Samsung has unveiled its latest trio of flagship smartphones, and as has been the trend for the last few years – they look a lot like the models that came before them. But there’s more going on here than initially meets the eye, as the Galaxy S24 series ushers in numerous hardware improvements supported by a plethora of AI-powered features.
As has been the tradition, there are three phones in the Galaxy S24 lineup: the standard Galaxy S24, the slightly larger S24+, and the largest and most feature-packed model, the Galaxy S24 Ultra.
The whole range of S24 devices is getting some new color options for 2024 – but the Ultra gets the most exciting makeover. It now boasts a titanium frame, much like the iPhone 15 Pro. Samsung says this new material is 56% more durable than its usual Armor Aluminum housing, which still features on the S24 and S24+.
The upgrades continue around the front, where all models do away with curved edges in favor of flat displays, and the bezels and selfie camera cutouts shrink across the board. The flagship S24 Ultra gets an upgrade to Corning Gorilla Armor, a new glass formula exclusive to Samsung, which supposedly, has four times the scratch resistance and offers up to a 75% reduction in glare and reflectivity.
Processors & AI
The Galaxy S24 Ultra will run on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy. The "for Galaxy" branding means that these chips have been specially tuned for Samsung, and you should see better performance benchmarks with these handsets when compared to other phone brands using the same chips. In Europe, the S24 and S24+ will be powered by Exynos 2400 for Galaxy processors, while we are waiting for confirmation on US processors.
Of course, more processing power means speedier performance across the board, but Samsung is also using this hardware to enable some new AI-powered features.
One such feature is Chat Assist, which is baked into Samsung’s keyboard and works across most apps. It can translate text in real-time, offer suggestions for replies, and even change the tone of your response to be more professional or more lighthearted, depending on your needs.
Transcript Assist does essentially the same thing but with voice recording, it can translate between 13 different languages at launch, with more on the way, and it will also automatically transcribe your conversations, create summaries, and more.
The AI magic also makes its way over to the Samsung Photo editing application, where you’ll find plenty of cool tricks to get the best from your shots. These range from subtle things like using AI to remove the reflections on shots taken through a window, to full-on party tricks like the ability to automatically cut out and move a subject to another location.
My personal favorite AI image editing feature is the ability to straighten out a crooked horizon with no crop. Samsung software uses generative AI to fill in the corners, and you get a perfectly straight photo without losing any details.
But what about the cameras? I hear you cry. Well, on the S24 and S24+, the hardware seems to have remained unchanged from the S23 series. With S24 Ultra, however, there’s a little more to talk about. Most of the S24 Ultra cameras remain the same, including the 200MP main sensor, but the 10MP 10x telephoto of the S23 Ultra is replaced with a new 50MP 5x telephoto, with a 1.6x larger sensor.
The idea here is that the higher-resolution 5x telephoto will be able to provide a near-lossless crop at 10x zoom, while 5x shots will look loads better than the digital zoom from the 3x lens on its predecessor. It should be a win-win if the marketing hype is to be believed.
Price and availability
The Galaxy S24 series is available to pre-order now and if you get your order in via Samsung’s website before January 30 then Samsung will double your storage capacity at no extra cost in some markets for select models.
The Galaxy S24 starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,399, the Galaxy S24+ retails from $999 / £999 / AU$1,699 and the Galaxy S24 Ultra goes for $1,249 / £1,299 / AU$2,199.