Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+

12 minutes, 10 seconds Read

There is no uncertainty in our minds that the S24 Ultra is the ultimate Galaxy – that is, if we exclude the Fold from the conversation so as not to complicate things. But does everyone need the ultimate Galaxy? Perhaps the more ordinary Plus is all the Galaxy you’d ever have any use for, and spending the premium for an Ultra isn’t entirely warranted. With that in mind, we set off to find out how the two stack up, hopefully saving you some money in the process – or, alternatively, convincing you to go Ultra.

Table of Contents:

For starters, you can compare the complete specs sheets or directly continue with our editor’s assessment in the text further down below.

Size comparison

A quick look at the numbers shows a somewhat significant difference in size and weight – the Ultra is nearly 40g heavier than the already not-particularly-light Plus. The Plus is also noticeably more compact, being almost a full millimeter thinner and 3 mil less wide – the height difference may not be as tangible, but the other metrics have an immediate impact on usability. So if you’re after at least some semblance of pocketability, the Plus has an obvious advantage.

Samsung is deliberately differentiating the Ultra from the rest of the lineup in terms of design and build too. Although there are some common stylistic cues, the S24 Ultra and the S24 Plus take different paths, physically. The Ultra is clearly a Note descendant with a blocky body and sharp corners, which means business. On the other hand, the Plus maintains a slightly more fluid shape in the corners and has more of an everyday vibe.


Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+

There’s a difference in materials, too, with the Ultra introducing titanium to the Galaxy universe, combined with Corning’s latest Gorilla Armor glass on both sides, while the Plus is using the more mundane Armor aluminum and Gorilla Glass Victus 2. That would likely mean that the Ultra would be more durable in the long run, though it’s not like the Plus is exactly fragile. Either way, you’d be getting an IP68-rated phone.

One of the major changes on this year’s Ultra is the glass covering the display, and it’s a two-fold development. On the one hand, it’s now flat, as opposed to the curved-edge S23 Ultra. That means that both the S24 Ultra and the S24 Plus have flat panels on the front, so that’s not going to be a deciding factor if you have strong feelings on the subject. The other aspect is that the Ultra’s glass is less reflective, with opinions on the matter varying between ‘okay, so what?’ and ‘that’s the greatest thing ever’.

Display comparison

When it comes to display quality, there’s sort of a major development on the Plus too – 1440p resolution returns to the large-sized ‘regular’ model after three generations of 1080p Pluses. Additionally, the 2024 Plus is also getting an LTPO panel with what is apparently the same level of adaptive refresh rate behavior as the Ultra. The 0.1-inch larger diagonal on the Ultra is then the only “significant” difference in display specs. Well, that and the glass reflectivity we mentioned above.

In our testing, the two phones posted similar results for brightness – around 1,450nits with adaptive brightness enabled and bright light shining into their ambient light sensors.

The HDR capabilities are identical – Dolby Vision is missing from the picture, but HDR10 and HDR10+ are covered. FullHD streaming of DRM-protected content is also possible thanks to the Widevine L1 support. Android 14’s Ultra HDR standard for displaying photos online and in gallery apps also works on both phones.

The S24 Ultra’s got a couple of peculiarities with its display that may or may not be a problem for you. One of them was the Ultra’s relatively muted default color rendition, even in the Vivid color mode, though that has since been addressed with a firmware update and the inclusion of a Vividness slider (which the Plus has also gotten, for good measure).

The other thing is the graininess that can be observed at low brightness levels – how irked you are by this will likely vary depending on how often you use your phone in dark environments. This imperfection is seemingly not present on the Plus – so, in at least this one way, the Plus’ display is better? This feels wrong to write, but it would appear to be the case. Then again, the reflectivity argument does bring some balance into this category.

Battery life

In the matter of endurance, the two phones will likely give you similar mileage in trivial tasks like watching videos or browsing the web. In our testing, the Ultra was markedly better in gaming, though, and its call time was also longer.

An asterisk that needs to be pointed out here is that the Ultra uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset in all its regional varieties, while the Plus exists with either that same Snapdragon, or the Exynos 2400 chipset.

The Plus that we’ve tested has the Exynos, which could explain the difference in gaming endurance and call times (the two chipsets have a similar-grade CPU but a different modem and GPU). If you are coming from a region where the Snapdragon Plus Plus is offered, the two will probably have similar battery life.

Charging speed

Galaxies don’t charge particularly fast, and that applies to both of the large S24s as well. On paper they support 45W charging, but the charging curves that Samsung’s picked make for relatively pedestrian results. The Plus scores a narrow victory here, but it’s hardly a meaningful difference.

Beyond wired charging, both the S24 Ultra and the S24 Plus support 15W Qi/PMA wireless charging and 4.5W reverse charging.

Speaker test

The two phones have similar speaker setups – one speaker fires out of the bottom of the handset, and another one at the top end outputs sound forward through a slit. That second one also serves as the earpiece.

Both the Ultra and the Plus earned ‘Very Good’ ratings for loudness in our speaker test. To our ears, the Ultra has the upper hand in sound quality though, being able to pump out some more noticeable low-end frequencies, without sacrificing clarity across the board.

You can compare how the two phones sound in controlled acoustic conditions with the samples below. Just make sure you have your headphones on and the volume is at max level.

Performance

The balance of powers in the Performance section is also likely to vary between regions – the places that get a Snapdragon version of the Plus shouldn’t be seeing much of a difference between the two handsets’ benchmark scores. Not that whatever differences there are between the performance of the Exynos and the Snapdragon will be readily felt, but that’s not the point.

Both phones feature 12GB of RAM in all configurations, and the base storage is 256GB, so there’s no obvious advantage for either one. The Ultra does have a 1TB storage option, while the Plus maxes out at 512GB, so maybe that could be a deciding factor if you’re that type of extreme power user.

If you’re that person, you’ll also probably be after the Ultra’s S Pen – it adds another layer of productivity that simply having a large screen doesn’t quite match. Jotting down notes, ‘signing’ documents, or just having a wireless remote for your phone’s camera always there with you – the Plus has no immediate answer to that.

It’s worth mentioning here that the S24 generation is promised up to 7 years of OS updates and software support – that applies to both phones though, so you don’t have to pay extra for the Ultra to benefit from it. Also, both the Ultra and the Plus get the latest in AI-assisted software features that Google and Samsung have come up with.

In our testing – as established, with different chipsets on the two phones – the Plus matched the Ultra in CPU performance but was a little bit behind in graphics benchmarks. Again, that will likely not be the case if you’re in North America, where the Plus comes with the same chipset as the Ultra.

Camera comparison

Alongside the S Pen, the difference in camera capabilities is the other area that will decide whether you must get the Ultra or you’ll be okay with the Plus. The Ultra has the proper high-end setup, with two telephotos, autofocusing ultrawide, and a larger sensor main unit.

The Plus, on the other hand, makes do with a single zoom camera, fixed-focus ultrawide, and a large-ish sensor primary. The most significant difference is that the Plus will only zoom up to 3x, while the Ultra covers the 3x level, but can also do 5x and also 10x with some caveats.

Photo quality

In daylight, the global image properties are very similar between the two phones, and you’ll be getting vibrant images with a wide dynamic range. Differences emerge at 1:1 viewing, where the Plus exhibits more laid-back processing, resulting in a somewhat soft look to detail and a bit more graininess.

The Ultra arguably strikes a better balance with sharpening and noise reduction and delivers cleaner images without looking artificial.

With all cameras and at all matching zoom levels, the Ultra has an edge in sharpness and detail – sometimes the difference is smaller, sometimes more significant. For casual snaps, the Plus will serve you well, but if you want more of a cameraphone experience and the best images from a Galaxy, it will have to be the Ultra.


Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/2671s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 1x - f/1.7, ISO 12, 1/952s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 2x - f/1.7, ISO 12, 1/1484s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 3x - f/2.4, ISO 50, 1/3869s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+


Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/3309s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 1x - f/1.7, ISO 12, 1/1614s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 2x - f/1.7, ISO 12, 1/2404s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 3x - f/2.4, ISO 50, 1/7142s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+

Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 0.6x • 1x • 2x • 3x


Galaxy S24+ daylight samples: 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/2848s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ daylight samples: 1x - f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/2288s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ daylight samples: 2x - f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/3704s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ daylight samples: 3x - f/2.4, ISO 25, 1/2680s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+


Galaxy S24+ daylight samples: 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/3592s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ daylight samples: 1x - f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/3744s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ daylight samples: 2x - f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/5328s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ daylight samples: 3x - f/2.4, ISO 25, 1/3928s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+

Galaxy S24+ daylight samples: 0.6x • 1x • 2x • 3x

not only is the Ultra better than the Plus at their similar zoom levels, but the Ultra has a 5x telephoto camera that gives it further reach, which the Plus can’t match. It’s also great for close-ups.


Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 5x - f/3.4, ISO 32, 1/1418s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 5x - f/3.4, ISO 32, 1/848s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 5x - f/3.4, ISO 32, 1/488s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 5x - f/3.4, ISO 32, 1/2180s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+

Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight samples: 5x

One area where there’ll be no sacrifices is selfies – while there are minor differences between the results we got on the two phones (possibly attributable to the different ISPs because of the Snapdragon/Exynos situation), you can count on excellent selfies either way.


Selfie samples: Galaxy S24 Ultra - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/120s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Selfie samples: Galaxy S24 Plus - f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/100s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Selfie samples: Galaxy S24 Ultra - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/1742s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Selfie samples: Galaxy S24 Plus - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/1796s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+

Selfie samples: Galaxy S24 Ultra • Galaxy S24 Plus

Low-light performance, in as few words as possible, is good to very good on the Plus and excellent on the Ultra. The Plus will keep you satisfied with its main camera, but the Ultra still has an edge there, and it’s a similar story with the ultrawides. On the other hand, the 3x telephoto of the Ultra is a notably better performer in the dark.


Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 1600, 1/33s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 1x - f/1.7, ISO 2000, 1/100s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 2x - f/1.7, ISO 800, 1/50s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 3x - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/33s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+


Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 1250, 1/33s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 1x - f/1.7, ISO 1600, 1/100s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 2x - f/1.7, ISO 500, 1/50s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 3x - f/2.4, ISO 500, 1/33s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+

Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 0.6x • 1x • 2x • 3x


Galaxy S24+ low-light samples: 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 1250, 1/33s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ low-light samples: 1x - f/1.8, ISO 2000, 1/100s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ low-light samples: 2x - f/1.8, ISO 800, 1/50s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ low-light samples: 3x - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/33s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+


Galaxy S24+ low-light samples: 0.6x - f/2.2, ISO 1250, 1/33s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ low-light samples: 1x - f/1.8, ISO 1600, 1/100s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ low-light samples: 2x - f/1.8, ISO 1000, 1/100s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ low-light samples: 3x - f/2.4, ISO 400, 1/33s -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+

Galaxy S24+ low-light samples: 0.6x • 1x • 2x • 3x

And, once again, the Ultra can simply get you closer to the action than the Plus. Or, in our case, to that random bit of a moderately lit facade at night.


Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 5x - f/3.4, ISO 1600, 1/33s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 5x - f/3.4, ISO 2000, 1/25s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 5x - f/3.4, ISO 400, 1/31s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 5x - f/3.4, ISO 1250, 1/33s - Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+

Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light samples: 5x

Video quality

Both phones can capture video at up to 4K60 with all of their cameras. You can also do 8K30 on the main cameras, and the Ultra is also capable of 8K30 on the 5x telephoto. Another Ultra-only option is 4K120 on the main camera in Pro Video mode. Stabilization is available in all modes and does a great job on both phones.

Oddly enough, in daylight, our Plus captures slightly sharper 4K30 video with all three of its rear cameras – it’s not a dramatic difference, but it’s also not the difference you’d expect to see.

The Ultra inevitably scores points for reach as it can do nicely detailed 5x recording and pretty decent 10x as well. Colors are generally pleasing on both phones, while the Plus has a slightly more contrasty look overall.


Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight video samples: 0.6x -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight video samples: 1x -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight video samples: 3x -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+

Galaxy S24 Ultra daylight video samples: 0.6x • 1x • 3x


Galaxy S24+ daylight video samples: 0.6x -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ daylight video samples: 1x -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ daylight video samples: 3x -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+

Galaxy S24+ daylight video samples: 0.6x • 1x • 3x

In low light, we’d be inclined to say that the Ultra has a minor edge on the main camera and the ultrawide, but it’s hardly significant enough to be a deciding factor. The telephotos’ footage isn’t great on either phone.


Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light video samples: 0.6x -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light video samples: 1x -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light video samples: 3x -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+

Galaxy S24 Ultra low-light video samples: 0.6x • 1x • 3x


Galaxy S24+ low-light video samples: 0.6x -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ low-light video samples: 1x -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+
Galaxy S24+ low-light video samples: 3x -  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24+

Galaxy S24+ low-light video samples: 0.6x • 1x • 3x

Verdict

We didn’t for one second doubt that the Galaxy S24 Ultra would ‘win’ this comparison, but establishing that it was the superior phone was never the goal. We were aiming to prove that the Plus is a good enough premium Galaxy for most people, and only those who know that they want the Ultra should get the Ultra.

Indeed, the Plus comes with most of the latest benefits of a top-tier Samsung phone. It’s got a 1440p display that’s as adaptive as on the Ultra, it charges about as fast as its bigger brother, and has solid battery life (if not quite as good as the Ultra’s). All the AI smarts are on board too and there will be 7 years of updates.

The Plus is also a capable cameraphone that you’d be perfectly happy with if you don’t have an Ultra to compare against and if you don’t know for a fact that your camera pursuits are predominantly beyond 3x zoom. Also, while you do enjoy a large screen, you don’t have the pockets for the heavier and blockier Ultra – do get the Plus then. And there’s always the monetary argument – going Plus will save you some money, and it’s not an insignificant amount.

However, the Ultra carries that name for a reason, and as the ultimate phone in the lineup, it delivers some extra goodies. The 5x telephoto camera will expand your reach, but also get you nicer closeups. And even where the two phones share zoom levels, the Ultra’s photo quality is consistently better (though it’s not quite so for video).

It’s not just the camera, though. The Ultra has longer battery life and a less reflective display, plus its tougher build may actually help it make use of all those promised 7 years of updates. And, of course, there’s the S Pen, which can render this whole discussion irrelevant, if you know you can find utility in it.

Ultimately, it’s relatively simple. Most people will be happy with the S24 Plus. But some people should get the S24 Ultra.


    Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

    Get the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra for:

  • The tougher build.
  • The less reflective display.
  • The longer battery life.
  • The S Pen stylus.
  • Superior photos across the board.
  • Zoom action beyond 3x, whether it’s stills or video.

    Samsung Galaxy S24+

    Get the Samsung Galaxy S24+ for:

  • The lower price.
  • The more compact body.
  • The Samsung flagship experience without the extra fuss.

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