The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is one of the best Android smartphones I've tested so far. While the hardware gets modest upgrades to last year's S23 Ultra model, it's the Galaxy AI-powered features, such as Chat Assist, Note Assist, and photo editing that stand out. But these features may not be free in 2026. For now though, the AI-powered stuff really shines, and Apple's iPhones may need to offer something similar to be on par. In other news, the S24 Ultra takes a page from Apple's book, and now sports titanium frames just like the iPhone 15 Pro.
- 6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (Adaptive 120Hz refresh rate)
- Cameras: 200MP wide (F.17), 12MP ultra-wide (F2.2), 50MP telephoto with 5x optical zoom (F3.4), 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom (F2.4), 12MP front camera
- Memory: 12GB RAM and 256GB/512GB/1TB storage
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 7, 5G, Bluetooth 5.3
I really like the camera. It's one of the best yet. The photography enhancements are helpful, too. For example, you can remove reflections from photos, albeit not quite perfect. You have to manually select the reflections, and sometimes the AI-generated replacements don't quite match. I even had one photo where it removed both the object and the reflections. The remaster ability brightens, and sharpens shots, but I didn't need to use it much. Note that the S24 Ultra only has 5x optical zoom, down from 10x. But the quality is similar. While the phone can go up to 100x, it's a blurry mess. 30x zoom still gets you pretty nice quality shots. Night shots look good. I also like that you can use AI to generate pseudo slow-motion videos. Just press, and hold on a normal video — the AI will generate frames to make it look like slow motion.
I also found the other AI features pretty interesting, too. The Notes app, in particular, can extract bullet points from your text, help you format, or summarise the content. Chat Assist works only on the Samsung Keyboard, and supports the Samsung or Google Messages app, WhatsApp, Instagram DMs, Line, Kakao Talk, Tango, and Signal. These apps get the full features including Chat Translation, which shows translated text below your text. Otherwise, the AI can only tweak the writing style as well as correct the spelling and grammar. Note that only translate works offline on your phone, the other AI-features require an internet connection. Live calls with AI translation is pretty fun. I tried using Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, with English as the base. It works best with simple words, complicated stuff such as names will get mistranslated.
One last AI feature that stood out is “Circle to Search”. Basically, long press the Home button, then use the S-Pen or your finger to circle images, or text, and search for them in Google. I didn't use this much, though. Other improvements include ray tracing support, and a peak brightness of 2,600 nits that's one of the highest in the market. The anti-reflective coating of the display is also pretty darn good at making your screen look clearer. And for the environmentally-minded, the phone features recycled materials such as cobalt, as well as recycled plastic in the side and volume keys. It will also use recycled steel in the speakers, too. Battery life is great, with 12hr 7mins on the PCMark Work 3.0 test. Games run pretty smoothly, though I have yet to test any ray tracing games.
With prices starting from S$1,928 for the 256GB model, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra maxes out at S$2,458 with 1TB storage. Thanks to its AI-powered features, the S24 Ultra is one of the best phones right now. While the AI features may not be free in two years' time, it's possible that you'll be upgrading by then. But if you plan to use the phone longer than two, this may be something to consider as well. On the other hand, Samsung is, like Google, offering seven years of software and OS updates for the S24 phones. Get the S24 Ultra from Shopee, Lazada, or Samsung. Note that the phone is currently on back order so expect some shipping delays.
Note: Review unit provided by Samsung.
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