I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra since its release earlier this year. Through that span of time, I’ve been able to test other flagships to see how their cameras compare — but none of them have yet to convince me they’re any better.
That’s why our Galaxy S23 Ultra review declared that Samsung's premiere flagship was best camera phone around, and nothing's changed to alter our opinion. For starters, the S23 Ultra is one of the few phones with true manual controls not only for photos, but also for video. Secondly, the quality from all of its cameras is outstanding — proving it’s great at telephoto and low light photography.
All of this means great news for the forthcoming Galaxy S24 Ultra. Samsung will presumably upgrade the cameras in next year's Galaxy S24 Ultra in a substantial way, but it can also learn from what its rivals have done with their respective phones.
In the past year, Google showed us how the power of editing could elevate how we produce photos on the Pixel 8 Pro, while phones like the iPhone 15 and OnePlus Open were able to leverage their own interpretations of lossless zoom to achieve greater results with their telephoto cameras.
I have high expectations for the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, so I think there are ways Samsung could make it a better camera phone. Here’s what I think Samsung should do.
Incorporating AI-assisted editing tools
I have to admit that Google made the biggest advancements in what can be achieved in post — you know, the stuff you can do after taking a photo or video. All of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra camera rumors point at a hearty upgrade with the hardware, but there’s little around camera specific features.
That’s why I’d love to see more in-camera editing options with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. There are basic photo and editing tools with the native gallery app on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but it would help immensely if Samsung could introduce features assisted by artificial intelligence. I’m not saying to rip off the Best Take or Magic Editor features that found in Google's Pixel 8 phones, but I think implementing a set of AI-assisted features unique to Samsung would strengthen the S24 Ultra's claim as a premier camera phone for enthusiasts.
Simultaneous recording on all cameras
Most people don’t appreciate all that’s going on behind the scenes when a phone captures a photo or video, but having used the Galaxy S23 Ultra as a backup camera for video shoots, I would love for the Galaxy S24 Ultra to gain the ability to capture photos or video simultaneously on all rear cameras.
As a videographer, having multiple camera angles to choose from helps when stitching video. However, recording at 4K resolution is taxing on a phone, so I hope that it’s something that the Galaxy S24 Ultra could do no matter what chipset ends up powering that phone — a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip or Samsung’s own homebrewed Exynos 2400.
Currently, there’s a director’s view mode on Galaxy S23 Ultra that lets you simultaneously record video with the front-facing camera and any one of the rear cameras — but not the option to record on all of them at the same time.
In addition to giving video editors more angles to choose from in post, Samsung could also incorporate some kind of multi-cam editing tool that could stitch together a video from the clips it captures from all the cameras.
Flatter color profile
This one’s not really new, as many camera phones released after the Galaxy S23 Ultra have the option to shoot video at a lower contrast. However, I think a flatter color profile option for shooting video would certainly add to the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s credentials.
I religiously use the Pro Video mode of the Galaxy S23 Ultra to tone down the contrast of the videos I capture, but I'm never able to achieve that flatter look that V-Log offers with my Panasonic Lumix S5 mirrorless camera. By enabling the Galaxy S24 Ultra to record video at a flatter color profile, it would give me more control over color correcting the footage in post.
Very recently, I’ve been dabbling in astrophotography and cannot tell you how much more detail I’m able to see from dedicated telescopes with zoom lenses. There’s no comparison against the astrophotographs I capture with some of today’s flagship cameras. Just look at the gallery above between the Pixel 8 Pro and Dwarf II smart telescope.
However, you can bet that Samsung intends on continuing to be the telephoto king. Even though the rumors hint to Samsung scaling the Galaxy S24 Ultra down to a 5x optical zoom, it sounds like the phone maker be leveraging its own pixel binning recipe to still match (or even improve) the 10x optical zoom. Rather than simply capturing speckled stars in the night sky, it would be better if Samsung leverages the zoom camera to capture whole galaxies and nebulas in the night sky.
Clearer audio recording with Bluetooth earbuds
One of the coolest features that I discovered in my GoPro Hero12 Black review was that action camera's ability to record clearer audio by leveraging the microphones on my wireless earbuds. If you vlog a lot on a phone, the audio still manages to sound clear — but if you move farther away, it tends to sound distorted and distant.
It would be awesome if the Galaxy S24 Ultra could somehow pair with a pair of Bluetooth earbuds and record clearer audio through the built-in mics of the earbuds. This would eliminate the need to buy a dedicated wireless microphone system if you intend on using the phone a lot for video.