Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs S23 Ultra: the full comparison of specs
The biggest S24 Ultra vs S23 Ultra change involves Samsung AI
As we continue to write our Samsung Galaxy S24 review, we’re noticing that the year-over-year Galaxy S24 vs S23 Ultra comparison comes down to two letters: AI. At first blush, it seems like the design hasn’t change much with only minor upgrades to the outside of the Android smartphone. But Samsung’s newest flagship phone is the better of the two by a wider margin once you break down the S24 Ultra specs.
Here’s how the new S24 Ultra and last year’s S23 Ultra compare:
Why trust our S24 Ultra vs S23 Ultra comparison
Kevin Lee has been reporting on technology for over a decade, having worked for TechRadar and IGN before joining The Shortcut. His years of experience include testing Samsung phones, including both the S23 Ultra and new S24 Ultra, which is ideal for writing up a trusted, in-depth comparison between the two.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra display: 6.8-inch LTPO AMOLED, QHD+ 1440 x 3120, 120Hz, HDR10+, 2600 nits (peak)
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra display: 6.8-inch AMOLED, QHD+ 1440 x 3,088, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1,750 nits (peak)
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra features the same sized 6.8-inch AMOLED display as its predecessor, but now it’s completely flat. While reintroduces side bezels on the S24 Ultra’s display, it’s actually larger since it doesn’t lose any pixels to rounded corners or the screen spilling off on the sides. In fact, the Samsung S24 Ultra has a higher 1440 x 3120 resolution screen compared to the S23 Ultra’s 1,440 x 3,088 display.
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra’s newer display also reaches a higher 2,600-nit brightness compared to the maximum 1750-nits seen on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra weight and height: 8.22 ounces, 0.34 inches
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra weight and height: 8.25 ounces, 0.35 inches
Like Apple’s iPhone Pro 15 Pro Max, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra’s exterior is made of titanium as opposed to the aluminum-clad S23 Ultra. Titanium is lighter than stainless steel, which is what Apple previously used in its iPhone, but it’s actually heavier than what Samsung previously used: aluminum.
Still, Samsung was able to make up any weight gain elsewhere, with the S24 Ultra weighting 0.03 ounces less and it’s also 0.01-inches slimmer than the S23 Ultra. We’re eager to see if the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 in six months gets the same treatment when everyone is ready to upgrade from the Galaxy Z Fold 5.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra colors: Titanium Black, Titanium Yellow, Titanium Gray, Titanium Violet, Titanium Green, Titanium Blue, and Titanium Orange
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra colors: Phantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender, Lime, Graphite, Sky Blue, and Red models.
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is available in seven new colors, one fewer than the eight color options available to the S23 Ultra. This year’s model noticeably lacks a white or off-white version, and the lightest color option is Titanium Gray.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, 12GB RAM, 256GB/512GB/1TB storage
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 8GB/12GB RAM, 256GB/512GB/1TB storage
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is one of the first Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 phones in the US, meaning it has an upgraded processor over the Galaxy S23 Ultra's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip. Qualcomm has promised its latest processor grants 20% more CPU efficiency and 25% more GPU efficiency. The new Adreno GPU also delivers 50% higher ray tracing performance, plus support for 8K and 240Hz display support so you can connect higher resolution and faster monitors to this phone.
However, the biggest sped bump this new processor will bring is to AI tasks. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s Hexagon NPU supposedly doubles generative AI performance while making increasing efficiency by 40%. That should make it much zippier at tasks involving large language models (LLM) and Stable Diffusion. So far, it seems this is exactly the case as we’ve seen the new phone handle translation, summarize passages, and generative image processing in mere seconds.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra cameras: 200MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide, 50MP telephoto (5x), 10MP telephoto (3x)
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra cameras: 200MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto (10x), 10MP telephoto (3x)
The biggest change the Samsung S24 Ultra brings to cameras is the swapping out the 10x 10MP telephoto to a 5x 50MP camera. In exchange for halving the optical zoom of the previous telephoto camera, you get a five times higher resolution sensor. According to Samsung, the higher resolution sensor gives you a lot more data to play around with and through AI it can bin the 50MP sensor down to 12MP and give you images with an equivalent 10x optical quality.
Galaxy AI also introduces a handful of useful editing tools, which rival many features found in our Google Pixel 8 Pro review, as well as the ability to introduce slow-motion to any video with Instant Slow-mo. Edit Suggestions allows you to remove bothersome reflections and shadows that ruin your image. Meanwhile, Generative Edit allows you to move around or even add elements to your photos.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra battery: 5,000mAh
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra battery: 5,000mAh
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra has the same exact 5,000mAh battery capacity as last year’s S23 Ultra. However, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 should prove to be more power-efficient as previously mentioned Qualcomm promises a 20% more efficient CPU and 25% more efficient GPU. How this will play out with extended battery life remains to be seen in our forthcoming full review.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra launch price: $1,299
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra launch price: $1,199
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is $100 more expensive at launch with a $1,299 sticker price compared to the S23 Ultra which started at $1,199 last year. It’s worth noting that the cheapest S24 Ultra now comes with 12GB of RAM, instead of 8GB of RAM on the S23 Ultra. The starting storage on both phones is still 256GB.
There Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is pushing AI features first and foremost, but there are a bunch of spec upgrades on Samsung’s latest and greatest flagship smartphone. Once you have it in hand, you’ll instantly feel the larger usable touchscreen and technically sharper display of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. Going back to a flat display on Samsung’s largest phone just feels fresh.
The 50MP telephoto S24 Ultra camera is also a nice upgrade as 5x photos look noticeably sharper and more detailed, according to our early testing. Plus bumping up to 10x offers enough detail to even scan QR codes from a long distance even if it isn’t a true, purely optical 10x zoom lens.
The $100 higher price increase is unfortunate, but the hardware upgrades combined with all the new Galaxy AI features makes the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra a worthy year-over-year upgrade. What’s more it feels like the ultimate Android phone to buy, it offers the best hardware around and all of Google’s extremely convenient AI-powered features, which are typically reserved for only Pixel phones. Plus, Samsung appears to be building out a wider ecosystem with its Health app given the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Ring should be on sale in 2024.