Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra, the company’s latest flagship smartphone, checks nearly every box for what you’d want in a high-end smartphone in 2024. It boasts the latest Qualcomm processor for smooth performance, has a big, bright display and a camera setup that turns anyone into a budding photographer. Oh, and the battery life — it goes for days. Literally.
Over the last two weeks, I tested the S24 Ultra, using it as my main phone daily. Outside a few subtle changes to the design and a handful of software features, I’m not convinced I could have told the difference between it and last year’s S23 Ultra if I didn’t know any better. Indeed, the S24 Ultra is a boring update. But, maybe that’s not a bad thing? Let’s take a closer look.
Nội dung chính
- 1 Price, specs, and availability
- 2 What I like about the Galaxy S24 Ultra
- 2.1 Flat displays are back
- 2.2 Smooth performance
- 2.3 Battery life is bananas
- 3 What I don’t like about the Galaxy S24 Ultra
- 4 Verdict
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
100x Space Zoom, a vibrant, curve-free AMOLED display, an S Pen with great features, and a lot more wrapped up in a titanium package. The Galaxy S24 Ultra is Samsung’s statement on what a traditional slab smartphone should be in 2024.
- A completely flat display that looks great
- A battery that doesn’t know what quit means
- A powerhouse in performance
- A tried and true design
- The camera tends to overexpose shots
Price, specs, and availability
Samsung began taking preorders for the Galaxy S24 Ultra on Jan 17, with deliveries and in-store availability set for Jan. 31. However, preorders started arriving before the official launch date.
As usual, Samsung has several color options available, some of which are exclusive to orders placed through Samsung. The Samsung exclusive colors include titanium green, titanium blue, and titanium orange. Colors with wider availability include titanium black, titanium violet, titanium yellow, and titanium gray.
The S24 Ultra starts at $1,299 for 256GB of storage, with the 512GB and 1TB models costing $1,419 or $1,659, respectively. All three models come with 12GB of storage
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
- 6.8in, Dynamic AMOLED 2X @ 3088 × 1440 (505ppi), 120Hz adaptive
- 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
- Operating System
- One UI 6.1 w/ Android 14
- Front camera
- 12MP f/2.2
- Rear camera
- 200MP f/1.7 main w/OIS, 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (120°), 50MP f/3.4 5X telephoto w/OIS, 10MP f/2.4 3x telephoto w/OIS
- 5G, 4G, Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.3
- 163 × 79 × 8.6mm
- Titanium Black, Blue, Gray, Green, Orange, Violet, Yellow
- Charge speed
- 45W wired, 15W wireless
- IP Rating
- From $1,300
- Micro SD card support
- S Pen
- Release date
- January 31, 2024
What I like about the Galaxy S24 Ultra
Flat displays are back
There are only a few design changes between last year’s S23 Ultra and the 24 Ultra, some of which you’ll be hard-pressed to even notice. One such example is the fact that the S24 Ultra’s housing is now made of titanium instead of aluminum, making the phone slightly lighter than its predecessor, but retaining the same overall aesthetic of being a flat-edged rectangular box.
Arguably the biggest design change from last year is the switch from a curved edge display to an entirely flat display. Samsung, along with other phone makers, have used curved edge displays to make larger phones feel thinner and easier to hold, but it has come at the cost of errant touches and other usability issues.
In October, Google made a similar change to the Pixel 8 Pro, and it vastly improved the overall experience. The same can be said about the S24 Ultra — the flat display feels more natural to tap and swipe across. The S24 Ultra isn’t much thinner than the S23 Ultra, yet I don’t feel like it’s any harder to hold.
Another display improvement I appreciate is the boost in overall brightness to 2,600 nits, which is handy when viewing the screen in direct sunlight.
However, my favorite design change is the new Gorilla Glass Armor that removes reflections from the screen. Technically, it reduces the S24 Ultra’s display reflectivity by up to 75% according to Corning. I can’t vouch for the exact percentage, but I can say that overhead lights all but disappear from the screen, and even using the S24 Ultra outside, under a bright sun, I rarely notice any reflections or issues.
Samsung has long been an industry leader in smartphone display quality, and the S24 Ultra continues to bolster Samsung’s claim to the throne.
Inside the Galaxy S24 Ultra is Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon Gen 3 processor, 12GB of memory and either 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of storage.
Qualcomm and Samsung tout various performance increases, all of which feel accurate and true after using the S24 Ultra for a couple of weeks. For those who care about specifics, the Gen 3 chip is supposed to bring a 30% performance boost over the Gen 2, while being 20% more efficient.
My S24 Ultra usage has been a mix of social media, inbox triage, Slack messages, streaming music, watching YouTube videos, occasionally gaming, and taking a bunch of photos and videos.
I can’t vouch for the 30% increase in performance, but I can say that the S24 Ultra’s performance was smooth and hiccup-free.
I did run Geekbench 6, a benchmarking app that tests single and multicore performance for a more objective measure of the S24 Ultra’s performance chops compared to the S23 Ultra. In single-core performance, which is leveraged for more routine and mundane tasks like scrolling the web or sending a text, the S24 Ultra was roughly 8% faster than the S23 Ultra. Multicore performance, used when doing more resource-intensive tasks like gaming, editing photos, or even using the S24 Ultra’s new AI features, had an overall performance boost of 20% over last year’s Ultra.
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Battery life is bananas
Over the last two weeks, I’ve consistently been able to get almost two full days of use out of the S24 Ultra’s battery before I had to charge it. I could only dream of doing that on my iPhone 15 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro.
Again, my use consisted of tasks that were taxing on battery life — gaming, streaming video, watching Reels, and a lot of use outdoors in direct sunlight with the display set to max brightness — along with more mundane tasks, like doom-scrolling Mastodon and Threads or replying to emails.
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The Galaxy S24 Ultra powered through 20 hours and 47 minutes before turning off, besting Google’s Pixel 8 Pro by nearly 9 hours and 30 minutes.
Suffice to say, battery life won’t be a concern with the Galaxy S24 Ultra.
What I don’t like about the Galaxy S24 Ultra
The design lacks personality
The design of Samsung’s Ultra series of phones has followed the same basic approach over the last couple of years, with flat edges on the top and bottom of the phone, and curved edges on the vertical sides.
The design of the S22 Ultra and even the S23 Ultra felt like more of a transition design as Samsung tried to figure out how to incorporate the Note’s beloved S Pen into its flagship S-series phone, but with the S24 Ultra using the design, it feels as if Samsung is just mailing it in at this point.
Maybe my negative feelings towards the S24 Ultra’s design are indicative of an overall problem with smartphone design feeling stale in general. They all feel boring and stale, to some extent.
But the S24 Ultra lacks the same sort of personality you get from Google’s Pixel line or the same level of refinement found on Apple’s iPhone.
The S24 Ultra is an unapologetic rectangular slab of glass and metal. That’s it. To Samsung’s credit, doing away with a curved edge display was the right call, but that’s where my appreciation for the S24 Ultra’s design starts and stops.
Galaxy AI is useful, but not a must-have
A major part of Samsung’s Galaxy S24 event was the rollout of Galaxy AI, a series of features and capabilities making their debut on the S24, S24+ and S24 Ultra.
Samsung’s Galaxy AI features include tools to summarize notes you’ve entered in Samsung Notes, give you the tl;dr version of a news story you’re reading in Samsung’s Internet browser, improve transcriptions of meetings when using the Voice Recorder app, or act as an interpreter for phone calls or in-person interactions. There are even a few Galaxy AI features for helping edit photos and another one that helps you craft a message by adjusting the tone of your writing.
Out of all those new AI features, the only one I found myself using regularly was Circle to Search. We have a complete guide detailing how and when you can use the feature, but the gist of it is this: when using your phone, and you see an item on your screen, be it in an Instagram Reel, TikTok video or on a webpage, you long-press on the bottom of your display to trigger the feature. Then you can draw a circle around the item and Google will provide a series of search results, all without you ever having to leave the screen you’re on.
I’ve used Circle to Search to find random things like a book from a photo of its spine, or getting more information about a specific kind of cheese I didn’t know the name of.
It’s a fascinating use of AI and Google search in an almost addictive sort of way. Once you get used to using it, you’ll find yourself using it more and more. I know I did.
Many of these AI features, however, aren’t exclusive to the S24 Ultra, although your options are limited to Google’s Pixel 8 lineup or any of the Samsung Galaxy devices, including the S23 series, Samsung has said will receive an update that includes Galaxy AI’s capabilities.
The camera is great, but…
The S24 Ultra has a four-camera setup on the rear of the phone, similar to the S23 Ultra, but with some tweaks and improvements. Arguably the most notable change is the switch from a dedicated 10MP 3x telephoto lens on the S23 Ultra to a 50MP 5x telephoto shooter on the S24 Ultra.
I don’t have strong opinions about whether a dedicated 3x camera is better than a dedicated 5x camera, especially because Samsung can use software to provide you with 0.6x, 1x, 3x, 5x, 10x, and 30x zoom levels, but I will say that photos taken at 5x and beyond looked clear and sharp. The extra megapixels give Samsung more flexibility for zoomed-in photos.
But there seems to be a common theme among all the photos I’ve captured with the S24 Ultra over the last two weeks — they’re all slightly (or in some cases very) overexposed.
Samsung is notorious for cranking up the saturation on photos captured on its smartphones, which sometimes meant that the exposure levels were also too high. But that latter part of the equation was an exception, not the norm.
With the S24 Ultra, almost every photo I captured with S24 Ultra had some level of being overexposed.
Don’t get me wrong, the S24 Ultra’s camera captures good photos. Great, even. I’m being, admittedly, somewhat nitpicky here, especially because the exposure levels are something you can tweak with just a few taps in the Gallery app. But you shouldn’t have to.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
The Galaxy S24 Ultra is an exceptionally good, but boring phone. The return of a flat display is welcome, but the design is dated and lacks inspiration. Granted, most people put a case on their phone, hiding the design.
The camera takes perfectly acceptable photos, but it does tend to overexpose some areas, so just be mindful of that. And the new AI features are convenient — useful, even — but not a big enough reason to upgrade to the S24 Ultra, especially if you have an older Galaxy device that will get them via an update.
Performance, display and battery life are the S24 Ultra’s killer features, and as is usually the case for Samsung’s flagship phone, other phone makers are going to have their work cut out for them in 2024 if they want to compete with Samsung. The S24 Ultra sure looks like it’s the Android phone to beat this year.
Iphone Store – 2024-02-01 21:01:00 / www.pocket-lint.com