Which Samsung Galaxy S24 model should you purchase: S24+ or S24 Ultra?

Contemplating purchasing a new Samsung smartphone but hesitant to spend the money on the Galaxy S24 Ultra? Avoid paying for all the additional features Samsung’s massive phone offers, such as the extra telephoto lens, titanium frame, and included stylus. Instead, consider the Galaxy S24+, which offers most of the Ultra’s capabilities and starts at $300 less than the S24 Ultra.

Continue reading if you depend on the smartphone upgrade offered by your carrier with a discount. I’ve observed an increase in television ads promoting the Samsung Galaxy S24+ as a complimentary item for signing up with a mobile provider. If these advertisements appear directed at you, educate yourself on the type of smartphone you’re committing to.

Galaxy S24+ vs. Galaxy S24 Ultra

Design

The Galaxy S24+ is technically a “large phone,” but it’s smaller than the Galaxy S24 Ultra. In terms of size, it’s comparable to the Google Pixel 8 Pro—sufficiently large for some individuals, but the curved edges and slightly slimmer frame prevent it from protruding from your pocket.

The most noticeable distinction between the Ultra and the Plus lies in the relative weight of each device; the Galaxy S24 Ultra is almost two ounces heavier than the Galaxy S24+. However, I prefer the robustness of the Ultra over the lightness of the S24+ because it provides better balance when typing with both hands. There’s a higher risk of dropping the phone with the Galaxy S24+.

The Galaxy S24+ lacks the premium titanium construction of the Ultra. The color options include yellow, purple, gray, and black. They are more vibrant than the Ultra’s variations, resembling color samples rather than a shaded finish. Both phones have a matte back, although the Galaxy S24+ is particularly prone to showing fingerprints. Both are IP68 rated, a standard feature for flagship phones, ensuring water and dust resistance.

Display

A photo of the Galaxy S24+

Holding the Galaxy S24+.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is an exceptional smartphone, featuring a 6.8-inch AMOLED display, only slightly larger than the 6.7-inch screen on the Galaxy S24+, but it feels significantly larger when held. Both the S24 Ultra and S24+ boast the same QHD+ screen resolution, ideal for enjoying videos on your commute home.

The downside of choosing the Galaxy S24+ is missing out on the Ultra’s semi-matte display panel. However, if you prefer admiring your reflection, the Galaxy S24+ will suffice with its glossy screen. I can see my own reflection in it right now.

Performance

Samsung typically excels with its flagship devices, particularly in terms of performance, designed to compete with Apple’s iPhones. The Galaxy S24+ and its counterparts in the series are equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, paired with 12GB of RAM on both models—an impressive feature parity between the two “larger” models, a departure from previous generations of Galaxy flagships. Benchmark tests using Geekbench 6 reveal similar performance metrics between the S24+ and S24 Ultra, indicating longevity.

On the flip side, if you require 1TB of storage on-the-go, the Galaxy S24+ falls short. The smartphone is only available in 256GB and 512GB storage capacities, without microSD card slots, limiting your options.

Battery

Thus far, the battery life of the Galaxy S24+’s 4,900 mAh battery pack matches that of the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s 5,000 mAh battery pack. This year’s Ultra can finally rival Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max in terms of endurance. I will provide a comprehensive battery rundown soon, with the Plus anticipated to lag behind the Ultra by only an hour.

Fast charging speeds are crucial, even when not actively monitoring the clock. The Galaxy S24+ offers 45W charging, comparable to the Ultra, though you’ll need the appropriate power brick to achieve maximum charging speeds.

Camera

This is where the disparity between the Galaxy S24+ and the Ultra becomes evident. The Galaxy S24+ features a triple rear-camera setup comprising a 50-MP primary camera with f/1.8 aperture and OIS, a secondary 12-MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 aperture, and a tertiary 10-MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom.

For enhanced zoom capabilities, you’ll need the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Samsung’s premier device includes an additional telephoto lens and up to 5x optical zoom on its secondary 50-MP camera sensor, along with a 200-MP primary sensor. The Ultra excels in capturing sharper low-light photos compared to the Galaxy S24+.

Both the Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24 Ultra support video recording in 8K resolution at 30 frames-per-second, with the ability to stabilize video at lower resolutions. Additionally, they offer the AI-enhanced Instant Slow-mo feature, enabling post-capture slow-motion effects, part of Samsung’s Galaxy AI suite.

Software

Choosing between the Galaxy S24+ or Galaxy S24 Ultra doesn’t present a challenging decision, especially concerning AI functionalities. Both devices run Android 14 with Samsung’s One UI 6.1 overlay, a software update extending to some older Galaxy devices.

Galaxy AI pervades the Galaxy S24+, featuring Circle to Search, akin to the Ultra, and the aforementioned Instant Slow-mo function. Moreover, it offers up to seven years of OS and security updates, aligning with Samsung’s commitment to its Galaxy lineup.

Should you purchase the Galaxy S24+?

A photo of the Galaxy S24+

The Galaxy S24+.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

If you’re intrigued by the content thus far, feel free to take the plunge. The benefit of the Samsung Galaxy S24+ is the absence of a potentially unused stylus, eliminating the need to carry a device to accommodate it. Additionally, the presence of titanium should not be a deciding factor between the two phones, alleviating any concerns. Opt for the Ultra if you prioritize long-distance zooming and demand sharp image quality for social media sharing.

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