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I’d buy the Galaxy S24 Ultra solely for this one key hardware feature

Published Jan 17th, 2024 1:00PM EST
Galaxy S24 Lineup
Image: Samsung

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Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S24 series on Wednesday during a special Unpacked event hosted in San Jose. If you’ve followed all the rumors, Samsung’s announcements will not surprise you. Everything about the Galaxy S24, S24 Plus, and S24 Ultra has leaked ahead of the show. The design, Galaxy AI features, specs, and prices were all detailed in various reports in the preceding months.

Those rumors warned that Samsung’s Galaxy S24 line will depart from the Galaxy S23 series when it comes to System-on-Chip (SoC) choices. Samsung was expected to use its own Exynos 2400 chip in some Galaxy S24 variants. Others were said to get Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy SoC.

Thankfully, we don’t have to speculate any longer. Samsung and Qualcomm have made it official. The Galaxy S24 Ultra will feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip in the US and in international markets. The Galaxy S24 Plus and regular Galaxy S24 models will pack the same chip in certain regions, including the US, but they’ll have Exynos chipsets in some other markets.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip will deliver more than performance and efficiency improvements over its predecessor. It’ll also support new technology, like the brand new Wi-Fi 7 wireless internet standard and on-device generative AI features.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra should be significantly faster than its predecessor. According to Qualcomm, we’re looking at 20% speed gain for the CPU, 30% for the GPU, and 41% for the NPU. The built-in FastConnect 7800 wireless chip supports Wi-Fi 7, Wi-Fi 6/6E, and Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will power the Galaxy S24 Ultra globally.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will power the Galaxy S24 Ultra globally. Image source: Qualcomm

The new chip supports ray tracing, which should improve the visual quality of high-end games on Galaxy S24 devices. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 also powers the handset’s new camera and AI experiences.

Qualcomm brought up “the power of AI” in its announcement. It highlighted the various Galaxy AI features aboard the Galaxy S24 series. We’re looking at Live Translate, Generative Edit, Nightography, AI Zoom, Transcript Assist, Chat Assit, Note Assit, and Circle to Search. That last one is a brand-new Google AI feature.

With all that power, the Galaxy S24 will need proper cooling. That was an issue with the Galaxy S22 series, which prompted all the backlash against the Exynos 2200 that powered variants of the handset. Samsung addressed the new cooling system it devised for the Galaxy S24 phones.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra features a vapor chamber that’s 1.9 times larger than the predecessor and a more efficient liquid-type tin cooling system. The smaller models also rock the same cooling systems.

Samsung hasn’t addressed the capabilities of the Exynos 2400. And we won’t know how well the new chip behaves until users test it in the wild. But given everything, I’d buy the more expensive, larger Galaxy S24 Ultra instead of a Plus or regular model. Just so I could get the Snapdragon variant.

Leaks already said the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus will feature the Exynos 2400 SoC in Europe, so the Ultra would be the only Snapdragon option for me.

Gaming on the Galaxy S24 Ultra.
Gaming on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Image source: Samsung

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip will be paired with 8GB of RAM (Galaxy S24) or 12GB (Galaxy S24 Plus and Galaxy S24 Ultra). Storage options are 128GB/256GB, 256GB/512GB, and 256GB/512GB/1TB.

During preorders, Samsung will let buyers double the storage on their devices for no extra charge. That also means going from 512GB to 1TB on the Galaxy S24 Ultra for free, a first for Galaxy S preorder promos.

Prices start at $799, $999, and $1,299 for the three devices. Galaxy S24 preorders are available right away at this link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.