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HomeReviewSamsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review: The AI phone that saves you time

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review: The AI phone that saves you time

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is much more than simply hardware.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra aims to recover the top rank among the best phones by providing features that the iPhone 15 Pro Max lacks. This includes a slew of Galaxy AI capabilities, including as auto-summarizing your notes and shifting topics around in your photographs, as well as real-time phone conversation translation.

I’m a firm believer in what AI can accomplish with our phones, and after testing the Pixel 8 Pro’s several AI-assisted capabilities, I believe AI will be the next revolution in mobile devices. Not unexpectedly, the Galaxy S24 Ultra positions itself as the AI phone to beat in 2024. From its intuitive Circle to Search feature that can reveal what weed is growing in my backyard, to Chat Assist which automatically picks a better tone for my messages, these Galaxy AI features aim to simplify my life.

At the same time, the Galaxy S24 Ultra costs $1,299, which is $100 more than the Galaxy S23 Ultra or iPhone 15 Pro Max. This also includes the most contentious alteration to Samsung’s phone: replacing the 10x optical camera of its predecessor with a less powerful but sharper 50MP 5x telephoto lens. Usually, I expect larger telephoto ranges with succeeding devices, thus Galaxy AI will have to demonstrate that software can compensate for the apparent lack of big hardware advances.

In my Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review, I’ll focus on the phone’s new Galaxy AI capabilities, how its cameras compare to its predecessor and competitors, how long its battery lasts, and whether it’s worth the money.

Buy SAMSUNG Galaxy S24 Ultra Titanium Gray from AMAZON.

Buy SAMSUNG Galaxy S24 Ultra Titanium Black from AMAZON.


Price$1,299 / £1,249 / AU$2,199
CPUSnapdragon 8 Gen 3
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Display6.8 inches QHD+ AMOLED (1-120Hz)
Rear cameras200MP main (f/1.7), 50MP 5x telephoto f/3.4), 10MP 3x telephoto (f/2.4) 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2)
Front camera12MP (f/2.2)
ColorsTitanium Black, Titanium Gray, Titanium Violet, Titanium Yellow,
Battery5,000 mAh
Dimensions6.40 x 3.11 x 0.34 inches
Weight8.22 ounces



Galaxy S24 Ultra review

Preorders for the Galaxy S24 Ultra are already available, with a public release date planned for January 31. The phone starts at $1,299 and includes 256GB of storage, with upgrades to 512GB or 1TB versions costing $1,419 and $1,659, respectively.

That is clearly not cheap, but it is hardly the most Samsung has ever charged for a non-folding phone. Remember when the Galaxy S20 Ultra debuted for a whooping $1,399 four years ago? Still, that’s certainly little comfort to someone in the present who is trying to rationalize paying $100 more for the Galaxy 24 Ultra than the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Samsung Galaxy S24 preorder discounts help to alleviate the Ultra’s high price, with Samsung giving a free upgrade to the next tier of storage capacity. You may also receive credit from Samsung by exchanging your current smartphone for a lesser price on the S24 Ultra.


Galaxy S24 Ultra review

Look quickly, and you could miss the design modifications Samsung made to the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Most significantly, the new model replaces its predecessor’s armored aluminum frame with one made of titanium, which increases durability while also making the package lighter. On paper, the S24 Ultra’s 8.22-ounce weight does not appear to be a significant improvement from the S23 Ultra’s 8.25-ounce weight, but the phone just feels lighter this time around.

Another alteration marks the end of an era for the series: the curved screen. I’m on the fence about this modification because the curved screen on previous Ultras gave the phone a sleek appearance. Instead, the S24 Ultra has a flat display that hugs the edge of the titanium frame

Samsung’s explanation for this adjustment is related to the S Pen: the flatter surface makes the pen less prone to fall over the edge. However, I do use a cover with my older, curvier Galaxy S Ultra to avoid this from happening.

Galaxy S24 Ultra review

The final and modest tweak is 42% smaller bezels, according to Samsung’s arithmetic. I only see it on the bottom half of the display, since the rest of the bezels look quite similar to the Galaxy S23 Ultra. One of the regrets that will most likely go unnoticed is the lack of any substantial changes to the S Pen. I was expecting Samsung would introduce something new here, given that the S Pen is one of the things that distinguishes the Ultra from other models.

Overall, I don’t love or hate the design, but at least there are far more color options to choose from versus other phones — like the titanium violet version of my review unit. On top of that, there are several cases at launch that sprinkle more utility to the phone, like the preview window of the S-View Wallet Case.


Galaxy S24 Ultra review

Over time, I’ve become less concerned about the quality of a flagship’s display, owing to the fact that today’s QHD+ resolution is more than acceptable. That’s precisely what the Galaxy S24 Ultra has: a 6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2x display with rich detail, excellent viewing angles, and brilliant colors that make YouTube videos like Furiosa pop out as I watch them.

iPhone 15 Pro Max Display Test Results
Row 0 – Cell 0Galaxy S24 UltraiPhone 15 Pro MaxGalaxy S23 Ultra
Max brightness (HDR)1,363 nits1,550 nits1,444 nits
sRGB119% (Natural) / 139% (Vivid)119%112% / 193% (Vivid)
DCI-P384.9 (Natural) / 98.5% (Vivid)84.5%78% / 136.7 (Vivid)
Delta-E (lower is better)0.23 (Natural) / 0.25 (Vivid)0.140.3


But of course, all that wouldn’t mean much if the new doesn’t outperform its predecessor in the brightness category. Samsung is no different with the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which the manufacturer says has a certified brightness of 2,600 nits. I never trust the hoopla since these scores frequently do not represent their true-to-life conduct, which is why I place a higher value on our real tests.

This is where things get interesting, since the Galaxy S23 Ultra achieved a peak brightness output of 1,225 nits during our display benchmark testing. In our tests, it improved to 1,353 nits while showing HDR video on the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

That’s amazing, and I had no trouble watching YouTube videos or playing mobile games outside with direct sunshine shining down on me. Samsung maintains the S24 Ultra’s display refresh rate at 1-120Hz, which is what I expect from a flagship nowadays. Still, Samsung lost an opportunity to differentiate itself by increasing the refresh rate to 144Hz.


I’m fully aware of Samsung’s history of introducing unique features to their phones. Remember the eye-scrolling functionality of the Galaxy S4 or the ticker display on the Samsung Continuum? I doubt it, which illustrates my thesis that overhyped films are not always memorable.

There is little question that AI will permeate everything in our lives, including our phones, which is why Samsung is adopting a proactive approach by providing its consumers with additional possibilities with Galaxy AI. Surprisingly, several of these AI-assisted features were developed in conjunction with Google, raising the issue of who is truly driving the innovation here.

There is also the chance that these AI functions could alter, as stated on Samsung’s website: “Galaxy AI features will be provided for free on supported Samsung Galaxy devices until the end of 2025.” Different conditions may apply to AI functionality offered by third parties. I was able to try all of the bundled Galaxy AI functions on the Galaxy S24 Ultra, and here’s what I thought.

Galaxy S24 Ultra review

I, like everyone else, find it frustrating to have to go between Chrome and, say, Instagram while I’m attempting to search up a type of cat on one of the numerous cat Instagram accounts I follow.

Circle to Search eliminates the need to do this since a long press of the home button activates the function, and I circle the object or subject with my finger, bringing up the related search results page as an overlay. What is the best part? I never have to leave the app I’m using to search, and it works across all apps.

For example, I saw a photo posted by a friend on Instagram of a car that I didn’t recognize. With Circle to Search with the Galaxy S24 Ultra, I’m able to select while still being in the app and then it shows me search results on what it could be.

In another example, I took a photo of this statue at Bryant Park and Circle to Search is able to not only tell me what it is, but also its location with Google Maps details.

  • Chat Assist

Built into the Samsung keyboard, Chat Assist can help you craft just the right message using the right tone. Think of it like an assistant who can tailor your messages so you sound professional when typing our emails to the boss, or a playful tone when chatting with your closest friends.

It works as advertised and I’ve even chuckled on numerous occasions at Chat Assist’s professional tone because it makes me sound too formal. While I do appreciate the options for the tone of my messages, I don’t see it as a feature I’d use frequently.

  • Live Translate

Galaxy S24 Ultra review

Live Translate is one of the most useful Galaxy AI capabilities that I’ve checked out. It transforms the Galaxy S24 Ultra into a translator during phone calls and supports 13 languages out of the box.

This one exemplifies the potential of artificial intelligence since it does translations in real time with minimum latency. I tested it out with a colleague who happened to speak Spanish. One thing I’ve noticed with Live Translate is that you need to be as basic or official as possible in your chat since it gets caught up when I speak too casually.

There is a tiny lag that may make your chat sound odd, but I appreciate how the translated dialog appears on the S24 Ultra screen. You can’t talk too rapidly since the AI requires time to grasp what you’re saying and then interpret it to the person on the other end of the call. While not flawless, Live Translate provides a solid foundation for making real-time translation more realistic.

Live Translate also works with third-party apps that I use, such as WhatsApp. The only other phone that provided real-time translation in third-party apps before today was Google’s Pixel phones, so I’m glad the Galaxy S24 Ultra has its own version. This saves me from having to copy and paste my messages into another translation program, and it also translates them.

  • Notes AI Features

Galaxy S24 Ultra

I’m bad at taking notes, so I’m glad the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s new Notes AI capabilities, including formatting and summary, can handle a lot of the work for me.

The autoformat option adds bulleted headlines and brief explanations to my chaotic notes, creating a neater, more ordered list. I’m astonished by how the AI tool in Notes smartly collects and formats all of my notes in a way that makes it appear as if I had a personal secretary type it all out.

I tested this out during a recent Zoom meeting for an impending product release. There’s so much I can take notes on, yet despite my chaotic and often incomplete notes, I was surprised by how Galaxy AI arranges them, replete with bold titles and associated bullet points. I also enjoy that I have various formatting options to select from, which saves me even more time later when I send it by email.

  • Samsung Voice Recorder

Galaxy S24 Ultra

Another handy Galaxy AI feature I’ve explored is the improved AI capabilities in Samsung’s Voice Recorder app. The Samsung Voice Recorder software, like the Recorder app on Google’s Pixel phones, can transcribe recordings, mark specific speakers, and even summarize them in a TLDR-style bullet list.

This application is helpful for anyone who often attends business meetings or conducts interviews since it streamlines their process. When I utilize the S24 Ultra’s Voice Recorder, I don’t have to waste time listening to the full recording and typing up verbatim what people say; instead, I can have Galaxy AI handle it all for me, and I’m amazed at how much time it saves me.

In another virtual meeting I held with my coworkers, Galaxy AI was able to recognize all of the callers and did a good job of transcribing their messages. Some words didn’t come out correctly, but I blame the speakerphone more because of its strident tone.

After I completed recording, I utilized the Summary tool to generate a prepared summary, which I subsequently saved to Samsung Notes. I’d say it works reasonably well and, in my perspective, does far more than the Pixel 8 Pro’s voice recording tool.


Galaxy S24 Ultra

Without a doubt, the largest debate surrounding the Galaxy S24 Ultra is on Samsung’s choice to replace the S23 Ultra’s 10x optical zoom camera with a 5x optical one. That one crucial number will lead many to believe that the new camera configuration is technically inferior, but keep in mind that Samsung sacrifices optical range for a higher resolution sensor — a 50MP sensor rather than a 10MP one, to be precise.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is still a strong photography phone, with a primary 200MP camera with 60% bigger pixels, a 12MP ultrawide camera, a 10MP telephoto lens with a 3X optical zoom, and the new 50MP telephoto camera with a 5X optical zoom we described before.

That camera can still provide 10x zooms by shooting a photo and then zooming in, even if the resolution has dropped to 12 MP. Samsung claims that this strategy on the S24 Ultra will provide the same optical-quality performance as its predecessor, which does not surprise me. We’ve seen this done on other phones with great results, such as the iPhone 15’s 2x telephoto zoom.

Before I get into the new telephoto camera and whether Samsung made the wrong decision, I’ll go over how the phone’s other cameras perform in various circumstances, as well as side-by-side comparisons with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Galaxy S24 Ultra

Starting with the primary camera, I don’t see much difference from the S23 Ultra. Details are plentiful, colors are vibrant, and the S24 Ultra’s HDR performance effectively balances highlights and shadows. I’m very satisfied with the results, although I was expecting for a greater divergence from last year’s model.

Compared to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, it comes down to personal preference. In the shot of the outside of O2 Forum, the iPhone’s HDR performance is at peak display when I look how the wooden panels of the front doors pop out more. The S24 Ultra also appears to have a colder color temperature as well.

The 12MP ultrawide camera has the same 120-degree field of view as the Galaxy S23 Ultra, allowing it to capture the whole scene. Meanwhile, the performance benefits are essentially non-existent in the photographs I captured above, but they still look good in strong lighting.

Against the iPhone 15 Pro Max, it’s a tough call because I  like the higher contrast look of the S24 Ultra’s portrait mode — but the iPhone is more realistic with its colors and blurring effect.

Macro mode on the Galaxy S24 Ultra is useful for getting near to something, however I’ve noticed that when I tap on the screen, the topic is in focus, but the backdrop and surrounding region are blurred. The result is elegant, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max preserves more detail surrounding the rest of the flower.

There’s clearly more detail with the S23 Ultra in the stonework near the spire of the building at 10x zoom, but it becomes more apparent when I switch them to their max 100x zoom range.

With video recording, the S24 Ultra’s 5x telephoto camera produces enough results to equal the level of information acquired by the S23 Ultra’s 10x optical telephoto cameras. As you can see from the sign I captured at 20x zoom, the small lines of the wood grain seem comparable in both recordings.

Aside from the zooming performance, I wouldn’t say there’s a significant difference between the footage I took at 4K 30fps. As a videographer, I intend to make the Galaxy S24 Ultra my backup video camera because to its excellent video performance, the utility of its zoom cameras, and manual controls that let me to fine-tune the settings to my liking.


Galaxy S24 Ultra

  • Edit Suggestions

AI-powered Edit Suggestion analyzes the photographs I shot and suggests possible modifications. The most remarkable capability is the ability to easily eliminate reflections from glass surfaces, which would be a time-consuming procedure if done manually (if you know how). I just press the Edit Suggestion button, and after a few seconds of studying the image, the S24 Ultra’s software eliminates the reflection. Also believing’s it does a great job of detecting such reflections.

So I tested this while leaning against a window that displayed my reflection, but with a short tap, the S24 Ultra removed them immediately. And I think it does it well, but you can see how it misses a small strip that’s a bit more defined than the rest of the reflections.

  • Generative Edit

Galaxy S24 Ultra

Taking a cue from Google’s playbook, the S24 Ultra now has its own Magic Editor features for picture manipulation. The new function on the S24 Ultra is referred to as Generative Edit.

In this mode, I can choose a subject and then relocate or resize it anywhere in the image; the phone’s generative AI fills in the blanks. This works really well and is convincing since the results it creates still give the shot a realistic appearance.

While it takes several seconds for the Galaxy S24 Ultra to achieve this, the end effect is stunning. It’s difficult for me to discern whether AI was used to enlarge the mug in the above shot, especially considering how nicely the background areas were filled. I know how difficult it is to do it manually, therefore it’s remarkable how effortlessly Galaxy AI can accomplish this.

Furthermore, Generative Edit can correct crooked photographs by utilizing generative AI to accurately arrange vacant areas in the image. It’s worth noting that employing these generative edit tools will automatically add a watermark to the photo, showing that it was edited with AI, as well as information.

  • Instant Slow-mo

I prefer the new Instant Slow-mo option since it converts any video I capture into a slow motion clip. While there is a specific slow motion setting, this one uses Galaxy AI to add extra frames to create the slow motion look. From what I’ve seen by studying each frame, it looks like AI is combining two frames together to create the slow motion illusion.

And you know what? It’s nearly difficult to discern the difference. When I analyze the specifics, I see some small peculiarities, such as ghosting/blurring effects in portions of the movie with a lot of motion, but I believe Samsung manages to pull it off without making the film look too artificial.


All Galaxy S24 Ultra models are powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, a processor designed with AI in mind. It’s technically new, and I’ve seen it perform admirably in several benchmark tests on other phones, including the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro. However, it performs better in our Galaxy S24 Ultra benchmark tests.

Consider the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s GeekBench 6 single and multi scores, which at 2,308 and 7,283 respectively, comfortably outperform the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Meanwhile, the S24 Ultra outperforms the A17 Pro CPU that powers the iPhone 15 Pro Max in the multicore test, marking the first time an Android smartphone has done so against an Apple phone.

PhoneGeekbench 6 single-coreGeekbench 6 multicore
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra2,3007,249
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra2,0915,511
iPhone 15 Pro2,8907,194
iPhone 15 Pro Max2,7836,945
iPhone 15 Plus2,5516,280
Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro1,3396,543
Google Pixel 8 Pro1,1632,745


The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s impressive capability is on display in almost every encounter I have with the phone. Swiping between the home screen and moving between two apps always seems seamless.

Even more astounding is the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s graphics processing capability, which sets records in 3DMark’s Wild Life Unlimited test. Its score of 20,627 is far higher than the next closest smartphone, the Asus ROG Phone 8, which is followed by the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Galaxy S23 Ultra.

I’ve seen the S24 Ultra’s hyper smooth and intensive graphics processing prowess with games that support ray tracing — like Diablo Immortal. Small details like how shadows change due to lighting conditions show how everything reacts so smoothly on the Galaxy S24 Ultra while these same animations and effects tend to downgrade the frame rate when I play it on the OnePlus Open and its older Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 silicon.

PhoneWild Life Unlimited ScoreWild Life Unlimited Frames Per Second
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra20,627123.5
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra14,61187.5
iPhone 15 Pro15,74794.3
iPhone 15 Pro Max15,39992.2
iPhone 15 Plus12,45374.6
Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro18,388110.1
Google Pixel 8 Pro8,79752.7


Typically, these kind of games cause other phones to heat up, but Samsung altered the cooling mechanism on the Galaxy S24 Ultra to keep it cool even after lengthy gaming sessions with Diablo Immortal. The phone’s new ideal thermal control technology has a vapor chamber that is nearly twice as large as the one on the S23 Ultra.

PhoneAdobe Premiere Rush Transcode Time (Mins:Secs)
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra0:42
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra0:39
iPhone 15 Pro0:25.5
iPhone 15 Pro Max0:24.5
iPhone 15 Plus0:24.5
Asus ROG Phone 8 ProN/A
Google Pixel 8 Pro0:51

However, the only oddity we’ve discovered is the new Samsung phone’s slower video rendering time with Adobe Premiere Rush. Even though its time of 42 seconds isn’t too shabby, the Galaxy S24 Ultra trails the faster times put up by its rivals — including last year’s S23 Ultra.


The Galaxy S24 Ultra is not only one of the most powerful phones ever made, but it also sets a new standard for flagship batteries. What’s surprising is that Samsung retains the same 5,000 mAh battery as previously, implying that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s enhanced power efficiency is the key differentiator here.

I consider myself a power user, especially because I spend a significant amount of time each day playing games on my phone. That’s why I’m pleased that the Galaxy S24 Ultra has enough energy to last me through a whole work day without needing to recharge at any time.

Galaxy S24 Ultra Battery Test Results
PhoneChipsetBattery sizeBattery life (Hrs:Mins)
Samsung Galaxy S24 UltraSnapdragon 8 Gen 35,000 mAh16:45
Asus ROG Phone 8Snapdragon 8 Gen 35,500 mAh18:48
Google Pixel 8 ProTensor G35,050 mAh10:03
iPhone 15 ProA17 Pro3,274 mAh10:53
iPhone 15 Pro MaxA17 Pro4,422 mAh14:02
Samsung Galaxy S23 UltraSnapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy5,000 mAh12:22 (adaptive) / 13:09 (60Hz)


In our battery benchmark testing, the S24 Ultra lasts 16 hours and 45 minutes, about 3.5 hours more than the S23 Ultra. The only other flagship contender that can equal its durability is the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which lasts 14 hours and 2 seconds. The Galaxy S24 Ultra is now ranked third on our best phone battery life list, trailing just two gaming phones designed for extended play sessions.

I’m excited about the increased battery life because the S24 Ultra’s wired and wireless charging rates remain unchanged from prior generations. We’re still receiving 45W wired charging, which can charge the phone to 71% in 30 minutes. That’s theoretically better than the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 41% with a 20W Apple charger, but Samsung should have upgraded this technology and maybe increased the 15W wireless charging speed as well.


Samsung has focused the most on Galaxy AI on the new S24 phones, while OneUI 6.1, which runs on top of Android 14, receives just modest cosmetic modifications, such as new AI-generated wallpapers. There’s still a fantastic collection of productivity tools, but I’d want to see further upgrades to the S Pen and Samsung DeX.

It’s a huge wasted opportunity in my opinion because these are the two things that distinguished the Galaxy Ultra series among flagships. I still use the S Pen to navigate and as a hover tool in Chrome, and DeX remains my backup when I leave my laptop at work. I’d loved to see Galaxy AI features extended to Dex or the S Pen somehow.

Despite this, the One UI program still provides everything I need to get things done. It may not be the most aesthetically pleasing UI, but it does provide more utility than the usual phone. Samsung also offers seven years of security and operating system upgrades, which is consistent with the robust support offered on the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

Buy SAMSUNG Galaxy S24 Ultra Titanium Gray from AMAZON.

Buy SAMSUNG Galaxy S24 Ultra Titanium Black from AMAZON.

Achraf Grini
Achraf Grini
Hello This is AG. I am a Tech lover and I have long been a promoter and editor for a shopping company, I have followed smartphones and headphones and others. I covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews.


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