Monday, June 24, 2024
Smart Phones

Galaxy S24 Plus Hands-on Review: All in on AI, is that the best-value new Galaxy?

Galaxy S24 Plus Intro

For years, Galaxy S Plus phones have merely existed in the shade of their much more enticing and advanced Galaxy S Ultra sibs. Totally undeserving, as Galaxy S Plus are usually just as great as their more premium brethren. 

Could the new Galaxy S24 Plus finally break that spell and successfully rival the Galaxy S24 Ultra? Tough to say, but judging from the significant improvements that the Galaxy S24 Plus has scored in comparison with the Galaxy S23 Plus, it’s fair to say that Samsung wants to make the new phone a viable alternative to the S Pen-wielding super-phone.
Samsung’s brand-new Galaxy S24 Plus comes along with a larger display, larger battery, and a display that’s just as bright and smooth as the one on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Fair to say that the only things missing are the titanium design, the 5X periscope and the S Pen. 

What’s new about the Galaxy S24 Plus

  • Larger new 6.7-inch QHD+ display
  • Superb 2,600-nit peak brightness and super-smooth 1-120Hz display
  • Flat-side display with Armor Aluminum
  • Same triple-camera setup with different camera processing
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in the US with 12GB of RAM
  • Seven years of major Android/One UI upgrades and security patches

Table of Contents:

Galaxy S24 Plus Specs

Multiple intergenerational improvements
The Galaxy S24 Plus full specs are already official, but a summary usually goes a greater distance. The table below should provide you with a very decent understanding of what the Galaxy S24 Plus comes along with. 

Galaxy S24 Plus Design & Colors

Flat design is in, but no titanium here

The Galaxy S24 Plus has the same signature Galaxy design that has been used for a couple of generations now, but it would be very fair to say that the Galaxy S24 Plus is mostly similar to the Galaxy S23 Plus when it comes to overall looks. Both follow the same aesthetics and use the same build materials. Unlike the titanium-clad Galaxy S24 Ultra, the Galaxy S24 Plus still relies on Armor Aluminum as well as Gorilla Glass Victus 2, while the Ultra uses the new Gorilla Glass Armor. 

One aspect of the Galaxy S24 Plus that has surely changed is the side frame design. Samsung is going fully flat with the new Galaxy S24 Plus and Galaxy S24, with no convex side frame. Thus, the Galaxy S24 Plus is much more similar to an iPhone in terms of feel than it’s to most of its predecessors. In any way, you’d likely want to invest in a case

From a side perspective, the Galaxy S24 Plus has become slightly taller in comparison with the Galaxy S23 Plus, but you wouldn’t notice any stark difference in terms of width, thickness, or overall weight. 

All the buttons and ports are right where they used to be on the Galaxy S23 Plus, so no unexpected changes here. The IP68 water and dust resistance remains on deck as well. 

The phone feels good in the hand, maybe slightly less comfortable than the Galaxy S23 Plus which was a tad more ergonomic, as evident in our size comparison, but beauty surely lies in the eyes of the beholder in this case. The flatter side frame is noticeable the first time you use the phone, but should be no issue after a brief amount of time. 
And what about the available hues? Well, the Galaxy S24 Plus colors will be available in Amber Yellow, Marble Gray, Onyx Black, and Cobalt Violet, while Jade Green, Sapphire Blue, and Sandstone Orange will be exclusively available when you get the phone through Samsung’s own store. 

Galaxy S24 Plus Display

The display on the Galaxy S24 Plus has scored the most improvements. Let’s break them down one by one.

First up, the sheer size of the panel has increased by 0.1 inches. Sure, that doesn’t sound like much, but these days every little bit is important, so the Galaxy S24 Plus having a 6.7-inch screen in comparison with the Galaxy S23 Plus‘ 6.6-inch display is a big deal.

Next up, the resolution and therefore perceived sharpness have also improved. The Galaxy S24 Plus scores a QHD+ display, a solid return to form in comparison with the FHD+ panels on the most recent Galaxy S Plus predecessors.

Thirdly, we finally get LTPO 3.0 on the Galaxy S24 Plus. What does this mean? Unlike previous Galaxy S Plus phones, this one allows for a super-smooth and dynamically switchable refresh rate ranging between 1 and 120Hz depending on the on-screen content. That’s actually on par with the Galaxy S24 Ultra/Galaxy S23 Ultra, and most super-premium phones out there. 

Finally, and most importantly, we also get the ludicrous 2,600-nit display peak brightness on the Galaxy S24 Plus. Surely, this one is likely measured on a minimal portion of the display and the phone will certainly achieve lower maximum brightness in everyday life. Still, the Galaxy S24 Plus will be much brighter than its predecessor.

Aside from those, the rest of the display’s specs should sound familiar to you: a Dynamic AMOLED 2X with HDR support and Vision booster. When it comes to Samsung displays, we are rarely disappointed, so our expectations are quite high. 

The ultrasonic built-in fingerprint scanner remains a staple, and so does face unlock. 

Galaxy S24 Plus Camera

Changes on the inside
The Galaxy S24 Plus camera is mostly similar to the one found on the Galaxy S22 Plus and the Galaxy S23 Plus. A main 50MP camera, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 10MP telephoto offering 3X optical zoom is what you get on the new phone as well. At the front, a 12MP wide-angle camera tiptoes inside the punch-hole. 
The improvements are on the inside, however. Samsung has reportedly tweaked up the image processing a lot. Image quality is reportedly improved a lot, too. Samsung says the ProVisual Engine available on the new Galaxy S24 series uses AI along with enhanced algorithms to achieve cleaner night shots devoid of noise as well as less camera shake and motion blur. 
We are hopeful that the oversharpened and too vibrant image processing of the Galaxy S23 series has taken a step back in favor of a more realistic and natural image processing. 
Samsung has also thrown in a ton of AI-powered improvements on board. For example, we get Generative Edits, which allow you to fill in the blanks when you rotate an image or move a subject around, as well as Edit Suggestion which will give you tailored suggestions about the possible tweaks you can apply to your photos. 

Galaxy S24 Plus Performance & Benchmarks

Made for Galaxy makes a return

At least in the US, the Galaxy S24 Plus is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. It’s not the normal version, mind you, but a fine-tuned Made for Galaxy iteration of the chip. This 4nm affair manufactured by TSMC offers improved performance and power efficiency in comparison with last year’s Galaxy S23 Plus which was powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy.

Samsung has paid a lot of attention to gaming as well. Much beter ray-traced graphics are coming along with the new Snapdragon chip, which would surely appeal to mobile gamers. Another move that will appeal to the latter is Samsung’s cooperation with some of the industry-leading gaming entities, some of the most popular games out there will be perfectly optimized for the new Galaxy S24 Plus

In terms of storage and RAM, we get 12GB of fast RAM on the phone, along with two storage tiers, 256GB and 512GB. As is tradition, don’t expect expandable storage on deck. 

Galaxy S24 Plus OS / Android version

The big deal about the Galaxy S24 Plus is the super-long software support of seven years (!). This is a major move that mirrors Google’s latest pledge to such a long support period for the Pixel 8 series. This means that Galaxy S24 Plus adopters will be able to enjoy software updates until the end of the decade and will receive all future One UI versions up to Android 21. A major development that surely works in the Galaxy S24 series‘ favor!
The other major development with the Galaxy S24 series is the growing reliance on AI with a ton of new AI features sprinkled all over the One UI 6.1 interface. Samsung has invested quite a lot into the AI capabilities of the phone, which rightfully are the biggest new feature on the Galaxy S24 series.

One of the exciting new features is Chat Assist, which in a ChatGPT-like fashion will intelligently suggest rewriting your text and suggest a different tone depending on who you’re communicating with. This feature is built right into the Samsung keyboard, so it will be compatible with any messaging app you might have on your Galaxy S24 Plus.

Speaking of translation, a Live Translate feature built-into the Phone app allows for two-way, real-time voice and text translations of phone calls in real-time thanks to on-board AI. Another similar new Galaxy feature is Interpreter, allowing you to make a conversation with another person in split-screen mode and have your conversations instantaneously translated from one language to the other.

Circle to Search is also another new AI-powered feature that allows you to simply press your home button (or the general area where it should be if you have gestures enabled) and then circle anything on your screen to invoke a relevant Google search. 

You can also remove reflections from photos with the power of on-device AI. There’s nothing worse than seeing your reflection in glass when you take a picture through a window, but that would no longer be an issue thanks to Galaxy AI. Remastering pictures is also part of the same package, and so is a seemingly vastly improved Object Eraser, which does a much better job at removing unwanted objects from your photography masterpieces.

Galaxy S24 Plus Battery

A larger battery surely does sound appealing
Aside from the screen size, the Galaxy S24 Plus battery has also grown in comparison with the Galaxy S23 Plus series! We get a larger 4,900mAh battery on deck, which is actually just a smidgen smaller than the 5,000mAh one on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Ideally, this would mean that the Galaxy S24 Plus will be able to deliver some pretty good endurance, likely on the same level as the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Of course, we will reserve our final judgement on our upcoming battery tests which will spill the full tale. 
Charging-wise, the Galaxy S24 Plus will support 45W wired and 15W fast wireless charging, which is similar to both the Galaxy S24 Ultra and last year’s Galaxy S23 Plus. If last year’s Galaxy S23 Plus is anything to go by, the Galaxy S24 Plus should fully charge in around an hour or so. Wirelessly, it will likely take around an hour and forty minutes or slightly longer.
There’s reverse wireless charging as well, but don’t expect to see a charger in the box. You will have to use a third-party one, and Samsung’s chargers are usually a safe bet when it comes to topping up your Galaxy. 

Galaxy S24 Plus Audio Quality and Haptics

With dual speakers, the Galaxy S24 Plus will likely deliver more than decent sound. Last year’s Galaxy S23 Plus was not too shabby, and things can only improve from now on. 

In terms of haptics, Samsung has delivered excellent results on that front, and we don’t expect the new Galaxy S24 Plus to be anything different. 

Galaxy S24 Plus Summary and Final Verdict

So, the Galaxy S24 Plus is shaping up to be quite a decent Android phone that inches closer and closer to its big bad brother, the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Surely, it loses the specs-to-specs race as it’s clearly lacking in some areas, but overall, we are seeing some very decent hardware and software updates that will surely greatly improve the user experience. 
It wouldn’t make sense to update to the Galaxy S24 Plus if you’re using a Galaxy S23 Plus or a Galaxy S22 Plus, but anyone using an older Galaxy phone looking to upgrade without breaking the piggy bank will probably have reasons to consider the new mid-sized Galaxy. 

With a starting price tag of $999, the Galaxy S24 Plus surely is a premium phone, but it seemingly offers more than enough to justify its price tag. Of course, we will reserve our judgement for our final review, but it’s highly doubtful that Samsung has taken a misstep. 


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