Initial Verdict: While the Galaxy S24 and S24+ return to using Exynos in the Philippines, the more exciting part for both premium flagship phones is Samsung’s focus on user experience with its suite of AI-powered features.
-AI powered features work very well
-QHD+ display on the Galaxy S24+ at last
-Not that much different from the previous generation
-8GB RAM on the standard Galaxy S24 is small for its price
The use of Exynos processors on the Galaxy S24 and S24+ may not sit well with everyone, but Samsung appears to be going a similar route with Apple where the Korean giant emphasizes on its own homegrown tech and focus more on the software experience for its user. We got to try out both versions, and here’s our first impressions of Exynos’ return to Samsung’s premium flagship devices.
Galaxy S24, S24+ Hands-On Philippines: Design
Compared to the Galaxy S23 series, the Galaxy S24 series feature a more boxy design that will remind you a lot of Apple’s iPhone 15 series. You’re not getting a titanium frame like the Galaxy S24 Ultra, but that’s fine: Samsung’s Armor Aluminum frame is good enough in terms of durability.
Aside from the boxier look, there’s barely any design change on the Galaxy S24 and S24+. Samsung sticks to the same design language as the Galaxy S23 series (and practically the entire Galaxy Ax4 series), and it’s not a big deal for us: the look gives that distinct identity to the Korean tech giant’s entire line of phones.
Even if the design is on the boring on the conservative side, we prefer the more minimalist look on the Galaxy S24 and S24’s cameras over the insanely large camera bumps you’d find on the majority of flagship phones these days. Just like their predecessors, you get the same button and port layout, along with the same IP68 rating.
Galaxy S24, S24+ Hands-On Philippines: Display
The Galaxy S24 and S24+ have roughly the same display size at 6.2 and 6.7 inches respetively, but their bezels are thinner than the Galaxy S23 series. You’ll notice this especially for the bottom bezel, where Samsung managed to make it razor slim for that symmetrical look.
Both phones still have a 120hz AMOLED panel with a variable refresh rate, though like the Galaxy S24 Ultra they are much brighter with a maximum brightness of 2600nits. This makes both the Galaxy S24 and S24+’s more visible for outdoor use. While the Galaxy S24 still has a Full HD+ resolution, the bigger Galaxy S24+ now has a QHD+ resolution to make good use of the bigger display.
Galaxy S24, S24+ Hands-On Philippines: Cameras
We don’t want to sound a broken record here, but the Galaxy S24 and S24+ uses the same camera setup as the Galaxy S23 series. Many may argue that the Galaxy S24 and S24+’s setup–which consists of as 50-megapixel main, 12-megapixel ultra-wide, and 10-megapixel 3x telephoto–pales in comparison with what some of the 2024 flagship phones have to offer. However, Samsung is going for a similar approach as Google withe their Pixel phones where they maximize camera hardware with great software.
We were restricted to taking sample photos since because we were using engineering units during our time with both the Galaxy S24 and S24+. Expect us to test out the cameras of the Galaxy S24 and S24+ extensively once we get our hands on a retail unit.
Galaxy S24, S24+ Hands-On Philippines: Internals, Software
The most controversial part with the Galaxy S24 and S24+ is that Samsung decided to use the Exynos 2400 instead of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. We are all to familiar with the hate for Exynos, though early benchmarks for the Exynos 2400 shows that it is roughly at par with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. We have to try out official retail units of the Galaxy S24 and S24+, so that’s something we will check out in our full review.
While the Galaxy S24+ gets 12GB RAM and 45w charging, Samsung skimped on the standard Galaxy S24 by only giving it 8GB RAM and retaining 25w charging. That’s unfortunate, as paying over Php 50k for a phone with only 8GB RAM and 25w charging feels way too much. When it comes to specs, you’re getting better value for money with the bigger Galaxy S24+.
Just like the Galaxy S24 Ultra, the Galaxy S24 and S24+ emphasize a lot on user experience, particularly with Samsung’s suite of AI-powered tools. We were able to try out Live Translate, and it works really well in translating our calls to the other party on the fly–provided that you have a good internet connection.
We expect Interpreter to be a godsend tool for travelers, and Samsung’s generative AI image editing tools work as great as Google’s Pixel-exclusive tools. Samsung’s object removal tool is expected to be a favorite feature among users, as they can easily remove unwanted elements on their photos before posting them on social media.
Just like the Galaxy S24 Ultra, both the Galaxy S24 and S24+ get the best software support for any Android device: seven major Android updates and 7 years of security updates.
We expect brands to go heavy on generative AI this year, and Samsung’s dedication to a good software experience on the Galaxy S24 and S24+ shows a lot of promise. We will give our thoughts in the full review once we get our hands on the retail units.
Galaxy S24, S24+ Hands-On Philippines: Wrap-up and Initial Conclusions
At this point, Samsung is going for the Apple route by focusing more on user experience than massive hardware upgrades–and we’re fine with it. We understand the skepticism of people with the Galaxy S24 and S24+ with their use of Exynos processors, but our brief experience shows that the Exynos 2400 is not far behind from the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor since they can also handle all of Samsung’s AI-powered tools well.
When it comes to value for money, however, the standard Galaxy S24 feels overpriced because you’re only getting 8GB RAM and 25w charging–both of which feels criminally low for a phone priced at over Php 50k. The Galaxy S24+ has better value, especially if you factor in the QHD+ resolution for its display and having the same 45w charging and 12GB RAM as its Ultra sibling.