The Samsung Galaxy S24 series isn’t expected to change much visually
The Samsung Galaxy S24 series of Android phones will launch this week at a flashy event in San Jose, where rumours point to three flagship smartphones being announced with updated designs, new colours, top end specs, and a sprinkling of AI. There have been many leaks already about the phones’ design, specs, and price – enough for us to form a confident picture of what the Galaxy S24, S24 Plus, and S24 Ultra will be like as some of the first major phones to be released in 2024.
Samsung is often considered the go-to Android phone company, and its Galaxy S series is its high-end, flagship line of mobile devices alongside the Z line of foldables that most recently includes the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is already a superlative premium phone with huge, bright screen, S Pen stylus stored right in the body of the phone, amazing cameras including a 10x optical zoom with up to 100x digital zoom, and a boxy design that still makes it stand out from the crowd.
If the kitchen sink phone isn’t quite your thing, then the S23 and S23 Plus have been excellent smaller but powerful options, and all rumours point to the S24 series being another evolution – rather than revolution – of Samsung design and specifications.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S24 series.
Samsung Galaxy S24: Release date
Samsung has officially confirmed that the new Galaxy S series of smartphones will launch in San Jose, California, on 17 January 2024.
It’s a slightly earlier event for the rumoured Galaxy S24 phones compared to last year, and will see Samsung return to the US for its glitzy showcase after hosting its last Unpacked in Seoul, South Korea for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 in August.
Pre-orders for the S24 are likely to go live on 17 January, but an on sale date is yet to be announced. Express.co.uk will be at the launch event to bring you the very latest.
Samsung Galaxy S24: Price
There haven’t been many solid rumours on the Galacy S24 price, which could mean the phones cost the same across the board as the S23. Here’s the pricing of the Galaxy S23 range:
- Samsung Galaxy S23: £849
- Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: £949
- Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: £1,249
Samsung’s pricing for the S24 is likely to stay similar to the S23 – though the S22 started at £769, which was a more palatable price and closer to the current iPhone 15 that costs from £749. We hope Samsung can adjust the pricing for the S24, as £849 for the cheapest model in a series is quite a lot.
That’s before you look at the £1,249 S23 Ultra – a sky high price that many people will struggle to justify. The S24 Ultra is likely to cost about the same.
Dutch site GalaxyClub claims the S24 will start at €899, which is cheaper than the S23 – though European pricing differs depending on country. In the Netherlands, the regular S23 costs €999 currently, so if the rumour is correct then a €100 price drop would be great to see.
- Support fearless journalism
- Read The Daily Express online, advert free
- Get super-fast page loading
Samsung Galaxy S24: Design and display
One of the most recent leaks of the alleged Galaxy S24 Ultra shows it with a flat display. This is unusual for the Ultra line, which usually has curved edges to the screens. In fact, all the S series had curved displays for years until the Galaxy S21 made the regular S21 and S21 Plus flat, but kept the rounded edges for the most expensive phone.
It looks as though the S24 Ultra may do away with that:
Google ditched curved screens this year with the Pixel 8 Pro going fully flat after two years of so-called waterfall displays. These images have been backed up by leaks posted by Windows Report that show the alleged S24 Ultra in four pale pastel shades, replete with flat displays.
Other leaks from Smartprix and OnLeaks, a reputable leaker, show renders of the alleged S24 and S24 Plus and, well, not much has changed from the S23 phones we have already. Though if the renders are to be believed, Samsung is giving these two phones flatter edges, echoing the design of the iPhone we’ve seen with flat edges since 2020’s iPhone 12.
That’ll leave us with a Galaxy S24 with a 6.1-inch screen, S24 Plus with 6.6-inch, and S24 Ultra with 6.8-inch. Even that smallest size isn’t actually ‘small’ by most definitions, so these phones will likely continue to be pocket busters.
A render of the alleged design of the Galaxy S24
SamMobile reported that tipster Ahmed Qwaider says the S24 Ultra will have an incredibly bright display panel that can crank up to 2,600 nits – very bright indeed given the S23 Ultra could only reach 1,750. The Google Pixel 8 Pro can reach 2,400.
Suffice to say, the evidence suggests that there will not be much design change this year, particularly if you put your phone straight in a case – the screens and plain back with three camera cutouts looks to be staying for another year.
A leaker on X has posted alleged official slides from Samsung that shows several S24 phones with the models’ colour name next to them, plus other details on gaming performance, and the fact there’s a split between the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and Samsung’s Exynos 2400 chipsets – but it doesn’t confirm exactly which phone has which.
The leak also backs up persistent rumours that the S24 Ultra, at least, will use a titanium frame – the same as we saw on the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. Titanium would replace the aluminium frame found on older Ultra models.
Samsung Galaxy S24: Specs and performance
According to reports, the S24 phones will not all use Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets. This was the case for the S23 phones, which all used the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, an extra-powered mobile chip. It meant none of that generation of Galaxy phone used Samsung’s own Exynos chips, which are usually in the UK models of Galaxy S phones, as well as other regions.
You can take this next table with a pinch of salt, but it’s an alleged official infographic showing the main specs of all three upcoming S24 phones:
Generally speaking, the Snapdragon versions of Galaxy phones have better performance and certainly better battery life, so Qualcomm across the board was welcome. But The Elec says Samsung will use the Exynos 2400 in the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus in all regions except in the US, where they will use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy. The S24 Ultra is said to use the 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy worldwide, including in the UK and regions where there are Exynos models of the other two phones.
Confused? So are we. Samsung has never made it clear why it insists on using its (usually inferior) Exynos chips – particularly when Samsung fan communities voice their disappointment in the performance of Exynos Galaxy S phones.
You can expect all the S24 models to have at least 8GB RAM. Samsung usually sells more expensive versions with 12GB RAM that also have more storage capacity, though one leaker has said the regular S24 and S24 Plus will have 12GB RAM, which would be a first for the S series as a baseline. They also said the phones will have at least 256GB storage, which is definitely what should be offered as a minimum by 2023 standards, in our book
Samsung Galaxy S24: Battery
Rumours on battery sizes are not only few and far between but also not always the most insightful – battery life depends on the efficiency of the chipset, other hardware components, and how much someone actually uses their phone.
But if you are after raw numbers, Galaxy Club has reported the Galaxy S24 will have a 4,000mAh battery, the S24 Plus a 4,900mAh battery, and the S24 Ultra a 5,000mAh battery. This would represent a 100mAh and 200mAh rise respectively for the S24 and the Plus, but the Ultra’s 5,000 would be the same as the current generation. 5,000mAh is huge, by the way.
‘Godfather of AI’ Dr Geoffrey Hinton quits Google
Samsung Galaxy S24: Cameras
The main claim going around thanks to tech leaker Revengus is that the S24 and S24 Plus will use Samsung’s GN3 50Mp sensor for their main cameras, the same found in the S23 and S23 Plus. They also say the S24 Ultra will use the same 200Mp camera sensor already found in the S23 Ultra, the HP2.
We wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be the case, with several specs the same as the last generation mirroring how similar the phones are going to look to the S23.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
We absolutely loved the cameras on the S23 Ultra. In fact, the Galaxy has been amongst our favourite camera phones solidly since the S21 Ultra, simply because that zoom lens is so impressive – expect the S24 Ultra to pack in a similar 10x optical zoom, something most of its competitors don’t (can’t, won’t, etc.) replicate. It makes such a big difference in the versatility of a phone camera, and makes it hard to go back to anything with a shorter reach.
This is backed up by a report The Elec, which seems to get a lot of accurate technical information on Samsung phones prior to launch. It says the S24 Ultra will have a 10MP 10x optical periscope zoom camera, as well as a 50MP 5x optical telephoto – an upgrade on the S23 Ultra’s 3x.
You can expect ultra-wide cameras on all S24 phones, as well as a shorter zoom on the S24 and S24 Plus – the S23 versions of these phones had 3x optical zoom.
One rumour to take with a pinch of salt, though would be great, is from SamLover that the S24 Ultra could be the first Samsung phone to have a 1-inch main camera sensor. This is quite big for a smartphone, and has been seen on a few phones such as the Xiaomi 13 Pro and the Oppo Find X6 Pro.
1-inch sensors are exciting for mobile photography fans because they let in more light and can capture more detail, while also having a deeper field of view. It means shots have a natural bokeh – that’s portrait mode to us – that you only usually find on professional cameras with much larger sensors than what is usually found in a phone.
Leaker Ice Universe also claims the S24 Ultra will be able to record in 4K resolution at 120fps, a feature that is still very rare on phones even in 2024.
A lot of how good phone photos and videos look is down to software processing, so not all phones need huge sensors. But it would be cool to see Samsung pushing the envelope where its Android rivals have pulled ahead – especially given the S24 Ulta otherwise looks to be very similar to the S23 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy S24: Software
The Galaxy S24 series will probably launch running Android 14 with the company’s One UI 6 skin over the top. Android 14 is the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, and One UI is Samsung’s own design that it uses. One UI 6 has just started being pushed out to existing Samsung phones with a lot of new design tweaks.
The phones will surely get at least four years of Android updates taking them to Android 18 (hopefully) plus five years of security updates to keep the phones safe and sound till 2029. This is Samsung’s current software promise, so there is a chance it could improve with the Galaxy S24 as Google has just promised seven years for the Pixel 8 phones.
Samsung reportedly will try and break new ground in artificial intelligence with the S24 phones. SamMobile has said the phones will pack in AI text creation tools similar to ChatGPT, but it’s unclear what exactly their purpose will be – whether it will be to create text content, or as an application to do something specific to use on a smartphone.
It could well be that Samsung is trying to improve the usefulness (and overall terrible reputation) of Bixby, the smart assistant most people would do well to currently turn off in favour of Google Assistant. We’re not sure if AI tools on the S24 will use underlying ChatGPT tech, but if Samsung has stepped out on its own to try and develop a competitor of some description, that will be interesting to see.
The S24 Ultra will also have software for use with the S Pen stylus that Samsung fans will be familiar with, including a floating control when the pen is in use and extra functionality in apps such as Samsung Notes.