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Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus vs S24 Ultra: What's the difference?

With a shrinking spec divide between the Plus and Ultra, is it worth paying $300 more?
By

Published onMay 29, 2024

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
MSRP: $999.99
Check price
Positives
Bright, sharp 1440p display
Excellent update commitment
All-day battery life
Solid cameras
Handy Galaxy AI features
Negatives
Galaxy AI barely works without the cloud
Camera still struggles with motion
Relatively expensive but no titanium frame like S24 Ultra
AI features only guaranteed to be free through 2025
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
MSRP: $1,299.99
Check price
Positives
Powerful, flexible cameras
Excellent update commitment
Brilliant flat display
Titanium build and Gorilla Armor durability
Loud, punchy speakers
Negatives
Expensive
Hit-or-miss on some AI features
Cameras struggle with motion
AI features only guaranteed to be free through 2025

Samsung’s flagship smartphones for 2024 pack a few surprises, with the Plus model in the Galaxy S24 series gaining some long-lost flagship features. The higher-end S24 Ultra, meanwhile, has seen fewer changes and even a small price increase. With the spec gap narrowing to such a dramatic degree then, is it still worth paying top dollar for Samsung’s top-end phone this generation? Find out in our Galaxy S24 Plus vs S24 Ultra comparison.

Galaxy S24 Plus vs Galaxy S24 Ultra: At a glance

  • The Galaxy S24 Ultra is slightly larger in every dimension and 35g heavier than the S24 Plus.
  • Both smartphones are powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in North America. However, the S24 Plus will ship with an Exynos 2400 chip in many international markets.
  • The S24 Ultra has a better primary sensor and an extra 5x telephoto lens.
  • Samsung’s S Pen is included with the S24 Ultra and slots into the phone. You don’t get any stylus functionality with the S24 Plus.
  • The S24 Ultra costs more than the S24 Plus.

Keep reading to learn more about the differences between the S24 Plus and Ultra.

Galaxy S24 Plus vs S24 Ultra: Specs

Samsung Galaxy S24 PlusSamsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Display
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
6.7-inch AMOLED, QHD+ resolution (3,120 x 1,440)
120Hz display refresh rate (1Hz-120Hz)
HDR10+
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
6.8-inch AMOLED, QHD+ resolution
120Hz display refresh rate (1Hz-120Hz)
HDR10+
Processor
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
US: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy
Global: Samsung Exynos 2400
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy
RAM
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
12GB LPDDR5X
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
12GB LPDDR5X
Storage
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
256GB or 512GB
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
256, 512GB, or 1TB
Battery and charging
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
4,900mAh
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging
5W reverse wireless charging
No charger in box
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
5,000mAh
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging
5W reverse wireless charging
No charger in box
Cameras
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Rear:
- 50MP main
f/1.8, OIS

- 12MP ultrawide
1.4 μm, f/2.2, 120-degree FoV

- 10MP telephoto
3x optical zoom
1.12 μm, f/2.4, 36-degree FoV

Front:
- 12MP
f/2.2, 80-degree FoV, AF
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Rear:
- 200MP main
f/1.7, OIS

-12MP ultrawide, f/2.4, 120-degree FoV
1/3.52-inch sensor

- 50MP telephoto
5x optical zoom, f/3.4, 22-degree FoV
OIS

- 10MP telephoto 3x optical zoom, f/2.4, 36-degree FoV OIS

Front:
- 12MP
f/2.2, 8-degree FoV, AF
Video
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Rear:
8K at 24/30fps (main lens only)
4K at 30/60fps (all lenses)

Front:
4K at 30/60fps
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Rear:
8K at 24/30fps (main lens only)
4K at 30/60fps (all lenses)

Front:
4K at 30/60fps
Audio
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Stereo speakers
Triple mics
No 3.5mm port
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Stereo speakers
Triple mics
No 3.5mm port
Connectivity
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
5G (mmWave + Sub6)
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC support
USB 3.2 Gen 1
UWB
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
5G (mmWave + Sub6)
Wi-Fi 7
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC support
USB 3.2 Gen 1
UWB
Security
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
7 years of security updates
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
7 years of security updates
IP rating
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
IP68
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
IP68
Software
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Android 14
One UI 6.1
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Android 14
One UI 6.1
S Pen support
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
No
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Yes
Materials
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and back
Aluminum frame
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Gorilla Glass Armor on the front and back
Titanium frame
Dimensions and weight
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
158.5 x 75.9 x 7.7mm
197g
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
162.6 x 79 x 8.6mm
233g
Colors
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Onyx Black, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet, Amber Yellow
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Titanium Black, Titanium Yellow, Titanium Violet, Titanium Gray

Based on the spec sheet alone, it’s hard to justify why the Galaxy S24 Ultra costs $300 more than the S24 Plus. Both Samsung flagships sport nearly the same display size, resolution, processing hardware, and battery capacities. But the devil’s in the details and there are certainly a few major differences that swing the pendulum in the S24 Ultra’s favor.

Starting with the display, the S24 Ultra offers a 0.1-inch larger canvas than the Plus. This is a diagonal inch, so the difference in area is larger than you’d think. Furthermore, the S24 Ultra’s signature boxy design offers slightly more screen real estate vs the S24 Plus. Having said that, the Plus model has received an upgrade this year in the form of a QHD+ resolution LTPO display that matches the Ultra. Both phones can also reach an eye-searing 2,600 nits of peak brightness.

In terms of processing, all models of the S24 Ultra will house the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC. However, Samsung will only include that chip in North American models of the S24 Plus. The rest of the world will get the South Korean company’s in-house Exynos 2400 instead. We tested the S24 series’ Exynos and Snapdragon variants and found that both chips were roughly on par in terms of CPU performance and battery life. In short, prospective buyers don’t need to worry about receiving an inferior product depending on where they live.

The S24 Ultra has better cameras and is marginally more durable than the S24 Plus.

Photography and videography is where the two phones really start to pull apart from each other. The Ultra nets you a 200MP primary sensor instead of 50MP on the S24 Plus. Likewise, the larger phone packs an extra 50MP telephoto lens that offers optical zoom up to 5x. The increased resolution and focal length over the Plus model’s 10MP 3x lens helps it deliver excellent shots further out from you.

Elsewhere, the S24 Ultra scores only minor wins over its less-expensive sibling like support for Wi-Fi 7 over Wi-Fi 6E and a Titanium frame instead of Aluminum. The highest-end smartphone does get better front and rear protection in the front of Gorilla Glass Armor. Samsung says the latter reduces screen glare and delivers significantly more scratch and impact resistance. Still, you’d be hard-pressed to notice these differences day-to-day.

However, the S24 Ultra has a trick up its sleeve in the form of Samsung’s S Pen, which you won’t find on any other phone. It’s the perfect note-taking and annotation tool, especially with the rectangular display on the Ultra.

Galaxy S24 Plus vs S24 Ultra: Design and size comparison

Galaxy S24 Plus vs. Galaxy S24 Ultra
Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority
The Galaxy S24 Plus (left) is almost as large as the S24 Ultra (right), but lighter and more curvy.

The Galaxy S24 Plus and Ultra don’t share the same silhouette, which is rare for modern flagship phones. Some may prefer the curved corners of the S24 Plus as it feels more natural to hold, especially without a case. On the other hand, the S24 Ultra feels much more maximalist in that it doesn’t waste any real estate. It’s also the more iconic design of the two and won’t get confused for a cheaper smartphone at a glance. Samsung’s smartphone lineup has become increasingly homogenous of late.

That said, the S24 Ultra’s larger body and included S Pen come at the expense of weight. At 233g, it’s not far off from some foldables like the OnePlus Open. The only other mainstream smartphone in its weight class is the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The S24 Plus weighs 36 grams less, landing at a more reasonable 197g.

Galaxy S24 Plus vs S24 Ultra: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra camera housing
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Galaxy S24 Ultra houses a versatile camera array that outclasses the S24 Plus. But even setting aside the additional zoom lens, the S24 Ultra’s headlining 200MP primary shooter is higher resolution than the 50MP sensor found in Samsung’s S24 Plus. It’s also physically larger and can let in much more light. This translates to much better low-light performance. While you can opt to capture full-resolution images on both phones, you’ll see more detail resolved in the Ultra’s 200MP shots.

Samsung decided to replace the 10x optical zoom sensor on last year’s S23 Ultra with a new 50MP 5x shooter on the S24 Ultra this year. The company argued that the higher resolution makes up for the shorter focal length. Regardless, the Ultra still delivers longer zoom and higher resolution than the smaller S24 phones.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra offers longer range and higher-quality zoom.

AI has become a big focus for smartphone makers in 2024 and that holds true for Samsung as well. The company has stated that the S24 Ultra combines raw hardware with AI to deliver better zoom and noise reduction for night-time shots. Apart from that, however, it hasn’t artificially locked features so you’ll get all of the generative AI powered editing tools on the S24 Plus as well. We like this strategy, especially since Google reserved some AI features for the Pixel 8 Pro.

We’re currently testing the S24 series’ cameras, so stay tuned for comparison shots and our full review of both smartphones.

Galaxy S24 Plus vs S24 Ultra: Battery life and charging

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 20
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Samsung has given the S24 Plus a larger battery this generation, landing it just shy of the S24 Ultra’s capacity. There’s only a 100mAh or 2% difference between the two smartphones.

In the real world, you can expect the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s 5,000mAh battery to last two days of light to moderate use. The same can be said for the S24 Plus’ 4,900mAh cell as well, especially given that it has a slightly smaller display to match.

The S24 Plus and Ultra have nearly identical battery and charging specs.

Both S24 phones feature identical charging speeds on paper, with support for Samsung’s Super Fast Charging 2.0. However, the S24 Ultra could draw the maximum 45W charging power for slightly longer if it packs a better cooling system than the Plus model. Regardless of which phone you get, expect sub-one hour wired charging times. Likewise, a full charge using fast wireless charging will take between one to two hours on either phone.

Galaxy S24 Plus vs S24 Ultra: Price and availability

Samsung Galaxy S24 series backs standing
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Galaxy S24 Plus: Starts at $999
  • Galaxy S24 Ultra: Starts at $1,299

Samsung hiked the Ultra model’s price by a whopping $100 this generation while leaving the S24 Plus unchanged at $999. For many buyers, $1,299 may seem like a high bar but it’s the only way to get the excellent S Pen and Samsung’s most versatile smartphone camera array. With that in mind, value shoppers will prefer the Galaxy S24 Plus as it delivers most of the specs at a 30% lower starting price.

Galaxy S24 Plus vs S24 Ultra: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 8
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Based on everything we’ve seen so far, the S24 Plus is the best choice for most smartphone buyers. It packs the majority of features you’d get from the more expensive flagship without breaching the all-important $1,000 benchmark.

Samsung also bestowed the S24 Plus with a few spec bumps this year that put it within striking distance of the Ultra model. The higher resolution display and larger battery were key selling points for the largest smartphone in prior years, but it has now trickled down a notch. Having said that, buyers outside the US may have to contend with Samsung’s Exynos 2400 chip. The S24 Ultra, meanwhile, will ship with the same SoC worldwide.

Moreover, the S Pen, enhanced zoom capability, and unique form factor remain reason enough to purchase the Ultra instead. Creatives and power users will surely appreciate the little extras on the S24 Ultra as well. So with that in mind, which smartphone would you rather buy?

Which would you rather buy, the Galaxy S24 Plus or S24 Ultra?

1499 votes
See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Powerful, flexible cameras
Excellent update commitment
Brilliant flat display
See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Bright, sharp 1440p display
Excellent update commitment
Handy Galaxy AI features

Galaxy S24 Plus vs S24 Ultra: FAQ

Yes, both the S24 Plus and Ultra are IP68 water and dust resistant.

No, both the S24 Plus and Ultra lack an SD card slot for expandable memory.

Yes, both the S24 Plus and S24 Ultra have dual SIM and eSIM support.

Unfortunately, Samsung did away with the headphone jack on its flagships a few years ago. Neither the S24 Plus nor the Ultra have a 3.5mm jack.

No, Samsung doesn’t ship a screen protector on any of its phones except foldables like the Galaxy Z Fold 5.

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