Accomplishing the Most and Its Cost

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is fully equipped with a wide range of features. It boasts an exemplary update guarantee, adaptable high-resolution cameras, and Galaxy AI capabilities that aim to simplify every aspect of your life. The updated titanium frame from Samsung provides a comfortable grip, but the $100 price hike may not be as comfortable for your wallet.

Think of the most extensive and intricate Swiss Army Knife you’ve ever seen, with more tools than you could possibly use. Then imagine it with a USB-C port, a stylus, and four rear cameras. That’s the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in a nutshell. It may seem like an oversimplification of one of the most capable Android phones on the market, but it’s not far from the truth. Dive into our review of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and see for yourself.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review: Overview

What is it? The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is Samsung’s top-of-the-line flagship for 2024, complete with all the features and more. It replaces the Galaxy S23 Ultra with a slightly modified four-camera setup, an S Pen, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, and a new titanium frame.
What is the price? The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra starts at a cool $1,299 — a $100 price increase from the previous generation. The 1TB model can cost as much as $1,659 before trade-in offers.
Where can you buy it? The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra was available for pre-orders from January 17, 2024, and for open sales from January 31. It can be purchased from Samsung, retailers like Amazon and Best Buy, or carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
How did we test it? We tested the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra for two weeks. The review unit was provided by Samsung with an active T-Mobile SIM.
Is it worth it? The Galaxy S24 Ultra is Samsung’s best ultra flagship yet, but it comes with an ultra price tag to match. It impresses with a class-leading update commitment, improved materials across the board, and Galaxy AI features in every aspect, but it also comes with a price hike that’s hard to justify given the minimal hardware upgrades gen-on-gen and exclusive features that aren’t as exclusive as they appear.

What I like about the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

There’s no better place to start than with Galaxy AI — the main attraction. Samsung mentioned the phrase a staggering 50 times during its first Unpacked event of 2024, promising a laundry list of features to make your smartphone smarter and more helpful. While we are still in the experimental phase of on-device AI, I’ve discovered a few Galaxy AI features that are worth keeping. One such feature is Chat Assist, which lives within the Samsung Keyboard and offers tips for spelling, grammar, and alternative tones for your messages, making texting and note-taking a breeze. Samsung’s Note Assist also covers a range of AI features, including the ability to summarize webpages into concise notes and transform handwritten notes into legible text. Additionally, the Galaxy S24 Ultra also comes with Android 14 and One UI 6.1 out of the box, providing a rich and customizable user experience.

Moving on to the phone itself, the Galaxy S24 Ultra feels like the Galaxy S23 Ultra but with extra polish. The updated titanium frame not only enhances durability but also offers a more comfortable grip. The new Gorilla Armor on the display makes it much easier to use in bright sunlight, and the addition of flat display edges is a welcome change. Performance-wise, the phone is a powerhouse, with excellent benchmarking scores and a seamless day-to-day user experience. The relatively unchanged battery life is also impressive, and the phone supports fast wired and wireless charging.

What I don’t like about the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Perhaps the biggest downside of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is its hefty price tag. The $100 price increase is hard to justify when the Galaxy S24 and the Galaxy S24 Plus offer many of the same Galaxy AI features and the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset in the US, at a lower price point. Additionally, the massive size of the Galaxy S24 Ultra makes it cumbersome to use one-handed, and some of the AI features are still hit or miss, particularly in handling complex translations and recommendations. The new camera setup, while impressive, also falls short in some areas, and the phone’s selfie camera remains unchanged from the previous year.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra?

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is undeniably a top-notch smartphone. It offers cutting-edge features, a high-quality camera system, and exceptional performance. However, the exorbitant price tag and the availability of similar features in the more affordable Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus make it a tough sell for some. Ultimately, the decision to purchase the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra comes down to personal preferences and budget considerations.

If you decide that the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is not the right fit for you, there are several worthy alternatives to consider. The Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus, Google’s Pixel 8 Pro, the OnePlus 12, and even Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max are all viable options that offer a mix of premium features and performance. Ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra continues to lead the charge in the ultra flagship category, but with a higher price tag to match its premium status.

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