Samsung Galaxy S24 vs S24 Plus vs S24 Ultra — all the biggest differences

 Samsung galaxy s24.
Samsung galaxy s24.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 series is here, with Galaxy Unpacked bringing three new flagship Samsung phones into the world: The Samsung Galaxy S24, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Pre-orders for all 3 phones are open now, with release day set for January 31. But before you can actually secure your new phone, you have to figure out which one you want to buy. These may all be Galaxy S24 devices, but there are some key things that make them all distinct.

So here's all the biggest differences between the Samsung Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24 Plus and Galaxy S24 Ultra. So you can decide which of these three models is right for you.

Samsung Galaxy S24 series specs

Samsung Galaxy S24 Series Price

Samsung galaxy s24 hands-ons
Samsung galaxy s24 hands-ons

The Samsung Galaxy S24 series is available to pre-order now, ahead of a January 31 release date. Prices start at $799 for the standard Samsung Galaxy S24, which comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, with a 256GB model also going on sale.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus starts at $999 with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage as standard. a 512GB option is also available. The Galaxy S24 Ultra is the most expensive of the lot, starting at $1,299 for 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. 512GB and 1TB storage options are also available for a higher price.

The Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus will be available in a range of colors including Onyx Black, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet and Amber Yellow, plus the exclusive Jade Green, Sapphire Blue, and Sandstone Orange options.

Meanwhile the Galaxy S24 Ultra will be available in titanium-themed hues to match the new metal in the frame. They include Titanium Gray, Titanium Black, Titanium Violet, and Titanium Yellow, plus the exclusive colors Titanium Green, Titanium Blue, and Titanium Orange.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Series Design and Display

samsung galaxy s24 s24 plus and s24 ultra
samsung galaxy s24 s24 plus and s24 ultra

This year all three Galaxy S24 models will have flat AMOLED displays, even the Ultra. Other shred attributes across all three devices include a 1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate, 2,600-nit peak brightness and significantly slimmer bezels — offering slightly larger displays without increasing the size of the phones themselves.

The standard Samsung Galaxy S24 leads the charge with a 6.2-inch display with FHD+ resolution and measures 5.79 x 2.78 x 0.30 inches. The Galaxy S24 Plus ups the ante to QHD+ in a 6.7-inch display, measuring in at 6.24 x 3.00 x 0.30 inches. Both phones weigh 5.93 ounces and 6.95 ounces, respectively.

Meanwhile the Galaxy S24 Ultra offers a 6.8-inch display at the same QHD+ resolution and measures 6.40 x 3.11 x 0.34 inches The Galaxy S24 Ultra changes the formula this year, offering a titanium frame. The idea is that this should improve durability at a lower weight, though it actually weighs the same 8.2 ounces as the Galaxy S23 Ultra — and is the heaviest of the S24 line-up.

The Ultra will also come with a screen made of Gorilla Armor, which is set to be 4x more scratch resistant than Gorilla Glass Victus 2, while also reducing screen glare. The S24 and S24 Plus will stick with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 this year, and all three phones will feature back panels made from Victus 2 glass.

The Ultra also features a new vapor cooling chamber that's 1.9x times larger than before. This should help improve performance, and ensure the titanium doesn't adversely affect heat management.

The Ultra model also comes with the S Pen stylus, letting you live out your Galaxy Note dreams long after that particular product line bit the dust. Sadly this is exclusive to the Ultra, and the stylus won't be compatible with the S24 or S24 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy S24 series Specs & Performance

samsung galaxy s24 plus in yellow over a counter
samsung galaxy s24 plus in yellow over a counter

If you're in North America, the standard Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus will come with the the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. The Galaxy S24 Ultra, meanwhile, is slated to come with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chip — which has been optimized for use on a Galaxy device.

Like last year we're expecting this chip to offer improved performance over the standard Gen 3 chip, though it's unclear how much of an improvement there will be. Still Samsung promises that it delivers "remarkable NPU improvement for incredibly efficient AI processing". So if AI if your endgame with the S24, the Ultra seems to have the advantage.

Some regions will see the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus come with the Exynos 2400 — like the U.K. However Samsung has confirmed every S24 Ultra will have a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chip.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is already proving to be very impressive, though we will need to do some proper benchmarking tests to get an accurate idea of how well the 3 phones perform. As for the Exynos 2400, that still remains a mystery.

However Samsung has promised that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will offer a more powerful CPU, GPU and NPU, alongside greater efficiency. Part of this will power the AI features on the phones, while also offering what Samsung called "unparalleled gaming performance". Expect smoother gameplay performance, better lighting and improved ray tracing from this chip.

This year only the standard Galaxy S24 will be coming with 8GB of RAM, plus storage variants of 128GB and 256GB. Both the Galaxy S24 Plus and S24 Ultra will offer 12GB of RAM, and storage variants of 256GB and 512GB. The Ultra will also be available with 1TB for those that are willing to pay for it.

Samsung Galaxy S24 series battery & charging

Lifestyle images of Samsung Galaxy S24, S24+, & S24 Ultra series.
Lifestyle images of Samsung Galaxy S24, S24+, & S24 Ultra series.

It should be no surprise that the Samsung Galaxy S24 has the smallest battery of the line-up with a 4,000 mAh power pack. But that's not what we'd call small, and you have to remeber that the smaller, lower-resolution screen probably doesn't need as much power to operate.

Still if big numbers are what you crave, then the Galaxy S24 Plus comes with a 4,900 mAh battery. It is, of course, beaten by the 5,000 mAh stored inside the Galaxy S24 Ultra. But if experience tells us anything it's that those numbers may be backed up by real world results. The Galaxy S23 Ultra has some of the best phone battery life, and we hope the extra efficiency in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will push the running time up on all 3 devices.

But we won't know for sure until we actually get to test the batteries for ourselves because we may be surprised by the results. I mean, who else could have predicted the iPhone 15 Plus would have the best battery life of that line-up?

From a charging standpoint, the Galaxy S24 is worse off — with the same 25W charging speeds as last year. That means regaining 50% of your battery charge in 30 minutes.

Thankfully the Galaxy S24 Plus has had a welcome boost, offering the same 45W charging speeds as the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Both phones can apparently be restored to 65% charge in half an hour.

All 3 phones offer Qi wireless charging at speeds of up to 15W. Samsung hasn't shared any details on recharge speed yet, but expect it to take longer than the wired option.

Samsung Galaxy S24 series Cameras

samsung galaxy s24
samsung galaxy s24

It's no huge surprise that the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus both have the exact same camera layout. Here you have a triple lens rear camera array made up of a 50MP main lens (f/1.8 with OIS), a 12MP ultra-wide camera (f/2.2 with 120-degree FOV), and a 10MP telephoto lens (f/2.4 with 3x optical zoom). The front camera is a 12MP lens (f/2.2).

The Galaxy S24 Ultra has a significantly more impressive-sounding camera. There's a quad-lens camera array on the back, made up of a 200MP main lens (f/1.7 with OIS), a 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2 and 120 degree FOV), a 50MP telephoto lens (f/3.4 with OIS and 5x optical zoom) and a 10MP secondary telephoto lens (f/2.4 with OIS and 3x optical zoom). The front camera is another 12MP shooter with an f/2.2 aperture.

The Ultra has a lot more benefits in the camera department, on account of its high-specced hardware. The main one is that the new high-resolution telephoto lens Samsung calls a "Quad-Tele System". This is capable of "optical quality" zoom at 2x, 3x, 5x and 10x magnification, which crops high resolution images down to 12MP to appear zoomed in.

100x enhanced digital zoom is also making a comeback, as is Samsung's Space Zoom as part of the "Nightography" feature. Because the camera offers larger pixels and wide OIS, low light images should come out thanks to reduced noise and automatic compensation for unintentional movement.

All 3 models will offer Super HDR for more realistic previews before you hit the camera button, with added support for cameras in third party social media apps. Instagram and Snapchat were both mentioned. Instagram has closely partnered with Samsung to ensure your posts maintain the same quality as they appear on your phone.

Unfortunately at this early stage we still don't know how the cameras on the Galaxy S24 series compare. It makes sense that the Ultra would have the upper hand, but we can't say for sure until we get some time to test the cameras for ourselves.

Samsung Galaxy S24 series AI

samsung galaxy s24
samsung galaxy s24

The good news with AI is that all three Galaxy S24 phones will enjoy the same AI features. So those rumors of them potentially being exclusive to the Galaxy S24 Ultra seem to be unfounded. And good thing too, because Samsung has stuffed in a lot of features that take advantage of AI.

AI on these phones is all about user experience, and giving users ways to improve their own experiences with the aid of artificial intelligence. So its no surprise that a lot of these tools are about assistance, and helping you do things that you may not be able to do by yourself.

Browsing assist summarizes online content for you, while Chat Assist is built into your keyboard and offers the ability to tweak and rewrite content in six different styles or tones. This also features a translation tool, while the phone app's Interpreter tool can show you live text translations of 13 languages and 17 dialects in real time.

Samsung's Notes app has Transcribe assist, which can translate, transcribe and summarize work, with the added bonus of neatening the handwriting of S Pen users. Circle to Search with Google also lets you circle on-screen content and produce relevant Google search results. This feature also supports the S Pen if you're using an S24 Ultra.

Galaxy AI editing tools are also built around making photo edits simple and efficient. Edit suggestions will be able to analyze your shots, and learn from your editing activity to suggest new ways to improve each photo you take.

Generative Edit will also be able to fill in any blank space using generative AI — whether that's because you moved objects, cut them completely or want to reframe the photo. Instant Slow-mo is also a pretty interesting tool that can transform videos into slow-motion clips — without having to shoot them in a dedicated slow-motion camera mode.

Samsung Galaxy S24 series Outlook

Lifestyle images of Samsung Galaxy S24, S24+, & S24 Ultra series.
Lifestyle images of Samsung Galaxy S24, S24+, & S24 Ultra series.

Samsung has added a lot of great features to the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus this year. The Plus model in particular seems to have picked up some very welcome upgrades that could turn it into a very desirably phone — especially at its $999 price point.

That said, the Ultra still seems to be the king of Samsung flagships for the time being. Not only does it have the optimized Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chipset and a titanium frame, it also has the powerful quad-lens camera on the back. But it also costs quite a bit more than its companions.

If you want the best Samsung has to offer, go for the Ultra. But if you'd prefer to get great features without spending so much money, then the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus still have plenty to offer.

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