Samsung Unveils Galaxy S24 Ultra with Titanium Body and AI Enhancements
On January 18th, Samsung introduced the new Galaxy S24 Ultra, a flagship model in the Android camp known for its premium features, with the Ultra variant being the standout performer. Priced at $1299 (approximately 9353 Chinese Yuan), the Galaxy S24 Ultra boasts a brand-new titanium alloy body, a 1440p flat screen, and enhanced AI capabilities.
The most notable change in the S24 Ultra is the adoption of a titanium alloy body, similar to Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro. Samsung claims that this material offers better durability. Unlike Apple, Samsung opted for titanium alloy not to reduce weight but due to its superior durability as titanium is heavier than aluminum. The weight of the S24 Ultra, around 232 grams, is nearly the same as the S23 Ultra, slightly heavier than the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Another major change in the S24 Ultra is the screen. Equipped with a 6.8-inch 1440p display, similar to the S23 Ultra, the new model finally ditches the curved screen inherited from the Note series in favor of a flat screen. Unlike the flat edges of the S24 and S24 Plus, the S24 Ultra’s frame still has a slight curvature, reducing the likelihood of accidentally touching the screen edges with an S Pen.
There are also some changes in the rear camera setup of the S24 Ultra. Samsung replaced the 10x zoom camera of the S23 Ultra with a 5x zoom camera of 50MP, achieving 10x zoom through lossless cropping. Although not at the native focal length, Samsung claims that the 10x zoom image quality of the S24 Ultra is actually improved compared to the S23 Ultra. The device still supports up to 100x zoom, albeit seeming more of a gimmicky feature.
The hardware of the other four cameras remains unchanged from last year, including a 200MP f/1.7 main camera, a 10MP 3x telephoto camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 12MP front-facing selfie camera.
AI functionality is a major highlight of the S24 Ultra, integrating nearly all flagship phone AI features available currently. The S24 series operates with both on-device and cloud-based AI capabilities, running on Google’s Gemini base model. It’s worth mentioning that the AI functions of the three new models are identical.
The S24 series introduces some image and video editing tools driven by generative AI, with star icons similar to Google Bard visible throughout the UI. Users can select subjects in photos for cut-outs and resizing, move or erase them directly. It’s also possible to adjust the photo’s horizon line and let AI fill in missing edges, which is very useful for shaky photos.
Apart from static photos, the S24 Ultra features a cool video function that converts any video into a 120fps slow-motion video afterwards, regardless of the mode, frame rate, or camera used to shoot it, using AI interpolation to fill in the missing frames.
Other system functionalities include Google’s new Circle to Search feature, allowing you to circle the content you want to search for by long-pressing the navigation or home key, letting Google take care of it. The keyboard suggests text based on what you’re typing to make your messages more conversational.
Additionally, there are features like real-time call translation, text translation, voice-to-text translation, and automatic note formatting, covering a wide array of functionalities.
It’s worth noting that Samsung plans to bring these AI capabilities to the S23 series, as well as the Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5 phones in the future.
The Galaxy S24 Ultra is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chipset, which will be used in all regions globally. While the S24 and S24 Plus use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in the US market, in other regions they use Exynos chips, although Samsung states that this doesn’t affect the AI features. Connectivity-wise, the new devices have been upgraded to Wi-Fi 7.
Surprisingly, all Galaxy S24 series phones have dropped Qi2 wireless charging, meaning they do not support magnetic attachments and accessories like MagSafe. However, similar to Google, Samsung promises 7 years of OS updates and security updates for the S24 series. While this year’s Ultra model is slightly expensive, if you intend to use it long-term, it’s likely worth the investment.
The Samsung S24 Ultra is now available for pre-order and will begin shipping on January 31st, starting at $1299 for the 256GB version.