Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: AI Was the Secret to Become the Best Android on the Market Again

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: AI Was the Secret to Become the Best Android on the Market Again

  • The first Samsung Galaxy Ultra with a flat screen

  • AI features are its main selling point

  • A strong contender for this year’s best Android

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

If you were to ask what the best Android phone was in 2023, the answer would be clear: the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Having tested the entire high-end range of smartphones last year, there wasn’t a single model that came close to it in overall performance. However, the challenge for the new Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is no less. Its goal is to take its throne as the best phone of 2024.

The new Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra comes with a titanium body finish, a renewed telephoto sensor, one of the most peculiar screens on the market, and the latest Qualcomm processor.

Table of Contents (19)

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Specs



6.39 x 3.11 x 0.34 in

8.18 oz


6.8-inch QHD+ display

Quad HD+ resolution


1-120 Hz

Gorilla Glass Armor


12 GB + 256 GB

12 GB + 512 GB

12 GB + 1 TB


200 MP, f/1.7, OIS

50 MP, f/3.4, OIS, x5 zoom

10 MP, f/2.4, OIS, 3x zoom

12 MP, f/2.2


12 MP, f/2.2


5,000 mAh

45 W fast charging

15 W wireless charging


Android 14 based on OneUI 6.1


5G (2xNano + eSIM)

Wi‑Fi 7

Bluetooth 5.3








Samsung Dex


From $1,299.99

SAMSUNG Galaxy S24 Ultra Cell Phone, 256GB AI Smartphone, Unlocked Android, 50MP Zoom Camera, Long Battery Life, S Pen, US Version, 2024, Titanium Yellow

Design: (Almost) the Same Body, Covered in Titanium

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 1

Samsung’s design strategy for its smartphones has been fairly consistent. They have opted for a minimalist design that features no camera module on the back, with the lenses protruding from the body of the device itself. This strategy has been appreciated by many users as it allows the product to have a distinct identity and also focuses on improving what already works instead of completely changing it in each generation.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra continues this trend with a glass body and titanium-coated bezels. The color of the phone is similar to that of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which may be off-putting for some users. However, the overall design is successful and provides a positive user experience.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 2

Although, at first, the Galaxy S24 Ultra felt a bit dirtier compared to the Galaxy S23, after using the phone for a week, we realized that this was mainly due to the strong artificial lighting in the room where we tested the phone. When we took it outside, the phone looked simply spectacular. Although fingerprints were a bit noticeable on the sides, it wasn’t too bad. However, this handset, despite being made of titanium, doesn’t feel any lighter than its sibling from last year. There’s barely a difference in weight.

The build quality of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is among the highest we’ve seen

The finish and quality of the materials used are simply outstanding. The keypad feels premium, and despite being a rectangular phone, the corners aren’t too annoying. Everything is in order with what is required of a phone that costs over $1,000.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra front is spectacular

But the greatest joy comes when you turn it around. Curved screens have never been a good idea beyond aesthetics. They generate greater fragility in certain areas of the screen, inevitably have shadows on the curve jump and it’s easy to touch the screen by accident. Samsung started a path that many manufacturers followed, a pillar based on an artificial argument: “Curving the screen feels more premium”. It’s a trend that, little by little, Samsung itself has been reversing.

The S23 Ultra had an almost flat panel, with a slight curvature. The S24 Ultra is completely flat. If we add that the size of the frames has been significantly reduced, the result of the front is simply spectacular. Technically, the body-screen rate goes from 89.5% to 88.5%. This is somewhat peculiar: the curved screen slightly adulterates the data. Despite this percentage, the panel is better utilized.

In terms of ergonomics, no steps have been taken backwards, and the phone is slightly more compact. For practical purposes, it’s imperceptible: this is a big, huge phone. More than 6 inches of terminal. Even for people with large hands, it’s practically impossible to use this phone with one hand. When you use it with two, things change, and having switched to a flat panel is a guarantee that you won’t touch more area of the screen than you really need.

Display: This is the Way to Go, Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 4

Last year, Samsung released a high-end phone with an impressive screen. However, the peak brightness of 1,750 nits was not enough for a device that aimed to be the best of the best. In the current generation, there are significant improvements. The screen size remains the same, with a 6.8-inch diagonal, Quad HD+ resolution (defaulting to Full HD+), 120 Hz adaptive refresh rate (with 120, 80, 60, 48, 30, 24 and 10 Hz options when the screen is on), and a peak brightness of 2,600 nits.

The display supports HDR 10+ but lacks support for Dolby Vision, which is a disadvantage compared to rivals like the iPhone or the new BOE panels in phones like the OnePlus 12.

Peak brightness is not everything. This panel is much better at reducing visual fatigue

One feature that hasn’t been talked about much is PWM dimming, which has now increased to 492 Hz. Last year, it was only 240 Hz, which could harm your eyes. PWM dimming refers to how the panel regulates the brightness signal, and the higher the PWM dimming, the less noticeable it is to the human eye and the less visual fatigue it causes.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 5

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra’s display looks spectacular, with one small concession. During testing, the automatic brightness behavior could be improved. The maximum brightness peak is not immediately activated, and it needs some time under strong sunlight to reach its maximum brightness. Once it reaches its peak, it’s somewhat erratic in maintaining it.

This is because maintaining such a high brightness on a sustained basis would cause significant battery drain. However, an update is needed to reduce brightness oscillations and allow the peak to be reached sooner.

Finally, note that the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s minimum brightness behavior is one of the best, making the panel almost invisible. This allows significant savings in Always On Display mode and protects our eyesight in dark environments.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 6

At the software level, there are significant new features, such as a new ‘Adaptive Color Tone’ that adjusts colors and white balance according to ambient lighting conditions to achieve the highest color accuracy.

However, calibration options are still lacking, with white balance adjustment only available in ‘Vivid’ mode and no other options if we opt for ‘Natural’ mode. The viewing angles are good, with a slight bluish tint when we tilt the phone enough. Overall, we are facing an outstanding screen.

Some Words on Corning Gorilla Glass Armor

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra The difference is incredible even with the phone off

We should also mention the Corning Gorilla Glass Armor, which is the result of a new collaboration with Corning that makes its debut on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. This phone exclusively features a glass that is more resistant to scratches and drops than any other. Specifically, it’s three times more resistant to drops and four times more resistant to scratches. During our time with the phone, the screen has remained pristine, but only time will tell if the resistance lives up to its promise.

However, the most important feature of this panel is not only its resistance but also its anti-reflective coating. This marks a significant shift in displays. When compared to other phones, the Samsung panel is the only one that appears to be “truly black”. By reducing 75% of the reflections it receives, the panel looks much better in full sunlight. This is especially noticeable in the darker tones of the panel. If we use dark mode on a phone without this anti-reflective coating, the difference is similar to the shift we experienced years ago from IPS to OLED.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra | Realme GT 5 Pro | POCO F3

On paper, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is expected to need less brightness and save battery as it has an easier time displaying content. However, in our tests, this assumption is not entirely true. According to our measurements, the auto-brightness behavior is similar to other rival phones like the iPhone 15 Pro or Realme GT 5 Pro (which has a 4,500 nits BOE panel). The S24 Ultra has a huge panel, with a maximum brightness level, and this consumes a considerable amount of energy.

One of the controversial points regarding the Galaxy S24 Ultra is its color rendering abilities. According to some tests, the device fails to display 100% of the DCI-P3 color space and, instead, shows a percentage slightly below 90%. However, it appears to have adequate sRGB representation. This indicates that the degree of saturation depends on the software, and there’s no problem with the panel itself.

It's worth noting that there are some slight differences in color due to the anti-reflective coating. The colors appear slightly duller, which is not a minor issue. However, the colors are much more pleasant. On the other hand, the representation of black is flawless.

Beyond the technical aspects, the colors on this panel are perceived accurately. In some cases, such as red or green, they are still somewhat saturated. The anti-reflective coating is a significant achievement for Samsung, and we hope that other manufacturers will follow this trend.

Sound: Good Enough

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The speakers in this generation have been upgraded and can reach very high volumes. However, distortion can be heard at levels above 80%, particularly in songs with heavy bass, and the sound can be somewhat tinny at higher volumes. Equalization can help to correct some of these issues, but there is still room for improvement.

The settings include the option to enable automatic Dolby Atmos support, which applies to both multimedia and games. Dolby settings also offer different modes, including Movie, Music, and Voice. However, the automatic mode may not always activate when needed, so manual operation is more accurate.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

A nine-band multiband equalizer is available, which can be customized to suit individual preferences. Alternatively, Samsung offers five pre-set modes for those who are unsure how to adjust the equalizer themselves.

Finally, Samsung has developed Adapt Sound technology, which creates customized presets based on the user’s age. This optimizes the sound frequencies, depending on the user’s age range, for the most optimal listening experience.

Performance: the Right Choice on the Right Phone

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Last year, Samsung made a significant change in its high-end range by making the Qualcomm processor available globally. This move meant that the Exynos processor was no longer exclusive to the US market. However, this year’s decision is mixed: the Galaxy S24 uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, while the S24 and S24+ use Exynos 2400. The first tests show that the Exynos generation has seen a significant improvement, but as expected, Qualcomm is still ahead.

The vapor chamber size has been increased by 1.9 times, which is almost double. Additionally, the LPDDR5X RAM has been improved, starting from 12 GB. The entry ROM is now 256 GB (UFS 4.0), making the hardware a spectacular combination and making it almost impossible for the phone to slow down.

The phone performed exceptionally well in all the tests and is a beast when it comes to fps in games like ‘Genshin Impact’ or ‘PUBG New State’, the latter being in Ultra mode at 90 fps. We also tested games like ‘Diablo Immortal’, one of the few compatible with Qualcomm Ray Tracing.

However, despite the vapor chamber, the phone overheats. Once it reaches a certain temperature, it remains stable. The efficiency of the new processor and cooling system should have kept the handset cooler.







Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

Apple A17 Pro

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (for Galaxy)


12 GB

8 GB

16 GB

16 GB

8 GB


2,248 / 6,987 (6)

2,637 / 7,103 (6)

2,223 / 6,893 (6)

2,229 / 6,769 (6)

2,019 / 5,308 (6)








20,321 / 13,754

15,375 / 9,170

19,124 / 19,077

19,337 / 15,472

14,018 / 13,968







Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 12 It’s not the best example of sustained performance, but does the job well

As per usual, there’s a slight drop in performance when running more demanding CPU and GPU tests on the phone. During the CPU test, the phone managed to withstand up to 83% performance for 15 minutes with the processor running at maximum capacity. However, the GPU graphics test showed a greater drop, with performance dropping below 70%. This was somewhat unexpected, as other phones with the same processor have managed to maintain better performance.

Despite this, the good news is that the drop in performance is practically negligible and can only be noticed in the most demanding games. During our testing, we played ‘Diablo Immortal’ for more than half an hour and long games of ‘PUBG New State’, but we did not notice any significant drop in frames.


Regarding biometrics, there has been a small change. The Galaxy S24 Ultra’s fingerprint reader is now one of the best we’ve tested recently. Last year, there were some issues with the error rate, but this has now been completely resolved. The unlocking speed is now immediate, with the finger only needing to touch the reader.

However, the facial recognition system has some limitations. It only works effectively in well-lit environments and can struggle in dimly lit settings, such as a living room with insufficient lighting. As such, the fingerprint reader is the most reliable unlocking method.

Software: the New AI Era

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

We’ve already mentioned that that the Galaxy S24 Ultra has a lot to offer in terms of software. First, we should discuss the new features that come with One UI 6.1. We’ll unpack the AI features later on. One UI 6.1 is one of Samsung’s biggest updates, and it comes loaded with new features.

To our surprise, there’s quite a bit of iOS inspiration in this ROM. This is a somewhat common practice in recent years, but Samsung had stayed away. It’s not something to be concerned about. One 6.1 has been designed with care and, although some of its aesthetic novelties sound familiar, the implementation is more than correct.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra The new Always on Display feature says goodbye to the black screen (if that’s what we want)

Let’s start with the new Always On Display. Traditionally, the AOD mode on Android was based on a completely black screen with simple elements, such as the time. With the arrival of iOS 16, Always On Display took another path: a dimming of the screen and not a few lit pixels. Samsung has added this new option to the traditional black AOD, making it possible to dim the screen and keep the wallpaper and widgets that we have configured on the lock screen.

We especially like that it comes loaded with options to activate it:

  • Auto: The Always On Display is always shown, except when the phone detects that it’s in a very dark environment or in a pocket.
  • Always: The AON is always on.
  • Tap to Show: It only actives when we tap the screen.
  • As scheduled: It actives according to manual programming.
  • For new notifications: It actives only when you get new notifications.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

This way of interpreting the wallpapers and the AOD is similar to that of iOS, although it has an important advantage: the minimum brightness of the panel allows it to save much more energy. If we reduce the brightness to the minimum, we will practically not see the screen.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The One UI 6.1 has significantly improved system animations, making it the smoothest ROM currently available on Android. Everything works perfectly with careful attention to detail, including app launches, notification bar animations, and transitions.

Additionally, there are more options to extend the phone’s battery, including three charge protection modes:

  • Basic: It stops the battery from charging when it reaches 100%, and it resumes charging when it drops to 95% until it reaches 100% again.
  • Maximum: It stops charging when the battery reaches 100%.
  • Adaptive: It uses Maximum mode when you go to sleep and switches to Basic just before waking up. The system calculates sleeping hours based on your phone usage patterns.

One UI 6.1 is the best version of Samsung’s software to date, and this model will receive seven years of OS updates and security patches. The phone comes with Android 14 and will have end-of-support with Android 21 (if that’s what is called), making it a practically flawless combination.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The S-Pen has not received any new features, but it’s still useful for taking notes, drawing, and selecting items on the screen. However, some users may find it difficult to take out the stylus and change the way they interact with the phone. Nonetheless, long-time users of the Note family will still appreciate its implementation. The fact that it’s completely hidden inside the phone only adds value.

Galaxy AI

There’s a new feature in One UI 6.1 called “Galaxy AI.” This is a set of artificial intelligence functions developed in collaboration with Google. The AI features are powered by the Gemini model, which can understand various types of information, such as text and audio.

This allows the Galaxy S24 Ultra to offer the following features:

  • Phone: It gets real-time in-call translations and transcriptions, which works in both directions.
  • Samsung Keyboard: It can change the tone of conversations and offers real-time translation, spelling and grammar suggestions, etc.
  • Interpreter: It offers simultaneous translation of spoken conversations, available in voice or text output.
  • Samsung Notes: It includes the automatic generation of summaries, corrections, or translations of handwritten notes.
  • Voice Recorder: It offers voice-to-text transcriptions with speaker detection, and also AI summarization of these transcriptions.
  • Samsung Internet: It can summarize web page content, and offers translations.
  • Photo Editor: It has intelligent suggestions and generative AI editing.
  • Circle to Search: This offers AI-powered search through contextual screen analysis.
  • AI generative wallpaper
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra ‘Circle to Search’ is one of the best AI features

We have a few reflections about Samsung’s AI functions. Except for ‘Circle to Search’, which is a modified version of Google Lens contextual search applied to a specific area of the screen, it can be difficult to use the other AI functions.

Most of Samsung’s AI is based on translations, which may not be useful for everyone unless you deal with content in different languages on a daily basis

The translations are the AI features that stand out the most. Samsung’s native solutions for translations, including call translations, web translations, keyboard translations, and note translations, are mainly targeted at specific user profiles who work with different languages on a daily basis. Although these functions have great potential, they are probably not used frequently in our daily lives.

After testing these new features, we noticed that there is room for improvement in the translation model itself. It’s not able to understand the context of conversations as well as other apps like Deepl do.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Interestingly, the WhatsApp translations do not match those on the keyboard. In the example above, the translation that appears in the WhatsApp translation is different from the one suggested by Samsung. This may be because the model analyzes the context of the conversation when we are typing, and it can give us suggestions about the tone itself. However, the translation it sends us once we have sent the message is different.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 20 Translations can be improved

Most of these translations are literal, which may not sound natural. The same happens in calls, where the quality of the translation is somewhat poor, being very literal.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra can color black and white pictures, but not all
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra But when it does, it’s spectacular
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 23

Apart from translation, Samsung has other integrated functions such as AI in the Gallery, which has some interesting options like colorizing a black and white photo, adding Portrait mode to a photo that did not have it, and removing reflections or shadows from photos. Another feature is smart suggestions, which allow you to activate the functions described above.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 24

If you want to go a bit further, you can use ‘Generative Edit’, which is similar to Google Pixel 8’s ‘Magic Editor’. This allows us to edit photos in collaboration with Google Cloud. We can delete elements, move them, or rescale them. The main advantage of Samsung in this aspect is that the picture doesn’t need to be stored in Google Photos. You can work with any file from the Gallery.

Every time we generate an image with AI, a small watermark will appear. Samsung is trying to be transparent here and wants to indicate that the image has been modified.

The Galaxy S24’s AI capabilities are impressive, but integration into everyday life will depend on the user’s profile

In short, the potential of AI is undeniable. It can summarize web pages, translate anything we want, and create wallpapers based on word combinations. These are useful and practical features, but we’ve rarely felt the need to use them.

One important point to note is that Samsung’s AI will be free until 2025. The company has not confirmed whether you will need to pay for it from 2026, but all signs point to that. Although some functions can be executed locally (without sending our data to the Google server), it does not mean that the phone is not connected to Google Cloud. Samsung has confirmed that you need to have a Samsung account and internet connection to use the AI features.

Battery Life: if It Ain’t Broken… You Can Fix It Anyway

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 25

As the saying goes, if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. Well, that’s what the saying says, but we don’t agree. In 2024, we’re seeing the first phone batteries with more than 5,000 mAh and charges of 100 W or more. The Galaxy S24 Ultra, for instance, has the same battery configuration as last year with a 5,000mAh battery and 45 W charging. Samsung claims the phone uses less power due to an efficient processor, but this will depend on your usage pattern.

You may tend to use high-end phones heavily, with a lot of camera use, gaming, and maximum brightness in sunlight. With this level of usage, we’ve noticed a slightly lower battery duration than the Galaxy S23 Ultra. We’ve only achieved six hours of screen time in cycles with a lot of multimedia content playback. With mixed-use, the phone should last up to seven hours of screen time.

We’ve recorded the following charging times with the screen off:

  • 10 minutes: 23%
  • 20 minutes: 48%
  • 30 minutes: 68%
  • 40 minutes: 84%
  • 50 minutes: 91%
  • 60 minutes: 95%
  • 72 minutes: 100%

If you charge the phone with the Always On Display mode activated, the charging time can take over two hours. Finally, the phone has wireless charging of up to 15 W and reversible wireless charging of up to 4.5 W.

Camera: Some Doubts, Many Certainties

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The S24 Ultra features the same ISOCELL HP2 camera sensor as last year.

  • Main camera: 200 MP sensor (1/1.3"), 23 mm with PDAF, OIS, laser focus, f/1.7 aperture, and 0.6 µm
  • Ultra-wide lens: 12 MP sensor, Dual Pixel, 13 mm with autofocus, f/2.2 aperture, and 1.4 µm
  • Telephoto 1: 10 MP sensor, Dual Pixel, 67 mm with autofocus, 3x optical zoom, optical stabilization, f/2.4 aperture, and 1.12 µm
  • Telephoto 2: 50 MP sensor, Dual Pixel, 111 mm with autofocus, 5x optical zoom, optical stabilization, and f/3.4 aperture

The main is the 5x telephoto lens. Samsung has left the 10x optical zoom behind and now uses a 5x lens that, through software and sensor cuts, manages to reach the same maximum zoom ranges as last year (10x, 30x, 100x) while maintaining the image quality.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Galaxy S24 Ultra’s Camera app is quite similar to last year’s version but with some improvements. Switching between resolution modes is now much easier, as there’s a shortcut to go from 12 MP to 50 MP or 200 MP. The camera now has an integrated Expert RAW feature, but it’s still an external app.

All features are present, including Pro mode with RAW shooting, Night mode, dual recording, Portrait video, and more. However, the standout feature is the improvement in shutter speed. The camera’s response is now almost immediate, with no delay between pressing the shutter button and capturing the photo.

While HDR in the preview is not perfect, with highlight areas appearing somewhat burned out for later processing in the gallery, the Camera app is still one of the best available on Android.

If you want to improve the camera’s results and settings, you can download the Camera Assistant app from the Galaxy Store. However, it’s best to test the camera app’s default capabilities before deciding whether or not to download additional applications.

Solving the Instagram Issues

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra This phone offers support for Ultra HDR and Instagram, but there are no changes in the social network processing and compression

Before moving on to the photographic results, we’d like to address a question that arose after the phone launched: are there any improvements in uploading content to Instagram? The answer is yes, but with some reservations. During the phone launch event, Samsung mentioned that it’d worked with apps like Instagram to enhance the quality of the content. However, the explanation is not exactly what you might expect.

The good news is that Samsung has collaborated with Google to adopt the Ultra HDR format. This format allows you to view photos with a higher dynamic range on HDR-compatible panels. Google Photos supports Ultra HDR now, and the Camera X API can now work with this format. In other words, any developer using this API can make their app compatible with this format.

As long as we have a Ultra HDR-compatible display, we’ll be able to view photos in this format on Instagram and Snapchat

However, the real benefit of this new feature is limited to the dynamic range of the photos we upload to Instagram. The problem with Instagram and Android is not related to HDR, but to the image and video processing that the app does on Google’s operating system. Even after uploading a couple of stories to Instagram, the audio and final quality are still not up to the mark.

Main Camera Photography

Before we analyze the camera in more detail, it’s important to note that Samsung has announced an update that will significantly enhance the camera’s performance. The conclusions and notes provided here are based on the same criteria we follow for every review: analyzing what comes to us at launch.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 100% cropping

The Galaxy S24 Ultra takes pictures in 12 MP mode (automatic) that are in line with what we have seen in high-end smartphones for the past year. The images’ sharpness is somewhat supported by algorithms that force it artificially, which means that the naturalness we’d like to have in the pictures is not entirely there.

Despite this, there is a noticeable improvement in sharpening compared to last year’s model, which was even more forced. Overall, the phone takes high-quality photographs. Although the main sensor is the same, there is a slight improvement in sharpness.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Very good level of detail in the 12 MP shots

The color rendition is still a bit more vivid than what we see in reality, but that is Samsung’s interpretation to provide photos with that extra color. The overall look is quite unique and, at all times, lets the user know that they are photographing with a Samsung phone.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Bright lights are out of control

One of the main weaknesses of the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s camera has to do with HDR. It has some problems managing the bright lights. It doesn’t go so far as to burn in noticeably, but it begs for an upgrade to more accurately control these parts of the image.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Shadows, if the light is good, are not badly resolved

We also found that the shadow areas (generally muted) are somewhat better controlled. Samsung prefers not to raise them too much and control the little noise that can be generated in these areas. An overall balance, although this camera can go a step further as you’ll see with the 50 and 200 MP modes.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Daytime photography at 12 MP did not impress us, but at night you’ll notice a slight improvement. The slight reduction in sharpening makes the edges more natural and, if you don’t zoom in too much, the photographs look more realistic compared to the last generation. The white balance is practically perfect, keeping the warmth of the image in its right measure.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Night mode off | Night mode on

We recommend using the camera on automatic without manually activating the Night mode. Unless the lighting is particularly dark, you won’t need to activate this feature. However, when you need it, the result is impressive, and it reminds us of Google Pixel’s Night mode. With just three seconds of exposure, it achieves what you see in the picture above.

Raw, Expert Raw and High-Resolution

Galaxy S24 Ultra’s camera is a highly complex system, much like last year’s model. While it’s easy to understand when shooting at 12 MP, the ISOCELL HP2’s unique feature is its 200 MP capability, which provides multiple shooting scenarios.

  • Automatic mode at 12 MP
  • Automatic mode at 50 MP
  • Automatic mode at 200 MP
  • Pro mode (RAW) at 12 MP
  • Pro mode (RAW) at 50 MP
  • Expert RAW mode at 12 MP
  • Expert RAW mode at 24 MP
  • Expert RAW mode at 50 MP

It’s important to note that it’s currently impossible to shoot in RAW at 200 MP due to the large file size it would occupy. However, given this phone’s processor and memory capabilities, it would be interesting to see this feature added in the future.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 50 MP vs 12 MP
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 50 MP vs 12 MP

As it happened in 2023, shooting at 50 and 200 MP provides less-processed, more natural-looking photographs. The degree of saturation in reds and greens is moderated while enhancing fine textures. However, these modes are not suitable for regular shooting as they lose much of the dynamic range achieved by grouping pixels when shooting in 12 MP.

One downside is that photographs may still appear a bit soft in certain areas when zoomed in. In fact, this year’s 12 MP mode has less sharpening, so photos taken at 50 MP may not always look sharper. Nonetheless, they tend to look less processed and more natural when viewed without magnification.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 12 MP | 200 MP
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 12 MP | 200 MP

At 200 MP there is no debate about sharpness. It’s simply outstanding what you get in this format. You’ll be giving up much of the dynamic range, but the image quality is spectacular. However, photograph at 200 MP takes up more than 30 MB, an important compromise.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra JPEG 12 (auto) | RAW 50 MP
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra As we edit the RAW a bit, the difference in sharpness is great
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra RAW Pro | Expert RAW

The same is true when analyzing RAW. Expert RAW is still a slightly more processed file, with more dynamic range than the Pro mode’s RAW. However, the manual mode’s RAW allows us to see the real power of the sensor. The results are incredible—speechless. In terms of dynamic range, it’s easier to work with Expert RAW than with the Pro mode’s RAW, but it compensates for the extra sharpness.

Zoom and Ultra-Wide

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 5x

The biggest change is in the zoom. Last year, we had a 10x telephoto zoom. Now, the telephoto lens goes to 5x, although the sensor is much larger. A step backwards, you might think, but that’s not the case. Although it doesn’t quite reach the 120 mm’s magic, the 5x telephoto lens with 111 mm is much easier and more comfortable for day-to-day use than a 10x.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 5x | 10x

This sensor is a joy to use and allows you to zoom up to 10x, 30x, and 100x. Compared to last year’s phone, there is no perceptible loss of quality, and, in fact, the 10x is better resolved starting from a 5x x2 lossless than last year’s 10x.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 30x | 100x

The same cannot be said for the 30x and 100x ranges. When compared to the x10 of the S23 Ultra, some information is lost, but realistically, how often do you take x30 photos? The 5x and 10x ranges are more commonly used.

Interestingly, the telephoto processing is often even cleaner than the processing of the main sensor. There is a little more natural noise and less artificial edge sharpness. The second telephoto is the same 3x as last year, without any significant improvement.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra The x3 is the same as last year
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 1x | 3x | 5x | 10x | 30x | 100x

The Samsung Galaxy is still the king of zoom. While it may not have the most consistent x5, it boasts dual telephoto lenses and the ability to operate between 0.5x and 100x is an impressive range.

Regarding the ultra-wide lens, there isn’t much to say. It’s the same sensor as last year, without any noticeable improvements. Although it’s a pretty good ultra-wide lens, processing errors cause green tones in shadow areas and some issues that I hope will be corrected in the next update.

Portrait Mode

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 3x | 5x

The Galaxy S24 Ultra’s Portrait mode is impressive, but it’s starting to fall behind its competitors. Although it captures every detail of the subject when entering it into the depth map, it tends to crop objects too aggressively, making it difficult to isolate fine elements like stray hair. The bokeh effect is also excessive, requiring manual modification.

While the phone can shoot portraits with all lenses, the telephoto lenses are the best option, especially when shooting at 5x, but they require a good distance from the subject.


Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

As for the selfies, the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s front camera is one of the best in the market. It produces very good results with artificial sharpness, but the white balance is well-balanced. However, the skin tone may appear paler than it should be.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Selfie using Portrait mode | Selfie using auto Night mode

In other settings like Portrait mode or Night photography, the camera performs well. The Portrait mode has a fairly accurate crop, and the depth map is well-controlled, but it struggles to isolate fine elements like hair. At night, the camera produces decent results, but the control of highlights could be improved.


As for video recording, not much has changed since last year. In 8K @ 30 fps recording, the sharpness is far above anything we’ve seen to date. It’s simply spectacular how much detail and naturalness are captured in this mode. The problem is that 8K’s stabilizer is still a problem, and unless you use a gimbal or record in static, the results will be of little use.

In 4K, the results are good, although it feels much more artificial than 8K (it’s not a sharpness issue due to the difference in resolution, it’s a matter of 8K video not being as processed), and the noise reduction is somewhat aggressive. The ISP is working to add sharpness to faces and process information in real time. But, as is the case during the day, it struggles with bright lights, especially at night. Noise control can also be improved, although the processor tries to correct it in real time.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Xataka's Take

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra has all the features that make it the best Android phone of 2024. It has an eye-catching design with a well-implemented titanium build and a flat front that adds to its aesthetics. The phone boasts a better processor, larger base memory, an improved telephoto lens, and a screen that is, in our experience, the best in the market.

Although the camera needs an upgrade, it still remains one of the best in the market. It’s difficult to improve everything that needs change in one update, such as HDR, black performance, fine details in portrait mode, and video noise. However, since there is still a year to go, we’re looking forward to seeing how the camera will perform in the last quarter of 2024.

Last year, the Galaxy S23 Ultra failed in three crucial aspects: the screen (which was not the best), a One UI that was not impressive, and the starting price. However, with the new generation, the first point is resolved, One UI has improved (though some bugs and slow functions remain), and the price remains the same.

If you want to go for the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, you can expect balance, security, and an outstanding machine that excels in every aspect. You’ll have a phone with more updates than its Android competitors, and the assurance of a reliable and impressive device.


Diseño 9,5
Pantalla 9,75
Rendimiento 9,25
Cámara 9,25
Software 9,5
Autonomía 9


  • The screen, no more words needed
  • Seven years of updates guaranteed
  • Great value overall


  • The camera is good, but needs an upgrade
  • Despite using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the overheating is noticeable
  • We miss faster charging times for this price

Image | Xataka

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