The Galaxy S24 Ultra is Samsung’s first and only phone to feature a titanium frame. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that Apple used titanium for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max last year. Still, that should be great news for the phone’s durability, though Galaxy S24 Ultra drop tests have shown that the titanium frame won’t save the glass from breaking. Titanium doesn’t save the iPhone’s glass either, of course.
That said, the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s titanium appears to be four times cheaper than the iPhone 15 Pro. Not only that, but Samsung’s use of titanium might be more of a marketing gimmick compared to Apple. Samsung uses plastic to bind the titanium frame to the aluminum chassis. Apple, meanwhile, bonds the titanium directly to aluminum.
YouTuber JerryRigEverything took apart the Galaxy S24 Ultra to find out exactly what type of titanium Samsung uses, and how much of it you can expect.
He found that the Galaxy S24 Ultra features Grade 2 titanium, compared to the Grade 5 titanium Apple used for the iPhone 15 Pro models. Grade 5 titanium is more durable than Grade 2 titanium, but the latter should be durable enough on its own. The clip also tells us that Grade 5 titanium is about four times more expensive than the Grade 2 metal that Samsung went for.
After melting the Galaxy S24 Ultra chassis to remove the plastic and aluminum, the YouTuber found that Samsung uses about $3 to $5 worth of raw titanium per unit. Comparatively, Apple supposedly uses between $10 to $15 worth of titanium.
That’s not necessarily a problem. What might be an issue is the way Samsung builds the frame of the Galaxy S24 Ultra. As the clip explains, there’s plastic between the titanium frame and the aluminum frame inside the phone. Does that mean the Galaxy S24 Ultra is less durable than the iPhone 15 Pro?
The YouTuber says that both titanium exteriors are more cosmetic than anything. Apple might be getting “some minor strength improvements with solid state diffusion. “But with a plastic intermediary, Samsung is most definitely not getting any additional strength.” Solid state diffusion is the process Apple used to bond titanium directly to aluminum.
While that’s a yes on the durability front, it’s not like the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s titanium-plastic-aluminum frame will take a beating. In a different clip, the same YouTuber shows the Galaxy S24 Ultra is as sturdy as they come. It won’t bend, that is.
Back to aluminum, this teardown makes me wonder if the upgrade to titanium is worth it. Remember that the Galaxy S24 Ultra is $100 more expensive than its predecessor. Samsung might say that costs related to the use of titanium explain the price bump.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is also $100 more expensive than the cheapest iPhone 14 Pro Max. But it actually has the same price as the 256GB iPhone 14 Pro Max. Also, the iPhone 15 Pro’s price is unchanged.
I will remind you that Apple replaced stainless steel with titanium in the Pro phones. As a result, the iPhones are slimmer than before. And the weight feels different. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S24 Ultra moved from aluminum to titanium, and there’s no weight change there. The handset weighs just as much as the Galaxy S23 Ultra.