The Galaxy S24 Unpacked launch event is finally here, with Samsung unveiling the three handsets you’ve been expecting. The Galaxy S24, S24 Plus, and S24 Ultra are here. From where I’m standing, the Galaxy S24 is the Android series to beat this year, especially the Ultra. I could easily say the same thing about any Galaxy S generation that Samsung would launch in a given year. And I probably did.
But the Galaxy S24 does stand out from past generations. It’s not just about the Galaxy AI coming to Galaxy S24 phones to deliver some amazing artificial intelligence features. Or the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip that will power those features, as well as daily smartphone operations. Or the design tweaks, like adding a flatter screen for the Galaxy S24 Ultra and a titanium frame. It’s the combination of these things and the partnerships behind them that make the Galaxy S24 so interesting.
Add to all that the largely unchanged Galaxy S23 pricing structure and you’ll see why the Galaxy S24 is so exciting — especially the Galaxy S24 Ultra.
I know, I know. The Galaxy S24 phones look just like their Galaxy S23 equivalents. To some, that means they’re “boring.” As if Samsung or any other vendor could really deliver meaningful changes to a flagship smartphone design right now, given the technology and manufacturing limitations that currently exist.
But Samsung did tweak the three phones. The Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus feature slightly smaller bezels, allowing Samsung to increase the display sizes slightly. We’re looking at 6.2-inch (Full HD) and 6.7-inch (QHD) screens, respectively. The Galaxy S24 Ultra gets the largest display, at 6.8 inches (QHD).
As I already said, the Ultra gets a flatter screen, ditching the iconic curved edges of its predecessors. I asked Samsung about the screen design change. The company said there’s been a continued interest from consumers for flatter displays, and Samsung complied. The Galaxy S24 Ultra’s flat display also helped Samsung reduce the handset’s thickness.
On that note, Samsung partnered with Corning for a next-generation display cover on the Ultra. It’s called Corning Gorilla Armor. Compared to a typical glass surface, the new Gorilla Armor reduces reflections by up to 75%.
Samsung also teased Gorilla Armor’s improved durability by saying that Corning created a so-called “Scratch Bot” test to replicate micro scratches from day-to-day war. Corning’s new glass is four times more scratch-resistant than competing aluminosilicate glass.
All Galaxy S24 screens feature Super Smooth display tech or dynamic refresh rates between 1 and 120Hz.
Back to the Ultra, the largest Galaxy S24 is the only model of the three to support a titanium frame, excluding the volume buttons and side keys. Again, I asked Samsung why the screen design had changed. Company reps said the titanium frame will enhance resistance against dents while providing a luxurious finish and textured grip for better handling. They didn’t mention anything about weight reduction, however.
Galaxy S24 specs
The Galaxy S24 specs leaked long ago, and they’re in line with what you’d expect from flagship phones this year. A special version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip will power all US Galaxy S24 versions. Samsung will also use the latest Snapdragon flagship for all Galaxy S24 Ultra sold internationally.
The chip will offer better performance than its predecessor, which is only to be expected. It’ll also support ray tracing in games, power Galaxy AI features, and help the Galaxy S24 deliver improved photography. The new Qualcomm chip also rocks Wi-Fi 7 connectivity, a new standard announced at CES 2024 a few days ago.
There wasn’t that much talk about the Exynos 2400 that will power international versions of the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus models, so we’ll have to wait for real-life experiences with these devices.
Cooling the chips is a larger vapor chamber on all three phones that prevents overheating and maximizes sustained performance.
When it comes to memory and storage, the Galaxy S24 phones rock 8GB or 12GB of RAM. You’ll have to get the Plus or Ultra for the latter option. The Galaxy S24 Plus and Ultra come with better storage, starting at 256GB. The Ultra goes up to 1TB. Meanwhile, the cheapest Galaxy S24 packs 128GB of flash memory.
The phones rock 4,000 mAh, 4,900 mAh, and 5,000 mAh batteries. The Plus and Ultra support 45W fast charging, which will get you a 65% charge in about half an hour. The base model only goes up to 25W. All phones support Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 and Wireless PowerShare.
Other specs include 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.3, and USB-C connectivity.
Samsung’s amazing software guarantee
The phones will run Android 14 with One UI 6.1 on top out of the box. We knew that from the leaks season. What’s great about it is that Samsung has just matched Google’s commitment to Android updates.
The Galaxy S24 phones will offer 7 years of Android updates and 7 years of security updates.
Impact on the environment
I would be remiss not to mention Samsung’s commitment to the environment. Samsung spent a big chunk of its presentation detailing the ways it’s trying to reduce its carbon footprint and increase the amount of recycled materials in the Galaxy S24.
Here are some achievements, according to Samsung:
- 50% recycled cobalt in the Galaxy S24 Ultra battery
- 100% recycled rare elements in the Galaxy S24 Ultra speakers
- 40% recycled steel in the Galaxy S24 Ultra speakers
- at least 10% recycled Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) in the side and volume keys
- 100% recycled packaging for all Galaxy S24 models
Like any new smartphone, especially the flagship variety, the Galaxy S24 aims to be the best camera in town. Samsung relies on Galaxy AI to enhance camera features, whether taking photos or improving the pictures and videos you’ve already captured. That’s the new ProVisiual Engine that should improve Galaxy S24 photography.
Samsung insisted on the upgraded Nightography features, or the Galaxy S24’s ability to take photos at night, including improved zoomed-in pictures and videos.
When it comes to Zoom, Samsung has focused on the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s Quad Tele System. It features a new 5x optical zoom lens that works with the 50-megapixel sensor to “enable optical-quality performance at zoom levels from 2x, 3x, 5x, to 10x.” Only 3x and 5x will actually be optical zoom. Samsung refers to 2x and 10x magnification as “optical quality zoom.”
Moreover, 100x images should look better than before, including low-light photography.
Samsung will offer users Galaxy AI editing software features. Like the ability to fill in parts of an image background or move subjects around. The phones can also suggest edits thanks to the built-in AI. An Instant Slow-mo video mode will use AI to generate additional frames.
Here are the camera specs:
Galaxy S24 Ultra
- 12-megapixel Ultra-Wide Camera: F2.2, FOV 120
- 200-megapixel Wide Camera: OIS F1.7, FOV 85°
- 50-megapixel Telephoto Camera: 5x Optical Zoom, OIS F3.4, FOV 22″
- 10-megapixel Telephoto Camera: 3x Optical Zoom, OIS F2.4, FOV 36′
- 12-megapixel Front Camera: F2.2, FOV 80°
Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus
- 12-megapixel Ultra-Wide Camera: F2.2, FOV 120˚
- 50-megapixel Wide Camera: OIS F1.8, FOV 85˚
- 10-megapixel Telephoto Camera: 3x Optical Zoom, F2.4, FOV 36˚
- 12-megapixel Front Camera: F2.2, FOV 80˚
Galaxy AI is what Samsung calls the totality of artificial intelligence features built into the Galaxy S24 software. It doesn’t concern just the camera, as Galaxy AI features will be available across apps.
AI can generate text and images; it can change the tone of your text, translate calls and texts in real time, and summarize various texts, including messages. I’ve already covered all the Galaxy AI features in greater detail, so you’ll want to visit at this link to understand what Galaxy AI is all about.
I’ll also highlight Samsung’s partnership with Google here. Gemini is powering large parts of Galaxy AI alongside Samsung’s Gauss. And Google just gave the Galaxy S24 series one of the coolest AI features so far: Circle to Search.
Special preorder deals
The Galaxy S24 series is available for preorder right now, ahead of its January 31st release date. The prices are almost unchanged compared to last year, though the Galaxy S24 Ultra costs $100 more than its predecessor.
Galaxy S24 Ultra starts at $1,299.99 with 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage capacity options. Colors: Titanium Gray, Titanium Black, Titanium Violet, and Titanium Yellow. Moreover, Titanium Green, Titanium Blue, and Titanium Orange will be available on Samsung.com.
Galaxy S24 Plus starts at $999.99 with 256GB and 512GB storage options. Colors: Onyx Black, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet, and Amber Yellow. Jade Green, Sapphire Blue, and Sandstone Orange are available on Samsung.com.
Galaxy S24 starts at $799.99 with 128GB and 256GB storage options. Colors: Onyx Black, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet, and Amber Yellow. Jade Green, Sapphire Blue, and Sandstone Orange are available on Samsung.com.
Customers who preorder can score up to $100 in Samsung credit.
The best deal concerns storage: you’ll get to double your storage for free during preorders. That also includes the upgrade from 512GB to 1TB for the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which is a first for Galaxy flagship preorders.
On top of that, you can expect trade-in offers from Samsung and similar deals from the company’s carrier partners.