Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: You might forget that the S24 Ultra exists

Same set of Galaxy AI features in a $999 phone

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

You could pay more for Samsung's $1,299 Galaxy S24 Ultra, but the Galaxy S24 Plus offers the same exceptional AI features, powerful processing performance, and extra long battery life for $300 less.

Pros

  • +

    Much longer battery life than predecessor

  • +

    Useful and intuitive Galaxy AI features

  • +

    Fluid graphics processing performance

  • +

    Charming design

  • +

    Pricing is unchanged from S23 Plus

Cons

  • -

    Few changes with the software experience

  • -

    Telelphoto camera performance could be better

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

Every time Samsung announces its new flagship phones, it’s not all that surprising for the Galaxy S24 Ultra to seize the spotlight. Rightfully so, it’s the premier phone in the lineup complete with the S Pen, longer zoom camera, and larger battery. However, there’s actually an incentive to go with the Galaxy S24 Plus, instead.

There's an obvious reason why to opt for the Galaxy S24 Plus over the flashier Ultra — the former model is much cheaper at $999. But in my time using the Galaxy S24 Plus, I’m realizing more about the value it provides over the Ultra. 

The slew of new Galaxy AI features Samsung has introduced are accessible to all three S24 models — there’s no AI-powered task on the S24 Ultra that the S24 Plus also can't perform. Add in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 that powers the S24 Plus — again, the same as the Ultra — and there’s not as much to lust over with the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s hardware this time.

With that in mind, I’ll share details about how this phone performs in key areas such as battery life, performance, and camera quality in my Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review and why you could make the case that this is the model to get.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: Specifications

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Galaxy S24 Plus
Starting price$999
Display size and resolution6.7-inch AMOLED, QHD+, flat screen
Display brightness, refresh rate1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate
ProcessorSnapdragon 8 Gen 3
RAM12GB
Storage256GB, 512GB
Rear cameras50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto (3x optical zoom)
Front camera12MP
Battery size4,900 mAh
Charging speed45W
Size6.24 x 3.00 x 0.30 inches
Weight6.95 ounces
ColorsSand stone orange, sapphire blue, cobalt violet, jade green, marble gray, onyx black, amber yellow.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: Price and release date

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy S24 Plus launched on January 31, with a starting price of $999/£999 for the base 256GB model. If you need more storage, the 512GB option costs $1,199/£1,099. Thankfully both versions are generously equipped with 12GB of RAM.

Unlike most other phones, there’s actually a robust set of color options to choose from with the Galaxy S24 Plus. Most retailers will offer a few, but going through Samsung directly will give you access to the entire color lineup — sand stone orange, sapphire blue, cobalt violet, jade green, marble gray, onyx black or amber yellow. 

Galaxy S24 Plus: up to $750 off with trade-in @ Best Buy

Galaxy S24 Plus: up to $750 off with trade-in @ Best Buy
There's no compromise with the Galaxy S24 Plus, seeing that it has a lot in common with the more expensive Galaxy S24 Ultra. Not only is it a powerhouse with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, but it has access to all the same useful Galaxy AI features that saves you time. The phone starts at $999, but you can save up to $750 with a trade-in.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: Design

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.

(Image credit: Future)

Just like the S24 Ultra, the S24 Plus is a handful to use one-handed. Unlike the Ultra, though, the Plus feels much lighter at just under 7 ounces, and I often come away surprised each time I pick it up. The S24 Plus’ trim is fashioned out of space grade aluminum with rounded corners and flat edges, so you won't get the titanium frame of the Ultra. Even so, the S24 Plus feels well built and its charm is only amplified by the fact it has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.

Other minor changes to the design include smaller bezels around the display, which only help to refine its looks over last year’s model while also slightly increasing screen size. However, I wouldn’t say the S24 Plus offers the most attractive design in a modern phone that I’ve seen — the OnePlus 12 and Nothing Phone 2 still stand out more in that regard.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: Display

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.

(Image credit: Future)

Cramming even more screen into its body, I love how the 6.7-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2x display of the Galaxy S24 Plus delivers nearly the same crisp details as the S24 Ultra. That’s because of the Plus' higher pixel density, making small details like the minuscule text on some websites more defined.

The biggest claim Samsung makes with the S24 Plus is its rated brightness of 2,600 nits: the most ever in the Galaxy S series. I’m always skeptical about these claims mainly because they’re usually achieved under specific conditions. In Tom’s Guide’s display benchmark test, the S24 Plus manages to get a peak brightness output of 1,397 nits — far short of Samsung’s claim, but still better than the 1,345 nits produced by the Galaxy S23 Plus. It's also brighter than the similarly sized iPhone 15 Plus.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Galaxy S24 Plus Display Test Results
Row 0 - Cell 0 Galaxy S24 PlusGalaxy S23 PlusiPhone 15 Plus
Max brightness1,396 nits1,345 nits1,310 nits
sRGB115% (Natural) / 140% (Vivid)117% (Natural) / 204% (Vivid)115.4%
DCI-P381.5% (Natural) / 99% (Vivid)83% (Natural) / 148% (Vivid) 81.8%
Delta-E (lower is better)0.27 (Natural) / 0.24 (Vivid)0.23 (Natural) / 0.33 (Vivid)0.13

Luckily, this still translates to excellent visibility outdoors. I played a couple of movie trailers on YouTube on a sunny day and I was still able to see the details on the Galaxy S24 Plus screen perfectly. Since it’s an AMOLED panel, it comes with all the usual charming qualities I expect out of the technology, like wide viewing angles, vibrant colors, and minimal distortion. The S24 Plus display refresh rate still tops out at 120Hz, but it’s plenty enough to make games I play move fluidly.

These improvements are minimal at best for the Galaxy S24 Plus, but I have to constantly remind myself that its display stacks up nicely against the more expensive S24 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: AI features

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.

(Image credit: Future)

After spending a lot of intimate time using the new Galaxy AI features, I can admit that I find a good majority of them practical enough to use in my daily routine. Sure, there are still others that need further retooling, like the real-time interpreter mode of Live Translate, but they prove that AI features aren’t novel anymore.

On the one hand, I love that these Galaxy AI features are available to all three phones in the series. This is a different outcome than what Google did for its Pixel 8 phones, saving a few exclusive AI features for just the Pixel 8 Pro.

As a result, it means there’s nothing functionally better about the S24 Ultra compared to the S24 Plus when it comes to artificial intelligence features. I’ll detail a bit more about them below, but as a whole, these Galaxy AI capabilities definitely help to elevate the S24 Plus over its predecessor.

Circle to Search

This is the Galaxy AI feature I use the most because Circle to Search conveniently lets me search for stuff in any app. Long pressing on the home button initiates Circle to Search, where I then proceed to highlight/circle whatever I want to search. After that, Galaxy AI pulls in all the relevant searches — including the Google Maps location of a statue I looked up, along with prices on some flowers I was searching. There’s no more switching to a different app just to search because Circle to Search overlays its results on top of every app.

Chat Assist

As much as Chat Assist can really make my writing sound like I’m speaking to the Queen of England, I haven’t been persuaded enough to use it as much as the other Galaxy AI features. Sure, it’s nice that artificial intelligence can help fine-tune what I’m writing with a totally different tone, but then I feel awkward sending it because I know that’s not how I talk.

Live Translate

The Galaxy S24 Plus can act like an interpreter during phone calls thanks to Live Translate, but the feature is not without its flaws. After testing it out with a colleague of mine, I found that Live Translate works best when we speak in a more formal tone, just because it has issues properly translating some of our casual conversations. Still, real-time translations on a phone call can be a neat tool to have on hand if you do need to speak to people in other languages, even if the AI needs work before I can confidently speak in a casual tone and pace.

Notes AI Features

I’m always meeting with companies either in person or virtually, and one of my biggest problems is that I just jot down everything without any organization to my notes. That’s why I appreciate how the Notes AI features takes my messy list and properly format and summarize them — complete with bold heading and TLDR-style bullet points.

Samsung Voice Recorder

I shoot a lot of videos where I interview someone, so I find the new AI features with Samsung’s Voice Recorder incredibly useful. Not only does it label all the different speakers in my recording, but it will also transcribe the conversation very well — which I can then have AI summarize before exporting the transcript to the Notes app.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.

(Image credit: Future)

Hardware-wise, there’s not as much of a tremendous upgrade with the Galaxy S24 Plus’ cameras over what came before. The rear camera array consists of a 50MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide shooter, and a lone 10MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. If those numbers sound familiar, then you’re right — they’re identical to what the S23 Plus offers.

But you should never just lean into those specs because phone companies, Samsung included, are always offering new image processing techniques to get more out of your photos. It’s not an exception here because the Galaxy S24 Plus features a dedicated ISP Block for noise reduction under low light situations.

I also captured similar shots against the iPhone 15 Plus to give you a better idea of how the S24 Plus cameras stack up. Even though the Galaxy S24 Plus delivers good looking photos with excellent dynamic range performance in high contrast scenes, I still find the Galaxy S24 Ultra to be the better option for people who want the best camera phone.

Like I said, the main camera on the Galaxy S24 Plus does nicely to handle all lighting conditions, and its new ISP Block is on full display here because its image is noticeably brighter in the shadows. The overall photo is sharp, but I think the S24 Plus is just a little aggressive on how it tones down the highlights. I can make out a bit more of the finer details in the stone walkway. 

Oddly, though, the 12MP ultrawide camera of the S24 Plus doesn't apply the same exposure boost to the shadows — so the iPhone 15 Plus actually comes away with the more attractive shot above. The lower contrast look of the S24 Plus makes it look subdued, versus the eye-catching appeal of the high-contrast photo from the iPhone 15 Plus.

Photographing the same statue at Bryant Park, I used the Galaxy S24 Plus’ 10MP telephoto camera to capture it at 3x zoom. It has a technical advantage over the iPhone 15 Plus’ 2x telephoto zoom, but I’m surprised by the pixel-binning technology running behind the scenes to boost and sharpen the details with the iPhone 15 Plus. That said, the S24 Plus produces the brighter image by again boosting the shadows. 

Selfies are also noticeably brighter with the Galaxy S24 Plus’ front-facing camera. Detail capture is almost identical, but the brighter overall look from the S24 Plus is the defining quality that gets my attention. 

It’s a closer race with the phones' respective portrait modes, but it’s actually the iPhone 15 Plus with the more convincing performance. I will admit I like how both devices blur out the background realistically. However, the iPhone 15 Plus captures more definition, which I can see in how I can make out the details in my Nike zip up hoodie a lot more than the S24 Plus. 

Under low light, the results are fascinating because in some shots the iPhone 15 Plus shows better results — in others, it's the S24 Plus' time to shine. In the shots of my detached garage, the iPhone 15 Plus is clearer and more defined, but in the photo of the nearby tree, the S24 Plus does a much better job at drawing out the details hidden in the shadows. I also like how the LED string lights in another tree aren’t over-saturated with the S24 Plus. 

Overall, Samsung does well to keep low light performance tolerable and without introducing much noise ruining the scene. 

Another unique quality about the S24 Plus is that it’s one of the few phones on the market that tops out at 8K video recording. You’d think this would be a Galaxy S24 Ultra exclusive, but I’m happy to get it here with the Galaxy S24 Plus.

The video recording performance of the Galaxy S24 Plus is really good. Not only are details sharp and plentiful, but I like the responsive exposure compensation performance as I go from recording dim scenes to brightly lit ones. The 3x optical zoom camera also works nicely to maintain details while getting me closer. However, the details sort of fall apart when I go to its maximum 12x zoom level — so I’d only recommend it as a last resort if you insist on getting closer.

AI Edit Suggestions

The beauty of Edit Suggestions is how it intelligently tweaks photos I capture with the Galaxy S24 Plus, making them better in the process. Its effectiveness is best displayed in how it removes reflections from photos with a tap of a button. I’m impressed how Galaxy AI analyzes the photo above and intelligently detects the reflections — including the lights from inside of the office. This kind of thing can be a time-consuming process when done manually, but Galaxy AI does it in no time at all.

Generative Edit

Indeed, a lot of photo edits  can often take up much of your time, but Galaxy AI’s Generative Edit features makes the process intuitive and quick. Similar to Magic Editor with the Pixel 8, the Generative Edit feature on all S24 models lets me select a subject in my photo and then resize or reposition them anywhere in the photo. 

But the true magic behind the feature is how generative AI fills in the gaps. I used it on several photos, and I’m surprised how effective it is at composing realistic looking photos. Just take a peek at the sample above to see how convincing the edited versions look.

Instant Slow-mo

And finally, Instant Slow-mo lets me take any video I've shot and have Galaxy AI convert that footage into a slow-motion video. The feature works in just about every resolution and frame rate except for 8K. This effectively lets me shoot now and then slow down a snippet later on, saving me the hassle of switching to the S24 Plus' dedicated slow motion mode. 

I have to admit that the end result passes for a legitimate slow-motion video. Under busier scenes, however, I can make out some odd ghosting effects in some frames, but it’s still passable in my book.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: Performance

While the U.S. version of the Galaxy S24 Plus is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, it’s a different story overseas, where you're getting a phone armed with the Exynos 2400. Hopefully there’s no compromise with the Exynos 2400 given how more resources are needed to handle all the new AI features of the phone. Past experience with Exynos-powered Galaxy S phones have us worried, though.

Fortunately I’m seeing fantastic results out of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, showing me there’s minimal performance gaps when compared to the Galaxy S24 Ultra. In fact, the S24 Plus gets scores of 2,272 and 7,083 on GeekBench 6’s single-core and multicore tests respectively. Those numbers don’t beat the S24 Ultra, but they’re close.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
PhoneGeekbench 6 single-coreGeekbench 6 multicore
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus2,2727,083
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra2,3007,249
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus1,5244,642
iPhone 15 Pro2,8907,194
Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro1,3396,543
Google Pixel 8 Pro1,1632,745

Every gesture and action on the Galaxy S24 Plus exhibits the instant responses and fluid movements that I look for in a top-tier smartphone. Apps open just fine, productivity tasks are handled smoothly, and the phone simply has a responsive feel to everything.

Graphics processing is on overdrive with the Galaxy S24 Plus, too, proving it’s every bit capable of rendering graphically intensive games without compromising on frame rates. In 3DMark’s Wild Life Unlimited test, it pulled out a whopping score of 20,253 and a silky smooth frame rate of 121 fps. Those scores eclipse the vast majority of flagship phones on the market, with the exception of the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
PhoneWild Life Unlimited ScoreWild Life Unlimited Frames Per Second
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus20,253121.2
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra20,627123.5
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus14,50987
iPhone 15 Pro15,74794.3
Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro18,388110.1
Google Pixel 8 Pro8,79752.7

Not surprisingly, these benchmark scores jibe well with my real world gameplay with titles like Age of Origins and Diablo Immortal. Even during intense action sequences, I love how the S24 Plus still delivers excellent lighting effects. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
PhoneAdobe Premiere Rush Transcode Time (Mins:Secs)
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus0:42
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra0:42
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus0:39
iPhone 15 Pro0:25.5
Google Pixel 8 Pro0:51

The only Achilles’ heel I see with the Galaxy S24 Plus’ processing performance is its longer time of 42 seconds to render video in Adobe Premiere Rush; Apple's iPhones are 15 seconds faster for the most part. 

The Galaxy S24 Plus time matches what the S24 Ultra turns in, leading me to believe that it’s definitely related to the chipset. If you record a lot of video and stitch them on phones as much as I do, then you can understand why this is a problem. But perhaps through firmware updates, the Galaxy S24 Plus could improve in this particular area. 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: Battery life and charging

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy S24 Plus also flexes its muscles with its incredible endurance in Tom’s Guide’s battery test. For context, the Galaxy S23 Plus’ 4,700 mAh battery reached a time of 11 hours and 24 minutes. Samsung marginally increased the size of the Galaxy S24 Plus' battery to 4,900 mAh — the S23 Plus had a 4,700 mAH power pack — but the impressive part is its longer time of 16 hours and 32 minutes on our test. That isn’t just a jump, it’s a leap with a running start.

Usually the gains from one generation of phone to the next are by an hour or so, but to find an improvement of 5 hours is beyond out of this world. I think it’s a testament to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s superior power efficiency. And furthermore, the Galaxy S24 Plus outlasts the S24 Ultra by a minute. I notice that excellent battery life performance with my day-to-day use of the Galaxy S24 Plus, as the phone still has plenty of gas in the tank even before my head hits the pillow.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Galaxy S24 Ultra Battery Test Results
PhoneChipsetBattery sizeBattery life (Hrs:Mins)
Samsung Galaxy S24 PlusSnapdragon 8 Gen 34,900 mAh16:46
Samsung Galaxy S24 UltraSnapdragon 8 Gen 35,000 mAh 16:45
Asus ROG Phone 8Snapdragon 8 Gen 35,500 mAh 18:48
Google Pixel 8 ProTensor G35,050 mAh10:03
iPhone 15 ProA17 Pro3,274 mAh10:53
Samsung Galaxy 23 PlusSnapdragon 8 Gen 24,700 mAh11:24

Battery endurance is clearly a priority for the Galaxy S24 Plus, but it would’ve been nice to see improvements to the phone's recharge time. I don’t think that's a deal breaker since I feel 45W wired charging and 15W wireless charging is faster than what most phones offer, though I can understand the desire for improvement here. Using a compatible charger, the S24 Plus gets to a 72% charge in 30 minutes, which is a smidge better than the 71% level reached by the S23 Plus in the same time. 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: Software

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.

(Image credit: Future)

Most of the Galaxy S24 Plus’ charm comes from its various AI features, as it seems the rest of the software experience has been left unchanged from last year's phone. I’m not terribly bummed by this, as there are a few minor visual changes that accompany Samsung’s One UI 6.1 interface running on top of Android 14. Functionally, I have everything I need — a customizable experience, split screen mode, and edge panels for quick access to common tools and apps.

Just like the Galaxy S24 Ultra, Samsung DeX is accessible with the S24 Plus. Not everyone might use this feature, but I find it extremely handy in those situations when I accidentally leave my laptop at home with its desktop PC-like experience.

That leaves just one single feature unique only to the S24 Ultra: the S Pen.The S24 Plus doesn't support Samsung's stylus, though recent years haven't added new S Pen capabilities. The only selling point for the S Pen right now is the paper-meets-pen experience it brings to the Ultra's larger display.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review updates

  • Feb 13: Several Galaxy S24 users report about a Mura effect happening with the display, causing these bands to appear on the display at a low brightness level. We've confirmed it's present in our Galaxy S24 Plus unit, but it doesn't appear to happen while watching video content or scrolling through the interface.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: Verdict

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.

(Image credit: Future)

Let me end this Galaxy S24 Plus review by again emphasizing the phone's $999 price. There’s a $300 gap between it and the more expensive Galaxy S24 Ultra. However, I’m inclined to say that there’s better value going for the S24 Plus — this time around at least.

Apart from the S24 Ultra’s S Pen, titanium trimmed design, and extra 5x telephone camera with optical zoom, I feel that the S24 Plus makes a strong argument for offering more value. Not only is its processing performance, brightness output, and long lasting battery life almost identical to the Ultra, but the Galaxy AI features are the same from phone to phone.

Photo enthusiasts and creative types may prefer the Galaxy S24 Ultra. For me, though, I think the Galaxy S24 Plus excels at the the types of features I want in a flagship phone — and without the excessive price of a more premium model.

More from Tom's Guide