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Samsung Galaxy S24+ review: What can the new AI phone do?

S24+ cover photo
Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2024 TechnikNews)

A few weeks ago Samsung introduced its latest flagship smartphones with the S24 series. These offer some exciting innovations as well as some cool AI features. With the S24+ I tested the middle model of the series for you. I found out for you what this has to offer and whether it's worth buying.

Compared to its predecessor, the S24+ has been given some exciting innovations. The biggest new feature is probably the numerous AI functions that Samsung has integrated well into the system. Below you can read how I liked the smartphone, what I think of the AI ​​functions and whether it is worth buying and upgrading from its predecessor.

tl; dr

Samsung has brought a really great device onto the market with the S24+. Overall, I really enjoyed using the smartphone during the test. The performance, the display and the battery are at a very high level and have left nothing to be desired. I also really liked the many AI functions, especially Circle-To-Search, even if they were definitely not a decisive reason for me to buy it. I also thought the design, workmanship and size were great. Only the camera disappointed me a bit, as it is only slightly better compared to its predecessor, if at all, as all of the camera hardware has remained the same. But that doesn't mean that I didn't like the cameras, on the contrary, I really like the photos and videos in good lighting conditions, but I would like to see significantly better low-light performance and a better zoom.

I can recommend the S24+ without hesitation to anyone who is looking for a strong overall package and doesn't already have the predecessor, as it is simply a really harmonious smartphone. An upgrade from the predecessor wouldn't be worth it for almost anyone, as nothing has really changed here in terms of the camera and the rest is only slightly better. The S24+ is available at all common electronics stores, as well as from Samsung itself, for a price of 1149 euros.

Design & processing

Samsung has delivered across the board when it comes to design and workmanship. The S24+ is 158,5 millimeters high, 75,9 millimeters wide and 7,7 millimeters thin. With a weight of 197 grams, it is still just under the 200 gram limit, making it one of the lighter smartphones. Unfortunately, both the front and the back are only made of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and not the new Gorilla Glass Armor, which is not only harder but also significantly less reflective. Fortunately, the back is again matt, which means that fingerprints and dirt are not immediately visible everywhere. The frame is made of Armor Aluminum and is also matt, which I really like. The S24+ is also fully protected against the ingress of water and dust according to IP68, which is why it can be submerged in 30 meters of water for up to 1,5 minutes.

The general design of the S24+ has changed slightly compared to its predecessor. The frame is now much more angular, similar to the new iPhones, which makes it much easier to hold in the hand. The smartphone's display edges have also shrunk significantly and are still perfectly symmetrical, which looks really chic and modern. The display is still only interrupted by a small punch-hole for the front camera at the top center.

The power button and the volume rocker are on the right side of the frame. At the bottom you will find the USB-C 3.1 port, the slot for the nano-SIM, as well as one of the two speakers and a microphone. There are two more microphones on the top. Like its predecessor, the cameras protrude individually from the back, which I like because Samsung is going its own way here and foregoing a large camera bump. The workmanship is again at an extremely high level.

Display

Samsung has installed a 24-inch Dynamic AMOLED 6,7X display in the S2+, which offers some innovations compared to its predecessor. Thanks to the new, even thinner display edges, Samsung has managed to install a 23 inch larger display with almost the same housing size as the S0,1+. The resolution has now been increased from Full HD+ in the predecessor to QHD+, meaning that the S24+ now has the same resolution as the Ultra and, at 516 ppi, has the highest pixel density of all smartphones in the S24 series. In addition to the larger dimensions and increased resolution, the new display also offers a significantly higher peak brightness of up to 2600 nits. This means the display is one of the brightest on the market and clearly outperforms Apple and Google. Even when used outdoors in direct sunlight, I could always read everything very well.

S24+ display

Picture: TechnikNews

 

Of course, it also offers an adaptive refresh rate of 120 Hz, which can now be reduced to up to 1 Hz to save battery. This also makes it possible for the lock screen background image to be displayed permanently when the always-on display is activated. Even though I think this was copied from Apple, it's still a pretty cool feature. Overall, I think Samsung really didn't compromise on the display this year and gave the S24+ a significant upgrade.

Performance & Specs

The heart of the S24+ this year is the Samsung Exynos 2400 Processor. This is supported by 12 gigabytes of RAM and, in my case, by 512 gigabytes of UFS 4.0 mass storage. Many people, myself included, didn't have high expectations for the Exynos' performance Processor. Past experience has shown that Samsung's own Processors usually have significantly less power than the Qualcomm Snapdragon chips and also require significantly more power and become much warmer. I expected all of this from the new Exynos. Fortunately, all of these prejudices have not been confirmed this time.

The everyday performance is at an extremely high level. I hardly ever had to deal with stuttering or delays. The heat development and power consumption are also really good and the performance in benchmarks is even significantly better than that of the predecessor. In particular, the graphics performance has increased significantly and is even stronger than that of the current iPhone 15 Pro. You don't notice much of this in everyday life at the moment, but that could change in the future as Samsung wants to keep the device up to date for 7 years. Overall, I found the everyday performance to be extremely good and in conjunction with the fast 120 Hz display, everything looked a little smoother.

Charge the battery

With a capacity of 24 milliamp hours, the battery of the S4900+ is significantly larger than that of its predecessor. With 120 Hz and QHD+ resolution activated, I always got through the day with around 4 to 5 hours of display-on time and usually still had around 30% left, so another half day of use would be possible. I was really very positively surprised by this runtime, as I was using my iPhone 14 Pro I can only barely manage one day of use. However, if you deactivate the increased display resolution and the always-on display, even longer use is realistic. Once the battery is empty, it can be recharged with 45 watts in about 75 minutes, which unfortunately isn't really fast, but is an improvement compared to its predecessor.

Cameras

main camera

Samsung has installed a 24-megapixel main camera with an aperture of F50 in the S1.8+. In good lighting conditions, photos in the standard 12-megapixel mode have a high dynamic range and look very sharp and vibrant. Images taken with the 50 megapixel mode look significantly sharper, but also require a lot more storage space. But in poorer lighting conditions the whole thing looks different. The images still have a relatively high dynamic range, but are no longer as sharp and have noticeable noise. Nevertheless, you can still take usable pictures with the main camera even in low light.

Also worth mentioning here is the camera's really good close-up distance, which I really have to praise here as it is far too large on many other high-end smartphones. Videos can be recorded in up to 8k at 30 fps, which is really sharp, but stabilized significantly less than 4k. Videos in 4k at 60 fps look really great here and offer good stabilization, but unfortunately it still doesn't quite come close to that of the iPhone.

Ultra wide angle

The ultra wide-angle camera here has a resolution of 12 megapixels and an aperture of F2.2. In good lighting conditions, the images look really sharp and vivid, but the quality doesn't quite match those of the main camera. In poorer lighting conditions, the images no longer look really sharp, similar to the main camera, but offer sufficient dynamic range. Videos can be recorded here in a maximum of 4k with 60 fps. They usually look really good and also offer good stabilization. I think it's a shame that the ultra wide angle doesn't have autofocus and therefore no macro mode.

Zoom

The smartphone's 10-megapixel 3x zoom has an aperture of F2.4. This is only digital, but it takes good pictures in good lighting conditions. These are not on the same level as the main camera, but they are still impressive. With less light, however, the tide turns. Most of the time, when zooming, the zoom lens is no longer accessed, but the main camera is simply used, which I think is a shame. The pictures then really don't look good anymore and are only of limited use. Videos can also be recorded here with a maximum of 60 fps at 4k and look okay, but they don't come close to those of the other cameras.

Front camera

The 24-megapixel front camera with an aperture of F12 is located in a punch hole on the front of the S2.2+. This takes really great pictures in good lighting conditions and usually represents skin tones well. It also impresses with good sharpness and autofocus, which usually worked reliably. It takes good pictures even in poorer lighting conditions, although the sharpness drops significantly.

Camera conclusion

Overall, I liked the cameras on the S24+, but almost nothing has changed compared to its predecessor. I think that Samsung could have done a lot more, especially with the zoom, and could have installed a better sensor. The other cameras are good, but they don't particularly stand out either. The low-light performance could also have been improved further with better sensors. Nevertheless, the cameras are probably more than enough for almost everyone and almost always deliver good pictures.

Other

Loudspeakers

As in most upper-class smartphones, the S24+ has two speakers, one of which is integrated into the earpiece. These sound surprisingly good for such a thin device. The sound is pretty clear and well tuned, but I find the bass a bit lacking. Nevertheless, it is more than sufficient for almost everything you do with your smartphone and I liked it. It's also worth mentioning that the speakers support Dolby Atmos, which can make supported media sound a little more spatial.

Fingerprint sensor & vibration motor

I also really liked the built-in ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. Not only did he always respond reliably, but he also responded fairly quickly. Its positioning is also great as it is not as far down as many other smartphones. However, in the future I would like the sensor to increase in size so that you don't always have to tap exactly on the point. Another feature that I have to mention positively is the built-in vibration motor. This is a good deal better than the one in the S23 and for me it almost comes close to that of the iPhone. If you set the vibration to a higher level in the settings, it is even a little more noticeable than that of the iPhone.

Connectivity, reception & voice quality

Samsung has installed a USB-C port in the S24, which supports the 3.1 Gen 1 standard. The smartphone can not only be charged via the connection, but also data can be transferred and monitors can be connected. If you then connect the smartphone to a monitor, you can use the smartphone as a computer replacement with a desktop-like interface thanks to Samsung Dex. The S24+ also features the latest Bluetooth 5.3 standard, NFC and an ultra-wideband chip. 5G mobile communications via physical nano-SIM or eSIM is also supported. I always had good reception with my smartphone and no connection dropouts. The voice quality of calls and voice messages is also impressive.

Software

One UI 6

The S24+ comes with Samsung's One UI 6, which is based on the latest Android 14. The One UI offers a lot of functions and setting options, but that might be too much for some. In general, there are also many personalization options so that everyone can adapt their smartphone to their needs, which I think is good. I also really liked the design of the software and in some places it reminds me a bit of Apple's iOS. Whether you like the operating system is and remains a matter of taste. What I find astonishing is the 7 years of software updates that Samsung promises for smartphones in the S24 series. This is truly unique in the smartphone market and even lasts longer than most iPhones currently.

AI features

Some of the big innovations on the software side are AI features that Samsung has built into many different areas. In the gallery you can, for example, have photos that were taken crooked straightened and have the missing side edges created by the AI. Another gallery function is moving and enlarging or reducing objects, in which the artificial intelligence then fills the previous position of the object again. In the phone app, thanks to AI during phone calls, people who speak other languages ​​can communicate with each other in their language. The AI ​​translates your own language into the language of the other person and then reads what you said to the other person. This can be a game-changer in some everyday situations for some people who, for example, don't speak English well.

But in my opinion the most useful and best AI function of the S24+ is Circle-To-Search. This is activated when you hold down the home button or the home bar. If the function is activated, the user can simply circle something with their finger, which is then analyzed and searched for using Google search. This feature is really extremely useful in everyday life, because whenever you wonder what something is or who someone is, you can find out very quickly. I have really come to appreciate Circle-To-Search and would like to see something similar integrated into all future smartphones.

Prices & Availability

The price of the S24+ in the 256 GB basic version is 1149 euros, which is 50 euros cheaper than its predecessor. The 512 GB version I tested costs 120 euros more, i.e. 1269 euros. I think the prices are high, but reasonable for what is on offer. I also strongly assume that prices will continue to fall significantly in the next few weeks and months. You can buy the S24+ at all common electronics stores, as well as from Samsung itself in the online shop.

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Jonas Wilhelm

Jonas lives near Ingolstadt and has been with us for over a year TechnikNews. He regularly writes test reports and news for the site. In his free time, he likes to find out about the latest technology when he's not listening to music too loudly or watching series. He also often meets up with his friends and enjoys cooking.

Jonas has already written 31 articles and left 2 comments.

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