Update: Our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review is live. Have a read and see what we think
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra is finally on sale, and there are quite a few reasons you may want to buy it. This year's Ultra comes with a new titanium frame, lots of fresh AI-powered features and upgrades to the all-important chipset, display and camera components.
- Galaxy AI features such as generative photo editing, live translation and Circle to Search
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip with 12GB RAM by default
- New 50MP 5x telephoto camera
- Titanium frame
- Flatter display with higher peak brightness
There's no argument that the Galaxy S24 Ultra is still the top Galaxy S24 series, even as the cheaper devices in the line-up get some upgrades of their own. However, some of the S24 Ultra's specs are still very similar to what the Galaxy S23 Ultra offers, although perhaps through further use more of a performance gap will appear between the new device and last year's.
Have a read of our Galaxy S24 Ultra review if you'd like our early opinion of how this phone feels and works. But here, we'll take you through all the key spec and facts about the Galaxy S24 Ultra so you can learn exactly what the new Ultra Samsung phone's all about.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra specs
|Galaxy S24 Ultra
|$1,299 / £1,249 / AU$2,199
|Display size and resolution
|6.8 inches QHD+ AMOLED (1-120Hz)
|Display brightness, refresh rate
|1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate
|Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
|256GB, 512GB, 1TB
|200MP main (f/1.7), 50MP 5x telephoto f/3.4), 10MP 3x telephoto (f/2.4) 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2)
|6.40 x 3.11 x 0.34 inches
|Titanium orange, titanium green, titanium blue, titanium yellow, titanium black, titanium violet, titanium gray
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra price and release date
The Galaxy S24 Ultra is available right now starting at $1,299/£1,249 for the standard 256GB version of the phone.
That U.S pricing means the S24 Ultra costs a little more than the Galaxy S23 Ultra did at launch last year. But perhaps after reading about the upgrades, you'll feel Samsung was justified in raising the cost.
Galaxy S24 Ultra: was $1,419 now $669 w/trade-in @ Best Buy
Samsung's best flagship phone is finally here, showing the world the incredible power of Galaxy AI. Not only can it translate conversations over the phone, but it can even use generative AI to edit photos. Paired with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the Galaxy S24 Ultra reaches new heights in graphics processing performance and battery life.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra design and display
At first glance, you could mistake the Galaxy S24 Ultra for the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but there are areas where the new phone has made changes. For example, its side rails are now made of titanium, making for a lighter and tougher design with a luxurious-feeling finish. Also, while the S Pen stylus is still here, it now gets a slightly redesigned flat clicky top.
You may also see that the display is now less curved than it used to be, and offers slimmer bezels to give you more usable screen area than before. More specifically, it's a 6.8-inch OLED panel with a QHD resolution and a 1 - 120 Hz refresh rate like the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but with an enhanced rated brightness of 2,600 nits.
In our testing, the new display reaches a peak brightness of 1,363 nits, which is short of the company's claim, but still brighter than the S23 Ultra.
The Galaxy S24 Ultra offers IP68 dust/water resistance rating like Samsung's Galaxy S phones going back several years. But helping push its toughness to new heights is new Gorilla Armor toughened glass, currently exclusive to the S24 Ultra. This is promised to be four times as scratch-resistant than previous toughened glass, and will reduce reflectivity by 75% to make it easier to read the screen in bright conditions.
As for color options, there are four standard options to pick from: Titanium Gray, Titanium Black, Titanium Violet and Titanium Yellow. There is also Titanium Orange, Titanium Green and Titanium Blue, but those are Samsung exclusives.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra cameras
The camera loadout of the Galaxy S24 Ultra consists of a 200MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera, a 10MP 3x telephoto camera and a 12MP selfie camera, plus a new 50MP 5x telephoto camera. All these sensors other than the 50MP telephoto appear to be the same ones as you'd find on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Although the Galaxy S23 Ultra had a 10x zoom lens, Samsung promises that the new 5x lens will still offer lossless 10x zoom thanks to its higher resolution.
Other photography updates have been made beyond the single sensor change. Samsung's touting improved "Nightography" low-light shooting, Super HDR support for the Camera, Gallery and Instagram apps, and several new AI abilities like automated photo remastering, or reflection removal.
The biggest AI update for photos taken by the Galaxy S24 Ultra is perhaps its generative editing ability, which lets you move subjects in a photo or expand the borders of your image to fix a shot that's on an angle, or is too tight on your subject. These get watermarked so nobody gets fooled into thinking any AI-made adjustments are genuine.
For videos, the Galaxy S24 Ultra's signature AI-powered feature is instant slo-mo, which builds in-between frames to slow and smooth-out your existing video clips, just with a long tap of that video in your Gallery.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Performance
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chipset will be found in all versions of the Galaxy S24 Ultra sold across the globe. The new chip should make for more efficient and more powerful performance, plus improved ray tracing for gaming. As this is a "For Galaxy" version of the chip, we may even see greater performance than other Snapdragon-powered flagship Android phones, going by the test results we saw with the Galaxy S23 Ultra's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip.
Samsung has increased the RAM in the Galaxy S24 Ultra to 12GB RAM by default, but kept the basic 256GB storage the same. If you are happy paying more, then you can get 512GB or 1TB of storage in the phone too.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Battery and charging
We get a 5,000 mAh battery again in the Galaxy S24 Ultra, like the past few generations of Ultra Samsung phones. We still hope that with the efficiency improvements of the new chip, Samsung will be able to improve the already strong battery life of the Galaxy S23 Ultra with this new installment.
Our testing reveals significant gains in battery life with the S24 Ultra. Specifically, it reaches an epic time of 16 hours and 45 minutes on Tom's Guide's battery benchmark test. That's an improvement of over 3 hours versus the S23 Ultra.
Similarly, the Galaxy S23 Ultra's 45W wired charging and 15W wireless charging abilities return for the Galaxy S24 Ultra. While Samsung promises a 65% charge in half an hour with a compatible charger, this is still a bit slower than we'd like.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Software
The Galaxy S24 series starts off with Android 14 installed, with Samsung's One UI 6.1 skin over the top of it. More important than this however is the fact that Samsung's promised seven years of full updates for the Galaxy S24 series. That's equal with Google for the most years offered by a phone maker, making the S24 a strong choice for buyers thinking long-term.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Galaxy AI features
Galaxy AI and the features it powers are the focus of Samsung's Galaxy S24 series, and there's an impressive breadth to the situations they could help you out in. We already mentioned the photography-related features above, but there are still plenty more to check out.
For one, there's real-time text and in-call translation for 13 languages (with more due to come post-launch), which should make communicating with people abroad much easier, even if it's over the phone. Translation can also be used when creating AI summaries of text, such as in the Notes app or when using the Browser Assist to quickly scan through online articles in Samsung Internet.
Hidden in the Galaxy S24's keyboard is the Chat Assist function. As well as spell-checking your work, it can also check its tone, and suggest alternative ways of writing your message to make it more or less formal.
The Voice Recorder app is able to create summaries like several other apps on the S24 series. But what it can also now do is identify up to 20 speakers, making long transcripts much easier to read back and understand.
Your musings and thoughts captured in the Samsung Notes app can meanwhile be reformatted into something that makes more sense to someone else reading back your thoughts, or maybe even yourself. And if you've been taking handwritten notes with the S Pen, Notes can straighten out your writing too.
One last big feature is Circle to Search. At any time, you can press and hold the home button, draw around something on-screen with your finger or S Pen and then get Google Search results from it. You can then make follow-up queries as needed if you want to learn more about a given topic, or ask the AI to help you make use of the new information.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Outlook
Samsung's upgrades for the Galaxy S24 Ultra lie mostly beneath the phone's surface, but there's enough of them to justify the new phone's existence. The new telephoto camera should appeal to the photography-focused subset of phone buyers, while the new chip and upgraded RAM will make power users and mobile gamers happy. And the new flatter design with its titanium sides and brighter screen should help everyone feel like they're handling a quality product.
However, it's hard to know if Samsung's big bet on AI is going to pay off. It's certainly a substantial challenge against Google's dominance in smartphone smarts, and the sheer number of applications Galaxy AI has is impressive. But it's not yet clear if this is going to attract the average smartphone buyer, or just be a lot of focus and marketing directed at a relatively small niche. Only more time with these phones will reveal the answer to that.
If you want the TG take on the latest and greatest Samsung Galaxy, make sure you don't miss our other comparisons and features. For example: how the Galaxy S24 Ultra compares to the iPhone 15 Pro Max or how it differs against the S23 Ultra.
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.