Samsung Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15: Which flagship phone could win?

samsung galaxy s24 vs iphone 15 pro max
(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy S24 is here at least, with Samsung revealing the phone at the Galaxy Unpacked event in San Jose. And it looks set to take on the iPhone 15 with an emphasis on both AI, strong performance and camera quality. 

While plenty of people will already be firmly on Team Android or Team iOS, if you’re operating-system agnostic, which handset will be best for you? Here’s how the two handsets compare, based on everything Samsung has revealed about the new Galaxy S24 and what we already knew about the iPhone 15

Note that if money is no object, you probably want to compare the Samsung Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15 Pro Max instead.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Samsung Galaxy S24Apple iPhone 15
Display6.2-inch AMOLED, 2,340 x 1,080, 1-120Hz refresh rate6.1 inches OLED, 2,556 x 1,179, 60Hz refresh rate
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 For Galaxy or Exynos 2400Apple A16 Bionic
Rear Camera50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto (3x optical zoom)48MP (Wide) 12MP (Ultrawide)
Front Camera12MP12MP

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15: Price

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple’s iPhone 15 starts at $799 for the 128GB version, rising to $899 for the 256GB model and hitting a massive $1,099 if you need 512GB of storage.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 will start at the same $799, which gets you a model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. A 256GB model will also be available, though we don't know how much it will cost just yet. But for a limited time anyone that pre-orders a Samsung Galaxy S24 will get 256GB for the same $799 as a 128GB model.

Sadly there doesn't appear to be a 512GB model on the basic model, which gives Apple the slight advantage for people who need a lot of extra space.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15: Screen

Apple iPhone 15 held in the hand.

(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy S24 matches iPhone 15 in its use of OLED, and its FHD+ resolution gives the iPhone a slight advantage over Apple in terms of pixels per inch (PPI). 

The 2,340 x 1,080 resolution on the slightly larger 6.2-inch screen equals 416PPI. The iPhone 15, meanwhile, has a resolution of 2,556 x 1,179 on a 6.1-inch panel for a PPI score of 460.

So a win for Apple? Not so fast. The iPhone 15 persists with a 60Hz refresh rate, leaving its ProMotion displays to the more expensive Pro range. The adaptive 1-120Hz panel on the Samsung Galaxy S24 should feel a whole lot smoother, and that more than cancels out the minor difference in resolution.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

While camera performance is more than just raw specifications, the Samsung Galaxy S24 should have the upper hand on Apple in the photography stakes too — even though it’s apparently standing still.

Samsung's confirmed that there's no hardware upgrade on Samsung’s triple camera array. That means we’re expecting a 50MP main sensor, supported by a 12MP ultrawide lens and a 10MP 3x telephoto lens for distance shots. 

The iPhone 15, meanwhile, has just the two lenses: a 48MP wide sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide one. There’s no dedicated telephoto lens, though the 48MP one can provide optical-quality 2x shots by cropping the frame. 

We'll have to wait until we can test the Samsung Galaxy S24's camera before we can definitively say how it compares to iPhone 15. There's a reason Apple's phone is one of the best camera phones, after all.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15: Performance

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 12 camera face-off

(Image credit: Future)

On performance, recent form would suggest an easy win for Apple. But now that non-Pro iPhones use last year’s chipset, it means the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will essentially be fighting year-old hardware in the iPhone 15 vs Galaxy S24 battle.

So while it looks like the A17 Pro still has the edge on Qualcomm, the A16 Bionic in the regular iPhone 15 is likely to be beaten this time around if leaked benchmarks are anything to go by. Though the waters are somewhat muddied by the fact that the S24 will be powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 2400 chipset in some regions outside North America.

Frankly though, differences tend to manifest themselves more clearly in dedicated benchmarks than in day-to-day use, so you’re unlikely to see that big a difference between the two. 

What could make a difference is Samsung’s decision to embrace artificial intelligence with the S24 series. Samsung has already boasted of its AI’s ability to translate calls in real time, and it looks like that’s just the tip of the iceberg with it likely to transform photo editing and search too.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15: Battery & Charging

Samsung galaxy s24 and galaxy s24 plus

(Image credit: Future)

Battery is something Apple generally does rather well at, though Samsung has been making big improvements over the past few years. On paper the Galaxy S24 seems to have the advantage with a 4,000 mAh battery pack compared to the iPhone 15's 3,349 mAh battery.

Unfortunately comparing battery capacity doesn't mean a lot, since battery life is affected by a bunch of different factors. The iPhone 15 clocked in at 11 hours and 5 minutes in our custom battery test which, while good, isn't enough to land it a place on our list of the best phone battery life.

We can't say how long the Galaxy S24 will last until it goes through that same testing regiment. However the Galaxy S23 clocked in 10 hours and 27 minutes with an adaptive refresh rate, or 11 hours and 20 minutes when locked to 60Hz. 

If the Galaxy S24 can beat that, it should either exceed Apple's time or come in pretty fast — depending on refresh rate settings.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15: Outlook

Apple iPhone 15 review.

(Image credit: Future)

Both handsets look like they’ll be amongst the best smartphones you’ll be able to buy in 2024. And while Samsung may have the technical edge in some key areas, your choice is likely to come down to personal preference as much as anything. Some people just prefer iOS to Android, or vice versa.

That said, the wildcard is artificial intelligence. If Samsung gets its embrace of AI right, it could be genuinely transformational. While a lot of those AI features certainly sound impressive, we won't know exactly how much impact they'll have until we can thoroughly test the phone for ourselves.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.