Galaxy S24 Ultra vs S23 Ultra

Galaxy S24 Ultra vs S23 Ultra - Comparison - Master Trend

Is it necessary to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra from the S23 Ultra?

Galaxy S24 Ultra vs S23 Ultra: The key difference comes in the processor and Galaxy AI integration.

There is no shortage of options in the premium Android market. Numerous high-quality flagship phones offer exceptional performance, stunning displays, sleek designs, and camera capabilities that rival professional DSLRs. Among these options, the Galaxy S series stands out and the new Galaxy S24 Ultra lives up to the expectations set by its predecessors.

With AI at the center of Samsung's Unpacked event this year, the S24 Ultra brings significant advancements to how we interact with our phones. In many ways, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is set to become one of the most impressive and feature-packed Android phones of 2024. However, will it be enough to tempt Galaxy S23 Ultra owners to upgrade? If you're curious about the improvements the Galaxy S24 Ultra brings compared to last year's S23 Ultra, here's everything you need to know.

Galaxy S24 Ultra vs S23 Ultra – Specifications.

Samsung Galaxy S24 UltraSamsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Size162.5 × 79 × 8.6mm (6.40 x 3.11 x 0.34 inches)163.4 × 78.1 × 8.9mm (6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 inches)
Weight of the technical sheet: remained constant.233 grams (8.22 ounces)234 grams (8.25 ounces) according to its technical sheet.
  • 6.8 inches LTPO OLED, Quad HD+
  • 1-120Hz dynamic refresh rate
  • HDR10+
  • 2,600 nits peak brightness
  • Flat edges
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Armor protection
  • 6.8 inches LTPO OLED, Quad HD+
  • 1-120Hz dynamic refresh rate
  • HDR10+
  • 1,750 nits peak brightness
  • Curved edges
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection
operating systemOne UI 6.1 based on Android 14Upgradable to One UI 6.1 based on Android 14
RAM & Storage
  • 12GB of RAM and 256GB internal storage are part of the new technical sheet. UFS 4.0
  • 12GB + 512GB
  • 12GB + 1TB
  • 8GB + 256GB UFS 4.0
  • 12GB + 256GB
  • 12GB + 512GB
  • 12GB + 1TB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 “For Galaxy”Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 “For Galaxy”
  • The quad rear cameras include 12MP and 10MP sensors, backed by a powerful processor and Galaxy AI technology.
    • 200MP primary, f/1.7, 85° FOV, OIS
    • 12MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 120° FOV
    • 10MP portrait telephoto, 3x optical zoom, f/2.4
    • 50MP periscope telephoto, 5x optical zoom, f/3.4
  • 12MP selfie camera, f/2.2, 80° FOV
  • Quad rear cameras:
    • 200MP primary, f/1.7, OIS
    • 12MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 120° FOV
    • 10MP portrait telephoto, 3x optical zoom, f/2.4
    • 10MP periscope telephoto, 10x optical zoom, f/4.9
  • 12MP selfie camera, f/2.2, 80° FOV
  • Rear: Up to 8K@24fps, 4K@60fps, or 1080p@240fps
  • Front: Up to 4K@60fps
  • Rear: Up to 8K@24fps, 4K@60fps, or 1080p@240fps
  • Front: Up to 4K@60fps
  • Bluetooth 5.3
  • 5G connectivity is now improved with a new processor on the Galaxy S24 Ultra spec sheet.
  • Wi-Fi 7, dual-band
  • UWB
  • Bluetooth 5.3
  • 5G
  • Wi-Fi 6E, dual-band is included in the new Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra technical sheet.
  • UWB
Water resistanceIP68IP68
Battery & charging5,000mAh with 45W wired fast charging and 15W wireless charging5,000mAh with 45W wired fast charging and 15W wireless charging
colorsBlack, Grey, Violet, YellowBlack, Green, Cream, Graphite, Sky Blue, Lime, Red
PriceStarting at $1,300Starting at $1,200

Design Comparison: Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. S23 Ultra

Galaxy S24 Ultra vs S23 Ultra
Galaxy S24 Ultra Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Samsung has consistently followed an Apple-like approach, introducing new flagship models each year with minimal design changes. The Galaxy S23 Ultra exemplifies this trend, as it features only slight modifications compared to its predecessor, the S22 Ultra. Importantly, the S22 Ultra had already adopted a design reminiscent of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, as Samsung chose to merge the two series.

Similarly, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is quite similar to its predecessor, the Galaxy S23 Ultra, with only minor alterations to its design. The notable change to the Galaxy S24 Ultra is in its frame, which is now made of titanium instead of the previously used hardened aluminum alloy. This choice appears to be influenced by Apple's use of titanium in the iPhone 15 Pro chassis. Although Samsung claims that the titanium frame will improve the durability of the device, there is no concrete evidence of substantial improvements. As for its appearance, the updated frame may have a more textured look compared to the shiny chrome-finished frame of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra features a new flat display, which is a notable change compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Although the screen is not completely flat, the edges have been significantly reduced in curvature. Now, the curved part of the screen mainly overlaps the bezels along the screen. The debate over curved screens remains unresolved among people, but Samsung argues that the new screen improves readability and productivity. Additionally, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is adopting the latest generation of Corning's Gorilla Glass, known as Gorilla Glass Armor, for greater durability. This version claims to offer four times more scratch resistance and can reduce glare by up to 75%.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra's camera module on the Sky Blue version.
Galaxy S23 Ultra Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The transition from curved edges to flatter edges does not significantly affect the display area of the screen. However, there are slight changes to the overall dimensions of the phone. The Galaxy S24 Ultra is now taller and slightly narrower compared to last year. Additionally, it's slightly thicker but the same weight as last year, despite switching to titanium, which is generally considered lighter than aluminum.

In addition to introducing a new frame and a variety of fresh colors to complement its existing black option, Samsung integrates an improved processor into its new spec sheet. These include yellow, gray and purple, all of which could have been inspired by the iPhone. Additionally, Samsung's website features exclusive colors that are not available anywhere else.

Except for the frame and screen, the design of the Galaxy S24 Ultra closely resembles that of its predecessor. Notable design elements carried over from the previous year include distinctive circular rings for the various rear cameras and laser focus module, a flattened bezel for improved grip, and the inclusion of a slot for the S Pen. Although the location of the buttons remains unchanged, Samsung proudly claims the 10%'s use of recycled thermoplastics in its production. Additionally, the cameras have undergone slight modifications, as have some internal components that will be detailed later in the following sections.

Galaxy S24 Ultra vs S23 Ultra – Screen Comparison

A person holding the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra showing the screen.
Galaxy S24 Ultra Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

As mentioned above, the Galaxy S24 Ultra features a refreshed display. In addition to the physical alterations made to the panel, the new Galaxy S24 Ultra screen offers significantly greater brightness, reaching a peak of 2,600 nits. This represents a notable improvement compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which had a maximum brightness of 1,750 nits. Importantly, “maximum brightness” specifically refers to the maximum brightness that individual illuminated pixels can achieve, especially when viewing HDR content.

Additionally, there are other values to consider, such as typical brightness and High Brightness Mode (HBM), which indicate the maximum brightness of the entire panel. The HBM is specifically designed for situations with strong ambient lighting, such as being in the sun, and can be activated manually. Although Samsung has not revealed brightness values in other modes, we will gather more information in the coming days as we evaluate the Galaxy S24 Ultra and compare it to its predecessor.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra's screen.
Galaxy S23 Ultra Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Aside from its brightness and design, the updated technical sheet, improved processor and the addition of Galaxy AI distinguishes the Galaxy S24 Ultra from last year's model. This is mainly because there was no need to make significant changes to something that was already working well. Samsung has a rich history of being at the forefront of display technology, having supplied displays with impressive Hz resolution for several flagship phones such as the iPhone and OnePlus. This experience is clearly evident in this model as well.

The term “Dynamic AMOLED 2X” is the official marketing language used to describe the LTPO display. This display technology allows for a flexible refresh rate that can vary between 1 and 120Hz. It syncs with the frame rate of the displayed content, ensuring a smooth viewing experience without tearing or glitches.

Once again, the Galaxy S24 Ultra display features Quad HD+ resolution and provides full support for all colors in the DCI-P3 spectrum. Similar to previous versions, it includes the HDR10+ codec but does not have support for Dolby Vision. With the inclusion of a brighter panel, our concerns about the previous generation's inability to match more affordable displays that offer Dolby Vision support may be somewhat alleviated.

Galaxy S24 Ultra vs S23 Ultra – Comparing performance.

A person using the S Pen stylus with the Samsung Galaxu S24 Ultra.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The hardware powering the Galaxy S24 Ultra is perhaps its most notable improvement over the S23 Ultra. It is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, which was introduced in October 2023, making it the first phone worldwide to feature this advanced chip.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 has seen significant changes to its CPU core structure, with a primary focus on improving performance. As a result, it boasts a performance boost from the 30% compared to its predecessor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Additionally, Qualcomm claims an improvement from the 25% in graphics performance, promising an improved gaming experience. Additionally, Samsung is collaborating with several game studios to popularize ray tracing technology in Android games. Some notable titles that support ray tracing include Diablo Immortal, Racing Master, Arena Breakout, and Night Crows.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra boasts specific improvements to improve its performance. One notable improvement is the inclusion of a vapor cooling chamber that is a 90% larger than the one found on the S23 Ultra. This larger chamber facilitates superior heat dissipation when handling demanding tasks. Additionally, all storage options ranging from 256GB to 1TB now come standard with 12GB of RAM.

A person holding the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra using the Circle to Search feature
With Galaxy AI, you can use the feature Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

In addition to greater computing power, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 also boasts an impressive improvement over the 98% in neural processing capabilities. Qualcomm hypothesizes that this improvement allows AI tasks to be performed directly on the device, eliminating the need for cloud-based data centers. With the growing popularity of generative AI and large language models like ChatGPT and Google's Bard, Samsung is joining in by introducing generative AI features to the Galaxy S24 series. These are the artificial intelligence features offered by the Galaxy S24 series.

  • Live Translate Enables real-time translation and transcription during calls. Samsung claims that all processing is done on the phone, eliminating the need for external services. However, it is mandatory to use the Samsung dialer instead of the Google phone app.
  • To improve text generation for messaging applications such as WhatsApp or Google Messages, Chat Assist It will adjust the tone based on the conversation and provide instant translation of text messages. To use this feature, simply set Samsung Keyboard as your default keyboard app.
  • The function Note Assist The Samsung Notes app uses artificial intelligence to condense notes and extract meaningful ideas.
  • Transcript Assist offers an automated transcription feature for voice memos or recordings.
  • The function of Circle to Search It allows users to conveniently circle any specific content on the screen and perform a targeted Google search for that particular item, rather than searching the entire content on the screen.
  • A future update will allow the operating system to improve the functionality of Galaxy AI. Android Auto Summarize incoming messages and notifications while driving.

The Galaxy S24's AI capabilities are powered by Google's Gemini Nano machine learning model, meaning they could also be available on other Android devices. Furthermore, Samsung has officially announced that these AI features will be introduced on the Galaxy S23 Ultra in the near future.

In addition to the applications mentioned above, we will delve even deeper into AI implementations for camera and image editing functionalities in the next camera section. Before the launch, there were speculations about other possible uses, such as an on-device chatbot with ChatGPT-like abilities, AI-generated wallpapers, and weather-dependent lock screen animations. However, Samsung has not confirmed these features yet. Taking into account the capabilities of the chipset, these possibilities are really achievable and we hope that Samsung will incorporate them.

Galaxy S24 Ultra vs S23 Ultra – Battery and charging comparison.

The S Pen slot and USB-C port on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The battery capacity of the Galaxy S24 Ultra remains unchanged at 5,000mAh, just like its predecessor, the S23 Ultra. Samsung's decision to recycle the 50% cobalt used in the S24 Ultra's battery may be of interest to environmentally conscious people. However, apart from the supposed environmental benefits, there may be no noticeable improvements to the phone's battery life in practical use.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra can still charge at speeds of up to 45 watts over a wired connection. Additionally, you can use a Samsung-branded or certified wireless charger to charge your phone at 15W or any other Qi-certified accessory at 5W. In addition to these charging options, the Galaxy S24 Ultra also supports reverse power sharing, allowing you to charge accessories like the Galaxy Buds or Galaxy Watch at a maximum speed of 3W.

Samsung has not provided information on whether the improved internal components or AI algorithms improve the battery life of the Galaxy S24 Ultra. However, we will evaluate its influence in the coming days.

Camera comparison: Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

A close view of the rear cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

With an improved 200MP sensor, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra looks set to claim the title of this year's best camera phone, following in the footsteps of its predecessor, last year's highly acclaimed Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Samsung claims that the new sensor in the Galaxy S24 Ultra is a larger 60% than the ISOCELL HP2 found in the Galaxy S23 Ultra, although exact details were not revealed during the keynote. This larger sensor size is expected to result in a significant increase in light capture, especially in low light conditions, thereby improving the quality of night photography. Additionally, Samsung claims that they have made advances in optical image stabilization (OIS) for the Galaxy S24 Ultra, reducing unwanted effects such as shaking and lag caused by movement or shake.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra's camera system has undergone another significant change with the introduction of a new 5x periscopic telephoto sensor to its spec sheet, enhanced by Galaxy AI.

While it may seem like a step back from the Galaxy S23 Ultra's 10x periscope, Samsung relies heavily on artificial intelligence to improve the quality of zoomed images and create a seamless transition from 2x to 10x.

Instead of simply zooming in on the image, the Galaxy S24 Ultra captures a section of the image and crops it, resulting in image quality that closely resembles optical zoom.

The periscope is capable of taking photos at up to 100x zoom, and Samsung claims these images will be “crystal clear,” likely due to using generative AI to reconstruct any blurred areas, similar to its ability with moon shots.

Editing a photo on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra using the AI toolkit.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The 12MP ultrawide sensor and 10MP telephoto sensor with 3x zoom remain the same. However, Samsung places great emphasis on using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3's AI capabilities to improve camera performance.

The Galaxy S24 series uses the on-device AI processing capabilities of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 to enhance images in real-time through the “ProVisual Engine”. The AI features come in handy in multiple ways, such as sharpening images and minimizing shutter lag. Additionally, AI will help improve images by recommending edits and allowing users to generate or replace elements of their photos, similar to the Google Pixel 8 series.

Samsung has addressed criticism surrounding its cameras' tendency to produce excessive HDR photos, especially in low-light conditions. To combat this problem, the company has introduced Super HDR, which allows users to preview HDR shots directly in the viewfinder, mirroring the final processed result. This feature allows users to turn off HDR if they find it too intense.

Additionally, Samsung highlights that third-party apps like Instagram will now have the ability to capture images and videos in HDR. However, unlike the Pixel 8, Samsung's cameras won't record HDR metadata alongside the photo, resulting in no visual distinction on displays with or without HDR support.

Camera improvements mainly depend on improved hardware, such as sensors or chips. As a result, older phones, including the Galaxy S23 Ultra, may not receive these updates.

Software and updates comparison: Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra laying on a shelf with the S Pen next to it.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Samsung has started the rollout of its latest One UI 6 update, which is based on Android 14 and features major design changes for numerous Galaxy S and A series devices.

This update represents a significant visual change to Samsung's custom interface for Android, introducing improvements to the quick settings panel, an improvement to wallpaper-based personalization, a new font, and several other features. The Galaxy S23 series, including the Ultra, has already received the One UI 6 update. Therefore, there is no justification for the Galaxy S24 Ultra to run on an outdated software version.

Samsung will even provide additional features through the One UI 6.1 update, which will come preinstalled on the Galaxy S24 Ultra and other S24 models.

Over time, most features will likely be accessible on older devices like the Galaxy S23 series. While Samsung is currently not mentioning any personalization features similar to the Pixel 8's AI-generated wallpapers, we may see their arrival as the feature gains popularity within the Android ecosystem.

Google has revealed that the Pixel 8 series will receive firmware updates over a period of seven years. In response, Samsung has made a similar commitment by promising seven years of Android version updates and security for the Galaxy S24 series. This means that the Galaxy S24 Ultra will have a longer lifespan compared to the S23 Ultra, despite being released just one generation apart. In contrast, the Galaxy S23 Ultra will only receive three additional Android version updates after Android 14.

Price and availability comparison: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. S23 Ultra

A person holding the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Galaxy S24 Ultra will launch in the United States on January 31, 2024, with a starting price of $1,300. This represents an increase of $100 compared to the starting price of the S23 Ultra. Pre-sales of the S24 Ultra, with its updated technical sheet and better processor, will begin on January 17. If you pre-order the device before January 30, you will receive a free storage upgrade, allowing you to get the 512GB variant for the price of the 256GB model (or the 1TB variant for the price of the 512GB model). Additionally, you will receive an additional $100 in Samsung Credits, which can be used to purchase other items on the Samsung website.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra can be purchased starting at $1,200, but more attractive deals can be found from third-party sellers such as [seller name] and [seller name]. After the pre-sale phase, there is a possibility of seeing price reductions for the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Verdict: Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. S23 Ultra

Someone holding the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is a significant upgrade from the S23 Ultra, boasting superior performance, an improved display, and updated cameras. However, what really sets the Galaxy S24 Ultra apart from its predecessor, the S23 Ultra, is the extensive software support provided by Samsung. With a notable seven-year commitment to Android generation and security updates, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will continue to receive active software support until Android 21.

This is particularly notable considering that certain hardware components, especially the chip, may not hold up to the advancements of future generations. Unless Samsung can significantly reduce the price and offer better value for money, or unless you manage to get a great deal from a small seller you've befriended, the only advantage the Galaxy S23 Ultra has over the Galaxy S24 Ultra is immediate access to new AI features and possible improvements in the future.

Otherwise, you will miss out on these benefits. If you currently have a Galaxy S23 Ultra, there's not much need to upgrade to the S24 Ultra. While the S24 Ultra may have superior technical specifications, the S23 Ultra is still an exceptional Android phone. Additionally, the S23 Ultra will receive most, if not all, of the Galaxy AI features that are available on the S24 Ultra. Recommended by editors

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