Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review: The everything Android phone


At a glanceExpert’s Rating
ProsTop-tier performance Excellent, versatile cameras Very good battery life Clever AI features Seven years of updatesConsExpensive Big and bulky Charging still only 45W Our VerdictThe S24 Ultra is the ultimate Android smartphone, delivering a top-tier user experience with no real weaknesses. But that doesn’t mean it’s right for you, especially at this size and price.
Price When ReviewedFrom $1,299.99

Best Prices Today: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra


Samsung releases dozens of phones every single year but unless you want a high-end foldable, it’s the Galaxy S series that gets most of the attention. 

And within that range, the Ultra model is the one Samsung really wants you to buy. This is a Samsung smartphone at full throttle, offering almost every conceivable feature people are looking for in a handset. 

That’s certainly true of the S24 Ultra, which adds a new chipset, titanium build and several AI features to the mix, not to mention a new and improved commitment to software updates.  

But is that enough to make it worth the eye-watering price tag? For some people, the answer will be a resounding yes. And from using it as my main phone for a week, I can understand why. 

Design & Build

Large, heavy build

New titanium frame

Integrated S Pen

Samsung has changed the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s design in a couple of major ways, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the back of the phone. Aesthetically, it’s almost identical to last year’s S23 Ultra, which itself was a near-carbon copy of the S22 Ultra. 

While this may be frustrating to some, I’m pleased to see Samsung stick with this tried-and-tested design. Provided you don’t mind a huge 6.8-inch phone, it’s still comfortable to use. 

A matt coating on the glass back helps the phone avoid picking up visible fingerprint smudges and other dirt. But it still looks and feels very premium, even on the muted grey model I tested. Black (shown below), violet and yellow versions are also widely available, plus blue, green and orange if you go direct to Samsung. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

All seven colours are prefixed with the word ‘titanium’, hinting at the frame of the device. The Ultra is the only S24 phone to include titanium, though you might be aware that it’s not the first smartphone: Apple introduced it on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max in 2023 to much fanfare.  

Titanium is heavier than the usual aluminium, but its strength means you need to use less of it. That should allow the phone to be lighter, but at 233g, there’s no significant difference compared to the 234g S23 Ultra. Both are among the heaviest non-foldable phones you can buy. 

So, is the titanium worth it? Not on first impressions but it should help with durability over time, something which appears to be a top priority. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

The S24 Ultra is exceptionally well made, with Corning’s tough Gorilla Glass on both the front and back. Industry standard Victus 2 ensures excellent drop and scratch protection, but Gorilla Armor on the front is a new top-of-the-line version that promises even better durability and reduced reflections. At the time of writing, it’s exclusive to this phone. 

Alongside an IP68 rating (water resistant up to 1.5m, fully protected against dust), the S24 Ultra is clearly built to last.  

Is the titanium worth it? Not on first impressions

However, I’d still recommend using the S24 Ultra with a case. There isn’t one included in the box, and I was still worried about it sliding off a table or out of my pocket at times. 

You don’t have to worry about losing the S Pen stylus, though. It’s securely docked into the bottom of the phone, and requires a firm click to be released. The design of the S Pen is unchanged, but it’s still comfortable to use and great for things like handwritten notes or digital signatures. 

Next to it is the trio of USB-C port, speaker grille and SIM tray, with clicky power and volume controls in their usual positions on the right side. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

It’s also worth mentioning the vibration motor, which is the best I’ve used on any phone. The subtle haptic feedback makes everything from calls and notifications to alarms and even typing feel richer and more satisfying. 

Screen & Speakers

New flat display

Excellent 6.8-inch 120Hz screen

Impressive stereo speakers

After years of experimenting with curved screens on its top-of-the-line phones, the S24 Ultra has a totally flat display. I didn’t have a particular problem with the subtle curves of the S23 Ultra, but this new panel looks fantastic. 

There are no changes to its core specs but there didn’t need to be. The 6.8-inch AMOLED display continues to be one of the best you’ll find on any smartphone. Its default 1080p resolution already offers excellent detail, but the Quad HD+ (3120 x 1440) setting takes clarity to the next level. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

As an OLED screen, you can also expect rich, vibrant colours and deep blacks, making it ideal for content consumption. If you watch a lot of videos on your phone, this is the device to get. 

It’s also an LTPO display, meaning the refresh rate can automatically adjust from 1-120Hz depending on what you’re doing, helping to conserve battery life. It feels as smooth and fluid as ever, though a fixed 60Hz is your only alternative to this adaptive setting. I’d have liked the option to manually set it at 90- or 120Hz. 

With the ‘Game Booster’ mode activated, touch sampling can also reach 240Hz. This makes the display even more responsive to your touch, which makes a real difference in some mobile games. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Samsung says the S24 Ultra can reach an incredible peak brightness of 2600 nits, via an ‘Extra brightness’ toggle in Settings once you turn off auto brightness. But even without it, I had no problem using the phone outdoors – even on a bright sunny day. The reduced reflectivity of the new Gorilla Armor glass certainly helps here. 

With its new flat design, the S24 Ultra’s display is the best it’s ever been. And with an even smaller camera cut-out and a slimmer bezel, the front of the device is now pretty much all screen. 

With its new flat design, the S24 Ultra’s display is the best it’s ever been

For the best audio experience, you’ll want to connect earbuds or headphones. But the built-in speakers are surprisingly good.  

A downward-firing grille combines with the earpiece for a stereo setup, which delivers a full-bodied sound with a nice hit of bass. Even at max volume, there’s no audible distortion. 

Specs & Performance

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chipset

Superb all-round performance

At least 256GB non-expandable storage

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is powered by what’s known as the ‘Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy’. Essentially, this is an overclocked version of Qualcomm’s latest flagship chip that’s been specifically designed for Samsung phones. 

In the UK and most other markets, it’s the only S24 phone to get this chip; the regular and Plus models use Samsung’s own Exynos 2400 for Galaxy instead. But in the US, Canada, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is found in all three. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

We haven’t run benchmarks on the other S24 phones yet, so can’t offer direct comparisons in terms of performance. But there’s no doubting that the 8 Gen 3 is an immensely capable chipset, and alongside 12GB of RAM on all configurations, performance is simply sublime. 

My testing included a lot of web browsing, messaging and email, plus taking a lot of photos and the occasional call. As expected, the phone handled it all with ease, even when quickly switching between tasks. 

Performance is simply sublime

The strong performance extends to mobile gaming, where the phone the likes of Call of Duty: Mobile, PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9 were all a joy to play. However, this is one of the few times where you’ll notice the back of the phone getting warm to the touch – in general, the cooling system is very effective. 

The base S24 Ultra model I tested has 256GB of storage, which is plenty for most people but 512GB and 1TB versions are also available, though there’s no support for expandable storage. 

The phone is well future proofed in terms of connectivity. Alongside the usual 5G, you also get the latest Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.3 standards, plus NFC for mobile payments.  

Samsung Galaxy S24 benchmarks

As you can see from these benchmarks, the S24 Ultra is a contender for the most powerful Android phone you can buy. But it does have strong competition. 


Great quad rear cameras

5x telephoto replaces 10x

Solid selfie camera

Samsung has made one significant change to the camera hardware on the S24 Ultra. The 10Mp 10x telephoto lens is gone, replaced by a new 50Mp sensor that only offers 5x optical zoom. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

While this is technically a downgrade, it makes a lot more sense in the real world. Previously, moving between 3x zoom (using the 10Mp telephoto, which is still here) and 10x left you relying on an inferior digital zoom, which has a noticeable decline in quality. 

Now, photos up to 5x can take advantage of optical zoom, while even at 10x the quality is still very good. This new setup makes me much more likely to take shots at up to 10x. The 100x ‘Space Zoom’ is still here, but only useful if you need to see text that’s miles away. 

Samsung calls the new setup ‘Quad Telephoto’. Here are some of the zoom shots I took, ranging from 0.6x to 100x: 

The main camera is still here, but it doesn’t take 200Mp images by default. Instead, a process called pixel binning (where 16 pixels are combined into one) produces 12.5Mp stills, but I’d recommend most people leave it like this. A 200Mp photo takes up much more storage in exchange for only a tiny improvement to image quality. 

In good lighting, stills from this lens are very good. There’s a superb level of detail and dynamic range is excellent. As usual for Samsung, the vibrant colours aren’t quite true to life, but they do pop in a way that means editing often isn’t required. Even a dreary winter morning in the UK looked much more inviting than it actually was so it comes down to taste. 

Is this the best camera setup of any smartphone? Almost, but not quite

The main sensor is equally well suited to architecture and landscape shots, but I enjoyed switching to the 12Mp ultrawide for the latter. Its 120˚ field of view allows you to capture much more in the image, and there’s only a slight drop-off in quality vs the main camera. 

Like most phones these days, the S24 Ultra is reliant on software for the portrait mode. But it does a pretty good job with edge detection, and being able to adjust the level of background blur later is a nice touch. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

The night mode automatically turns on in low-light environments, increasing the exposure time to capture more light. I’m impressed with the way it can brighten key areas of an image without introducing too much noise or making it look artificial. 

A macro mode is also enabled when you get very close to a subject. It’s a bit hit-and-miss, but certainly no worse than the shots you get from those 2Mp macro lenses that are often added to phones to bump camera count.  

On the front, the 12Mp camera can still take very good selfies, handling the exposure of subjects and backgrounds well.  

Here’s a selection of camera samples I took: 

In terms of video, the S24 Ultra can record at up to 8K. But the default 1080p at 30fps still delivers clear, crisp footage, while OIS (optical image stabilisation) across the main and both telephoto lenses means video stays smooth while you’re moving around. 

So, is this the best camera setup of any smartphone? Almost, but not quite. The S24 Ultra is undoubtedly one of the best camera phones you can buy, but I’d still trust the Pixel 8 Pro to take great point and shoot photos more often. It’s certainly up there, though.  

Battery Life & Charging

5000mAh battery

Excellent battery life

Slow 45W charging

The Galaxy S24 Ultra’s 5000mAh battery doesn’t sound like anything special, especially with a large 6.8-inch display to power. But battery life is something you won’t need to worry about. 

On the days where I was mostly at home, I was able to get almost three full days on a single charge. That was with only around two hours of usage per day, but it was refreshing to not need to charge the phone every night.  

Battery life is something you won’t need to worry about

However, even on those demanding days where you’re using a lot of mobile data, high brightness and location data, the S24 Ultra will still comfortably last a full day. The only exception to that is if you spent multiple hours playing games. 

For most of my testing time, I used the phone at the default FHD+ resolution and adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. But even when bumping it up to QHD+ for the PCMark battery test (which simulates real-world usage), a score of 14 hours and 14 minutes ranks it as one of the longest-lasting phones we’ve tried. 

However, charging remains one of the most disappointing things about the S24 Ultra. It’s still stuck at 45W, despite many Android rivals offering more than double that, and there’s no cable or power brick included in the box.  

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Using one I had at home, it reached 30% in 15 minutes and 63% after half an hour. A full charge took around 70 minutes, which feels like an age when you’re used to true fast charging. 

The phone supports 15W Qi wireless charging, but it’s strange to see no support for the new Qi 2 standard. 4.5W reverse wireless charging is still here, allowing you to charge someone else’s phone. 

Software & Apps

One UI 6.1 over Android 14

Clever Galaxy AI features

Seven years of updates

There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to software, but let’s start with the main question: are those new Galaxy AI features any good? 

The short answer is yes. AI doesn’t transform the user experience on the S24 Ultra, but it introduces several small but significant quality of life improvements that I’m glad to be able to call upon. 

Circle to Search is my favourite, bringing the power of Google Lens to any screen on your phone. Rather than having to use your camera or take a screenshot, you can just circle something (with your finger or the S Pen) and instantly search for it on Google. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

AI also helps take translation to the next level. I’m genuinely impressed with the Live Translate feature within calls, which translates between languages in real time and provides a transcript alongside it.  

It works regardless of which phone the other person is using, though I can’t verify the accuracy of its translations. Just make sure you enable it in settings first.  

Elsewhere, Transcript Assist makes audio recordings much more useful, allowing you to create summaries, translate into one of 35 languages and export to Samsung Notes, where a range of Note Assist tools can help with automatic formatting. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Photo editing also gets a big boost. The S24 phones get Pixel 8-style abilities to remove, move and resize objects, plus fill in the missing parts of an image when you straighten it without cropping in. Not everything works perfectly, but when it does, it’s mightily impressive. 

I really like the video slow-mo feature too, which allows you to play any video taken with the phone in slow motion simply by holding on the screen while it’s playing. Saving a copy is a little trickier as you need to tap the pencil icon and then adjust the speed. 

None of the AI features are groundbreaking, but they combine to make a real difference day-to-day.  

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

The big concern is that Samsung is only guaranteeing free use of these features until the end of 2025 (according to its terms and conditions), after which you may have to pay for AI. Hopefully Samsung decides against this but it’s possible. 

That’d be a real shame, especially now the S24 Ultra will be supported with seven major OS updates and seven years of software updates. This class-leading promise matches Google’s Pixel 8 and 8 Pro and means the phone will be supported until at least 2031. 

None of the AI features are groundbreaking, but they combine to make a real difference day-to-day

As for the rest of the software experience, it’s mostly more of the same. Samsung’s One UI 6.1 skin (running on the S24 Ultra at launch) is quite different to the version of Android 14 you’ll find on Pixel phones, but I actually prefer it. 

Quick settings and notifications are well thought out and offer extensive customisation, while all of Samsung’s own apps are designed to make the most of the large display. I just wish some of the ones I didn’t want to use could be uninstalled. 

The S24 Ultra also has a couple more software tricks up its sleeve. One is full support for the S Pen stylus, including the ability to create notes from the lock screen and convert them into text via Samsung Notes.  

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

The other is Samsung DeX, which turns the phone into a desktop-style interface when connected to a compatible monitor. It’s not quite as functional as Windows 11, but could replace a laptop for some people. 

Price & Availability

As expected, the Galaxy S24 Ultra doesn’t come cheap. It starts at £1,249/$1,299.99 for the 256GB model I tested, but 512GB (£1,349/$1,419.99) and 1TB (£1,549/$1,659.99) versions are also available.  

It’s available to pre-order direct from Samsung UK and Samsung US, but also via a variety of third-party retailers and carriers. Most are offering double the storage for the same price if you buy one before the 31 January release date.

See the full range of options our separate article on where to pre-order. Here are the best contract deals in the UK and US right now:

When buying outright, the S24 Ultra is one of the most expensive non-foldable phones you can buy. The iPhone 15 Pro Max (from £1,199/$1,199) is the most obvious alternative, while the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro (from £1,099/$1,199.99) is similarly expensive. 

But many of the best smartphones you can buy are significantly more affordable. That includes the regular S24 and S24+, but plenty of features are exclusive to the Ultra.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra?

The Galaxy S24 Ultra might look a lot like the S23 Ultra, but it’s a significant upgrade in more ways than one.  

Rather than being gimmicks, the new Galaxy AI features actually make it easier to communicate or get things done. Alongside a new commitment to seven years of updates, the whole software experience is the best it’s ever been on a Samsung phone. 

Hardware is top-drawer too, with superb Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 performance, five very good cameras and a gorgeous display. S Pen support and great battery life are the icing on the cake, even if charging is still frustratingly slowly.  

The S24 Ultra is the most complete handset you can buy, so you won’t be disappointed if you can afford to do so. 


6.8-inch, 120Hz, WQHD+, LTPO AMOLED display 

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chipset 


256/512GB/1TB storage 

5000mAh battery 

45W wired charging 

15W wireless charging 

200Mp f/1.7 main camera 

12Mp f/2.2 120˚  ultrawide camera 

50Mp f/3.4 5x optical telephoto camera 

10Mp f/2.4 3x optical telephoto camera 

12Mp f/2.2 front facing camera 


Wi-Fi 7 

Bluetooth 5.3 


Gorilla Glass Armor (front), Gorilla Glass (back), titanium frame 

S Pen (integrated) 

162.3 x 79 x 8.6mm 


Android 14 with One UI 6.1 and Galaxy AI 

Seven years of software updates 

Las Vegas News Magazine

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More