Should I Upgrade to the Samsung S24? I’m Tempted to!

Samsung S24 Series Impressions
Samsung S24 Series Impressions

Update May 2024: Read my review of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra here.


A major decision is upcoming for me. One that requires much careful deliberation.

In about three weeks, my telco contract would hit the 18-month mark, i.e., I would be able to change handset without penalty charges. It’s thus time to make the most important lifestyle and business decision of the year! Which handset should I upgrade to? Which model should I splurge on? Huzzah!

… …

I jest, but nope, it’s not a complete joke or exaggeration. Me doing what I do, a reliable smartphone equipped with a kickass camera system equates daily work convenience; I can’t always be carrying my DSLRs and full-frame lenses everywhere. And while I do all my work and gaming on desktops, owning an updated handset capable of handling tough applications expands my writing possibilities. I’m talking about having the option to test new mobile apps, games, etc., in case I need to.

One name is also top on the list of handsets I’m considering: the Samsung Galaxy S24. This is not because the Galaxy S24 is the most significant smartphone launch of late or because I attended two of the launch events in January, it’s because I’m genuinely impressed with the upgrades and AI functions. There are also far more improvements from the Galaxy S23 to the S24 than say, the previous generation.

The following are the key features of the Galaxy S24 series that excited me the most. Not all are equally important to me but all are at least tagged with a very good-to-have label in my notebook.

For the record, I’m considering the S24. I would certain LOVE to own the + version or better yet, the Ultra. But clumsy me just can’t handle a supersized smartphone when I’m moving about with a tripod and DSLR, etc.. And so the smallest version is the most ideal for me. (Sigh)



Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Night Photography Sample
Shot with the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. If you’ve been to the Future World exhibition at the ArtScience Museum, you’d know how dark this scene is.

1. ProVisual Engine Powered Camera System

Outside of security, camera and video capabilities are what matter most to me in a smartphone.

To quote Samsung’s literature for the S24 series cameras, “Galaxy S24 series’ ProVisual Engine is a comprehensive suite of AI-powered tools that transform image capturing abilities and maximise creative freedom every step of the way, from setting up a shot all the way to sharing it on social. Gone are shaky, pixelated images taken from far away. Galaxy S24 Ultra’s Quad Tele System, with a new 5x optical zoom lens, works with the 50MP sensor to enable optical-quality performance at zoom levels from 2x, 3x, 5x to 10x magnification thanks to Adaptive Pixel Sensor. Images also show crystal clear results at 100x with enhanced digital zoom.”

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As for night photography capabilities, or nightography, “photos and videos shot on Galaxy S24 Space Zoom are brilliant in any conditions, even when zoomed in. Capture more light in dim conditions with Galaxy S24 Ultra’s larger pixel size, now 1.4 μm, which is 60% bigger compared to the previous model. Blur is reduced on Galaxy S24 Ultra with wider optical image stabilizer (OIS) angles and enhanced hand-shake compensation.”

The literature gives the impression that only the Ultra enjoys the best upgrades, and it is indeed awesome as you can see from my sample images above. But when I tried the S24 and S24+ plus at the Future World exhibition and the Epic Wonderland roadshow, image output in dark environments was equally impressive. Anyway, on the official product page, the non-Ultra models are stated to also be capable of AI enhancement during zooms and in low-light scenarios.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Camera vs DSLR
Above: Shot with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Below: Shot with my Nikon D780 with a 35mm lens. I’m sure my D780 could produce the same result, but I would need a tripod and some settings finetunning. It wouldn’t be as easy as shooting with the S24 Ultra.

At the roadshow, when I swiped in beyond 3x on the S24+, I could also see the preview getting cleaned up. At 10x zoom, lines remain decent in definition and clarity as well. Speaking of the display, the entire S24 series features Super HDR previews so that users can capture vivid shots the way they see them on the screen. For me, this is cosmetic but it’s nonetheless a satisfying function to have.

Samsung S24 Camera AI Zoom
Look at how clean the edges still are after I zoomed in 5x. This was in the dark too.

An outstanding camera system with powerful AI enhancement capabilities is definitely the biggest selling point of the Galaxy S24 series, especially for content creators like me.

Galaxy S24 AI Editing Functions
Importantly, it doesn’t take forever to process these edits. I fiddled with edits on both the S24 and S24 Ultra, and even in the case of the former, they were fast and accurate. Might be my imagination but I’m quite sure the one-touch enhancement effect, i.e., remastering, is much better than on my old S22 too.

2. Galaxy AI Editing Suite with Generative Edit Capabilities

Before all else, AI or not, some of the photo editing tools in the S24 series aren’t completely new. If you have older Galaxy phones and have been regularly updating, you’d know some editing functions such as remastering and reflections removal are also available on the older models.

The expanded suite of editing tools for the S24 series is still impressive, though, and super fast, with AI making its presence felt at every opportunity. Generative Edit straightens pictures, repositions objects, etc., without the need to worry about glaring white spaces being created. You can also highlight something and move it elsewhere with AI doing all the patching and cloning work necessary. It’s very much like what Adobe Photoshop 2024 is capable of but with a slightly simpler workflow.



For videos, the new Instant Slow-mo function generates additional frames based on movements to smoothly slow down action-packed moments. In other words, minimalizing motion blur.

It’s a lot of exciting possibilities and I think if one is willing to experiment and be patient when editing, while also not attempting over-ambitious transformations, satisfying results are possible.

Importantly, it doesn’t take forever to process these edits. I fiddled with these edits on both the S24 and S24 Ultra, and even in the case of the former, they were fast. And accurate.

I foresee myself benefitting from these capabilities. As in, I would have reduced need to transfer pics to my desktop for editing, before uploading them.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Series Improved Cooling
The S24 series doesn’t just provide all the power you need for gaming. Going by the build, it provides all necessary cooling too.

3. 1.5 times Larger Vapour Chamber Compared to the S23*

To be clear, I don’t play games on my smartphones and I’ve never experienced a severe overheating episode. Still, it’s worrying when a handset feels like it just came out of the oven after, say, five minutes of video filming.

Any improvement in heat dissipation is therefore an attractive feature for me; I’m paranoid that way. And who knows, with the whole series having gorgeous displays that come equipped with Vision Booster, I might finally get down to playing all the racing games that I always download into a new handset but never get down to.

* For S24 and S24+ The Vapour Champer on the Ultra is 1.92 times the size of that on the previous Galaxy generation. Check that out!

Samsung S24+ AI Summary
Demonstration of the summarisation function of the S24+ at the Epic Wonderland roadshow. Notice there’s a “translate” button at the bottom too.
Samsung S24 Series Live Chat Translation
I didn’t try the live chat AI translation capabilities at the launch event; there was quite a queue. But everyone was grinning and enthusiastic so I assume the quality of translations is high.

4. Live Translate and AI Secretary Services

The tagline for the new series is “Galaxy AI is Here,” and so AI empowerment goes beyond camera improvements. In the areas of work and daily communications, the S24 series is able to perform live translations, not just when you text but also during phone conversations.

There is also Chat Assist, which if I understand correctly, provides text suggestions on tone and style. For the Ultra, Note Assist does what you would previously need to download an app for. It summarises lengthy, verbose documents.



To be honest, I neither have nor foresee the need for these nifty functions; my work and social circles don’t require them. They still sound great as learning tools, though. You know, pick up a few new phrases while you’re waiting for something somewhere. Get the AI to thin the fluff from some truly rambling textbook chapter you’re supposed to read for, whatever.

With the functions so easily accessible, I’m sure I would find more use for them, too, given enough time.

Doesn’t look like it, but this 2024 handset is big on sustainability.

5. Built With Sustainability in Mind

I’m not trying to jump onto the sustainability bandwidth here. I mean it when I say I appreciate Samsung’s heavy use of recycled materials in the Galaxy S24 series; for example, recycled cobalt and rare earth elements. (The Ultra uses 50 percent recycled cobalt in the battery). The use of recycled steel and Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) too.

It’s an oxymoron. Smartphones are endlessly useful but they are also an incredible waste of resources because we change handsets so often. Recycling obsolete handsets doesn’t completely mitigate the waste, too, because not everything would be recyclable.

So, yup, I think it’s great that Samsung goes a step further in their environmental policy by heavily using recycled materials. By the way, they promise a longer product cycle too. Up to seven generations of OS upgrades and seven years of security updates.

I … honestly don’t think I would use the S24 that long if I buy it. But I’m sure some users would be encouraged to, or more encouraged to. Every single person counts in the quest to safeguard our Earth.

Samsung x Casetify S24 Cases
Other than Samsung lifestyle gadgets to pair with, there’s, of course, lots of lovely Casetify cases to go with any model of the S24 series. (Including Singaporean special editions)

6. The Samsung Ecosystem

The Samsung Ecosystem has been around for a while now. Just two years back, I’d also tell you I balk at the notion of all my daily gadgets being interconnected. What if they gang up on me, manifest a Matrix-like intelligence, and take over my life?!?!

But … I currently own a Galaxy Watch and tablet, a pair of Galaxy Buds 2 too. I also tried the Samsung M7 smart monitor last year. I admit there’s a certain attraction and convenience in having your most used electronic gadgets seamlessly understand each other, even if such connections aren’t exactly a must-have for work or entertainment.

The ability to instantly check phone messages on my PC, for example, ensures that I won’t miss important notifications just because I’ve carelessly left my phone too far away from my workstation. For a scatterbrain like me, this can be most useful.



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Summary
Should I Upgrade to the Samsung S24? I’m Tempted to!
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Should I Upgrade to the Samsung S24? I’m Tempted to!
Description
A look at the most attractive features of the Samsung Galaxy S24 series, and why the S24 is likely to be my next smartphone.
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