[REVIEW] Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra – Best Galaxy Ultra ever Made

2023 was the year of AI, and it has created so much storm that everything jumped into the AI bandwagon, including the new Samsung Galaxy S24 series introduced the Galaxy AI.

Here’s my review of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, the company’s first AI-powered phone.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Specs
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy
  • GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 750 (1GHz)
  • Memory: 12GB LPDDR5
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB UFS 4.0
  • Display: 6.8″ 3,120 x 1,440 Dynamic AMOLED 2X, LTPO (1Hz-120Hz), HDR10+, 2,600 nits Peak Brightness
  • Rear Camera200MP f/1.7, 0.6µm, OIS + 12MP f/2.2, 1.4µm 120˚ Ultrawide AF + 50MP f/3.4 0.7µm, OIS, 5x Optical Zoom Telephoto + 10MP f2.4 1.12µm, OIS, 3x Optical Zoom Telephoto + Laser Autofocus
  • Front Camera: 12MP f/2.2 1.12µm, AF
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.3
  • Battery: 5,000mAh @ 45W Fast Charging / 15W Wireless Charge
  • Dimension & Weight: 162.3 x 79 x 8.8mm @ 232g
  • Others: S Pen, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus Armor, Titanium Frame, IP68 Water Resistant, Samsung Pay, Ultrasonic In-display Finger Scanner
  • Color: Titanium Black, Titanium Gray, Titanium Violet, Titanium Yellow. (Online Exclusive) Titanium Green, Titanium Blue, Titanium Orange
  • PriceRM 6,299 (12GB+256GB) / RM 6,799 (12GB+512GB) / RM 7,799 (12GB+1TB)

Design

There’s no surprise to see insignificant aesthetic updates on the Samsung Galaxy S24 series lineup. This practice isn’t groundbreaking, as an increasing number of brands are opting to maintain the core elements of their design, ensuring instant recognition with just a glance.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The changes are subtle but influential. The adoption of new Titanium material isn’t to make the device lighter than its successor but to make it more durable.

Because of the new flat-screen display, the device is much boxier compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, hence it’s more comfortable to hold. I love the matte finishes on the frame and rear glass that’s fingerprint smudges-free.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is the first top-tier phone to have Corning Gorilla Victus Armor, the toughest and most scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, made in collaboration with Samsung. This new glass makes the screen 75% less reflective, so the display is easier to read and reduces annoying screen reflections.

Although it features the most resilient glass, I wouldn’t want to take the risk of getting micro scratches on the screen. With the new flat-display design, I get to apply standard tempered glass. 

Display

While sporting the same 6.8″ screen size, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is slightly wider with a 3,120 x 1,440 QHD+ resolution. The Dynamic AMOLED 2X pushes 2,600 nits peak brightness.

There was a time while I was taking photos in the afternoon. I was scrolling the footage and I received a phone call on my other phone, I couldn’t see anything on the screen until I realized the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s display works amazingly.

Performance

For Malaysia, the Samsung Galaxy S24 series offered two different SoCs: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy and the Exynos 2400 for Galaxy. The Ultra received the Snapdragon, while the S24 and S24 Plus got the Exynos.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is paired with 12GB of LPDDR5 memory and blazing-fast UFS 4.0 storage. We can expect a smooth experience be it for productivity and even gaming. 

It may not designed as a gaming phone but it excels in handling demanding Android games effortlessly. Even when pushing the settings to the maximum, like in Genshin Impact, the GPU consistently maintains a smooth 60 fps throughout. 

In benchmark tests, I observed that the Galaxy S24 Ultra has a compact thermal heat limit, triggering throttling at 45 degrees, whereas the Galaxy S23 Ultra reached up to 47 degrees. This doesn’t result in an inferior way but a more comfortable gaming experience and delivers more excellent battery efficiency.

Here are the benchmark test results

Camera

Samsung has been offering a great camera set of array for its Ultra phone and there’s nothing for fall for the Galaxy S24 Ultra. You have seen this setup before, the same cameras as the Galaxy S23 Ultra except for the 5x optical telephoto with a 50-megapixel camera sensor that replaced the 10-megapixels 10x optical telephoto. It may only have a shorter optical zoom but with the higher resolution sensor and wider aperture lens, it performs on par and maybe even better than the 10x optical zoom.

Here’s a comparison of the 10x zoom in low light between the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Galaxy S24 Ultra

As for the primary camera and ultrawide, it performs very well as always with great dynamic range and Samsung’s signature slightly bumped-up color saturation which everyone loves.

It shoots in HDR by default now, just like from the Apple iPhone. For the first time, you will see better photos and video quality being uploaded to Instagram and Snapchat as it uploads native quality to these platforms.

Photo shot with the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra:

For full-resolution photos GDrive

Galaxy AI

The Galaxy S24 Ulta has a suite of Galaxy AI tools within native Samsung apps; Phone, Samsung Keyboard, Samsung Notes, Voice Recorder, Samsung Internet, Photo Editor, and more.

Most of the AI executions are done on-device, except for generative AI and photo editing features that are processed through the cloud.

I have made a dedicated video to share what the Galaxy AI has to offer.

Battery

There’s no incremental battery capacity or charging speeds but the Galaxy S24 Ultra delivered one of the best battery stamina so far. I can easily get through a full day of use with 40% remaining at the end of the day.

Based on the PC Mark battery test, it surpassed the 17-hour mark compared to the already impressive 14 hours by the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Software

Samsung Galaxy S24 series is one of the first Android phones to offer 7 years of security updates and major OS upgrades after the Google Pixel phones.

This means the Galaxy S24 Ultra will receive upgrades to Android 21 with monthly security patches. This is important for users who only upgrade their phone for 4 to 5 years to keep their device protected with the latest OS and security updates.

Pre-order

Samsung Malaysia Electronics is offering a special promotion that includes a RM500 e-voucher and a Double Storage Upgrade valued at RM500. As part of this promotion, customers can enjoy discounts of up to RM800 on selected Samsung Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Watch, and Galaxy Buds Series items through a purchase-with-purchase option. Additionally, participants can trade in their existing devices and receive an extra rebate of up to RM650. Don’t forget to also redeem your Samsung e-voucher worth up to RM400 that you received when you registered your interest.

Pre-order: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review
  • Design
  • Build
  • Display
  • Performance
  • Camera
  • Battery
4.9

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra may seemingly get a minor refreshed design update, but the internal and new user experience with AI made it the best Galaxy Ultra phone ever made. It is designed with productivity in mind thanks to its large screen and S Pen, it further pushes its capability with the Galaxy AI features. Should you upgrade? If you currently own the Galaxy S23 Ultra, you might want to hold off, as the rollout of Galaxy AI is expected in the first half of 2024.