The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra represents a major milestone in the history of the series. This isn’t because of a revolutionary change in design or processing power, rather it’s a different kind of power that marks the Galaxy S24 Ultra as a top-of-the-line handset to take notice of: artificial intelligence.
In our review of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, we’ll take you through the device’s ins and outs, showcasing why it rightfully sits alongside the other S24 handsets as the high-end premium choice.
If you’re on the lookout for a powerful handset that utilises AI at its core, you can pick up the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra from a diverse range of colours and storage sizes.
Release date and price
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra releases on 31st January 2024.
• Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 256GB - £1249
• Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 512GB - £1349
• Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 1TB - £1549
• Dimensions: 79 x 162.3 x 8.6mm
• Weight: 232g
• Display: 6.8” AMOLED; 2600 nit peak brightness
• Resolution: 3120 x 1440
• Refresh rate: Dynamic 1-120Hz
• CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy
• RAM: 12GB
• Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 1TB
• OS: Android 14
• Rear cameras: 200MP wide; 12MP ultra-wide; 10MP & 50MP telephoto
• Front camera: 12MP
• Battery: 5000 mAh
• Charging: 45W Super-Fast Charging; Fast wireless charging; Wireless Powershare
• Material: Titanium frame; Corning Gorilla Armour front glass; Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 back glass
• Water and dust resistance: IP68
• Connectivity: Wi-Fi 7; Bluetooth 5.3; 5G
Since the S22 Ultra debuted in 2022, Samsung’s premium handsets have adopted a flat design instead of a rounded look. The Galaxy S24 Ultra continues with this approach, opting for sharp edges that give the phone a strong and distinctive style. It’s certainly a far cry from the curved design that dominated earlier handsets, but it provides the benefit of feeling less slippery in the hand.
Cocooning the Galaxy S24 Ultra is a durable titanium frame; Samsung very much pulling from the iPhone 15 playbook here. This signals a move away from aluminium on the Ultra models, and the increased strength that titanium affords means that, even when taken out of a phone case, the Galaxy S24 Ultra can withstand bumps and scratches with ease. The inherent benefit of titanium is that a small amount can match a larger quantity of aluminium, enabling Samsung to build up the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s defence while simultaneously keeping the weight down.
Speaking of weight, the S24 Ultra comes in at 232g; 1g less than the S23 Ultra. This might not seem like much, but crucially it reinforces the improvements in durability that the titanium frame affords. When gaming, the Galaxy S24 Ultra doesn’t feel cumbersome during short or long sessions, neither does it weigh you down when carrying it around. All the strength, none of the bulk.
To protect against dust and water damage, the Galaxy S24 Ultra also comes with IP68 resistance. A maximum depth of 1.5 metres can be reached before the S24 Ultra experiences any damage, and dust is kept out of those nooks and crannies to prevent any dangerous build-up of debris.
The Galaxy S24 Ultra cuts an imposing figure to be sure, but considering it’s one of the most premium phones you can buy, it’s right that this handset should stand out from the pack.
With a premium design comes an equally high-end display on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Samsung have taken the S23 Ultra’s stunning screen that impressed us in 2023 and made it even better by increasing the resolution to 3120x1440; this means more pixels across the display, and therefore a sharper image. It pays dividends in a wide range of media, whether it’s more detailed textures in a game or clearer faces when watching a video.
The Galaxy S24 Ultra is a dream for gamers or anyone wanting the best possible image quality on a Samsung phone, and if you’ve never experienced an OLED display before, this is a great place to start. The 6.8” QHD+ screen on the S24 Ultra is superb, dazzling with the kind of bright colours, rich detail and contrasts that OLEDs are known for. This display also features a dynamic 1-120Hz refresh rate, enabling the S24 Ultra to adjust how quickly the screen refreshes depending on what you’re watching. Many modern displays such as premium TVs and PC monitors come with this technology, and it makes all the difference; games run far smoother when the refresh rate is boosted, yet it can be automatically lowered to save on battery life if this boost isn’t needed.
Even outside of gaming and videos, the display on the Galaxy S24 Ultra is hugely impressive. One of the biggest jumps this phone takes from its predecessor is in brightness, delivered by a whopping 2600 nits. Considering that we were glowing with praise when talking about the S23 Ultra’s peak brightness of 1750 nits, the S24 Ultra blows that total out of the water. As a result, you can take this handset anywhere and view the screen clearly, even outdoors where glare is most troublesome.
So, the Galaxy S24 Ultra looks and feels fantastic, but how does it perform? The answer to that is brilliantly. Samsung included an improved generation of processor on the S24 Ultra – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy – and cemented this device as one of the top phones on the market.
This lightning-fast piece of silicone makes it possible to game, swap between apps and take photos with little in the way of stutter. One minute you’re running through dungeons in Diablo Immortal, the next you’re swapping to the camera to take a panoramic shot; the Galaxy S24 Ultra handles this without breaking a sweat. When paired with the display’s 120Hz max refresh rate to maintain a smooth image, the S24 Ultra as a premium phone really flexes its muscles.
Software & features
Undoubtedly, one of the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s leading features is Galaxy AI, which ushered in a renewed focus on artificial intelligence when using a Galaxy smartphone. Other devices such as the Pixel 8 leaned heavily into AI to enhance productivity, and the S24 Ultra follows suit with a bevy of AI tools.
One of these useful tools is Circle to Search, which can be used either with an S Pen or your fingers. Simply circle around something you want to learn more about, such as a landmark or an image of food, and the S24 Ultra’s AI will instantly bring up search results on the topic. The usefulness of Circle to Search comes from how naturally it is integrated into the experience, rather than feeling like hoops need to be jumped through to utilise it effectively.
This is also the case with Live Translate, another tool that leverages AI and is woven seamlessly with other features. When you’re on holiday or need to talk to someone over the phone that speaks a different language, Live Translate uses AI to enable two-way communication with ease. Again, this all happens naturally thanks to Galaxy AI acting as the super-intelligent middleman.
The AI-powered features don’t stop there. Note Assist and Transcript Assist both make it incredibly easy to capture information in real-time, and Chat Assist is on-hand to provide additional suggestions as you type; think of it as superpowered auto-correct. The key word that runs through all of these AI features is ‘assist’, and Samsung have done a great job integrating artificial intelligence on the Galaxy S24 Ultra in a manner that doesn’t get in the way of the user.
Alongside Galaxy AI under the hood is Android 14, bringing with it deep personalisation features such as AI-generated wallpapers and customisable lock screens.
Samsung phones have long featured some of the finest cameras in mobile photography, and we can safely say that the Galaxy S24 Ultra earns its place among that list. It doesn’t achieve this, however, with just fantastic camera hardware alone; AI is used to enhance photos even further.
Whether you’re capturing images from great distances with the 200MP main camera or dabbling in some night-time photography, Galaxy AI efficiently boosts detail and picture quality. The Galaxy S24 Ultra sports 100x Space Zoom, which as the name suggests can be used to take extreme long-distance photos. The inclusion of AI and intelligent processing means the S24 Ultra can fill in any low-detail spots in the image and produce photos with improved clarity.
The versatility on offer when it comes to zoom options on the Galaxy S24 Ultra is some of best we’ve seen on a smartphone. Not only do you get the incredible 100x Space Zoom, but you’re also treated to 2x, 3x, 5x and 10x zoom courtesy of the 50MP telephoto camera.
Once you’ve taken a photo, getting it looking exactly how you want is made easier with Photo Assist. This feature leverages the S Pen and Galaxy AI to give you recommendations of things to remove, such as a reflection or someone walking behind you. Having this level of AI-assisted editing power in your pocket is very impressive, and gives even the Pixel 8 Pro a run for its money as a leading Android camera phone.
If you’re thinking of buying the Galaxy S24 Ultra, it’s likely because you want the very best performance and visuals possible. This would mean very little if the battery weren’t up to the task, but Samsung have stayed true to the Galaxy S23 Ultra and brought across that handset’s superb 5000mAh battery unit.
With its large capacity, this battery can withstand long gaming sessions or 4K films before needing a significant recharge. When the time comes to do so, 45W wired Super-Fast Charging ensures there is minimal downtime, and fast wireless charging is also available should you need to recharge on-the-go.
When seeking the very best smartphone that Samsung has to offer, the Ultra model has long served as the handset of choice. The Galaxy S24 Ultra confidently continues that tradition, all while boosting its premium performance with intelligent AI features.
If our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review has inspired you to change up your Android phone, it’s important to know how to move all your data across. Our step-by-step guide will direct you through the process, and have you using your new handset in no time.