Samsung Galaxy S24: Smart Upgrade Review


  • ✓ Small and compact design
  • ✓ Great flat edges
  • ✓ Beautiful and bright display
  • ✓ Long-lasting battery life
  • ✓ Powerful performance
  • ✓ Improved color balance in photos
  • ✓ Useful Galaxy AI features


  • ✗ Matte glass feels slippery
  • ✗ No big camera upgrades
  • ✗ Only 25W wired charging

Every year, it becomes harder to find a small and compact phone that still offers a ton of features and power. Most phones fall into that “go big or go home” category, leaving those who prefer a more practical size in the dust. Thankfully, Samsung did not do that with the new Galaxy S24.

Announced: 2024, January 17
Status: Available. Released 2024, January 24
Dimensions: 147 x 70.6 x 7.6 mm (5.79 x 2.78 x 0.30 in)
Weight: 167 g or 168 g (5.89 oz)
Build: Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), aluminum frame
Nano-SIM and eSIM/ Dual eSIM or Dual SIM (2 Nano-SIMs and eSIM, dual stand-by)
IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 min)
Armor aluminum 2 frame with tougher drop and scratch resistance (advertised)
Type: Dynamic LTPO AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 2600 nits (peak)
Size: 6.2 inches, 94.4 cm2 (~90.9% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~416 ppi density)
Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2
Always-on display
OS: Android 14, One UI 6.1
Chipset: Qualcomm SM8650-AC Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (4 nm) - USA/Canada/China
Exynos 2400 (4 nm) - International
CPU: 8-core (1x3.39GHz Cortex-X4 & 3x3.1GHz Cortex-A720 & 2x2.9GHz Cortex-A720 & 2x2.2GHz Cortex-A520)
GPU: Adreno 750 (1 GHz) - USA/Canada/China, Xclipse 940 - International
Card slot: No
Internal: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM
UFS 3.1 - 128GB only, UFS 4.0
Triple: 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 1/1.56", 1.0µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
10 MP, f/2.4, 67mm (telephoto), 1/3.94", 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.55" 1.4µm, Super Steady video
Features: LED flash, auto-HDR, panorama
Video: 8K@24/30fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS
Single: 12 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), Dual Pixel PDAF
Features: Dual video call, Auto-HDR, HDR10+
Video: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps
Loudspeaker: Yes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jack: No
32-bit/384kHz audio
Tuned by AKG
WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, tri-band, Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth: 5.3, A2DP, LE
NFC: Yes
Radio: No
USB: USB Type-C 3.2, DisplayPort 1.2, OTG
Sensors: Fingerprint (under display, ultrasonic), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Samsung DeX, Samsung Wireless DeX (desktop experience support)
Type: Li-Ion 4000 mAh, non-removable
Charging: 25W wired, PD3.0, 50% in 30 min (advertised)
15W wireless (Qi/PMA)
4.5W reverse wireless
Colors: Onyx Black, Marble Grey, Cobalt Violet, Amber Yellow, Jade Green, Sandstone Orange, Sapphire Blue
Models: SM-S921B, SM-S921B/DS, SM-S921U, SM-S921U1, SM-S921W, SM-S921N, SM-S9210, SM-S921E, SM-S921E/DS
SAR: 1.23 W/kg (head) 1.10 W/kg (body)
SAR EU: 0.87 W/kg (head) 1.35 W/kg (body)
Price: $769.50 / €769.00 / £799.00 / ₹75,900
Performance: AnTuTu: 1218977 (v9), 1696727 (v10)
GeekBench: 5833 (v5), 6747 (v6)
3DMark Wild life: 14351 (offscreen 1440p)
Display: Contrast ratio: Infinite (nominal)
Camera: Photo / Video
Loudspeaker: -25.2 LUFS (Very good)
Battery (new): Active use score 12:06h

The Samsung Galaxy S24 is the smallest of the S24 lineup, which also includes the Galaxy S24 Plus and the Galaxy S24 Ultra. But don’t be fooled by the small size of the S24 — this phone still packs plenty of performance, and it also has all those fancy AI smarts that Samsung made a big deal of.

Samsung Galaxy S24: design

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The Galaxy S24 and the Galaxy S23 from last year resemble each other in most aspects. The same triple-lens column camera module, flat screens, and frame antenna marks are shared by both of them. However, there are a few noteworthy variations. First off, the S24's frame is no longer rounded at the corners as it was previously; instead, it is now flat, much like the iPhone 15. Additionally, the frame is now matte rather than shiny. Though the S24 essentially resembles an iPhone 15, it does appear that Samsung is copying Apple, which isn't a negative thing. It seems more tasteful and sophisticated.

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Gorilla Glass Victus 2 is used for both the front and back glass, and the rear is still matte-finished, making it somewhat fingerprint-resistant. It does seem slick and slippery, though, so I would rather use it with a decent, grippy case. I received Marble Gray, a very light shade of gray, for my review unit; this is not my favorite gray. Three more standard colors are available for the S24: Onyx Black, Cobalt Violet, and Amber Yellow. Jade Green, Sapphire Blue, and Sandstone Orange are the other three hues that are only available on Because of their greater saturation levels, I believe that Sandstone Orange and Cobalt Violet are the only excellent colors; the rest of the color array is too dull and light for my taste.

Samsung Galaxy S24: display

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends
Although the Galaxy S24 and its predecessor have identical screens, this year's model has one significant improvement. Samsung has switched to an LTPO AMOLED screen, which uses less power when the display is constantly on. While not in use, the S23 could only drop as low as 24Hz, but with LTPO, the refresh rate may drop as low as 1Hz.

Apart from that, the Galaxy S24's display has more variations. Samsung increased the screen's size this year from the 6.1-inch model of last year to 6.2 inches. This indicates that the bezels have somewhat shrunk and that the chassis is slightly higher and thinner than it was the previous year. I was initially concerned that there would be an obvious difference, but after using the S24 for a week, I can't really tell.
The Galaxy S24’s display looks great.
The Dynamic LTPO AMOLED display, measuring 6.2 inches, has a peak brightness of 2,600 nits and a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz. In contrast, the S23 could only obtain 1,750 nits. 1080 x 2340 pixels with a density of 416 pixels per inch (ppi) make up the resolution. Strangely enough, there is a tiny but noticeable difference between the ppi and the S23.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends
Even with the Natural display setting chosen, I thought the S24 display was clear and bright. Blacks are deep and rich, colors are vibrant, and writing is clear and concise. Its max brightness of 2,600 nits, which surpasses that of my iPhone 15 Pro, is another feature I adore. The S24 display is still clear while I'm outside in the hot Southern California heat. Because of the adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, scrolling and transitions are silky smooth.

The S24 display has a lesser density than its predecessor, yet it still looks fantastic. In addition, even though it's the base model, it features a 120Hz refresh rate. Apple could pick up some tips from that.

Samsung Galaxy S24: performance and software

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends
Samsung used Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy processor to power the whole S24 range. With a minor overclock, this Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 variant is suited for Samsung Galaxy handsets, meaning improved efficiency and performance.

One UI 6.1 is placed on top of Android 14 on the Samsung Galaxy S24. Samsung equipped the S24 basic model with 8GB RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage. The standard S24 is nevertheless rather quick and powerful for the ordinary user, even if it has less RAM than its larger brothers (the S24 Plus and S24 Ultra each have 12GB RAM).

Over the past week, I've used my S24 seldom for my regular duties. This include looking through various social media accounts, Microsoft Teams conversations, professional and personal emails, viewing and reading movies, and taking pictures. I didn't encounter any lag or jitter when using it, and transferring between programs is smooth.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

During regular usage, the Galaxy S24 never became too hot to handle. But while I went outdoors shooting a bunch of pictures quickly after one another, I did notice that it was getting warm. However, it never got too hot to handle.

Samsung's One UI isn't too terrible, although I normally prefer the native Android versions that come with Google Pixel handsets. Although it could take some getting used to if you've never used it before, it's rather easy to operate. Furthermore, assuming you don't update during that time, if you purchase an S24 today, you should be able to retain it until Android 21 according to Samsung's seven-year software upgrade guarantee.

Nonetheless, Galaxy AI, a collection of AI-powered capabilities that may either be really helpful and enjoyable to use or leave you scratching your head, is one of the main software highlights of the S24 series.

The Circle to Search function of Galaxy AI is my absolute fave.

The Circle to Search function of Galaxy AI is my absolute fave. You may search for anything on the screen by simply long-pressing the center button or the navigation bar, depending on whether your device supports button or gesture navigation. You can also touch, circle, or draw anything on the screen. Similar to Google Lens, only it functions in any app. 

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends
You can quickly check up anything that catches your attention while using your phone using Circle to Search, and the results have been rather decent thus far. It's one of those tools that, until I used it, I didn't realize I needed, but I find myself using it a lot when I come across fascinating items or things I just want to learn more about. It's definitely more accurate than me attempting to hazard a guess using a manual Google search.

However, Circle to Search is not exclusive to the Samsung Galaxy S24; on January 25, a feature drop made it accessible on the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro as well.

The tool for generative editing is another helpful aspect of Galaxy AI. This may be used to crop off undesired and distracting parts from photographs or to use generative AI to fill in the gaps in images by resizing and aligning them. The outcomes are excellent; unless one really examined the minute details, one would never guess that AI was involved.

Generative AI wallpapers are another feature that Galaxy AI offers, much to the Google Pixel 8 series. The instructions are essentially the same as those on the Pixel 8, so the outcomes might be wonderful, intriguing, or just plain strange. The problem I have with these generative AI wallpapers is that while you can occasionally obtain amazing results, the resolution is not always perfect and has some pixelated areas, which is annoying. Here, your mileage may differ.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Live Translate is another feature of Galaxy AI that allows you to translate text and speech in real time. If you are having a face-to-face conversation with someone and want the S24 to translate your voices in real time, you would utilize an interpreter.

Additionally, there is Chat Assist, which may assist in changing the tone of your written message—making it sound, say, more formal. Unfortunately, this forces you to use the Samsung keyboard that comes with the device by default, which many people may find uncomfortable. The outcomes may be really terrible and hilarious.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends
It's more helpful to utilize Chat Assist's handy grammar and spell check than to sound like an automated robot attempting to pass for a human being. Another tool to assist with organizing and condensing your notes is Note Assist. I don't see me use that function very often either, as I don't really compose lengthy notes on my phones—I much rather use computers for that kind of stuff.

In general, several of Galaxy AI's features—like Circle to Search and the generative editing tool for photos—are helpful. The remaining items, however, are either things you'll never truly want to touch or helpful in specific situations. Though I'm not sure if a phone's worth is justified by one or two really helpful AI functions. Samsung doesn't seem to believe so, since the Galaxy S23 phones from last year will ultimately have Galaxy AI.

Samsung Galaxy S24: cameras

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The Galaxy S24 basic model's camera hasn't changed all that much from its predecessor. A 50MP primary camera, a 10MP telephoto lens with a 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultrawide lens with a 120-degree field of view are, in reality, almost identical lenses. There is still a 12MP selfie camera on the front.

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The pictures on my earlier Samsung phones were one of my main complaints. It wasn't that the cameras weren't good; rather, Samsung tends to oversaturate and distort colors in images to the point that the result occasionally seems unnatural or unrepresentative. While some people may not mind, I enjoy pictures that are a little more true to life and realistic; if I want anything to stand out a little more, I can adjust it throughout the editing process.

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Thankfully, given what I've seen, Samsung appears to have finally corrected the colors in images shot with the S24 range. The colors are still rather vibrant, but they're a little closer to reality and more realistic. I've shot some very amazing pictures so far. They are still striking, but the coloration is more true than it was previously. Even close-ups have been well captured by the cameras, which also pick up all the subtle nuances, textures, and crispness. Additionally, I've noticed that this time around, the skin tones feel more natural because they haven't turned my selfies orange yet. As I discovered when I tested it while my kid was playing with a bubble wand, it can also take pictures rather quickly. As soon as you press the shutter button, it can instantly focus and record the moment.

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It does seem to still have some issues with low light photography, as seen by the slightly grainy and noisy shots I took of a sushi meal at a poorly lit restaurant. Although I'll be testing the cameras on the S24 for a few more days, I'm pleased with the results thus far. The S24 clearly manages the color profile better than the S23, despite the hardware being the same.Samsung Galaxy S24: battery and charging
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The internal battery of the Galaxy S24 is 4,000mAh, which is somewhat larger than the 3,900mAh unit found in its predecessor. Don't let the smaller battery capacity (in comparison to its larger siblings) deceive you, though; the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3's efficiency will let it to endure for a good amount of time.

I have been using the Galaxy S24 for more than a week, and depending on how much I use, a single charge usually lasts me more than a day. Once more, I mostly use it for reading, watching videos, sending and receiving emails, endlessly cruising around social media, and taking a ton of pictures.
I would still have at least 20–30% battery life remaining after a full charge and one day of moderate to heavy use, which may allow me to use it for part of the next day before needing to plug it in.

Regretfully, the Galaxy S24's maximum charging speed of 25W is limited to that of Apple's iPhone 15 series. While the S24 Plus and S24 Ultra provide up to 45W fast charging, I wish the S24 had quicker charging capabilities like its larger brothers. A USB-C cable is included in the package, however Samsung does not offer a charging converter.

The fact that Samsung chose not to implement the latest Qi2 wireless charging standards, which would have included magnetic alignment to facilitate wireless charging, is a little unexpected. Though it is limited to 15W, wireless charging is still possible. This is not as quick as the OnePlus 12, which has a 50W wireless charging capacity. Reverse wireless charging is also available at up to 4.5W.

Samsung Galaxy S24: price and availability

Joe Maring / Digital Trends
As of January 31, the Samsung Galaxy S24 is accessible everywhere. It is available directly from as well as major stores including Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, and more. Carriers like as AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile also provide it.

The basic colors (Onyx Black, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet, and Amber Yellow) will be available at all shops, however will only carry three special colors: Jade Green, Sapphire Blue, and Sandstone Orange.The 8GB RAM/128GB storage variant of the Galaxy S24 starts at $800, while the 8GB RAM/256GB storage model costs $860. There are several ways to reduce the cost.

But you may also choose the recently released OnePlus 12, which is available for the same price. Despite having a 6.8-inch curved LTPO AMOLED display and being somewhat bigger, the OnePlus 12 is quite affordable. Additionally, it includes a triple-lens Hasselblad camera that is really amazing, with a 50MP primary lens, 64MP periscope telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, 48MP ultrawide camera, and 32MP selfie camera. It also utilizes the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor. At least 12GB RAM and 256GB of initial storage are included.It also features 50W wireless charging, extremely quick 80W cable charging in the US (100W outside), and a big 5,400mAh battery that lasts for at least two full days.

Samsung Galaxy S24: verdict

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Despite being the youngest member of the S24 range, the Galaxy S24 is nonetheless a powerful device. The S24 is still an excellent purchase if you don't want to lose out on the newest and finest features that Samsung has to offer but the bigger sizes of the S24 Plus and S24 Ultra bother you.

One of the main selling points of the whole Galaxy range is its AI capabilities, and although I wouldn't say upgrading is necessary because of them, some of them are very useful. The generative photo editing tools and Circle to Search come to mind most, although the interpreter and live translation functions are also useful in some circumstances.

Furthermore, although the hardware of the camera hasn't changed, the image processing software has undoubtedly been improved. I think it looks better now, with more natural hues and less "burned into your retinas" vividness.
A nice phone to include on your purchase list is the Galaxy S24.
The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy processor has several positive aspects as well, particularly in terms of power economy. All things considered, the S24 offers excellent battery life despite having a 4,000mAh capacity. Furthermore, Android 14 with One UI 6.1 offer quick, snappy, and responsive performance that is adequate for almost any task.

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