Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra — everything we know so far

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra concept renders
(Image credit: Technical Cheez)

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra rumors are beginning to surface, even though the Galaxy S23 Ultra is still a newcomer to the best phones list. But phone makers are always looking ahead to their next device, and that means work on next year's model is already well underway.

As a result, expect a steady stream of Galaxy S24 Ultra leaks over the next several months, with the pace picking up the closer we get to the phone's expected launch in early 2024. Even though that's still a ways off, there's enough information out there to give us a broad outline of what Samsung may be planning for its next flagship phone.

Drawing on some early Galaxy S24 leaks along with rumors specific to the Ultra model, here's what we've heard so far about the Galaxy S24 Ultra, along with what we hope to see from Samsung's premium handset.

Galaxy S24 Ultra latest news (Update May 22)

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra release date and price speculation

With the Galaxy S23 lineup having arrived in February and even the midrange Galaxy A54 making its debut, Samsung's next order of business will be to roll out new versions of its foldable phones in the second half of the year. We'd expect to see the rumored Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 long before the Galaxy S24 Ultra's arrival.

Galaxy S phones tend to debut in the first three months of a new year, with Samsung favoring a February announcement to introduce us to its latest flagships. With that in mind, we'd expect to see the Galaxy S24 Ultra debut alongside the rest of the S24 lineup in February 2024. That's just an educated guess, of course, and more definitive rumors about a possible launch date should surface in the coming months.

Galaxy Unpacked 2023 images

(Image credit: Samsung via YouTube)

It's far too early to talk Galaxy S24 Ultra pricing. Our biggest wish is that Samsung holds the line on pricing — or even finds a way to lower the cost of the phone from the Galaxy S23 Ultra's $1,199 starting price. Given all the premium features Samsung packs into that model plus the rising cost of smartphone parts, though, a price cut would be a long shot. We'd be happy just to see the same $1,199 starting price, especially in light of rumored price hikes that surfaced before the Galaxy S23's launch earlier this year.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra design and display rumors

With Samsung introducing the Ultra's design across the Galaxy S23 lineup this year — and even making its lower-cost Galaxy A phones look a lot like the Ultra — we wouldn't expect a radical design change for the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Samsung clearly likes the look of having a row of camera lenses descending vertically down the back of its phones and is likely to stick with that approach (even if some of the concept designs we've included with this article suggest a more radical new look).

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra concept renders

(Image credit: Technical Cheez)

Likewise, the last few Ultra models have featured a 6.8-inch panel, one of the largest screens you can get on a phone that doesn't fold. We'd expect Samsung to stick with that 6.8-inch display for the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

The biggest display change could be to its refresh rate. Since the Galaxy S20 Ultra, that giant display has been capable of a 120Hz refresh rate. More recent models have been able to scale down to 1Hz when the activity on-screen is more static.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra playing racing game

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy s24 Ultra could mix that up by increasing its maximum refresh rate to 144Hz. That claim comes from the SamLover rumor site in a post containing several supposed details about next year's top Samsung phone. There are other devices out there with a 144Hz displays, though most of them are gaming phones. Given that Samsung likes to tout the gaming capabilities of its Ultra model — the fast processor, the big display, the internal cooling system designed to cut down on performance lags — it's not that big a stretch to imagine the S24 Ultra adopting this particular feature.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra camera rumors

Samsung's big camera change to the Ultra model happened this past year when the Galaxy S22 Ultra's 108MP main sensor made way for a 200MP shooter. We wouldn't expect another big leap forward, though SamLover does claim that Samsung will make some improvements to the sensor. 

This could mean anything from a wider aperture to let in more light to improvements in color reproduction. The site later claimed that the sensor size would be increased to 1-inch, which would be the same as the Xiaomi 13 Ultra and larger than the one rumored for the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra camera close up

(Image credit: Future)

Another SamLover tip involves the telephoto lens on the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which is supposed to get improved zooming capabilities. The S23 Ultra's camera setup includes a pair of telephoto cameras — one with a 3x optical zoom and the other with a 10x zoom — which can combine for a 100x Space Zoom feature. You'd think that improved zooming would mean we'll be able to get even closer to subjects, though we'll need to hear more details before we can be more certain.

A separate leak from the tipster @Tech_Reve says that the Galaxy S24 Ultra will feature a new 3-10x variable folded telephoto lens. This would replace the dedicated 3x and 10x lenses on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The new lens would use a periscope design and have the ability to change the focal length while connecting to a single sensor. 

The Galaxy S23 Ultra introduced a new front camera, so we'd only expect some fine-tuning there if Samsung's planning any changes at all. That leaves just the 12MP ultrawide lens on the back of the phone as a possible area of improvement.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra spec rumors 

A render of the Galaxy S24 Ultra from the back and front in black

(Image credit: Technizo Concept)

It's not going out on a limb to claim that whatever Qualcomm's top silicon is at this time next year, it'll be in the Galaxy S24 Ultra. The Galaxy S23 lineup was entirely powered by Qualcomm chipsets after years of Samsung also including its own Exynos chips in some models. Samsung had been rumored to be sticking with the all-Qualcomm approach for next year's S24 phones, though some now argue that Samsung will return to using Exynos chips in some models of its next flagship.

While that would be worrisome in the past — Exynos chips haven't always performed as well as their Snapdragon counterparts — Samsung may be working to improve its silicon. Leaked Exynos 2400 benchmarks have that chip posting better multicore results on Geekbench than we've seen from Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and A16 Bionic devices. The Exynos 2400 would be the chipset Samsung might use in lieu of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which is likely to debut by the end of the year.

Rumors claim that Apple's upcoming A17 Bionic chip will be the only one built on a 3nm process this year, which could put both the upcoming Qualcomm and Samsung silicon at a disadvantage in terms of speed and power efficiency. One rumor claims the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will support UFS 4.1 storage, but considering how that storage spec has yet to be announced, we'd rank that claim as a dubious one.

Another Galaxy S24 Ultra rumor points to a possible RAM upgrade. Leaker Tauran Vats on Twitter claims that the Galaxy S24 Ultra could come with as much as 16GB of RAM, which would be a major upgrade from the 8GB/12GB options on the S23 Ultra. Another leaker, @Tech_Reve, has also corroborated this rumor

Meanwhile, other sources have said all Galaxy S24 models could start with 256GB storage. This won't be an upgrade for the S24 Ultra, as the S23 Ultra already gets a 256GB default capacity, but it's good to hear we won't be going backwards next year.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra could wind up blowing away the iPhone 15 Pro in terms of graphics performance. And that's because one leak points to a GPU inside the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip that could be as much as 50% faster. 

One rumored Galaxy S23 feature that never appeared in this year's phones was satellite connectivity. SamLove expects that to change with the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which would allow that phone to match an iPhone 14 feature that allows people to send emergency messages even without cellular connectivity. It's unclear if that would be an Ultra-specific feature or whether Samsung would follow Apple's lead and make satellite connectivity a capability for all of its flagship models.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: What we want to see

Given how thin Galaxy s24 Ultra rumors are at this point, that leaves an awful lot of room for us to fill in the blanks with features we hope to see. After all, as capable a phone as the Galaxy S23 Ultra may be, there are still some areas that Samsung could stand to improve.

New S Pen capabilities: Samsung added S Pen support with the release of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, and by the time the S22 Ultra arrived, it figured out how to include storage for the stylus within the phone's design. S Pen improvements with the Galaxy S23 Ultra were non-existent, though, as Samsung focused on other areas.

We hope the Galaxy S24 Ultra lavishes more attention on the S Pen, adding support for new capabilities. These could include new S Pen Air Actions or possibly remote control over additional Galaxy S23 Ultra functions.

Faster charging: The Galaxy S23 Ultra remained stuck on 45W charging, even as other Android phones — most notably devices like the OnePlus 11 — let you top off your phone much faster. We'd like to see charging speeds more befitting of a phone with an Ultra name.

No price change: We mentioned this above, but we're hoping that whatever changes Samsung introduces to the Galaxy S24 Ultra aren't accompanied by a change in price. That goes for our friends in other parts of the world who did wind up paying more for the Galaxy S23 Ultra, as Samsung adjusted for currency fluctuations.

While Ultra models boast more than their fair share of premium capabilities, $1,199 remains a steep price for a smartphone. Samsung would do well to remember that even the best phones can't cost so much that they're out of reach for most shoppers.

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Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.