR5

Cameras 200MP main
12MP ultra
10MP 3X telephoto
50MP 5X periscope
12MP front
200MP main
12MP ultra
10MP 3X telephoto
10MP 10X periscope
12MP front
Battery 5000 mAh 5000 mAh
Charging 45W wired
15W wireless
Reverse wireless charging
45W wired
15W wireless
Reverse wireless charging

Summary

When it comes to breaking the existing state of affairs, the Galaxy S24 Ultra might not be it. The latest Samsung phone touches upon the more important pillars of a great smartphone experience, delivering improved performance, a brighter display, and a camera experience enhanced by AI. However, the core essence of the large S Pen-wielding Samsung flagship remains largely unchanged. 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra Hands-on review: Gradual improvements

And that’s fine: the Galaxy S23 Ultra is easily one of the best phones you could get in 2023, so if the Galaxy S24 Ultra further improves on that, everybody wins. There’s slim chance that the Galaxy S24 Ultra won’t be another slam-dunk success. 

[ For more curated Samsung news, check out the main news page here]

The post Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra Hands-on review: Gradual improvements first appeared on www.phonearena.com

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