I feel badly for the Plus model in Samsung's Galaxy S lineup. Usually, it offers nearly all the major improvements Samsung introduces to its flagship phones, but it gets none of the hype in return.
So it goes with the Galaxy S24 Plus, the overlooked middle entry in Samsung's Galaxy S24 lineup. The best thing about the Galaxy S24 — the new Galaxy AI capabilities — are on hand in the S24 Plus, which also benefits from a few other changes bestowed on the entire S24 lineup. Yet, when people talk about Samsung's recent spate of phone releases, they focus on the entry-level Galaxy S24 since it's the cheapest phone or the Galaxy S24 Ultra as it crams in the most features. The Galaxy S24 Plus stands alone.
How grim have things gotten for the Plus model? My colleague Josh Render wonders if there's any reason for the Plus to exist, and if Samsung might be better off focusing its efforts on the standard flagship and its Ultra-sized companion. It's a good thing phone can't feel because — ouch, Galaxy S24 Plus. That must be a tough thing to hear.
I'll concede that the Plus phone tends to fade into the background of Samsung's Galaxy lineup, but I don't buy the notion that Samsung should start planning for a Plus-free future. The Plus still has a role to play among the best Samsung phones, especially after some key improvements to the Galaxy S24 Plus that make this phone more appealing than ever.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus — what's new
You opt for the Plus over the standard Galaxy S handset for one primary reason — you want a bigger screen. Not only does the Galaxy S24 Plus hit that mark, it also delivers the biggest panel of any recent Plus model.
Specifically, the Galaxy S24 Plus comes with a 6.7-inch AMOLED panel, a slight increase from the Galaxy S23 Plus' 6.6-inch display. Samsung pulled off the increase in screen size by shrinking the bezels around the display, as this year's Plus model is essentially the same size as its predecessor. (The S24 Plus is 0.7mm taller and 0.1mm thicker while the S23 Plus is 0.3mm wider — good luck spotting those diferences with the naked eye.)
Look, I'm a fan of the compact size of the Galaxy S24, but I'm in the minority here, as a clear majority of smartphone shoppers want devices with bigger screens. The Galaxy S24 Plus has a bigger screen than before without making the phone any more difficult too carry around, so it's clearly addressing customer demand.
And you know what? A bigger screen would come in handy for this particular iteration of the Galaxy S series, thanks to all those Galaxy AI features. Specifically, I'm thinking of the photo-editing tools like Edit Suggestions and Generative Edits. The bigger screen size on the Galaxy S24 Plus gives you more room to make photo edits like increasing the size of your subject or moving it around the photo. Certainly, you can do all that on the Galaxy S24's display, but now you've got a bigger canvas with the Plus.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus vs. Galaxy S24 Ultra
The Galaxy S24 Plus has some other advantages over the regular S24, but they're the sorts of differences that apply to past models. You get a faster wired charging speed with the Galaxy S24 Plus, and while we haven't had a chance to finish battery testing yet, you'd figure the bigger battery in the Plus will help it last longer than the Galaxy S24.
Samsung also treats the Galaxy S24 Plus to the same base model storage boost that the Galaxy S24 Ultra features — you get 256GB of storage with the entry-level model of either the Plus or the Ultra. That makes the S24 Plus the rare device under $1,000 that ships with 256GB in its base model. (The OnePlus 12 also offers that kind of storage without forcing you to pay up for it.)
The price of the Galaxy S24 Plus is even more significant these days now that Samsung has raised the price of its Ultra model by $100. As great as that phone is — and our Galaxy S24 Ultra review is positively glowing — some people are just not going to want to pay $1,299 for a new phone. The Galaxy S24 Plus lets them still enjoy a big-screen device with premium features but at a more reasonable price.
That's not to say the Galaxy S24 Plus doesn't drop the ball in some areas, particularly if you're shopping for a phone outside of North America. In that case, you're looking at a Galaxy S24 Plus powered by an Exynos 2400 chipset instead of Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 silicon. And while we don't yet know how the Exynos 2400 performs, our Galaxy S24 Ultra benchmarks and battery test results indicate the new Snapdragon is a real powerhouse that also helps manage power efficiently. You can't help but feel that Galaxy S24 Plus models without the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 run the risk of missing out on that chipsets' benefits.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus outlook
Setting that concern about chipset performance aside, the Galaxy S24 Plus offers a lot, thanks to its bigger screen, faster charging speed and full complement of Galaxy AI features. Our full review of the Galaxy s24 Plus is still pending as of this writing, but one thing this phone is unlikely to wind up being is a forgotten middle child.
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