Yes! The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra arrived for us to review a few weeks earlier. And what can I say other than — “Nah, this dude is phenomenally something else”. Breaking global pre-booking records… 2.5 lakh pre-bookings in India in just three days of launch… It’s undeniably the talk of the town!
As I’ve been navigating life with the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra as my daily driver for over three weeks, it’s evident that Samsung has crafted a smartphone that not only meets expectations — it shatters them! I will take you through my experience with this megalo-beast of a phone in absolute detail in this review. But before getting our engine started, let’s have a quick run-down of its specs.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Specifications:
- Design: Titanium body with IP68 rating and S-pen support
- Display: 6.8-inches Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O, Gorilla Glass Armor, Adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, Vision Booster, up to 2600 nits (peak)
- Resolution: QHD+ (3088 x 1440 pixels)
- Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy (4nm mobile platform)
- Memory: 12GB LPDDR5X RAM, Up to 1TB UFS 4.0 storage
- Software & UI: One UI 6.1 on top of Android 14
- Rear Camera: Quad (with LED flash)
– 200MP primary lens, OIS, PDAF
– 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens, 120º FOV
– 10MP telephoto lens, 3x optical zoom
– 50MP telephoto lens, 5x optical zoom, 100x digital zoom
- Front Camera: 12MP f/2.2 lens
- Security: Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor
- Battery: 5000mAh with 45W fast charging, 15W wireless charging
- Colors: Black, Violet, Grey (in Nepal)
- Check the full specs of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, HERE!
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review:
Kicking off, the standout feature of the S24 Ultra lies in its latest AI integration. A notable departure from the usual hardware-centric presentations during launch events, Samsung dedicated considerable keynote time to delve into the intricacies of AI on a smartphone. The collaboration with Google to bring Pixel-like AI features to the S24 series is a stroke of brilliance.
Starting the review with a focus on AI features, the Search to Circle function stands out as a genuinely intuitive UI implementation. This AI feature, exclusive to the Galaxy S24 series and Pixel 8 series (for now), sets a new standard for Android phones, with hopes of it becoming a staple across the platform.
You can now translate your phone calls live, though it is a hit or miss. We tested this feature to translate between English and Hindi, and I must say it boasted an impressive 80 to 90% accuracy. Similar accuracy is observed in speech-to-text transcription as well. In addition to that, you can also summarize web pages, and manipulate photos using the baked-in AI of the phone. These AI features are not just a gimmick, and we have covered them further in a dedicated article.
Design and Build
Alright, let’s get to the basics! The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is not only good on paper, it is phenomenal in hand as well. The adoption of Titanium frames, just like the iPhone 15 Pro Max, adds a touch of elegance and durability. The shift from a glossy to a matte frame is a subtle but appreciated tweak. Concerning its durability, this beast even survived the Jerry Rig bend test. This I think is a testament to the robust build and a solid introduction to the Gorilla Glass Armor. I would once again like to stress that the Titanium frame and Corning’s latest glass definitely take this device’s resilience up a notch.
On top of all that, the attention to detail is also quite noteworthy. Such as the symmetrical bezels, minimized reflections under bright lights, and enhancing the overall user experience. Alright, all I have to say is Samsung hasn’t just designed a phone; it has crafted a machinery-art.
The display is often a make-or-break aspect for many users. Like any other Samsung offering, this phone also receives some meticulous attention in the display department. However, we still had a minor concern about vibrancy in vivid mode compared to that of its predecessor S23 Ultra. Despite all that, the S24 Ultra clinches the title of having the best smartphone display and earning the top spot in DXOMARK’s display test. No small feat!
It might sound perfect and all, but there’s room for improvement. My suggestions for future iterations would be exploring 10 or 12-bit color depth and high-PWM dimming. The brightness is not the best you could find in the market, but the color calibration you get on the S24 Ultra is just top-notch. The touch response is exceptional. And all of these just add layers to my visual experience.
Battery, Software, Longevity
Moving on to one of the most crucial aspects – battery life. I mean, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra has delivered a rock-hard performance in the concerts of batteries. A solid one-day usage with screen time comparable to the iPhone 15 Pro Max showcases the excellent balance of hardware and software optimization. The conscious decision to prioritize battery health over charging speed, both wired and wireless, is something that I can’t overlook.
A promise of seven years of software updates is another reason why the S24 Ultra might be an investment in the long run. This commitment ensures users will enjoy not just a reliable device today but also in the future, maintaining resale value.
Performance and Storage
Under the hood lies the powerhouse – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset coupled with 12GB of DDR5X RAM, and UFS 4.0 storage. Oof! That’s the deal you wanna take for a smooth, reliable, and seamless user experience. Whether it’s unlocking the phone with the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, multitasking, or wielding the S-pen, the S24 ultra has truly showcased what it is capable of.
The vapor chamber cooling system enhancements is another addition to its already genius engineering. Stability, FPS in games, and temperature control, you name it! The S24 Ultra outshines its predecessor without much issue.
However, the gaming experience, especially in resource-intensive games like PUBG Mobile, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a slight edge on it. What I mean is, if there are a lot of players in a certain zone in PUBG mobile this phone struggles a bit and lags slightly. You will not hear of a problem like this in the iPhone 15 Pro Max, as it is more optimized. Don’t get me wrong! The S24 Ultra is still a beast for gaming.
Now, let’s dive into what often takes the spotlight in flagship discussions – the cameras! I must say, Samsung has truly outdone itself with the S24 Ultra, building on the success of the S23 Ultra, it manages to reinforce its dominance in the realm of photography. The switch from the previous 10X camera to a 5X optical zoom lens was initially a little iffy. But it does add a new layer to my photography experience, allowing for stunning portraits that highlight Samsung’s commitment to versatility.
Drawing comparisons with the iPhone 15 Pro Max, I noticed subtle differences in dawn and daytime photography. The S24 Ultra stands out in its ability to balance dynamic range and color tones, offering a perspective that is slightly distinct and, arguably, more balanced than its Apple counterpart.
But a camera is not just a list of specifications; it’s about the overall user experience. Beyond the impressive 5X zoom, the S24 Ultra offers a plethora of portrait options, ranging from 1X to 5X, giving me creative flexibility. The nuanced variations in color calibration, especially in ultra-wide photos, showcase Samsung’s meticulous attention to detail in the realm of photography.
Now, let’s talk about nighttime photography, where both phones truly shine. The S24 Ultra and the iPhone 15 Pro Max compete in delivering exceptional details and sharpness in low-light conditions. Nighttime images, while subjective in their appeal, bring out the unique color tones of each device. Samsung tends towards a cooler tone, resulting in a more balanced color profile, while the iPhone introduces a touch of warmth into its images.
Apart from static photography, the Samsung flagship is also a powerhouse in videography. Maintaining smoothness in videos, allowing lens switching during 4k 60 fps, and introducing the ability to switch to the selfie camera while shooting at high resolutions are not just features; it’s Samsung’s really pushing the boundaries.
Yet, in the quest for perfection, subtle nuances emerge. The smoothness in normal videos, especially during lowlight conditions, slightly tilts in favor of the iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, these are minor differences, and the S24 Ultra, with its videography capabilities, stands tall as a formidable contender.
For vloggers and content creators, the ability to not only switch between rear camera lenses but also the selfie camera while shooting at 4k 60 fps is a game-changer. It’s a feature even the iPhone 15 Pro Max can’t boast. Samsung’s foray into high-resolution slow-motion videos at 4k 120 fps is one of a kind (only Sony Xperia 1 IV had it before) which adds another layer to its versatility.
Comparing 1080p results, the iPhone’s output is sharper, but when it comes to 4k, the S24 Ultra emerges as the victor. The results are not just about numbers; they translate into tangible improvements in the quality of content creation.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: Conclusion
So that was my review of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra! If you’re on the lookout for the best smartphone available right now, then this phone definitely stands out as the ultimate choice. In a landscape where Chinese manufacturers such as OPPO, VIVO, and Xiaomi were making strides and narrowing the gap on Samsung, the Galaxy S24 Ultra emerged as a game-changer. Its arsenal of uniquely equipped clever AI features catapulted it to the forefront, leaving the competition trailing behind.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: Pros and Cons
- Best-in-class camera
- Subliminal performance
- Great Display
- Exclusive Google AI features
- Seven years of OS upgrades
- Videography is still slightly inferior to the iPhone 15 Pro Max
- 5X Portrait slightly inferior to that of the iPhone 15 Pro Max