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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review - AI and beyond

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review - AI and beyond
  • Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra starts at ₹1,29,999
  • The smartphone offers Galaxy AI features including circle for search
  • It sports a titanium build which makes the device considerably lighter
The year has gotten off to a bumper start with Samsung dropping their latest devices in the Galaxy Unpacked event in January. Earlier than usual, the event saw the introduction of the new line-up series devices – the S24, S24 Plus and S24 Ultra. While there are changes across the board, it’s the S24 Ultra that has seen the most amount of interest, after all it is the flagship device.

While the ultra device every year is focused around cameras, this year we saw a shift with Samsung dedicating a better part of their launch to their new AI features. Dubbed Galaxy AI these are native AI features in the devices which aim to improve the user experience. I have taken my time to write this review only because of the said features and put forward my real time experience here. Rest on paper the device packs in what you would expect from a flagship in 2024 including a solid camera set-up. The market is hot right now and the buyers are more than interested to invest a hefty amount in flagship devices. So is the S24 Ultra the flagship for you? I tell you in my long term review.

Price & Availability
The Galaxy S24 Ultra is available in the following variants -

12GB RAM + 256GB Storage


12GB RAM + 512GB Storage


12GB RAM + 1TB Storage


You can buy the smartphone from all online portables including Samsung’s online store. The device is also available across all major offline chains.

Design & Build

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra might look similar to last year's Ultra device however the moment you pick it up the difference is admirable. Starting with the reduced weight itself, thanks to the Titanium build. The difference is significant and makes the device easier to hold. This can also be attributed to the curved edges now which provide an added grip giving more confidence. These are important changes considering this is a big device and any upgrade making the mobility better is welcome.

Titanium build also means new colours, like my favourite the titanium grey. There is something about the natural state of this material which appeals to me. There are of course more colour options available like the titanium black. And if you want quirky colours then there are also blue, violet and green colours available.

Carrying forward the legacy of an ultra device, the S24 ultra also comes with an IP68 rating making dust and water resistant. The new titanium build combined with the IP rating make it the toughest S series device ever built and it shows. The smartphone has a noticeable exterior that gains attention in every set-up. Perhaps if you want a device with solid bragging rights S24 Ultra can be a top contender in that category.

However here is a suggestion, do apply a case on this one. There have been numerous instances where the S24 Ultra has slipped from my hands. And while I have been fortunate that the device didn’t take any damage, I feel my luck might run out. The back which by the way is Gorilla Glass protecting it against minor scratches and drops is indeed slippery.

Apart from the flat display which we will talk about in the next section, the design remains fairly unchanged. You have a familiar looking camera module on the back, volume rockers on the right edge and a Type-C port at the bottom. Right next to the charging port you have the SIM card slot that can hold up to 2 nano SIMs.

Of course the S-pen is placed at the bottom in a favourable position and easily accessible. We will talk about the S-pen and its integration in the display section as well.


Samsung displays are world class and you wouldn’t expect anything but the best from the S24 Ultra. The device features a 6.7-inch dynamic LTPO AMOLED 2X display with a max refresh rate of 120Hz. And a peak brightness of 2700 nits.

This time, Samsung has tried to make the experience even better with a flat display. The edges are gone, the end of an era if you ask me. And while it has implications from an aesthetics standpoint, where it has brought the most change for me is typing. A flatter display generally means no miss touches. Considering all of us use our smartphones to text all day via email or messaging this is massive for me. S24 Ultra is like a giant canvas which makes it so much fun to type on. I have been answering my emails, text messages and social media on this device and the infamous Samsung keyboard. It works well, however I am still not a fan of the Samsung emojis.

But it’s not just your fingers that you can put to use here it is also the S-pen. The good old S-pen retains its favourable features like taking notes, clicking screenshots and even using it to click images. With the smart select you can also crop the subject in images which also comes in handy for Galaxy AI gallery features. More on this in the next section.

It also comes with an adaptive refresh rate that goes up to 120Hz. The standard refresh rate limits it up to 60Hz which is also uber smooth. But if you prefer to let the device choose the perfect frame rate for you then you are in for a treat. The device hardly ever misses and generally projects the perfect output for the content. Be it a web page or gaming I have no complaints in this section.

Moving to the viewing experience on the S24 Ultra, it is indeed top notch. The device supports HDR10 & HDR10+ which makes viewing content a delight. I have been watching shows across platforms and from colours to the black levels everything is favourable. Unfortunately there is no Dolby vision here which is a bit disappointing purely from a specifications point of view. But if you ask in real time you will not notice any difference.

Another example of this is how you get Super HDR in your gallery which shows the extra bright highlights in your photos. This is visible in Google photos as well.

Combined with the display is a dual speaker set-up which matches up to the calibre here. It is loud and is able to put out an audio quality which surprisingly retains the detail as well.

And now coming to the highlight of this year's S series - software experience. I say this because Samsung’s keynote this year focused majorly on Galaxy AI. There are plenty of features that Galaxy AI introduces to the S series devices. You can check them out here. In my review I am focusing on the ones that have improved my experience as a user.

Starting with the circle to search. This one is heavily advertised and was the first one in the keynote to be talked about. This is essentially a better and improved Google lens. You can now hold your home button or the navigation bar to access the circle to search. And then as the name suggests you draw a circle around any subject on the screen. This has helped on multiple occasions, from looking up products in snapshots to reading about any sign board in the background. And the best part is that it is not limited to just generic information; you can also look up the location of that particular subject by eventually going to Google maps.

Then is transcription in audio notes. As someone who produces content everyday, and add subtitles as well this is a god send. I don’t have to rely on Youtube self-generated subtitles because I get a transcript from the S24 Ultra itself. I wish it could make it into an .srt file but I think that is a stretch. Maybe in the future.

Where it goes a step ahead for now is formatting these transcripts or notes in general. It puts all the data in perspective and creates bullets as well. This is a standard protocol across AI tools, but having it natively built comes in handy.

Language is another crucial aspect of the Galaxy AI, with live call translation feature. The translation also works in notes. As of now it is supporting 18 languages, I have tested it out in English to Hindi and the results have been uber smooth. It doesn’t translate the voice in real time but does take a split second to give results. I am fine with it as long as the results are favourable.

Then we have a feature which I think is way better than it is supposed to be, generative AI in the gallery. Now when you are about to edit a picture, you see three stars on the bottom left, tap it and you enter a new zone of AI editing. I have so far removed objects and even changed their positions. This does it takes it sweet time, but the results are surprisingly pleasing much better than third party apps. It also occasionally changes the hairstyle of the primary subject while removing the objects in the background.

Once the image is edited you can see the 3 stars logo at the bottom left suggesting that it has been AI generated. However, you can crop it out later.

Overall the Galaxy AI features are way beyond the hype train now. These are as real as it can be with real world applications. And I am excited to see where it goes from here. I just hope to see more changes in the native video editor. I find it sloppy at times since when you trim a video not only does it lose the audio it also takes some time to process it.

Before closing this one it's important to highlight the software upgrades here. Samsung is promising 7 years of OS and security updates on the S24 series. This is at par with Google's Pixel line-up. And considering it comes with Android 14 out of the box you can expect these devices to have serious longevity.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 which here is tuned for Galaxy. It is also the only device from the line-up in India to carry the Qualcomm SoC, for which Samsung is receiving mixed criticism. The regular S24 and S24 Plus are powered by Exynos 2400 processor. I am also testing the regular S24, and for now I can say the criticism is not fair. I will talk about it in detail in my review.

Coming back to the S24 Ultra, this device is a beast in every sense of a word. I have the 16GB RAM and 256GB storage variant and so far I have not faced a single issue. From background apps to booting up games everything is snappy.

I also ran a Geekbench 6 performance test on this and the numbers were matching the output. The single-core score is 1606 and the multi-core score is 5505.

It also translates to battery life. After a heavy day of usage I have been averaging out with a screen on time of 6 and a half hours. This includes non stop social media, video calls, shooting and streaming content.

My only gripe with the S24 Ultra is its charging speed of 45W. This when compared to the competition is a major trade off. OnePlus 12 with 100W superVOOC charging goes from 0-100% in 25 minutes. While the S24 Ultra takes about an hour. So here is a heads up if you are someone who doesn’t plan their charge cycle.

Fortunately the device supports wireless charging and I generally keep it on my study table which has a plugged in wireless charger. This keeps me unbothered about the juice, however I would suggest charging it overnight so you are ready for the day.

S24 Ultra’s camera set-up has a little bit of new while retaining the existing set-up. Now we have a 5X telephoto sensor, replacing the 10X telephoto sensor. The specifications now come up to 200 MP primary camera, 12MP Telephoto sensor, Another 50MP Telephoto sensor and a 12MP ultra wide sensor.

A major highlight is how Instagram now supports native camera settings for images. So if you have complained in the past about image quality on the Android for uploading stories, you should be happy.

The primary camera of the S24 Ultra produces impressive photos, as anticipated. The level of detail is outstanding, presented in a relatively natural manner. This balance could be considered optimal, as some individuals find the S24s to be overly soft for their liking.

In addition to the shift in detail rendition I also observed less saturation. The reds are not striking out of a picture now as I observed in previous generations. I found the vibrancy to be optimal.

Disregarding the 200MP shots, the 50MP mode takes the cream. While not ideal for everyday photos, it could be occasionally useful. The first telephoto camera on the S24 Ultra maintains its reliable performance, with noticeable generational shifts, including a subdued saturation across the board.

Introducing the novel addition to the camera lineup this time – the 50MP 5x zoom telephoto, replacing the 10MP 10x from the previous three generations. With this configuration, the new model is expected to produce significantly enhanced 5x shots while retaining comparable image quality to the S23 Ultra at 10x.

I particularly appreciate the 5x zoom shots. They exhibit excellent detail with minimal noise at low ISOs. The dynamic range is also excellent.

Ultrawide camera remains unchanged from the previous generation, and the results are largely comparable. However this has autofocus so when you open up the frame there is less hassle to capture the crisp shots you desire.

Night mode introduces alterations, which are favourable. Tonal extremes show marginal improvement, benefiting only the most contrasted scenes with an undramatic difference. More noticeable, although not overwhelmingly so, is the shift in noise and detail rendition. The overall effect is a slight smoothing out, sacrificing both noise and detail.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra supports 8K30 video recording with its main and 5x telephoto cameras. Additionally, the main back camera can achieve 4K120 in slow-motion mode. Video stabilisation is available across all modes for all cameras.

The S24 Ultra's video quality is generally impressive. In well-lit conditions, all rear cameras provide consistent colour, suitable for serious projects. Exposures are well-balanced, and dynamic range and contrast are excellent. The ultrawide camera may slightly lag in highlight rendition.

Detail is commendable on all three rear modules at their native zoom levels.

The front camera here just like last year is a 12MP shooter, which delivers crisp selfies. Moreover it also supports 4K videos at 60fps which makes it a solid choice for content creators. Especially vloggers. Audio from the in-built microphone is favourable and retains quality.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra can be dubbed the best of Android and for good reason. It comes with incremental changes which have a larger impact, with an improved screen and native AI features. The newer set of cameras, flagship processor also make it appealing for a larger set of audience. If you swear by Android and have the budget then this is the ultimate device.

However, if there are budget constraints and you can do without the cameras and AI features then there are options for you. Especially the iQOO 12 and the OnePlus 12. Both of which come with Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, big batteries and performance focused UI.


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