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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: AI On The Horizon

Samsung kicked off the year with the launch of its AI trifecta—namely the Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24+, and the Galaxy S24 Ultra—during the Galaxy Unpacked 2024 event held last January. The flagship trio from the South Korean phone maker is introduced with the first-gen Galaxy AI, which makes the trio the company's first foray into mobile AI.

While the base models share similar AI capabilities, the latter which carries the Ultra namesake promises a slew of AI features that are never-before-seen from the South Korean giant. Read on further as we dive in with the brand's AI centerpiece among the three.

The Titanium upgrade.

Image credit: John Rossman Navarro / androidist
At a glance, the flat surface of the Galaxy S24 Ultra gives off a strong, sturdy aura that proves that it's the best release from Samsung yet. Its succinct yet sleek design delivers a boost in quality compared to its predecessor as most curved displays are more fragile albeit tricky than non-curved ones. The display is surrounded by a titanium chassis which glows when struck by light.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in Titanium Violet.
The cameras of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. (Image credit: Brahm Daniel Verano / androidist)
Around the back, the cameras are positioned vertically in chronological order: (left: from top to bottom) 12MP ultra-wide, 200MP main, 50MP periscope, and (right: from top to bottom) Lazer AF sensor and a 10MP telephoto lens with the LED flash in between. 

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in Titanium Violet.
The bottom of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. (Image credit: Brahm Daniel Verano / androidist)
The phone has the mic located on the top, with three keys positioned on the right side of the frame: volume up, volume down, and the power button, and a USB-C port on the bottom, along with the speaker piece, the SIM card tray, and an ensconced room for the S-Pen with the left side being button-free. The back panel sports the classy, astonishing Titanium Violet colorway with a smooth texture when held. A palpable engraved Samsung logo is also located on the bottom, though the color of the back panel goes off when not in light.

Speaking of the color, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is available in three other compelling colors aside from the Titanium Violet: Titanium Gray, Titanium Black, and Titanium Yellow. It also has exclusive colors that can only be found on the Samsung.com website, including Titanium Blue, Titanium Green, and Titanium Orange. As for the buttons, first-time Samsung users will take time to adjust as the positions of the buttons may feel inverted as opposed to other phones—a preference for buttons.

Having thin borders may be a compliment, but...

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in Titanium Violet.
The display of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. (Image credit: Brahm Daniel Verano / androidist)
Out-of-the-box, we're treated to its enormous, roomy bezel-less 6.8-inch screen in its default Full HD+ (2340 x 1080) resolution. The phone initially uses a Quad HD+ resolution comprised of 3120 x 1440 pixels—that's an influx of pixels—that can be adjusted on the display settings, with the lowest resolution comprising 1560 x 720 pixels (HD+). The phone's 120Hz refresh rate complements the vibrant, ecstatic AMOLED panel very well, matched with 2,600-nits of peak brightness on top.

But there's a catch the bezel-less display is prone to touch accidents as it makes everything touchable. As for the brightness, it can be adjusted over 100% but also increases battery usage for obvious reasons.

Performance with the customized, overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in Titanium Violet.
Image credit: John Rossman Navarro / androidist
The Galaxy S24 Ultra is a no-brainer for demanding games—it handles hardware-extensive gaming very well, especially with games like Honkai: Star Rail and Genshin Impact and that's all thanks to its Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chipset backed by 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 4.0 storage. The Galaxy S24 Ultra is also available in 512GB and 1TB storage models but all models opt for the same RAM capacity, which only peaks at 12GB.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in Titanium Violet.
Honkai: Star Rail running on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. (Image credit: Brahm Daniel Verano / androidist)
We played Honkai: Star Rail in the highest settings possible at 60 FPS for a couple of hours in a warm environment and the results are pretty impressive so far. FPS is consistent but you may encounter software hiccups as you progress throughout the game. It overheats easily, and that's not just in gaming, it also applies to casual usage.

FPS is consistent but you may encounter software hiccups as you progress throughout the game. Overheat throttles performance and this is one of the reasons why, but it cools down easily after playing in minutes, like the temperature drop is noticeable after leaving the game. Albeit, the heating management is bad—this may be due to its form factor but being in a cool environment does not really help.

Benchmark

AnTuTu Benchmark V10 (First Run)



As for the benchmark, we ran a few AnTuTu benchmark tests on the Galaxy S24 Ultra, and the results are not bad for a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 phone. In default settings (Full HD+), the first run of the AnTuTu Benchmark got a score of 1,335,514 in a warm environment. The 41.2° C starting temperature rose up to 44.8° C in a 10-minute test. Surprisingly, after the test, the temperature rapidly dropped from 46.5° C to 44.4° C in just minutes—proving it has effective cooling.

AnTuTu Benchmark V10 (Second Run)


The second run got an even better benchmark score of 1,866,999 because we ran the test in a cooler environment, with a starting temperature of 30.6° C. However, despite being in a cooler environment, the temperature still rose up to 36.9° C.

Geekbench 6


3DMark


The battery life.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra's 5,000mAh battery takes two hours and a half to fully charge with the 45W charging speed, though the charging brick is sold separately. The phone only needs around thirty minutes to reach 50%. A one-day charge is enough to get you going for a full day's use, may it be for casual use, entertainment, note-taking tasks, and gaming.

The software.

Image credit: Brahm Daniel Verano / androidist

The OneUI 6.1 comes pretty bloated on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Although removable, the phone has several Samsung apps pre-installed upon setup. It even has its own folder by default on the app drawer.


But there are several AI features that we found useful and one of them is the Circle to Search. It was initially introduced on the Galaxy S24 Ultra and was later brought to later phones. It's one way of Google-ing without a hitch—say you came across something you're curious about, you just pull up Circle to Search by holding the navigation bar pill on the bottom and draw a gesture around the area you're curious about and get information on top of the app you're currently on. 


We have also taken a liking to the couple of AI-screenshot-related features that came with the software, that is, having the option to remaster cropped screenshots that retain quality even after the process. A similar feature for pictures can also be found on the Gallery and is ideal for shots that often come out blurry. Truly, we now live in the world of AI.

Our experience with the software is quite buggy but not most of the time. We sometimes encounter a bug that displays wrong information on the lock screen widgets but does not affect the overall performance. Also, the contents in the multi-window do not adjust according to the size but it being an experimental feature until now explains it. 

Aside from that, there are also a couple of AI features worth noting, under the Galaxy AI umbrella, including Live Translate, Chat Assist, and Note Assist that convert your long notes into bite-sized summaries.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra ships with the latest OneUI 6.1 based on Android 14 out-of-the-box. It also has seven years of major OS upgrades, including monthly security patches.

The 200MP quad-cam and the 100x zoom.

Moving on to the camera department, the cameras of the Galaxy S24 Ultra hold up well, especially on shots with more details. The phone is able to capture photos well in detail with balanced noise reduction, color temperature, and vibrance although sometimes subjects tend to become saturated depending on the environment. The dynamic range is also great. Sometimes the colors get too lively but most of the time the shots turn out natural, not oversharpened.

To recall, the Galaxy S24 Ultra features a 200MP quad-camera setup, joined by 50MP periscope, 12MP ultra-wide, and 10MP telephoto lenses, and a 12MP sensor on the front. Below are the photos we took with the main camera.






The 100x zoom is also impressive. Below are the camera samples we took featuring the 100x zoom.

100x zoom



30x zoom



10x zoom



5x zoom



3x zoom



1x normal zoom



0.6x ultra-wide



While the 100x zoom may feel like a substantial camera feature, most of the snaps taken with the zoom are elusive as they tend to be shaky. It is also worth noting that despite the remarkable camera capabilities, it has no microscopic features. The 100x zoom is also not recommended for taking pictures containing legible information as the latter may be manipulated by its artificial intelligence, causing misrepresentation of photos. Anyway, the 100x zoom really pulled impressive shots thanks to the main 200MP sensor.

The Verdict: androidist Meter - 4/5

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: The Verdict on androidist

Akin to its predecessor, the Galaxy S24 Ultra boasts tremendous hardware with a plethora of meticulous but complex AI features up its sleeve. The new although minimal design brings the embodiment of a new shape, the flat screen boosts the form factor of the phone and reintroduces productivity that is more intuitive with a stylus. But there is a caveat—while AI may be its highlight, the pinnacle is underutilized in this latest generation of the S series. It has amazing AI capabilities but the iterative upgrades underneath still overtake the AI spotlight.

Why we gave it a 4?

The Good.

  • The flat display is more appropriate for note-taking tasks, though it makes the screen prone to touch accidents.
  • The "new" design boosts the form factor.
  • Uses an overclocked flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset.
  • The 100x zoom is impressive.
  • Has wireless power sharing.

The Bad.

  • It does not come with a charging brick out-of-the-box although that may be the new standard.
  • Has overwhelming AI features.
  • The software has pre-built Samsung apps upon setup.
  • Has no microscopic features despite having 100x zoom.
  • Contents inside multi-window do not refresh according to their scale when resized.
  • Overheats easily.

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra specifications on androidist

Pricing & Availability

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra comes in four colors: Titanium Violet, Titanium Blue, Titanium Green, and Titanium Orange. Offered only in one 12GB RAM configuration, the phone is still available in three storage models: 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. The pricing is as follows:
  • 12GB + 256GB (PHP 84,990; US $1,299)
  • 12GB + 512GB (PHP 92,990; US $1,419)
  • 12GB + 1TB (PHP 106,990; US $1,659)

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