Samsung’s newest flagship phones are here: everything you need to know

Samsung Galaxy S24 details
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. Image: Chris Button.

Following its January reveal, the AI-powered Samsung Galaxy S24 phones are here in Australia. In keeping with tradition, last year’s phones received are now succeeded by the S24, S24+, and S24 Ultra.

A mix of hardware and software enhancements come to Samsung’s flagship 2024 range. Some models saw more modest changes than others, but all three handsets get the much-hyped Galaxy AI technology. It introduces several major software features, including the ability to translate conversations between languages in person or on a call, and retouching photos using generative AI.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S24 range. Make sure to check out the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review in addition to the cheapest S24 plans and S24 Ultra bundles.

Samsung Galaxy S24 details

Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24+

Starting with the base Samsung Galaxy S24 model, the hardware changes are fairly minimal from the S23. It’s got a slightly larger 6.2-inch display thanks to a thinner bezel giving you more screen real estate. The battery is also just a little bit bigger, reaching a 4,000 mAh capacity.

Samsung Galaxy S24 announcement
Image: supplied.

Arguably the biggest hardware change comes in the form of the Exynos 2400 chipset. Instead of using the Qualcomm-made processor found in the Ultra, the standard S24 employs Samsung’s own chip. It’s said to house a better neural processing unit (NPU), which handles much of the AI-based tasks, which is how the device processes requests offline instead of relying on the cloud.

Conversely, the Samsung Galaxy S24+ gets a broader glow-up. In addition to the new Exynos chip, and slightly larger 6.7-inch display, its resolution now matches the QHD+ of the Ultra, resulting in a sharper-looking screen.

The larger-sized phone also gets 12GB of memory, up from 8GB, which will help give it a bit of a power boost. Both the S24 and S24+ also now benefit from a variable display refresh rate that ranges anywhere from 1-120Hz as needed to help maximise battery life.

But it’s not the hardware that Samsung focused on this year: it’s the software and usability.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Our review of the Galaxy S24 Ultra highlighted many reasons as to why it’s not only the best Samsung phone, but also the best Android phone overall. Its hardware improvements, detailed below, lead the way.

Boasting the most obvious changes from last year’s model, the S24 Ultra now sports a titanium frame, akin to the iPhone 15 Pro. Its overall design is thinner to sit more comfortably in your hand. Plus, its bright 2,600-nit display sits flatter, also benefitting from a thinner bezel. This makes it easier to view and touch the edges of the screen, whether using your thumbs or the S Pen stylus.

We called last year’s S23 Ultra the camera king thanks to its quad-sensor array featuring a huge 200 MP sensor. Even though the S24 Ultra’s cameras are functionally similar, they do house some hidden upgrades that make a big difference. The 50 MP camera now supports 5x optical zoom, which uses software to produce the equivalent of a 10x optical zoom. But the most useful enhancement is the camera sensors’ 60% larger pixels, which helps capture more light in dim settings.

On the inside, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra wields the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, which also ramps up the NPU performance. To help with gaming, it also has a 1.9 times larger vapour chamber, meaning it keeps the device cooler for longer when under sustained load.

mmWave 5G connectivity hasn’t yet come to Australia from Samsung, so we’re still on the slower sub-6 band technology. The upside is that the S24 Ultra is Wi-Fi 7-compatible, future-proofing the handset as the faster wireless technology rolls out across new routers.

Galaxy AI features

Sure, there are some nice hardware changes, albeit applied unevenly across the Galaxy S24 range. What’s really worth discussing is the suite of Galaxy AI features each device brandishes. Some of it’s fun, low-impact stuff, like the image editing tools. By large, however, there are lots of major real-world applications that were designed with clear intent, instead of slapping on an “AI” label and calling it a day.

Live Translate breaks down language barriers

One of the standout features is Live Translate, a language translation tool that removes the need for third-party apps. You can translate between languages while on a phone call, over messages, or while chatting in person. Over the phone, it repeats your words in the target language (or you can mute your voice to start with) and also translates the other person for you in return.

When in person, one half of the screen faces you and gives you a text translation of the other speaker, while the other half faces them and does the same. It’s all done locally on the device, too, so you don’t need an internet connection to use the feature.

Transcript Assist and Chat Assist keep you organised

On a similar note, Transcript Assist transcribes voice recordings, which is normally a feature reserved for expensive subscription services like Otter. It even lets you summarise conversations and meetings, with the option of also translating between languages. Similarly, Note Assist summarises content in the Samsung Notes app, before rearranging it into a neat format ready for sharing.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra transcript
Image: supplied.

Another Galaxy AI tool potentially helpful for those who aren’t confident writers, Chat Assist acts as a personal tone checker. After drafting a message, you can then select from different tones to make it read more formal or casual, depending on the context. Instead of generating something from thin air, it still requires human input, which is refreshing in the age of cookie-cutter generative AI output.

Circle to Search could be your new favourite tool

Samsung also made a big point about showing Circle to Search, a new feature developed alongside Google. Instead of using text or copying and pasting an image into Google, it lets you highlight anything on your phone screen to search for it online immediately. See a plant you don’t recognise? Get your camera out, draw a circle around it, and Google will give you the answer. Alternatively, you can highlight a passage of text on your phone and quickly see where it came from.

Circle to Search is also available with Pixel 8 phones, but the Galaxy S24 is among the first to benefit from the intuitive search method. Yes, Google Lens exists for image searches, but this reduces the friction of trying to find information online, especially if you can’t find the words to describe your query.

AI photo and video editing

For photo editing, Galaxy AI incorporates a few ways to make your photos look fancier. Edit Suggestion provides ways you can quickly touch up an image, while Super HDR provides an HDR-like result to existing images, or even photos you’re yet to take, looking through the viewfinder, so to speak.

Generative Edit, on the other hand, makes more wholesale changes. If you rotate a photo, you’re usually left with odd gaps or an unusual aspect ratio. Generative Edit fills in these gaps based on the rest of the image, extending a skyline in a panorama, for example. This tool also lets you modify individual subjects, like making an object look bigger or smaller, and then adjusting the rest of the image accordingly.

Samsung Unpacked 2024
Image: supplied.

Smartly, Samsung labels any images edited with generative AI with a watermark and corresponding metadata. Although you could find ways around it, the disclaimer is a good prompt to consider sensible use of the technology.

Instant Slo-mo is a clever use of frame interpolation to make even standard videos look like they were shot with a high-speed camera. It doesn’t even matter if a Galaxy S24 recorded the video, you can still make slow-motion clips the equivalent of 120 frames per second.

Samsung Galaxy S24 specifications

Samsung Galaxy S24Samsung Galaxy S24+Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Display6.2-inch FHD+
Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
Super Smooth 120Hz refresh rate
(1~120Hz) Vision booster
6.7-inch QHD+
Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
Super Smooth 120Hz refresh rate
(1~120Hz) Vision booster
6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display Super Smooth 120Hz refresh rate (1~120Hz) Vision booster
Dimensions and weight147 x 70.6 x 7.6mm, 167g158.5 x 75.9 x 7.7mm, 196g162.3 x 79 x 8.6mm, 232g
ProcessorExynos 2400Exynos 2400Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform for Galaxy
Camera12MP Ultra-Wide Camera: F2.2, FOV 120˚
50 MP Wide Camera: OIS F1.8, FOV 85˚
10MP Telephoto Camera: 3x Optical Zoom, F2.4, FOV 36˚
12MP Front Camera: Dual Pixel AF, F2.2, FOV 80˚
12MP Ultra-Wide Camera: F2.2, FOV 120˚
50 MP Wide Camera: OIS F1.8, FOV 85˚
10MP Telephoto Camera: 3x Optical Zoom, F2.4, FOV 36˚
12MP Front Camera: Dual Pixel AF, F2.2, FOV 80˚
12MP Ultra-Wide Camera: F2.2, FOV 120˚
200 MP Wide Camera: OIS F1.7, FOV 85˚
50MP Telephoto Camera: 5x Optical Zoom, OIS F3.4, FOV 22˚
10MP Telephoto Camera: 3x Optical Zoom, OIS F2.4, FOV 36˚
12MP Front Camera: Dual Pixel AF, F2.2, FOV 80˚
Memory and storage8GB + 512GB
8GB + 256GB
12GB + 512GB
12GB + 256GB
12GB + 1TB
12 + 512GB
12 + 256GB
Battery and charging4,000 mAh
Wired Charging: Up to 50% charge in around 30 mins with 25W Adapter and 3A USB-C cable
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Wireless PowerShare
4,900 mAh
Wired charging: Up to 65% charge in around 30 mins with 45W Adapter and 5A USB-C cable
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Wireless PowerShare
5,000 mAh
Wired charging: Up to 65% charge in around 30 mins with 45W Adapter and 5A USB-C cable
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 Wireless
PowerShare
Operating systemAndroid 14
One UI 6.1
Android 14
One UI 6.1
Android 14
One UI 6.1
Network and connectivity5G, LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 5.35G, LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 5.35G, LTE, Wi-Fi 7, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 5.3
Water resistanceIP68IP68IP68
Price (RRP)From $1,399 (256GB model)From $1,699 (256GB model)From $2,199 (256GB model)
ColoursOnyx Black
Marble Grey
Cobalt Violet
Amber Yellow
Samsung exclusive:
Sapphire Blue
Jade Green
Sandstone Orange
Onyx Black
Marble Grey
Cobalt Violet
Amber Yellow
Samsung exclusive:
Sapphire Blue
Jade Green
Sandstone Orange
Titanium Grey
Titanium Black
Titanium Violet
Titanium Yellow
Samsung exclusive:
Titanium Blue
Titanium Green
Titanium Orange

Release date and price

Available in Australia now, the Samsung Galaxy S24 range costs more than the S23 devices. Both the S24 and S24+ are $50 more expensive than last year’s phones. Meanwhile, the S24 Ultra is a sizable $250 more expensive. When buying outright, remember to browse the cheapest SIM plans to save the most money.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24+ come in Onyx Black, Marble Grey, Cobalt Violet, and Amber Yellow colours. Ordering directly from Samsung gives you three additional options: Sapphire Blue, Jade Green, and Sandstone Orange.

Samsung Galaxy S24:

  • $1,399 (256 GB)
  • $1,599 (512GB)

Samsung Galaxy S24+

  • $1,699 (256GB)
  • $1,899 (512GB)

Breaking the $2,000 barrier for the cheapest model, the Galaxy S24 Ultra comes in Titanium Grey, Titanium Black, Titanium Violet, and Titanium Yellow. Via Samsung, you can also choose from Titanium Blue, Titanium Green, and Titanium Orange.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

  • $2,199 (256GB)
  • $2,399 (512GB)
  • $2,799 (1TB)

Each phone comes with seven years of operating system and security updates, which is a decent length of time, equalling that of the Google Pixel 8 phones. Apple, on the other hand, typically supports its phones with six years of updates.

With its software-centric approach to this year’s phones, Samsung has set itself up for a big year of competition in a market grappling with emerging AI technology.

Read more phone news on GadgetGuy

Chris Button attended a briefing in Sydney as a guest of Samsung Australia.