How different really is the S24 Ultra to its predecessor? Is the newest flagship worth investing in?
Keep reading to learn more about the key differences between the S24 Ultra and S23 Ultra and to see which one better suits your needs.
Pricing and availability
Having launched in January 2024, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is currently pricier than the S23 Ultra in European and US markets. It’s currently retailing for £1249 / €1569 / $1299, whereas the S23 Ultra is currently retailing for £1249 / €1199.00 / $1199.99.
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra design is one of the first Galaxy handsets to shake up the typical design we’ve come to expect from Galaxy smartphones. Instead of the curved panel seen in the S23 Ultra and its predecessors, the S24 Ultra features a new flat display. Our reviewer, Mobiles Editor Lewis Painter, reports that using the handset feels “completely different and more complete than its predecessor.”
The S24 Ultra has also reduced the S23 Ultra’s bezel size and the camera cutout to maximise the screen size. This, combined with the new flat display makes using the included S Pen stylus much more fluid.
The S24 Ultra is also currently the first and only smartphone to house the new Gorilla Glass Armor screen. This new protective glass is reported to be 4x stronger than previous versions, and reduces reflections by up to 75%.
Both models have a 6.8-inch, AMOLED screen and have a speedy 120Hz refresh rate with LTPO support, which allows it to drop to 1Hz in order to preserve battery life.
Despite the S23 Ultra boasting an impressive maximum brightness of 1750nits, the S24 Ultra manages to even surpass this, with a maximum brightness of 2600nits.
Upon its launch in February 2023, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra was praised for its impressive camera setup, so although on paper there aren’t many differences with the S24 Ultra, this isn’t particularly surprising. Both house a 12MP front-facing camera and a trio of cameras at the rear, including a 200MP main lens, 12MP ultrawide and 10MP telephoto lens.
There is a slight difference between the two handsets however, and that’s with the 10MP telephoto lens. The S23 Ultra’s 10MP 10x periscope lens has been reduced to 5x on the S24 Ultra. This, however, shouldn’t pose much of an issue, as the S24 Ultra has an increased 50MP adaptive pixel sensor, larger pixels and 2x wider OIS, meaning image quality can easily surpass the S23 Ultra’s at the 10x mark.
There’s also not been any change in the 200MP main camera, which is perhaps to be expected, as the S23 Ultra’s main camera was reported by Lewis in his review to “deliver some of the best results I’ve seen from a smartphone to date.”
The biggest feature that differentiates the two handsets is the new AI-powered photo editing tools that can be found in the S24 Ultra. This feature includes bespoke edit suggestions, based on the shot and an eraser to remove distractions from images and provide accurate generative fill.
Both the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and S23 Ultra use custom versions of Qualcomm chipsets, but unsurprisingly as the S24 Ultra is new, it uses a more powerful chipset. While the S23 Ultra runs on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, the S24 Ultra uses Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy.
What particularly sets the S24 Ultra ahead of the S23 Ultra is the fact Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 aids in the use of Galaxy AI. Not only is there the new AI-powered photo editing tools, but you can also find the AI-powered Notes app, that transcribes and translates a conversation in real time. And thanks to Circle To Search, that allows you to circle anything you see online and get Google Search results.
The S24 Ultra also runs on Android 14, with the latest Samsung OneUI skin, compared to the S23 Ultra that runs on Android 13. Thanks to the latest OneUI version, you can find various new features and tweaks including a shortcut to quick settings and a fully redesigned notification centre.
In our benchmark tests, the S23 Ultra scored an impressive 1489 single-core result and a 4527 multi-core score. In comparison however, the S24 Ultra came top and mustered a massive 2229 single-core score and a 6853 multi-core score. This makes the latter the more powerful option.
Both phones are fairly evenly matched when it comes to battery life. Both are fast-charge capable and can charge up to 45W, which although isn’t the fastest available on the market, is still not to be sniffed at.
As he reviewed both the S24 Ultra and S23 Ultra, Lewis found that the battery life on both was particularly impressive, with the S24 Ultra providing “around 7-8 hours of screen-on time per charge” and the S23 Ultra comparably “ending the day with something closer to 40% charge on average.”
Our benchmark tests concluded that it took 71 minutes to get the S24 Ultra from 1-100%, whereas it took the S23 Ultra 91 minutes. 60-minutes of Netflix streaming also resulted in a 6% battery drain for the S24 Ultra, but the S23 Ultra was only slightly above this with a 7% discharge.