Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: Mr Smarty Pants Delivers


Samsung’s pitch for the Galaxy S24 Ultra is simple – they want their advanced AI features to change the way you use your smartphone. As someone who looks beyond what’s being conveyed by the marketing, I did see a significant change in the way I use a phone. My first few days with the phone went by tinkering around with live translation features and annoying my friends by calling them with its text-to-voice capabilities. Heck, I’ve become a serial window-shopper using its circle-to-search feature, as I now know where to buy the stuff I come across on reels. Given that I’m a writer, the summarisation feature is also something I find helpful.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Rs 1,29,999



















What Is Good?

  • Striking, bright and vivid display
  • Anti-reflective coating is a godsend
  • Excellent and reliable battery life
  • Circle to search and Generative Edit are useful tools
  • Great camera setup, useful 5x periscope lens
  • Good performance
  • 7 years of software updates

What Is Bad?

  • Costlier than ever
  • Unwieldy size, sharp edges
  • Charging speeds need an upgrade
  • Some AI features need refinement

But, that’s something you can find in the baby S24 and the middle child as well. So, clearly, AI is not the only selling point of the S24 Ultra. When you look at the rest of the package, it has a brighter display, faster performance, crazier cameras and an even more expensive asking price.

But, is it all justified? Read my review of the Galaxy S24 Ultra to find out.

Is the Galaxy AI practical?

Yes and no.

While Galaxy AI is practical and helpful in certain scenarios, in others it leaves you wanting more — and sometimes completely going off the rail.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra AI summarisation

Before I sink my teeth into the AI features of this phone, I recommend you to read my first impressions right away to get a better context.

That said, Galaxy AI is still an infant with teething issues, but some of the tools it provides make your life a bit easier. Mind you, nearly all the AI features are exclusive to Samsung’s in-house applications.

  • You’ll need the Galaxy Note app to take down notes and summarise them. It will not work on Google Keep. It works wonders when noting down multiple things – it categorises sentences and topics properly, and keeps stuff organised.
  • Live translation for calls is finicky. While it’s an exceptional tool for conversations in different languages, it comes with certain conditions. If you don’t articulate words clearly, there’s a high likelihood of the AI acting unpredictably. What’s impressive is that it works in real-time and gives you a chat history to refer to later on.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra voice to text calling

  • Circle-to-search is essentially Google Lens for the lazy. So, naturally, I loved it. A simple long press of the home button initiates a freeze-frame, which allows you to circle a certain person or product for it to search on Google. This was easier to use when paired with the S-Pen.
  • Writing style and chat translation come built-in on the Samsung Keyboard, and these are useful to an extent. With the former, you can set the tone of the message with the help of some presets. It’s a decent tool to get an idea of how you should frame the sentence, but I never ended up choosing its suggestion.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra voice recording transcribing

  • Voice recording does not transcribe in real-time, and the summarisation tends to leave out a lot of important information. It’s not ideal for a meeting room but should help get a context of the topic.

That’s pretty much the crux of most of the AI features, it helps you get a context of things but does not completely take charge them.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: Design, build quality, and S-Pen

The silhouette of the phone does not deviate much from the S23 Ultra, and that’s not me complaining. It is still one of the most beautiful smartphones to exist. It’s not entirely the same, though, there are certain modifications made to the form factor.

The ports and button placements remain largely the same, however and so does the slot where the S-Pen slides in.

Design Specifications
Build Material Titanium
Colours Titanium Gray, Titanium Black, Titanium Violet, Titanium Yellow
Weight 232 grams
Dimensions 162.3 x 79.0 x 8.6
IP Rating IP68

While I have dug deep into the design of the S24 Ultra in my first impressions, here’s what I really like about it:

  • The new flat display design with anti-glare coating.
  • The new boxy form factor, with the titanium construction, which makes it feel even more premium and sturdy.
  • The large dimensions of the phone made me feel important.

But then, all that premiumness (and ego) stuffed in the S24 Ultra also makes it challenging to use for average sized hands.

Try not to drop it on your face when doom-scrolling through Instagram reels at night, or end up like that dented baby doll meme.

While the use of Titanium helped the iPhones cut down on their weight significantly, the S24 Ultra only manages to drop a gram — us S24 Ultra, us.


The clicky button on bottom of the S-Pen manages to be the top fidget in the world for ninth year running. It’s satisfying and fun to just pop the S-Pen out.

It’s obviously more than just a fidget. Since my drawing skills rival that of a five-year-old, my friends took over for some sketching sessions.

Most of my time with the S-Pen was spent performing air gestures (makes you look like Harry Potter performing some magic tricks) for media controls and cameras. The latter is quite useful if you capture photos of yourself. A single click of the button can take a photo/record video, while some air gestures can change modes.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: Display

While the display was splendid on the S23 Ultra, Samsung has somehow upped the level with the S24 Ultra. The flat screen is still sharp, responsive, smooth, with rich colours. But it now comes with Corning Gorilla Armour glass. So, what’s the deal with that?

Display Specifications
Type Dynamic LTPO AMOLED 2X
Resolution 1440 x 3120 pixels
Size 6.8-inch
Refresh Rate 120Hz
Protection Corning Gorilla Armour glass
Peak brightness Claimed: 2600nits, Tested: 1573nits (HDR)

This massively helps avoid daily wear and tear on the display. There is not a single scratch on the display after about three weeks of rigorous use. In comparison, the Galaxy S23 Plus from last year, despite the Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection was riddled with scratches — so clearly, this is an improvement.

That’s just one side of the coin, the new protection layer also helps considerably reduce reflection on the screen when using it under harsh lighting.

With its high brightness levels, content outdoors is legible. The panel supports HDR 10 and HDR10+ content but skips on Dolby Vision certification, yet again. This is not really a dealbreaker. Watching movies and TV shows is a joyous experience on the display. The 120Hz refresh rate keeps things superfast and smooth. It’s an LTPO panel, which means the refresh rate falls to 1Hz when not needed, to help save battery.

Samsung has also introduced some changes to the Always-On display, with the wallpaper now dimmed, something that the iPhone Pros offer. There’s another option to erase the background, keeping the main subject in focus.

The stereo speaker setup is sufficiently loud, with crisp and clear sound. But my hands tend to block the awkwardly placed grille on the bottom frame.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: Performance and software

Just like the outgoing model, the S24 Ultra also comes with a customised Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. This chip can be found in all the units globally, unlike the S24 and S24 Plus which will be powered by the Exynos 2400 in India.

This is not the first sighting of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, as the same can be found on the iQOO 12 and the OnePlus 12.

Hardware Specifications
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy
Storage Up to 512GB UFS 4.0
AnTuTu score 1918818
Geekbench score Single core – 2198

Multi-core – 6835

3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Maxed Out
Software version OneUI 6.1 based on Android 14
Connectivity details Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, ​​USB 3.2 Gen 1 port

Just like last year, the latest offering from iQOO, the iQOO 12 is a Rs 54,999 headache for the S24 Ultra — when it comes to synthetic benchmarks. Regardless, the scores are still impressive and reflect in our daily use. It blazes through minor and major tasks thrown at it, and multitasking is also handled easily.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra up against the iQOO 12 in AnTuTu tests.

Intensive gaming is also a breeze for the S24 Ultra. It deals with nostalgic games such as Netflix’s GTA Vice City well. More intensive games such as Genshin Impact and BGMI can render constant 60fps, without a hint of stutter. The thermals are taken care of by a larger vapour chamber cooling, and there were no instances of the back panel getting warmer than usual. That’s actually commendable considering the form factor was still kept considerably slim.

Games Graphic quality FPS
GTA Vice City Max resolution 30 fps
BGMI HDR + Extreme 60 fps
Genshin Impact Custom settings 60 fps

Samsung promises a seven-year update cycle for the Galaxy S24 series, which shows more confidence in the products. But, it begs the question: would anyone still be using the S24 Ultra in 2031? I highly doubt it. Regardless, it’s a great step towards customer loyalty.

OneUI 6.1 gets a subtle revamp in the notification centre. It’s more refined and minimal and makes things a bit easier. Besides that, if you are a former Samsung user, you’ll still feel at home.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: Cameras

Samsung has never been stingy about including the best cameras in its top flagship, and this year its no different.

It still has a crazy cluster of lenses, with the 200-megapixel camera leading the pack. The only major physical change comes in the form of a new 50-megapixel telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom, and 10x digital zoom.

In simple terms, it’s a downgrade in zoom level, but an upgrade in the megapixel count.

Cameras Specifications
Primary camera 200-megapixel, f/1.7, 24mm
Secondary camera 12-megapixel, f/2.2, 13mm, ultra-wide angle camera
Telephoto camera 10-megapixel, f/2.4, 67mm, 3x optical zoom
Periscope camera 50-megapixel, f/3.4, 111mm, 5x optical zoom
Selfie camera 12-megapixel, f/2.2, 26mm
Video recording capabilities Up to 8K 30fps

In daylight, the primary camera is capable of shooting extremely detailed shots with excellent dynamic range. The colour processing is very Samsung-y, which means the photos are slightly more vibrant than perceived by the naked eye. However, it does not feel as aggressive as last year.

It’s still fun to play around with the zoom levels. The 30x mode felt like a perfect balance of zooming in, while also retaining palatable details. The ultra-wide angle camera maintains the colour science, but the barrel distortion at the edges is still evident.

The shutter speeds are still slow when trying to capture four-legged cuties, who always seem to be in a hurry.

Despite the downgrade in optical zoom level, the new telephoto lens captures fairly detailed digitally zoomed 10x shots, so you are not missing much from last year.

The portrait mode using the telephoto lens gives you a tighter frame, which is great for framing human subjects. The edge detection is excellent, but it tends to add a red hue to the skin.

The S24 Ultra struggles with inconsistencies in low-light scenarios. While in most conditions, the phone captures good and usable shots, it tends to invite noise around the edges in others. This issue is not consistent but can pop off in your face anytime. Hopefully, an update helps fix this.

A simple remaster using the Galaxy AI helps improve this situation, but that’s an added step.

The red hue issue cannot be seen in the selfie camera photos. Images are detailed and crisp, with good edge detection in portrait mode. But, in group selfies, the portrait mode tends to completely skip the third person in the photo, which led to our friend feeling left out.

Generative AI Features

I have fixed about two vector images for social media posts with the help of Generative Edit in the photo gallery app. It’s essentially Samsung’s take on Google’s Magic Editor, and is tucked away under the pencil (edit) button and lets you go crazy with the image. Occasionally, it shows an error after a tiring loading period, and there are instances where it completely botches the photo. Yet, there are moments when it simply leaves me in awe.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: Battery and charging

The battery life on the S24 Ultra is outright excellent. It’s reliable and can easily last you for a day and a half, depending on your usage.

Battery Specifications
Battery capacity 5,000mAh
Tested in FHD+ resolution 7 hours and 12 minutes
Tested in QHD+ resolution 6 hours and 29 minutes
Charging wattage 45W

The S24 Ultra lasted us around six to seven hours in both resolutions.

These are really impressive numbers and calling it just reliable will be selling it short.

With moderate usage, you can easily stretch it for two days. AOD was turned on during both these sessions, and it consumed about 13 per cent of the overall usage.

But, even after years of reviewers complaining about charging times, we are still stuck in the dark ages. After switching from the iQOO 12, I was accustomed to 20-minute top-ups. However, with the S24 Ultra, you need to spend more than an hour to fully charge your phone. It supports wireless charging at up to 15W.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: Verdict

If you want a big slab of a phone that gets its hardware and software right, the S24 Ultra is an amazing choice. It may not thrash benchmarks like the iQOO 12, but it doesn’t have to… it’s not a gaming phone, after all.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is destined to stick around for years, given the high ceiling of performance, long battery life and software support.

That said, the S24 Ultra manages to achieve a really difficult task of one-upping its near-perfect predecessor, and it does that with AI.

Here’s the thing, though: these features will be available on the S23 series and the 5th-gen Fold and Flip. So, the hike for minor refinements makes it a tough recommendation for an immediate upgrade.

The S23 Ultra, currently selling for about a lakh, is still an excellent smartphone that does almost everything the S24 Ultra does, and will soon do the AI stuff as well.

If you’re a well-moneyed individual, you don’t even have to read this review. But if your brain comes in the equation before your heart, make sure you get some healthy discounts on it.