Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus evaluation: Per week later, I've forgotten in regards to the Extremely mannequin


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Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus

professionals and cons

Professionals Polished and glossy designs really feel higher than ever Galaxy AI options are largely helpful Implausible battery life on each fashions 7 years of OS updates

Cons No important adjustments to the cameras No Qi2/quicker charging speeds Uncertainties with Galaxy AI options

extra shopping for selections

ZDNET’s shopping for recommendation

Samsung’s newest Galaxy S24 handsets, whereas launched in January, are already in consideration for the most effective Android telephones of 2024; that is how well-rounded and future-proofed they’re. However whereas I usually reserve the “Finest General” honor for the Extremely mannequin, which fields all the most recent and biggest options from the Galaxy maker, I have to assume twice about it this yr.

As a result of at $300 lower than its ultra-premium sibling, the Galaxy S24 Plus is extra polished than ever earlier than, with related Galaxy AI options and upgrades in key areas like battery life and show high quality. And for an extra $200 much less, the smaller Galaxy S24 stays probably the greatest compact telephones available on the market.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

Show

6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x (1080 x 2340) with 2,600 nits of brightness

6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x (1440 x 3088) with 2,600 nits of brightness  

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3  

RAM/Storage

8GB with 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB

12GB with 256GB or 512GB

Digicam

50MP f/1.8 large, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto (3x), and 12MP entrance  

50MP f/1.8 large, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto (3x), and 12MP entrance    

Battery

4,000mAh with 25W wired/15W wi-fi charging

4,900mAh with 45W wired/15W wi-fi charging  

Sturdiness

IP68, Gorilla Glass Victus 2, aluminum body

IP68, Gorilla Glass Victus 2, aluminum body  

Colours

Onyx Black, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet, Amber Yellow

Onyx Black, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet, Amber Yellow  

Worth

Beginning at $799

Beginning at $999

How I examined the Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus

I spent the previous week solely utilizing the Galaxy S24 fashions, with my private T-Cellular SIM within the Plus and a Mint Cellular eSIM in the usual variant. From morning to nighttime, I used the telephones like how I usually would however with an emphasis on the brand new, most vital options. I additionally took extra photographs and movies than traditional to see if there have been any notable variations from final yr’s S23 fashions, although the digicam specs are mainly the identical on paper.

Additionally: Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Galaxy S23: Do you have to make the improve?

Testing additionally concerned the brand new Galaxy AI options, like operating Reside Translate and Textual content Name with family and friends who communicate a number of languages (Chinese language and Korean), redefining pictures with Generative Edit, and exploring the opposite sensible ways in which the brand new telephones can enhance our lives. For now, here is what works and what would not.

What are the Samsung Galaxy S24’s greatest options?

Flatter, extra refined design: Each the usual and Plus Galaxy S24 telephones this yr look unapologetically much like the iPhone 15, with flattened edges, symmetrical bezels, and a brand new OneUI lock display screen/always-on dynamic that screams iOS 17. Even the antenna bands on the edges of the telephones are almost an identical. 

This is the factor: I actually like the fashionable iPhone design, and Samsung’s strategy takes issues up a degree. The bezels are thinner, the opening punch digicam takes up much less area, and the satin end of the facet railings makes the units really feel extra premium than final yr’s shiny materials. I have been going round city caseless and each the Amber Yellow S24 Plus and Cobalt Violet S24 completely pop.

Samsung Galaxy S24 and iPhone 15

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus (left) on OneUI 6.1 and the iPhone 15 Plus (proper) on iOS 17.3.

June Wan/ZDNET

2,600 nits of brightness is usually good: One of many extra important upgrades to the Galaxy S24 collection is the two,600-nit show, a function that each informal and energy customers can profit from. Whether or not I used to be navigating by the NYC streets or testing the telephone cameras outdoor, by no means did I discover myself squinting on the viewfinder or feeling just like the adaptive brightness setting was turned off. The telephones get loads dim, too, as I watched the short panel slider go from noticeably vibrant to pitch-black darkish. 

Additionally: Samsung’s new Galaxy S24 beats the iPhone 15 Professional in a single very significant manner

There’s one downside I am experiencing with the ultra-bright show, and it is not essentially Samsung’s fault: HDR playback. On apps like Instagram, YouTube, and Gallery, the Galaxy S24 show robotically ramps up its brightness when taking part in HDR-captured movies, which may look brilliantly vivid in daylight however jarringly blinding whenever you’re doom-scrolling at evening or in an Uber residence. This was a longstanding downside on iPhones, however Instagram has since added a settings toggle on iOS apps to show off the playback conduct. That very same possibility is absent on Android.

If the digicam system ain’t broke…: If I needed to describe the Samsung Galaxy S24’s digicam system with one phrase, it could be “dependable.” The triple digicam array on each the usual and Plus fashions is about the identical as final yr’s S23 collection, which means you continue to get a incredible 50MP fundamental shooter, a 10MP 3x telephoto, and a 12MP ultra-wide. However the Galaxy S24 now makes use of a brand new ProVisual Engine that, in accordance with Samsung, helps the telephones higher distinguish topics from the background, reproduce colours, and scale back shakiness and blur in photographs.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Photo Samples
June Wan/ZDNET

From my testing, which included capturing photographs and movies in varied lighting circumstances, the output typically got here out detailed and vibrant. Coming from the OnePlus 12 and Pixel 8 Professional, I wasn’t ready for the uptick in saturation and sharpness, however I used to be shortly reminded of how way more aggressive Samsung telephones captured and processed mild. That is a very good factor in the event you’d quite not must undergo the post-editing course of to realize color-popping photographs and movies.

Additionally: The unimaginable evolution of smartphone cameras and the way AI powers a blinding future

One factor I am significantly impressed by is how constant colours look throughout the three cameras. That is integral whenever you’re recording movies and are switching between the large lens, telephoto lens, and ultra-wide; it is one thing I usually do when recording footage for ZDNET’s short-form movies, and it is by no means enjoyable when pores and skin tones and different delicate colours are offered inconsistently.

Seven years of OS and safety updates: This one’s a giant deal, as a result of not solely is Samsung matching Google’s dedication to Android working system and safety updates, it is doing so whereas operating on a third-party system on a chip (SoC), the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. Which means, not like Google and its in-house Tensor chips, Samsung should work with Qualcomm to meet its seven years’ value of software program help, a feat that has by no means been finished earlier than.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Circle to Search

Circle to Search, designed by Google, could also be the most effective new AI function on the Galaxy S24 and Android units.

June Wan/ZDNET

In fact, how dependable and constant the updates roll out stays up within the air, and carrier-exclusive variations usually function on their very own timelines. What’s sure is that the Galaxy S24 ought to obtain the most effective OneUI and Android options over the following seven years, and that is a giant win for Samsung customers.

Galaxy AI options are sensible, however for a way lengthy?

The large factor with the brand new S24 telephones is Samsung’s on-device and cloud-based Galaxy AI options, served atop Google’s Gemini and Imagen 2 fashions. There is a handful of instruments seamlessly embedded throughout widespread providers like Messages, Gallery, and Cellphone, so here is my tier record of the perfect, from helpful to simply enjoyable to make use of.

Circle to Search: Answering the who, what, the place, when, and why of what is in your display screen has by no means been simpler because of Circle to Search (the way it works is within the identify!). Living proof: I used to be not too long ago purchasing for a brand new mattress body, and Circle to Search offered me with a less expensive possibility for a similar product — all in lower than 10 seconds.

Translation options: I talk throughout English, Chinese language (Cantonese and Mandarin), and Korean-speaking households, so my eyebrows had been raised when Samsung first briefed me on the brand new translation options. Whereas instruments like Reside Translate, Keyboard Translation, and Interpreter labored very easily for me, there have been nonetheless moments when phrases can be misinterpreted or simply flat-out ignored by the AI. As an alternative, what the AI does greatest is dictating the translated messages in a natural-sounding manner. For reference, my dad hung up on me the primary time I used Reside Translate, considering he had known as the incorrect individual.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Interpreter mode

Interpreter Mode is particularly helpful whenever you’re touring overseas and wish to translate two languages directly.

June Wan/ZDNET

Picture modifying instruments: For fixing off-angle pictures and misframed topics, the Galaxy S24’s Generative Edit function could be loads helpful. Simply do not count on each touch-up to look excellent, as there will probably be moments when the telephone fills an edited space with an indistinguishable object or the crop impact just isn’t as convincing. You can even use Generative Edit to take away the “Edited with AI” watermark on footage, however you did not hear that from me.

Summarization in Notes/Recorder apps: As a journalist, I usually file interviews and briefings however do not all the time have the time to return to drag out key factors. That is why the power to summarize each typed and recorded memos has been game-changing for my workflow, because the Galaxy S24 does it very reliably.

Additionally: 5 prime cellular developments in 2024: On-device AI, the ‘new’ smartphone, and extra

In the end, essentially the most helpful Galaxy AI options will rely upon the top person, as my associate’s obsession with Photomoji can help. Chances are you’ll discover worth in all of Samsung’s AI instruments, or simply a number of, or none — and that is effective. There’s additionally uncertainty as as to if or not Samsung will ultimately cost customers to make use of its cloud-based AI providers — one thing the corporate had initially advised in its advertising copy however has since retracted.

What I might wish to see within the subsequent mannequin 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
June Wan/ZDNET

Qi2 help: All of the hype surrounding the Samsung-backed Qi2 customary solely led to disappointment when the corporate revealed it wasn’t going to implement the most recent wi-fi charging tech into its Galaxy S24 telephones. Samsung blames the omission on the shortage of demand, however I am uncertain if that is the suitable name when its closest competitor, the now five-month-old iPhone 15 collection, already helps the fast-charging customary.

Additionally: Find out how to add MagSafe to your Android telephone (and why you may like it)

Sooner wired charging: Whereas I am at it, there was no larger shift to my client life-style than once I switched from the OnePlus 12’s 80W wired charging to the Samsung Galaxy S24’s 25W. (The Plus mannequin helps 45W output, however whereas that yields a quicker preliminary charging pace, the ability supply slows down noticeably on the 60-70% mark.) As a lot as I’ve loved the long-lasting battery lifetime of each the usual and Plus telephones, having to attend a very good hour and a half for a top-up felt like a giant space of enchancment for me.

Ultimate ideas  

Whereas I’ve solely scratched the floor of what the most recent Samsung Galaxy telephones are able to (learn: I will be testing each units and updating this evaluation over time), I am compelled to suggest the S24 Plus to most buyers this yr, skilled customers included. The brand new QHD+ show, Galaxy AI options, and base reminiscence of 12GB RAM/256GB storage for $300 lower than the Extremely make it the higher telephone deal.

I am going to depart you with this: Should you’re cautious of cloud-based AI options and their potential safety points, there’s an choice to “Course of information solely on gadget” inside the Galaxy S24 settings. Go to Settings > Superior options > Superior intelligence > and toggle the function on.

Options to contemplate 

Google Pixel 8 Pro in Bay Blue

BEST AI PHONE ALTERNATIVE

Google Pixel 8 Professional

The most recent flagship from Google can be full of generative AI options, and its digicam system is arguably higher if preserving the true shade of topics is what you are after.

OnePlus 12

BEST FAST-CHARGING ALTERNATIVE

OnePlus 12

The just-released OnePlus 12 options the business’s quickest wired and wi-fi charging, with related efficiency specs because the Galaxy S24 Plus however at $200 much less.



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