Samsung Galaxy S24 series – the bar has been set, albeit in a recycled design

Leonard Sengere Avatar

The Samsung Galaxy S24 range of smartphones was announced and it looks like they are beasts.

The S24 Ultra in particular seems to have tickled many people’s fancy. There’s a lot to unpack but just know, if you’re just about sick of AI talk, you’re in for a very painful year. If the S24 is anything to go by, the smartphone fight has transitioned to AI.

There’s no denying it, smartphone innovation has slowed over the last half decade or so. Smartphones have matured.

We now get minor updates year on year and that’s okay. It means you no longer need to upgrade every year. Samsung and Apple are aware of this and their designs are being recycled for far longer than they used to.

The S24 looks almost exactly like the S23 which looked almost exactly like the S22. This is Samsung pretty much admitting that they are not targeting s22 users with this phone.

3 generations of the Ultra. Radically different designs if you ask me.

That’s not to say the S24 is not a better phone than the S22. It is a much better phone but the S22 still holds up. The S24 is a refined S22 with decently more beefier hardware and it looks like it will be a killer.

There are 3 models, as you would expect, the S24, S24+ and S24 Ultra.

Before we get into the devices, here are the main takeaways, the main features that Samsung hopes will entice you to splurge on these bad boys.

Galaxy AI

Samsung is leaning heavy on AI this year and named this initiative Galaxy AI. They partnered to bring Google Cloud’s generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology to Samsung smartphones.

“Google’s Gemini Pro and Imagen 2 to deploy in producing new text, voice, and image features on the new Samsung Galaxy S24 series.”

There are 5 major ways AI will enhance your Galaxy experience:

Generative Edit

This is similar to what we’ve seen in the Pixels but here’s an overview of what you’ll be able to do to your photos and videos:

  • Fill in missing pieces: it can reconstruct and fill in missing backgrounds or objects, blending with the existing image.
  • Object removal: Want to erase an unwanted element from your picture? Generative Edit lets you remove objects like photobombers or distracting elements.
  • Zoom in without losing detail: It can enlarge portions of your image while maintaining sharpness and clarity, thanks to its AI-powered upscaling algorithms.
  • Change the sky: Not happy with the weather in your photo? Generative Edit lets you swap out the sky with a different one, from sunny skies to dramatic cloudscapes
  • Instant slow-mo: It can generate additional frames between existing ones, creating smooth and realistic slow-motion sequences even when not originally recorded.

Circle to Search

While scrolling or watching videos, you can just tap and hold the home button and then use the S Pen or your finger to circle items and get Google Search results.

It is annoying having to find the words to describe the thing you want to search for when you have a picture of it. Circle to Search allows you to just give Google a picture and have it look it up for you.

You may be familiar with a similar feature in Google Lens but this implementation is better. It’s baked in to the device software and you don’t have to download anything. As you guessed, Circle to Search is in collaboration with Google.

Live Translate

Again, translation services are nothing new but Samsung has baked Translate into their first party apps and you’ll get a seamless experience.

You get on a call with your foreign language speaking acquaintance and Galaxy AI will translate your words into the other language in real-time, and you’ll see the translated text on your screen. The other person will hear your voice in their own language.

Chat Assist

Here, Galaxy AI will help you enhance your communication as you text your people. It will help you in a few different ways.

Perfect your tone – if you regularly find that people think you were joking around when you were dead serious or the opposite, Chat Assist will suggest edits or complete paraphrases that capture what you want to say but correcting the tone.

Chat Assist will also help you with grammar and spelling and some other stuff.

Note Assist

It summarises your notes, gives you pre-made templates for different note types (e.g. meeting minutes), and even creates covers based on your content.

Plus, it transcribes voice recordings and translates them between languages – and you’ll be stoked to learn that it does this offline. I’ve long been jealous of the voice note transcription feature on the Pixels and now it comes to Galaxy.

In short, it keeps your notes organized and accessible.

7 years of software support

Google upped the ante with the Pixel 8 series when they offered 7 years of software support and of course, Samsung had to respond. See what competition does.

The Galaxy S24 series will receive both Android OS updates and security patches until 2031. In other words, you will still be getting software updates long after Mnangagwa has left office (his tenure ends in 2028).

This is what I meant when I said older flagships are a better deal than new entry level smartphones. Imagine, the S24 will run Android 21, that is crazy to even contemplate. You probably would have moved on by then but the phone will still have a life on the second hand market.

The usual improvements

As you would expect, the S24 will see some improvements to the cameras, battery life, display and almost everything else. These improvements will likely be minor such that you wouldn’t be able to notice when comparing to the S23.

However, if you’re coming from older phones, you will be blown away.

Early tests by some reviewers do show that the battery life has improved quite a bit. The S24 and S24+ have slightly larger batteries and when this is coupled with more efficient processors, it looks like it makes for excellent battery life.

Even the S24 Ultra has improved battery life despite getting the same battery size as last year’s S23.

The one thing I don’t like about the S24 range is the design. Don’t get me wrong they look good but Samsung is back to its iPhone-inspired ways. They flattened the sides and see for yourself:

Tell me the S24+, with one camera obscured by the S24 Ultra doesn’t look like an iPhone 12. The same goes for the S24. The Ultra is the only one without rounded corners and so retains a Samsung feel.

The bezels on the S24 are ridiculously small and let’s hope they are enough to drown out the disappointment of the ‘iPhone copying’ at hand.

S24

I’m currently using the 6.1 inch iPhone 14 and I don’t see myself using a bigger phone in the foreseeable future. So, the small 6.2 inch S24 is the only one I am really checking out. So, what is it packing?

Samsung is back to its old ways and now has 2 versions of the S24, one with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor and one with the Exynos 2400, a Samsung chip.

You can tell Samsung is a bit embarrassed to be doing this and if you visit their international site, they won’t actually tell you that the processor is an Exynos, they just tell you the CPU speeds (3.2GHz, 2.9GHz, 2.6GHz, 1.95GHz) and the CPU type (10 cores).

Now, to be fair, we don’t know how the Exynos performs but if history is anything to go by, the Snapdragon one will be better. I would make sure I got an unlocked US one with a Snapdragon if I were to buy one.

Do note that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in the S24 series is a custom one that’s made especially for Samsung. It is clocked a little higher than the vanilla chip.

The S24 also starts at 128GB with 8GB of RAM, which I’m not too keen on. For $800, it should start at 256GB+12GB RAM like the S24+ and S24 Ultra.

The phone packs only a Full HD+ screen (416ppi) which some might not like but if we’re being honest, that’s sharp enough on a 6.2 inch screen.

What’s good to see is that it now supports the latest LTPO tech, going from 1Hz all the way to 120Hz like the Ultra.

This means the S24 can refresh the screen just once per second when there is a static image or something like that to save battery and then ramp up to 120 refreshes a second for a smooth experience when needed.

There isn’t much else that’s particularly noteworthy about the specs, so you can view the full list here.

S24+

This time around it’s not just a bigger S24, it’s more like a smaller S24 Ultra, without the S-Pen.

However, like the S24, there are two versions, one with the Snapdragon SoC and one with Samsung’s own Exynos.

The S24+ now packs a sharper Quad HD+ screen (513ppi). However, like the S24 it sports the same Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 that was in the S23s.

The battery also increased to 4900mAh this year. Should make for some impressive battery life.

The S24+ starts at 256GB with 12GB RAM as should be the case.

Let’s cut to the case, why would you choose this phone at $1000 over the $800 S24? Why pay $200 more to get the entry level s24+?

  • Bigger screen (6.7″ vs 6.1″), of course
  • Better battery life
  • 256GB vs 128GB storage
  • 12GB RAM vs 8GB RAM
  • Quad HD+ screen vs FHD+
  • Faster storage, see the 128GB S24 uses UFS 3.1 whilst all S24+’s use UFS 4.0

I have to say, that feels like $200 worth of upgrades. I just wish I could get those upgrades in a 6.2″ body. See the full S24+ spec list here.

S24 Ultra

This is a tablet if we’re being honest. At 6.8 inches in a boxy body, this is a beast of a phone, the best that Samsung has to offer.

All Ultras use the Snapdragon, regardless of region and that’s great to hear.

The Ultra also uses an exclusive Corning Gorilla Glass Armor as opposed to the Victus 2 used by the other two. The Armor is supposed to be more scratch resistant, time will tell.

What has been confirmed by testers is that it is much better at reducing screen reflections, lending some weight to the claim that it offers a 75% reduction in reflections.

The battery is the same size as the S23 Ultra’s (5000mAh) but again, tests show it is significantly better in battery life than the S23 Ultra.

The S24 Ultra also has better cameras than the other two as always as it packs a 200MP wide camera where the others have 50MP sensors. The spec by itself does not guarantee that it would be better but it is.

Then there is the periscope camera, this year it’s down to a 5x optical camera as opposed to the 10x zoom we were used to in past Ultras.

They made up for this by bumping the resolution from 10MP to 50MP and early tests show that even at 10x zoom, you won’t notice much of a difference from last year’s shooter. However, you will be getting much better 5x zoom shots, which I think you’re more likely to take.

Check out the full spec list here.

The bar has been set

Listen, if you have the $1300, which will be closer to $2000 in Zimbabwe and don’t mind a huge phone, the S24 Ultra is the one to get. That is if you have to have the best of the best.

Most people won’t even utilise most of the fancy stuff the Ultra has to offer but I do understand that sometimes it’s not about that. It’s about having the best that’s out there and the S24 Ultra is probably the best all-rounder on the market right now.

If I had the funds I think I would switch to the regular S24. I think I like what I’m seeing. However, I would make sure I got the Snapdragon version.

Sure, these phones won’t be leagues better than even their own midrange A series but sometimes you just have to spoil yourself.

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19 comments

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  1. nice

    hi Leonard thanks for the info.the irony is this brings into perspective the budget Vs flagship talk you had. maybe it’s better to just get an s22.i myself believe a midranger it’s better to get. you getting the s22 in a new jacket without the premium.on a side note why don’t we have pole on what’s the top 5 apps ppl use …so we can find the minimum required

    1. Itsaplan

      Keep an eye out for Samsung’s FE phones.

  2. Lenon Chita

    So how much

  3. material_alm

    I will buy S24+ in year 2027 when it will be a bit affordable and still it will be fine for my performance requirements and with 3 remaining future OS upgrades. Lol

    1. Itsaplan

      Hey, it’s a solid strategy. The phone will likely still have more than enough performance for regular daily activities, Google will keep its ai services updated (if they don’t cancel it) so anything offloaded to them will be about as fast as other new phones and Samsung has been cornered into supplying parts in some markets so if you are motivated, you’ll be able to refurbish it on your own

    2. Tasiyana

      lol 3 years just let it pass brother

  4. Itsaplan

    I like the standard S24, looks plenty good to me. No aesthetic update but I never found it to be ugly in the first place. Ai integration is convenient, but I’ll be curious to see what the playstore Devs cook up to mimic it in one app

  5. Tas mak

    Already have the s23 ultra and its good but still thinking about upgrading to s24 😍😍

    1. Smokie

      So Lenny has done a pretty good job to convince you to upgrade,Well l know the feeling, if you are loyal to a certain brand you will feel the edge to upgrade even if it means there are a few upgrades

  6. Unbox Therapy

    it’s good to see they bumped up the screen resolution on the S24 plus variant back to Quad HD rather than limit the entire S24 series to just 1080p like they have been doing for the past 3 years with the S21, S22 & S23 (with the exception of the Ultra variants) .. someone with sharp eyes like mine can visibly notice the difference between FHD & QHD

  7. CyberGhost

    Nice article Leonard,I enjoyed streaming the Galaxy Unpacked event,and really enjoy learning about these bad boys, pretty impressive specs,but remember some of those advertised perks that come with those devices are just a marketing ploy like 7 years of updates my foot!,of course others are still using Galaxy S8,but it’s just a small minority coz of affordability issues or appreciation of “vintage items”It’s not just about a phone being able to run the latest Android version,In 7 years,there will be many changes, battery life,Cameras,AI Capabilities….How can one reasonably expect to keep a phone for 7 years, Even Samsung themselves don’t want you to keep your phone for that long,so yes the S24 range is great,If I was willing to spend that much on a phone,I would go for them,but I won’t be bought with fancy, unnecessary stuff like”this phone has 7 years of updates or support”it just sounds unrealistic to me for a phone,if it was a TV or PC,I would be happy not for a phone which lasts on average for about 2.5 years

  8. Tendai

    Hasnt the S24ultra lost its Samsungness?
    1. No curved Glass.
    2. No 10x telephoto Camera.

    I think i will remain with my S23ultra for now

  9. Anonymous

    Phew! Now I have a chance to go for the S21 Ultra that I have so longed from 2021, maybe around June thereabout. The price will be under 400usd – currently it’s 430usd best.

  10. Rocking S20 Ultra in 2024

    Phew! Now I have a chance to go for the S21 Ultra that I have so longed from 2021, maybe around June thereabout. The price will be under 400usd – currently it’s 430usd best.

    I hate the S Pen. Last time I had a note9. I would hardly use the pen. The S21 Ultra becomes the last Ultra without a pen bundled. I hate how Samsung blended the Ultra and the Note. We typically have only a Note now.

    These upgrades are very incremental and I so much agree with getting an older flagship even if it misses on some upgrades. The change log even of the security upgrades is not interesting.

  11. Smart_Money

    I would buy it but my 2017 Huawei P8 still works like clock work 🤣

  12. david james
  13. benjamin louis

    The Samsung Galaxy S24 series raises the bar with cutting-edge technology, though its design feels familiar. directv cable and internet packagesPacked with powerful features and upgraded specs, these smartphones continue Samsung’s legacy of innovation. While the design might seem recycled, the S24 series promises an unparalleled user experience, setting new standards for performance, camera capabilities, and connectivity. It’s a testament to Samsung’s commitment to delivering top-tier smartphones, albeit within a familiar aesthetic.

  14. david james

    The Samsung Galaxy S24 series raises the bar with cutting-edge technology, though its design feels familiar. directv cable and internet packagesPacked with powerful features and upgraded specs, these smartphones continue Samsung’s legacy of innovation. While the design might seem recycled, the S24 series promises an unparalleled user experience, setting new standards for performance, camera capabilities, and connectivity. It’s a testament to Samsung’s commitment to delivering top-tier smartphones, albeit within a familiar aesthetic.

  15. Anonymous

    remain with it I am malader

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