Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Galaxy S23: Biggest Upgrades

Galaxy S24 vs. Galaxy S23
(Image credit: Windows Report / Tom's Guide)

Comparing the Galaxy S24 and the Galaxy S23 will hopefully give users looking to upgrade their phone to a top-flight Samsung handset a good idea of whether to buy a phone now or hold off on splashing their cash.

With the Samsung Galaxy S24 being announced at CES we have a clear idea of everything the phone is capable of and what to expect. Now is the best time to compare it with the prior model. 

In that case, the Galaxy S23 is a good phone you can easily buy this minute, with strong photography, battery and display stats. The question is if the Galaxy S24 is offering enough to make people consider spending the money to change to a new phone. 

Below, we pool what we know about the Galaxy S23 and what we know about the Galaxy S24 and see how they compare.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Galaxy S23: Price and availability

Galaxy Unpacked has come and pre-orders are currently open for the Galaxy S24 and the Galaxy S24 Ultra. It will be possible to book a 50-dollar credit on Sasmsung's website, or through the Shop Samsung app.  

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra colors and display

Alleged dummy models of the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus (Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy S23 has been on sale since February 2023, and starts at $799.  Interestingly it appears that the S24 will follow the same trend with the phone coming in at $799 for the base model. The actual phone will be released on January 31.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Galaxy S23: Design and display

The Galaxy S24 and the S23 share the same basic design, including a flat display, rounded sides and three cameras embedded separately in the back. Good for brand consistency but not great for telling these phones apart at a distance.

However, one big change is that the Galaxy S24 will come with a One Mass design with an Armor Aluminum frame, which makes it look more cohesive and adds some durability.

Samsung Galaxy S23 review

The Galaxy S23 (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy S24 screen is about what we expected, an AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate and vision booster included. It retains a lot of similarities with the S23, but does show a better pixel size that helps to improve low-light visibility. 

Speaking of visibility it seems the rumors about the screen brightness were true, with the S24 screen reaching as high as 2,600 nits. This is a big leap from the S23, which was rated for 1,750 nits by Samsung (although we measured its peak at 1,448 nits in our testing). 

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Galaxy S23: Cameras

We know that photography was not a big push for this generation of Galaxy phones, and it seems the hardware shows that. The S24 comes with a 12MP Ultra Wide camera, a 50MP main camera, and 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom and a 12MP front-facing camera.

This camera selection is almost exactly the same as the Galaxy S23, which came with a 50MP Main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide and a 10 MP telephoto lens that had both a 3x optical zoom and a 30x space zoom. You may have noticed the S24 does not have Space zoom, it has something better that can help to close the gap.

Samsung galaxy s24 and galaxy s24 plus

Unofficial concept art of the Galaxy S24 (Image credit: Future)

The big advantage that Samsung has advertised for the S24 is the inclusion of AI which may make up the shortfall. The Samsung AI can improve the quality of both photos and videos and even increase the potential zoom of each shot. This means that, even with the relatively shorter camera zoom, the Galaxy S24 still comes out on top.

The Samsung AI can increase the zoom of the cameras while improving the general quality. For instance, it is possible to create a 10x zoom on the phone through the use of AI, even though the hardware only allows for a 3x optical zoom.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Galaxy S23: Performance

At the heart of the Galaxy S24 series is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, or an Exynos 2400 depending on the region. It also comes with either 128GB or 256GB of memory and a base 8GB of RAM. While this isn't very high, it is more than likely helped by the inclusion of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

Samsung galaxy s24 and galaxy s24 plus

The Galaxy S23 (Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy S23's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip is focused on power, thanks to Samsung getting a custom version of the regular Gen 2 silicon, with a higher clock speed and more power, for its S23 units around the world. The rumored return to a split between Snapdragon and Exynos chips could mean differences in CPU, GPU or NPU power between regions, making the S24 buying decision trickier for users wanting the best performance.

We also know of the improvements brought from One UI 6.1 and the Android AI which offers several major improvements. For instance, the ability to organize and compile notes, recognize voices, translate in-call and even create AI wallpapers. The power of the chip will could be enough to push the S24 ahead.

Samsung has made a point about the improved ray tracing support on the Galaxy S24 that will make games look even more realistic than ever before. There's also a new cooling system in place to keep the phones in tip-top condition.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Galaxy S23: Battery and charging

Both the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus had smaller-than-average battery capacities, but still turned in amazing performances on our custom battery test, beating the competition from Apple and Google. The S24 base model will come with a 4,000 mAh battery, which isn't a lot and it's likely to be looking to the new Snapdragon chip to make up the shortfall.

Samsung galaxy s24 hands-ons

Unofficial render of the Galaxy S24 (Image credit: Future)

Annoyingly, the Galaxy S24 only makes use of a 25W adapter when charging, which makes it the only Android phone in this price range that still uses that wattage. This may not be a major problem for a lot of people, but it will be an issue for some. 

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Galaxy S23: Outlook

The Galaxy S24 is not, on a hardware level, all that impressive in comparison to the prior model. Likely, it would not be able to draw in customers on that alone, however, the improved AI is another story.

The pure functionality of the AI and the potential it has to make life better could be enough to convince users to make the change, which is helped by the quite reasonable price point. 

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

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.