Samsung might be playing it safe with batteries in the Galaxy S24 Ultra and Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review back perspective
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

With each passing smartphone generation it’s reasonable to expect most specs to improve. The chipset certainly, and often the screen, the cameras, and other features. But one thing that doesn’t tend to improve much, if at all, is battery capacity, and it looks like that might remain true with the Samsung Galaxy S24 line.

Certifications for batteries which, based on their model numbers, are believed to be intended for the Galaxy S24 Plus and Galaxy S24 Ultra have been spotted by Nashville Chatter (via @UniverseIce). They list the rated capacity at 4,755mAh for the Galaxy S24 Plus's battery, and 4,855mAh for the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s battery.

For reference, the rated capacity of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus’s battery is 4,565mAh, and the rated capacity for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s battery is 4,855mAh. So there’s no change for the Ultra, and an upgrade of 190mAh for the Galaxy S24 Plus, which isn’t nothing but isn’t a lot either.

Certifications for batteries possibly headed to the Galaxy S24 Plus and Ultra

(Image credit: Dekra / Nashville Chatter)

It’s worth noting that we don’t usually talk about the rated capacity when discussing batteries. Companies – including Samsung – tend to lead with the typical capacity, which in the case of the Galaxy S23 Plus is 4,700mAh and in the case of the Galaxy S23 Ultra is 5,000mAh.

Based on these rated capacities though, we’d expect the S24 Plus to have a typical capacity of around 4,900mAh, while the S24 Ultra will once again be 5,000mAh. So this isn’t the most inspiring news, especially as Samsung’s phones tend to charge slower than much of the competition.

An industry-wide problem

That said, Samsung isn’t alone in not significantly boosting battery capacities. Other than certain cheap phones and gaming phones, it’s rare to see a handset offer more than a 5,000mAh battery. But it is a shame that we're not seeing more, especially when other aspects of phones are improving.

Still, this doesn’t mean that the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra won’t have better battery life than the Galaxy S23 Ultra, as a new chipset can also have an impact. Newer chipsets are often more efficient than older ones, so despite being more powerful they can actually be less of a drain on the battery, although based on past form we wouldn’t expect this to have an enormous impact.

What we really need is more mAh, but it seems that Samsung, and many other companies, have decided that what we have now is good enough, or that increasing the battery size wouldn’t be worth the required trade-offs, as it would also mean increased thickness and weight. Sadly, if you disagree with that assessment, there aren’t too many smartphone options that will suit you.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.