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Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review: The Goldilocks Zone
When this year’s range of Samsung flagship-tier phones were released, everyone seemed to gravitate towards the S24 Ultra. But can you blame them? Everything about the S24 Ultra screamed excess and abundance. The largest screen of the lot. Most capable camera setup. And of course, the titanium build. But what if we told you that the S24 Ultra isn’t the best bang for the buck deal coming from Samsung’s S-tier devices for 2024.
But before we go any further, let’s do a quick unboxing experience of the S24 Plus – an across-the-board experience regardless of S24 device, something which isn’t much to shout about.
Out of the box are the standard (or lack thereof) accessories that comes with the phone;
While we do appreciate Samsung’s efforts to lessen its carbon footprint by reducing the size of the packaging, something extra would have been nice. A bog-standard clear case would have been awesome especially for those who haven’t found the perfect case for their newly-purchased device, for example. Come on Samsung. We’ve been on this for years already. We yearn for something more out of the box to accompany the device.
Anyways, back to the phone. Having tested the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus (or S24+) for about two weeks now, we’ve been super impressed with the device despite its biggest perceived shortcoming – that it runs on an Exynos 2400 chip instead of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform for Galaxy found in the Ultra. For the uninitiated, outside of the United States, S24 and S24 Plus devices are powered by Samsung’s own chip. We still believe that for what it’s worth, the S24 Plus should be the go-to model for the discerning user.
As a reference point, in Malaysia, the S24 Plus starts at RM4,899.00 while the S24 Ultra starts at RM6,299.00. That’s an RM1,400 margin right there. Do keep this number in mind whenever we compare these devices, because context is everything.
Unless you have to have the S-pen and the titanium finish, it is hard to deny the appeal of the S24 Plus. Sure, the screen is slightly smaller (6.7 vs 6.8 inch) than the Ultra but this translates to a more dense pixel count on the S24 Plus. The S24 Ultra has a slightly larger battery capacity at 5000mAh vs 4900mAh on the S24 Plus, ensuring your device stays alive slightly longer. But it is worth noting that the S24 Plus would easily last over two days with plenty to spare.
Weighing at 196g, the main body structure of the S24 Plus is made out of Armor Aluminum – the same found on last year’s flagship S23 Ultra. Both front and rear glass panels are made of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 which should withstand scratches from your daily hazards, save for Jerryrigeverything’s Mohs hardness picks, that is. But unlike on the S23 Ultra which was more gloss, the Armor Aluminum on the S24 Plus comes with a more matte finish making it more resistant to smudges. Not that it matters much since most of you will be slapping on cases anyway.
Speaking of builds, the shape of the S24 Plus may also appeal to many thanks to its curved edges. In hand, it feels ergonomic; it rests comfortably into your palm while on the S24 Ultra, the boxy edges tend to dig into your flesh. With or without a case, the S24 Plus is a joy to handle and navigate through. Its unassuming looks are perfect for those who want to blend in without sacrificing much in the productivity side of things.
The camera setup on the S24 Plus is similar to last year’s Plus model. Why dabble with what ain’t broken, right? So they didn’t. Despite not having the top-end 200MP shooter found on the Ultra, the S24 Plus is definitely a way above-average shooter. Having used the S23 Ultra for most of 2023, we very rarely switch to the 200MP mode save for really stunning scenery which requires attention to detail. So having factored in the frequency vs cost of upgrading from the S24 Plus or the S24 Ultra, photography enthusiasts or social media content creators have more than they’ll ever need in the S24 Plus.
For many years, each new phone releases are either highlighted by the device’s camera prowess or for that fruity-based company, the material of their device is their highlight. Interestingly for Samsung this year, their spiel is the tech buzzword for these past few years – Artificial Intelligence. Galaxy A.I as they call it, is a model-specific service that is first made available for select Samsung devices, starting with the S24 range. According to Samsung, this service will soon be made available for S23 and Z Fold & Flip 5 too.
Carefully skirting around the controversies surrounding A.I including stolen artwork and plagiarism, Samsung’s approach to their A.I services leans towards more practical uses such as helping people to better construct text messages and email, quickly identify items seen on their screen, better photo enhancement tools and the highlight of it all, real-time translation capabilities. This is made even more impressive when the service is accessible to anyone, as long as the initiator of the call has a device which supports Galaxy A.I. At launch, 13 language packs will be available and once downloaded, you are able to converse in your native tongue while the device translates you in real-time. Sadly there’s no Malay in the list just yet. Here’s to hoping for one in the near future.
Let’s start with the text assistance feature. While you cannot expect everyone to start writing like a proper book author with Galaxy A.I, you can anticipate more professional and coherent sentences, especially in formal settings. This is definitely useful for those new in the corporate world, still trying to bridge the college & uni lingo with what’s acceptable in a professional setting. Simply by copying any text, regardless of source, Galaxy A.I will then reproduce it in several ‘styles’.
Already competent writers may find little benefit from this, but the A.I does a decent job of summarizing long bodies of text into a more condensed form. We do feel that this is a perfect tool for transcribing interviews. A tool can only be as powerful as the skill being applied to it.
Another noteworthy mention is the improved photo enhancement capabilities. While not essentially huge with photo editing, this new AI-powered capabilities does make us spend more time with our photos, especially those taken over five years ago. Leveling a photo now does not require cropping out sections but instead, the phone helps fill in the gaps for you.
Like us, we are pretty confident that anyone who get their hands on a S24 device would spend significant hours editing and enhancing previously taken photographs. Look at the image above for example. The Lego Executor model is perched on a black stand and comes with two scale Imperial Star Destroyers attached by semi-translucent rods. Using the Galaxy A.I, we not only are able to omit these ‘extensions’, but also fill in the gaps. The end result? A Super Star Destroyer that looks as if it’s floating above our coffee table. Sweet.
Obviously, the final outcome is heavily dependent on one’s creativity and imagination but we picture many to take advantage of these tools, creating the perfect photos of their most cherished moments.
Gaming on the S24 Plus, we found it to be more comfortable due to the curved edges all around. The S24 Plus conforms and rests better into our palms and despite having a clear case slapped on, the device remains relatively cool to the touch. However, for heavy-duty gaming sessions, on more demanding titles, we do noticed that the device become slightly warmer to the touch. This is expected regardless of the processor being used. However, we doubt you would need to reach out to a portable USB fan to keep the device operating optimally.
Many has been said about the performance of the Exynos chip and while yes, we did experience some slight drop in frames, it is no way near deal-breaker territory. Any deaths, 1v1 losses and mis-aim were user-caused, and we won’t blame the tool for our lack of skill. Multiple tests online also confirmed this find, with the Exynos underperforming *slightly* when compared to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. These numbers, however aren’t indicative of how the S24 Plus performs daily, which in our books, stellar.
In all, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus managed to avoid the situation that many ‘Plus’ models in the past found themselves in – the afterthought model. Instead, the S24 Plus was able to carve a niche to be THE go-to model for any kind of consumer who does not put emphasis on having an S-Pen built into their flagship device of 2024. The packaging and execution were top-notch on all aspects and we cannot recommend the S24 Plus enough for the discerning and cost-savvy smartphone user.
As Baby Bear said in Goldilocks & The Three Bears, “Everything’s juuuuuuuuuuust nice.”
Platform: Android 14, One UI 6.1
Body: 158.5 x 75.9 x 7.7 mm (6.24 x 2.99 x 0.30 in), ~196g
Frame: Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), aluminum frame
Chipset: Exynos 2400 (4 nm) – International
CPU: 10-core (1×3.2GHz Cortex-X4 & 2×2.9GHz Cortex-A720 & 3×2.6GHz Cortex-A720 & 4×1.95GHz Cortex-A520)
GPU: Xclipse 940 – International
Display: Dynamic LTPO AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 2600 nits (peak); 6.7 inches, 110.2 cm2
Memory (Internal): 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM, UFS 4.0
Main Camera: 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
Video: 8K@24/30fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 1080p@960fps, HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS
Sound: Stereo speakers, no jacks given
Battery: Li-Ion 4900 mAh, non-removable
Price: Starts from RM 4,899 (512GB, 12GB RAM) – with special upgrade offer at Samsung website.
The S24 Plus hits Malaysian markets on the 6th February 2024. Review unit of the Samsung S24 Plus provided by Samsung Malaysia. You can purchase your own unit of the S24 Plus from their official website here.
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