Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Samsung Galaxy S24 back in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung Galaxy S24 review: Should you buy it?

Is Galaxy AI enough to reheat this leftover hardware?
By

Published onFebruary 27, 2024

Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung hasn't change a lot with the Galaxy S24, but has updated the formula with cutting-edge AI features and seven years of updates. Still priced at a competitive $799, the Galaxy S24 is good value and a great phone. Even if it’s not all brand new.

What we like

Seven-year update commitment
Neat AI features
Robust battery life
Solid performance
Great build quality

What we don't like

Minimal hardware upgrades
Mediocre charging
Aging cameras
AI features only guaranteed to be free through 2025
Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung hasn't change a lot with the Galaxy S24, but has updated the formula with cutting-edge AI features and seven years of updates. Still priced at a competitive $799, the Galaxy S24 is good value and a great phone. Even if it’s not all brand new.

Samsung Galaxy S24 review: At a glance

  • What is it? The Galaxy S24 is the smallest and most affordable entry in Samsung's Galaxy S24 series. It doesn't stray far from the outgoing Galaxy S23 but does include a faster processor, slightly larger battery, and new Galaxy AI software features.
  • What is the price? The Samsung Galaxy S24 starts at $799 for 128GB of storage, keeping the cost of entry the same as previous generations.
  • Where can you buy it? Samsung Galaxy S24 pre-orders began on January 17, 2024, and the phone hit open sale on January 31. You can buy it directly from Samsung, major electronics retailers like Amazon and Best Buy, and carriers including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
  • How did we test it? I tested the Samsung Galaxy S24 (Exynos version) for five days. My colleague, Ryan Haines, tested a US model Galaxy S24 with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset for benchmark comparison results. Both review units were purchased by Android Authority.
  • Is it worth it? A lack of major hardware upgrades means the Samsung Galaxy S24 won't entice those looking for an early upgrade. Even its flagship Galaxy AI features are coming to older models in the near future. However, the Galaxy S24 remains in just as great shape as its predecessor and will last even longer with seven years of updates. With a competitive price tag, Samsung's entry-level flagship remains a solid upgrade for those whose current phone is showing its age.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S24?

Samsung Galaxy S24 homescreen in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Let’s get the so-so out of the way first. If you’re looking for new hardware to freshen up a recent Galaxy purchase, the Galaxy S24 isn’t it. You’ve seen virtually all of what Samsung offers in the hardware department before. Compared to the previous generation, there’s an identical triple camera setup, mirror-image 25W wired and 15W wireless charging specifications, and the same sumptuous aluminum build and Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection as we saw in 2023. That’s not strictly a negative; the Samsung Galaxy S23’s hardware remains superb, but less new tech makes recommending an upgrade more nuanced, as we’ll see.

There is a marginally larger display this time around, thanks to slimmer bezels. The still gorgeous 120Hz dynamic AMOLED panel is now 6.2 inches across, up from 6.1 inches on the Galaxy S23. It’s hardly a visible difference, but a difference nonetheless. There’s a fractionally bigger battery too (2.5%, to be specific), to help push any lingering worries about this little handset lasting a full day to the back of our minds. These are certainly nice but are far from game-changers for the slightly stale Galaxy S formula.

The exception is the new processor, which attempts to spice things up with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy or Exynos 2400 for Galaxy varieties, depending on where you live. After testing both chipsets, the takeaway is that the Exynos model offers slightly better battery life, while the Snapdragon version has higher performance, particularly for high-end gaming.

Ultimately, both processors are even more potent than their predecessors and will serve even the most demanding power user very well. Don’t spend time worrying about which one is sold in your locale. If you want even more data, check out our deep dive video below for all the benchmarks and testing you could ever want.

Despite few changes, the Samsung Galaxy S24 is a tight package. Battery life is frugal enough to take me through a full day and, although charging could be faster, I can top it back up in a little over an hour when needed. The classic main, ultrawide, and 3x telephoto camera setup remains versatile enough for most situations, including low light. Just stick to medium range; you’ll want the Galaxy S24 Ultra for 10x photography. Selfies and portraits still look just fine, even if textures and tones aren’t always spot on.

I’m sure you’ll agree that all the camera samples below (and more in this Google Drive Folder) look very good. But equally, the phone isn’t pushing boundaries like some of its rivals. The Galaxy S24 offers a competent but not exactly exciting camera setup that will require a freshen-up if it wants to remain near the top of the pack.

Instead, we need to look at software for the most significant changes with the Samsung Galaxy S24. One UI 6.1 is embued with Galaxy AI, Samsung’s AI suite that encompasses Generative Edit, Live Translate, Chat Assist, Circle to Search (also available on the Pixel 8 series), and more. Other than AI, this is One UI as you already know it, but based on Android 14 and with an extended update policy that stretches to a stellar seven years of OS upgrades.

Galaxy AI provides an exciting glimpse of Samsung's future direction.

So, is Galaxy AI worthy of the hype? Well, like all AI tools, it can be hit-and-miss depending on how ambitious you are. I found Generative Edit generally solid at removing distant people and small blemishes from my pictures. It can make more sweeping changes, such as moving larger objects or people, but that’s more of a mixed bag. Complex backgrounds can be a problem, but you’re equally limited by touch-screen click and drag accuracy, which doesn’t always snap tightly to edges. I would also prefer the option to regenerate bad-looking fills without starting over again.

Your mileage will also likely vary with Live Translate. It’s an undeniably impressive and useful bit of travel kit that I’m sure I’ll return to on a future adventure, but it sometimes stumbles with some dialects and slang. While perhaps not as exciting, I found Samsung’s various text editing tools to be the most regularly useful. Between changing the tone of an email, fixing my admittedly dubious grammar, or quickly summarizing a webpage, dipping in and out of these tools is a genuine time saver. Perhaps the only drawback is that Chat Assist means you’re glued to Samsung Keyboard. At the same time, web page summarization relies on Samsung Browser, but that’s a worthwhile trade-off unless you’re seriously committed to an alternative.

On balance, Samsung has done well to avoid too many gimmicks and sprinkles AI throughout its software in useful areas. You never feel pressured to use any of these features (once you get past the initial pop-ups), but they’re mostly well-executed when you do. AI integration is spread a little wider than Google’s Pixel, making it a remarkable first effort, though I’d hesitate to say Samsung is meaningfully ahead. There are a lot of similarities with the Pixel here. Either way, both successfully use AI to separate themselves from the competition and offer an exciting sample of what’s to come.

 

While the new AI features are a nice touch, they are coming to recent Galaxy S smartphones when they receive their own One UI 6.1 update. While it’s obviously great to see Samsung committed to bringing the latest software to existing customers, it does mean there’s even less reason to upgrade if you’re running a recent model. There’s also the issue that some features will perform poorly or not at all without cloud support, so if you’re offline for an extended stretch of time, you won’t get the full AI feature set (though this is an issue for any AI-imbued phone). Furthermore, Galaxy AI features are only guaranteed to stay free through the end of 2025, so it’s worth considering whether you would pay to keep using these and similar features in the long term.

Galaxy AI, the new phone's biggest selling point, is coming to older Galaxy S models.

With that in mind, I wouldn’t recommend Galaxy S22 or S23 owners rush out to grab Samsung’s new flagship. Those phones have plenty of years left in them and, AI aside, the Galaxy S24 is more of a retread than a revolution. Still, those still rocking a Galaxy S21 or older, or those looking to jump to Samsung’s flagship tier for the first time will see plenty of benefits from the Galaxy S24’s latest software features, top-tier performance, and long-term update policy. The Samsung Galaxy S24 is a great phone, even if it’s not all brand new.

Samsung Galaxy S24Samsung Galaxy S24
AA Recommended
Samsung Galaxy S24
Seven-year update commitment • Neat AI features • Robust battery life
MSRP: $799.99
Powerful AI smarts and slimmer bezels
The Samsung Galaxy S24 series focuses on added AI technology. With a 6.2-inch, 120Hz display, 128GB or 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and up to 2,600 nits peak display brightness, the S24 is promising to be a quality update in the line. The new AI features go deep, improving your experience with the camera, search, and much more.

What are the best Samsung Galaxy S24 alternatives?

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs Google Pixel 8 vs Apple iPhone 15 in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

As tempting as it is to grumble about stale hardware, Samsung has kept the Galaxy S24 price at a competitive $799. After updating the formula with cutting-edge AI features and seven years of updates, the phone is undeniably good value. Still, there are some great Galaxy S24 alternatives that all offer something a little different.

  • Google Pixel 8 ($699 at Amazon): Probably Samsung’s main competitor in the Western Android market, Google’s Pixel 8 is a little more affordable than the Galaxy S24 yet still carries seven years of OS support and offers a competitive range of cutting-edge AI features (like Magic Eraser and Video Boost). However, the Galaxy S24 has a slightly more flexible camera setup, slicker display, and far superior performance.
  • Apple iPhone 15 ($829.99 at Amazon): Apple’s entry-level flagship will also be very familiar to those who have seen recent models and costs the same as the Galaxy S24. While Apple has yet to offer compelling AI features or a triple camera setup, the iPhone 15 has solid long-term software support, blazing-fast performance, and, finally, a USB-C port too. It might not be super exciting, but it’s hard to go wrong here.
  • OnePlus 12 ($899.99 at Amazon): If you’re after bleeding-edge hardware at this price, the OnePlus 12 should be on your radar. With a powerful processor, super-fast charging, gargantuan display, and huge battery, this is an affordable power-user phone like no other. Still, you’ll have to contend with a so-so camera setup and fewer years of support than the Galaxy S24.
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 ($799 at Amazon): Last year’s Samsung flagship won’t be supported for as long as the Galaxy S24 (a still solid five years), isn’t quite as powerful, and doesn’t yet have the new AI features (but they’re coming). Still, the Galaxy S23 has the same camera, charging, and many other specifications, making it a great pick if you want to save $100 or so and won’t miss Samsung’s small tweaks to this year’s model.

Samsung Galaxy S24 specs

ProductSamsung Galaxy S24
Display
6.2-inch AMOLED, FHD+ resolution (2,340 x 1,080)
120Hz display refresh rate (1Hz-120Hz)
HDR10+
Processor
US: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy
Global: Samsung Exynos 2400
RAM
8GB
LPDDR5X
Storage
128GB, 256GB
UFS 4.0
Battery
4,000mAh

Power
25W wired charging
15W wireless charging
5W reverse wireless charging
No charger in box
Cameras
Rear:
- 50MP main
f/1.8, 1.0 μm, 24mm
1/1.56-inch sensor
OIS, Dual Pixel PDAF

- 12MP ultrawide
f/2.2, 1.4 μm, 13mm
1/2.55-inch sensor

- 10MP telephoto
3x optical zoom
f/2.4, 1.0 μm, 70mm
1/3.94-inch sensor
OIS, Dual Pixel PDAF

Front:
- 12MP
f/2.2, 26mm, Dual Pixel PDAF
Video
Rear:
8K at 24/30fps (main lens only)
4K at 30/60fps (all lenses)

Front:
4K at 30/60fps
Audio
Stereo speakers
Triple mics
Connectivity
5G (mmWave + Sub6)
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC support
USB 3.2 Gen 1

SIM
Single nano-SIM tray
eSIM support
Security
Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
Durability
IP68
Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and back
Aluminum frame
Software
Android 14
One UI 6.1
Update Policy
7 years of security updates
7 years of OS updates
Dimensions and weight
147.0 x 70.6 x 7.6mm
168g

Colors
Onyx Black, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet, Amber Yellow

Samsung Galaxy S24 review: FAQ

The Samsung Galaxy S24 has an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.

No, Samsung no longer includes a charger in the box. You can quickly charge the phone from a suitable charger that supports the USB PD PPS protocol at 25W or above.

No. The Galaxy S24 is available in 128GB and 256GB internal storage configurations.

Yes, the Galaxy S24 supports Qi wireless charging at up to 15W and 5W reverse wireless charging.

No, you’ll have to buy a screen protector separately for the Galaxy S24.