Five reasons to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung Galaxy S24 S24 Plus S24 Ultra hands on back angled camera closeup
The Samsung Galaxy S24 series (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Whether you're a long-time Samsung user, or tempted to switch to any one of the three new Galaxy S flagships from an iPhone or another Android brand, there are a fair few reasons to consider making the jump this generation.

Launched in mid-January 2024, the Samsung Galaxy S24 series comprises a trio of phones that boast top-shelf internals and cutting-edge AI smarts, designed to meet rivals from the likes of Apple and Google head on, and beat them in some areas.

If you're already a Samsung Galaxy user the improvements highlighted here may be reason enough to pick up a member of the S24 line, while those toying with the idea of switching lanes will undoubtedly be wooed by the slew of new and enhanced features, some of which can't be found anywhere other than in the latest and best Samsung phones.

If you're looking for a deeper dive on each new model, check out our Samsung Galaxy S24 review, hands-on Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review and our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review.

1. Choice

Samsung Galaxy S24 S24 Plus S24 Ultra hands on back straight

The Samsung Galaxy S24 (left), Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus (center), and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

They say good things come in threes, and that's certainly the case with Samsung's flagship Galaxy S series. The company has a now-established cadence of releasing each new generation as a trio of devices that span three different screen sizes, upping things like battery capacity and camera prowess as you move up the range, while also ensuring that performance and key features maintain a consistency and quality that ties the whole lineup together.

That's also the case with the phone's displays, with the standard Galaxy S24 offering up a compact 6.4-inch experience, the Galaxy S24 Plus moving to a 6.7-inch screen, and the S24 Ultra topping out at a 6.8-inch display, with the added benefit of an integrated S Pen stylus.

Rivals like Apple and Google only offer two screen sizes across their latest devices, and make bigger compromises between models, especially on the smaller handsets; something that isn't the case with the S24 line.

2. Software support

Samsung Galaxy S24 generative AI home screen wallpaper

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

Apple used to be the absolute king of software support, ensuring that iPhones launched five or six years prior still received updates. For the longest time Android devices as a whole lagged behind in this regard, and while Samsung was one of the better options in the space, it wasn't until the Google Pixel 8 series that we saw an Apple-beating seven years of support being offered.

Now, with the S24 series, Samsung has decided to match this latest and most ambitious offering from Google, promising seven generations of OS and security updates for its own S24 devices, equalling the best Pixel phones and trumping even the latest and best iPhones.

3. Galaxy AI

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra with S Pen drawn, demonstrating Circle to Search

Circle to Search on the S24 Ultra (Image credit: Samsung)

The headline upgrade underpinning the S24 series is Galaxy AI: Samsung's umbrella term for the suite of AI-supported features that launched exclusively on its latest phones.

While 'AI' is a term that's been bandied about in the mobile space for some time, few phone makers have actually crafted the technology's potential into a set of useful and usable features, with Google's Pixel phones being the most prominent players in the space until now.

At launch, Galaxy AI incorporates approximately 12 features, most of which you can't find on any other phone on the market, including older Samsung phones (although some Galaxy users can expect a few to trickle down to their handsets).

Google chose to debut Circle to Search on the S24 series, not its own Pixel phones; you can harness the S24 series' AI smarts to generate infinitely differing variations of new wallpapers for your home screens; Live Translate can translate a foreign language into speech and text that you can understand in real-time while you're on a phone call; Chat Assist can rephrase your words to a different tone depending on context; and there are a whole host of generative editing tools to augment the S24's mobile photography experience.

4. Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The S24 Ultra's rear cameras (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

While all three of the S24 series have received varying degrees of camera upgrades over their predecessors, it's the top-tier Galaxy S24 Ultra that's the one to go for if you're after a truly competitive mobile photography experience.

For those put off by the harsh post-processing of previous-generation Galaxy S phones, the S24 series' color science and dynamic range make for the most nuanced images from the line yet.

The Ultra additionally trades its predecessor 10x 10MP telephoto camera for a 5x 50MP telephoto camera, which unlike the new 5x snapper in the iPhone 15 Pro Max allows for higher-quality zoom at greater focal ranges.

If you want the headroom to get creative with your phone's camera, no other handset boasts a capable 200MP main sensor and up to 8K video recording – and that's before we even touch on the swath of production and editing tools included in the camera experience.

5. Design

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra hands on handheld S Pen closeup

The S Pen on the titanium-clad S24 Ultra (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Whether you're upgrading from an existing Galaxy or you're new to Samsung's smartphone hardware, the S24 series offers a clean design aesthetic all its own.

The S24 and S24 Plus boast tougher 'enhanced' Armor Aluminum, which is reportedly 10% stronger than the previous iteration on the likes of the S23 series, while strengthened Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protects their respective displays. There's also IP68-certified dust and water resistance, which all told mean the standard and Plus models at least keep step with the latest iPhones and Pixels.

The refined ergonomics of the 'One Mass' design present as a clean sandwich of metal and glass, with more squared edges for enhanced grip while still leaving a little rounding to maintain comfort, while the bezels around the displays have shrunk to allow for a more immersive viewing experience.

As for the S24 Ultra, while it looks like its predecessor at a glance, you no longer have a curved-edge display to worry about, making for a more comfortable hand-feel and easier use, including with the S Pen – pretty much the only smartphone stylus experience on the market that's worth its salt. There's also the new Corning-made Gorilla Armor, which launched exclusively on the S24 Ultra. It's not only the company's toughest and most scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass yet, but it reduces reflectivity by 75% – an important aspect of the mobile viewing experience that practically every other phone maker seems to have overlooked.

And, while Apple got there first, Samsung is also serving the Ultra up with a new cutting-edge titanium-clad finish, which looks and feels amazing when you go hands-on with it.

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Alex Walker-Todd
Senior Phones Editor

Alex joined as TechRadar's Senior Phones Editor in June 2022, but brings over a decade's worth of experience to the role, with an expertise in smartphones, tablets and wearables. He's covered keynotes hosted by the biggest brands and attended the launches for some of the most influential mobile products of the last few years. His experience was amassed at some of the most reputable consumer technology publications out there, including GSMArena, TechAdvisor and Trusted Reviews.