The Samsung Galaxy S24 range is the best release Samsung has made in several years, and it’s not because of one single thing – it’s because overall there’s a strong attention to detail, an outstanding design and a more understated approach to ecosystem. Not to mention the Artificial Intelligence Features which rightly stole all the headlines at the launch.

Rather than focus on one single device here, I wanted to highlight the entire range because frankly, the base model Galaxy S24 deserves as much praise – perhaps more even, than the top of the line Ultra.

That said, I know full well how important a deep-dive into these devices is to prospective buyers, so the team here (Scott and Dan) will have Australia’s most comprehensive reviews in the weeks ahead. A good review needs time. The people who just want it will have it by then, the people who are curious will wait for a good detailed review – we’ve got your back.

The look of the Galaxy S24 Range.

Firstly, my problem with this “range” of phones is the lack of design consistency. It’s as if the S24 exists as does the Note 24 but they just refuse to use the Note Name and are persisting with Ultra. If the Ultra is part of the S24 family then make it the same design as the S24 and S24+. It’s so strange to hold all three phones and feel like one of them is another brand or model all together. I. Don’t. Get. It.

But, Samsung I’m sure will argue that the Ultra is by far and away the biggest seller, so there’s no need to draw those buyers down the line, however I do wonder if the design might stop people going up the line.

All that said, the Ultra is basically the same as last year – just with Titanium. Yep, that same remarkable material that Apple started using last year, just a few months later here’s Samsung doing the same. How that happens I don’t know, but of course, it looks like Samsung is following on that one. Not a big deal, but I wouldn’t be using the Titanium as my headline in marketing if I was Samsung because Apple already did that, and well, people will giggle.

The S24 and 24+ however are dead ringers for the iPhone 12, 13 and 14. The 15 has that ever so slight rounding to the “squared” edges, so it’s more accurate to compare to the design before that, though the back edges are more like an iPhone 15. Check them out.

Seriously though, from almost every angle it looks like an iPhone. The S2+ is the same size as the Max or Plus sized iPhones too. Like – almost exactly.

However, when you see the back you know straight away it’s not an iPhone because of the lens layout, and I think Samsung is smart there to own that vertical stack of round lenses without a surrounding island.

I love it, but I’d also vote for iPhone design if we were judging smartphones on looks, so of course these appeal to me.

That said, I think that’s a strong strategy to potentially convert some users. And I’m down with that.

Those Samsung Galaxy S24 Cameras

There’s not really much “new” to write home about here. These are better in many small incremental ways, but in the same way that a car might tweak the headlight design year on year, it’s cosmetic and not overwhelming.

Ultra still pushes 100x Zoom, 24 and 24+ will do 30x. The actual lenses of course optically are much smaller than that so sticking to 1, 2, 3x is the best quality generally.

Here’s a bit of a simple sample.

At 1x Zoom – there’s zero advantage to having the S24 Ultra in normal daylight lighting. But I think we could argue there’s really no difference between many smartphones in those conditions are there?

S24 Ultra

The 3x is excellent, and probably the worthy lens to consider when doing a bit of distance photography:

3x Zoom

But the real star, is the 100x here folks.

I saw all the narks go on about fake moons and AI, but that’s great, that’s what you NEED is the phone to TRY and learn from anything it can to give you a good image.

Here’s a 100x on that boat up there. Well first, here’s the utlra-wide to give context and scale:

And here’s 100x:

Yeah, scrachy as hell around the edges, but come on – you could barely make out the name of the boat with the naked eye – so this is a remarkable outcome.

Some things, of course, it struggles with – but sure I can’t make out the face of they kayaker, but I could get detail of perhaps the colour of their wetsuit, who knows!

Then there’s this lovely little boat moored in the bay – check out the name, didn’t see that with the naked eye either.

So take your “It’s fake” rubbish and knock it off – this is a fantastic set of capabilities, though, frankly not much use in the real world. And, not much different to the last few years of 100x zoom.

“Cheers” to that:)

What is all this AI talk about the Galaxy S24?

While the call translation in real time is amazing, as is the live translation face to face and via text, for me the Writing Style assistant is the game changer.

This is the kind of thing that I’ve used ChatGPT for. I write an email then ask ChatGPT to make it more professional or casual.

It works anywhere you can type. SMS, Email or even just Samsung Notes.

Call upon your AI assistant and choose Writing style, it quickly fetches alternative options for you.

Here’s an example:

Even if it’s just something as lame as not wanting to go to dinner – use it!

To be clear, this is not done “on device”, so the power here isn’t the device the processor or really anything S24 – which begs the question why wouldn’t they roll this out on previous models? The answer is simple – to make the S24 appealing!

Now in the terms and conditions people have noted that it’s free to use “for now”, so yes, they might make this a fee to use service.

AI computing is powerful, processing intensive, so I think personally Samsung needs to leave that door open if we all rush to use it – but if it’s just a basic usage thing, then I hope it stays free to use.

This is one of the best features of the device, and for me, sets up an important challenge to Apple – can you do this? They have to.

What is Circle to Search?

Not unique to Samsung, but first launched with the S24, this is brilliant.

And here’s how not-fake it is.

This is that photo from above (Left below). Then you press and hold the home button on screen, the screen goes “magical” (below right)

Use your finger to draw a circle around the particular item you are curious about (Left below) and you get results from Google almost instantly (Below right)

Are you kidding me – it found the exact boat. Come on, this is awesome.

Switching from iPhone to Samsung – is now the time?

Software wise, theres nothing different about the day to day use of these phones than we’ve had before.

Switching today means signing up to a Samsung account, getting the phone to copy all your data over (Messages, Photos etc) which happens as part of the setup – and then the apps and settings are pretty straight forward.

You need to consider it in the same vein as driving an Automatic car all your life then jumping into a Manual. You need to give it time.

Also, photos will be your biggest issue. My number one best recommendation is to switch your life into Google ASAP – get the iCLoud library uploaded to Google Photos, and boom – you’ll have all your photos on any android phone real quick.

But from a now versus before concept of switching, the design of the S24 and S24+ makes it legit feel like you’re still using an iPhone.

Which one would I buy?

What a crazy question to ask the guy who loves smaller phones. I’m not the average user any more it seems.

But for me, the standard S24 is outstanding. It has all those AI features, and a brilliant camera. Why spend more?

You want a bigger screen? The S24+ is as big as the Plus and Max iPhones, so it’s really a great sized phone.

I’ve never had the appeal of the S24 Ultra sized devices, and am convinced they do well because so many people sign up on contracts and don’t see how much they are paying overall!

For me, pick the S24+. It’s fresh in looks, and feels great in the hand, plus has amazing features ready for you.