Samsung Galaxy S24 Review : A Compact Champ? What About As A Regular Smartphone?

Samsung Galaxy S24
Samsung Galaxy S24
With the Galaxy Unpacked unveiling the Korean giant’s latest smartphone at our backs now, it’s time to give our thoughts on what might already be innovation in such a bland industry. The Galaxy S24 is a compact smartphone that pushes AI in front, while debuting the Exynos 2400 that holds a lot of promise and confidence for Samsung’s fabrication capabilities.
Design
9
Display
9
Performance
8
Battery Life
9
Camera (rear)
8
Camera (front)
8
Value
7
Love
Consistent Image quality across all sensors
Loads of AI fun to be had
A day’s battery life despite the size
New Generation LTPO display
Strong, balanced performance
Loven’t
Does well as a compact phone, but not a regular smartphone due to price
Does not get the same titanium treatment as the Ultra
Only 8GB RAM even if it’s a flagship
8.3

Out of 10

Key Specs

CPU Exynos 2400 (4 nm)
Memory8GB LPDDR5 RAM
256GB UFS 4.0 storage
512GB UFS 4.0 storage
Display6.2″ FHD+ 120Hz Dynamic LTPO AMOLED 2X
Camera50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
10 MP, f/2.4, 67mm (telephoto), PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide)

12 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), Dual Pixel PDAF
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.3, USB Type-C 3.2 OTG, Up to WiFi 7
OSAndroid 14, OneUI 6.1
Battery4000 mAh, 25W Fast Charging
Available ColorsCobalt Violet
Amber Yellow
Onxy Black
Marble Gray
Sapphire Blue (Online Exclusive)
Jade Green (Online Exclusive)
Sandstone Orange (Online Exclusive)
Retail Price8GB+ 256GB : RM 4099
8GB+ 512GB : RM 4599

All Too Familiar Looks

The S24 and S24+ retain the curved display and aluminum frame of their predecessors, offering a sleek and comfortable feel. However, the biggest change comes in the form of flat edges, reminiscent of the iPhone. This might be a divisive point, with some appreciating the more modern look and others missing the S-series’ signature curves. The camera module remains unobtrusive, blending seamlessly into the back panel.

While the design isn’t groundbreaking, it’s safe to say it’s still attractive and well-executed. However, the lack of major changes might leave some yearning for more excitement.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 series presents two distinct design philosophies. The S24 and S24+ play it safe, offering a refined take on a familiar formula. While this might disappoint those seeking innovation, it’s still a polished and appealing design.

Ultimately, the S24’s design appeal depends on your preferences. If you crave the latest trends and premium materials, the S24 Ultra is the clear winner. But if you prefer a tried-and-true approach with a touch of refinement, the S24 and S24+ might be more your speed.

The Works

Available Variants : 

  • 8GB + 256GB
  • 8GB + 512GB

As the smallest-sized and entry piece to Samsung’s 2024 flagship line, the Galaxy S24 also gets the same hardware treatment as the rest of the series, but with a little trim to match the price. For starters, you’re getting the Exynos 2400 for Galaxy, as seen on the Galaxy S24+. The trimming continues on the available RAM, which is only at 8GB, regardless of whether you get the 256GB or 512GB variant. If you’re looking for more RAM, the only viable option would be to go for the Galaxy S24+ or S24 Ultra. Frankly, you’ll only feel the difference when you’re multitasking heavily, which is not a typical scenario for most people. If you’re using it casually, nothing would feel slow or out of place, the Galaxy S24 is as smooth as the rest in that regard.

While there aren’t many compact flagships in the wild at the moment, it’s actually something that the Galaxy S24 shines at being. I really love the value proposition it brings to the table. The whole world looked towards the Galaxy S24 Ultra and how much AI horsepower it featured to enhance and change the way we do things on our smartphones. It’s also worth acknowledging that these benefits do trickle down to the Galaxy S24 and S24+, making them the lowest cost of entry into the ecosystem and into Galaxy AI.

The S24 packs a 6.2-inch Dynamic LTPO AMOLED 2X display with adaptive refresh rate capabilities of up to 120Hz, which is standard in today’s market. As usual, you can choose between 2 Motion Smoothness modes – Adaptive (refresh rate) and Standard (refresh rate). Colors are punchy and lively, characteristics that are common on Galaxy devices though I could say the same for other smartphones due to the fact that more than half the industry’s AMOLED panels are from Samsung themselves anyway.

Other display qualifications include compatibility for HDR10+ content as well as L1 Widevine for Netflix and other streaming apps with DRM. 

Performance isn’t lacking here one bit. The Galaxy S24 will breeze through anything you throw at it, be it long game sessions, tens of concurrent running apps and heavy camera usage. The combination of top-shelf hardware and matured software made my overall experience zippy and light, without much compromise. One UI 6.1 introduced a lot of refinement and design philosophy changes that made it sleeker and simply nicer to look at. The Exynos 2400 is a powerful chip with an energy efficiency that really puts it nearly toe-to-toe with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, but proved to be cooler and slightly longer lasting in terms of battery life, even when it came to sustained gaming sessions. It’s really worth pointing that out on account that the Exynos line has had a rocky foundation in its earlier days and it’s really great to see the company putting in extra effort to work on their own hardware to save cost while retaining a positive experience to the user.

Battery

The Galaxy S24 has a 4000 mAh battery, 100 mAh more than the Galaxy S23. While it’s no 5000 mAh pack, the Galaxy S24 is able to showcase its daily use through the efficient Exynos 2400, delivering a maximum of a day with change on a single charge, under extremely heavy usage. Lighter use cases only up these numbers, with me going home after a full day with about 30% left in the tank.

Charging is still standard, with a 25W brick taking about an hour and 13 minutes to fully charge. This is normal in Galaxy standards. I think this is acceptable, but competitively it is still slow in the market. You can charge it in the morning while you’re getting ready. For overnight chargers, the Galaxy S24 supports up to 15W, which is a good pace overnight.

Galaxy AI

The Galaxy S24 has exactly the same AI features that we’ve reviewed with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Here’s the full AI guide if you’re looking to learn how it’s meant to be experienced :

Cameras

The Galaxy S24 may not have any new sensors to show off this time, but it’s still more than enough to catch great shots. The triple-camera system consists of a 50MP main, 10MP Telephoto and 12MP Ultrawide.

Selfies are taken care of by a 12MP shooter.

While it’s hard facts that it’s the same sensors from the Galaxy S23, its main improvements are in process, software wise.

Wide

Pros:

  • Excellent image detail: The main sensor captures sharp and clear photos in good lighting conditions, with accurate color reproduction.
  • Wide dynamic range: The camera handles challenging lighting scenarios well, preserving details in both shadows and highlights.
  • Fast and reliable autofocus: The autofocus system is snappy and accurate, ensuring you capture fleeting moments with precision.

Cons:

  • Slight noise in low-light: While improved over previous models, low-light images can exhibit some visible noise, especially in darker areas.
  • Natural, but not always vibrant colors: While some users prefer the natural color rendition, others might find it lacking in punch compared to some competitors.

The post processing technique now seems a lot neater, with better noise-reduction as well as processing shadows. Both shadows and highlights are more tame yet pronounced, which really does showcase how much AI plays a vital role in mobile photography today as compared to just constantly shoving newer sensors into phones without optimizing software.

Dynamic range is super wide while contrast is kept reasonably in check. I’m just actually glad that images are no longer as oversharpened because I’d like to take pictures and straightaway upload them rather than softening them up in post. 

Zooms

Telephoto Lens (10MP):

Pros:

  • Impressive 3x optical zoom: Capture distant objects with remarkable clarity and detail, thanks to the dedicated telephoto lens.
  • Minimal loss of quality at moderate zoom: Zooming up to 3x delivers excellent results with minimal compromise in sharpness.

Cons:

  • Digital zoom beyond 5x shows limitations: Zooming further relies on digital zoom, resulting in a noticeable drop in sharpness and detail.
  • Lower performance in low light: Compared to the main sensor, the telephoto lens struggles in low-light conditions, producing softer and noisier images.

Ultrawide Lens (12MP):

Pros:

  • Expansive field of view: 120-degree field of view with decently sharp image quality, on-point colors and dynamic range. Note that different shades of white in the image above are spread out well, while dark clouds are kept in check via a wide dynamic range
  • Decent distortion correction: The camera effectively minimizes the fisheye effect often seen in ultrawide photos.

Cons:

  • Softer details compared to main sensor: Images captured with the ultrawide lens exhibit slightly softer details compared to the main sensor, especially at the edges, while details are bumped up via a medium-intense sharpening in post.
  • Visible drop in performance in low light: Similar to the telephoto lens, low-light performance suffers with the ultrawide sensor, resulting in increased noise and reduced sharpness.

Selfies

Pros:

  • Sharp and detailed selfies: The front-facing camera captures clear and detailed selfies, even in well-lit indoor environments.
  • Portrait mode with good edge detection: The portrait mode effectively separates the subject from the background with decent edge detection.

Cons:

  • Beauty mode can be overzealous: The default beauty mode settings can sometimes smoothen skin texture too aggressively, resulting in an unnatural look.
  • Limited low-light performance: Like the rear cameras, selfies taken in low light conditions exhibit increased noise and reduced detail.

The Wrap Up

If you think the Galaxy S24 Ultra is too big and expensive, but would love to try out and intergrate AI into your daily life, then the Galaxy S24 is a compelling and great choice. Its compact size and design surely makes it an attractive and comfy phone to have, and I know that there is a large camp of fans that prefer this over the Ultra’s curves.

It serves as a great generalist smartphone to have, capable of both working and gaming, while lasting just long enough to get you home without shutting down. After all, a compact phone will always have less battery life, which means less possible screen time. However, the Exynos 2400 this time around managed to pull through a day while delivering enough performance to please even the fussiest of gamers (who might be looking for a compact phone). You will also get to appreciate Samsung’s committment to consistent camera performance, and not subject yourself to experience a phone with cheap sensors just to be able to complete a triple/quad camera setup. Quality over quantity.

The Galaxy S24 is a great compact phone choice, but if you’re looking at it from a point where you’re looking for a normal smartphone at this price range, then there are way bigger and better choices out there, with even the Galaxy S24+ being one of those choices.

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