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I love big phones, and I cannot lie. This is why I've been a user of Samsung's larger offerings since the Note 2 (RIP IR blaster, the best feature). Apart from a few test drives with the ZFold and ZFlip series, I've been daily driving a Note or Ultra device for over a decade. So when Samsung debuted the S24 Ultra last week, I was ecstatic to see how they were taking my favorite device to the next level.
The dust from Unpacked has settled, and the countdown to release is on. The big question looms, should you upgrade to the S24 Ultra? Let's take a look!
With a name like the S24 Ultra, power is to be expected, and Samsung delivers a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor. While this is the same processor used in the other S24 devices, the Ultra complements it with 12GB RAM. On paper, the S24 Ultra is looking to be not only a powerful phone but an amazing mobile gaming device.
Samsung didn't just upgrade the brains of the Ultra this year, but the whole body. The S24 Ultra is the first S device to feature a titanium frame and Corning Gorilla Armor glass, making it even stronger than the already impressive S23 Ultra.
|6.8 inches, 3120x1440 resolution, Quad HD+
|Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Octa-core
|256GB to 1TB
|200MP, ƒ/1.7aperture, 50MP, ƒ/3.4aperture, 12MP, ƒ/2.2aperture, 10MP, ƒ/2.4aperture
|Titanium Grey, Titanium Blac, Titanium Violet, Titanium Yellow, Titanium Blue, Titanium Green, Titanium Orange
While the size of the phone is a key reason I use the Ultra series, another is the photography capabilities. I never get tired of the amazing moon photos my S23 Ultra takes. The S24 Ultra isn't re-inventing the wheel in terms of photography hardware, but Samsung has added a new 50MP telephoto lens, giving the S24 Ultra "Quad Telephoto" which means the phone should have native 2x, 3x, 5x, and 10x zoom capabilities.
The big changes for photography aren't coming from the hardware side, it's thanks to Samsung's flagship feature this year…
In 2024, AI is being added to everything, and it was only a matter of time before it becomes an integral part of phones. Enter, Samsung's Galaxy AI.
I'm really excited for Galaxy AI. Samsung has shared just a few use cases, from live8 translation (phone & in-person), and drafting text responses to transcribing voice recordings and advanced web searching with Circle to Search with Google. AI touches every part of the S24 Ultra experience… but none more than photography
Samsung's ProVisual Engine features a ton of AI-powered tolls for photography and photo editing. A few standouts include:
- Gyro-stabilization to help minimize shaky cam in videos
- Enhanced Nightography capabilities for night-time photos and videos
- Galaxy AI can provide subtle edit suggestions on content
- Users can now use generative editing on their devices to have AI-edited photos
- Instant slow-mo can use generative AI to turn normal videos into slow-motion
Galaxy AI sounds like it will be a game changer, and paired with the S24 Ultra's amazing cameras and performance, it's shaping up to be THE smartphone for photographers of all levels… but Galaxy AI won't be exclusive to the S24 lineup for long. Samsung shared that some Galaxy AI features will come to last year's devices (S23, S23+, S23 Ultra, ZFold5, ZFlip5) at some point this year.
- A stronger frame, more RAM, and faster process make the S24 Ultra a mobile powerhouse
- Added 50MP lens adds new zoom capabilities
- Galaxy AI looks to make the S24 Ultra the phone for photography
- The hardware upgrades aren't a big step for the S23 Ultra
- Apart from zoom capabilities, no big photography changes
- Galaxy AI will be coming to the S23 Ultra eventually
I started this by saying I love the Ultra, and I still do. If money wasn't a factor, I'd jump on the S24 Ultra in a heartbeat, for Galaxy AI alone. But in the world we live in, money is a factor. While there are some great minimal upgrades here like durability, power, and the 50MP lens, they are minimal compared to the S23 Ultra. With the news that Galaxy AI will come to past devices in the future, the biggest feature of the S24 Ultra is limited-time exclusivity.
A powerhouse for photography and gaming. Boasting the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, 12GB RAM, and revolutionary Galaxy AI, it's the ultimate choice for tech enthusiasts seeking top-notch performance and cutting-edge features in a durable, sleek design.
Worth the Upgrade? - No
If you are a Samsung lover like myself with excess cash, an avid photographer, looking to upgrade your phone, or all of the above, I would definitely recommend the S24 Ultra. But if your current device is working just fine, or from the last couple of years, I'd suggest you sit this round out.
What do you think? Are you rushing out to buy the S24 Ultra or are you holding back? Let us know in the comments below!