Galaxy S24 Ultra Hands-On: More than Titanium

Galaxy S24 Ultra Hands-On: More than Titanium

Initial Verdict: Beyond the titanium frame and the flat display, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is an intriguing premium mid-range phone in the Philippines with Samsung’s big push for AI–and the phone has a good set of AI features that users can enjoy out of the box. 


-Titanium frame makes it lighter

-Flat display is much better


-Lower zoom range for periscope camera

It’s that time of the year once again, as Samsung unveiled its latest and greatest premium flagship device at Unpacked 2024 with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. We all know about the titanium frame and the flat display–but what sets the Galaxy S24 Ultra apart from its predecessors is Samsung’s focus on user experience with AI-powered software features.

Galaxy S24 Ultra Hands-On Philippines: Design

To be quite frank, the design of the Galaxy S24 Ultra remains the same since the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The design tweaks are very subtle, and there are only two key changes: the frame is now titanium instead of Samsung’s Armor Aluminum, and the display is now flat.

Samsung is following the iPhone 15 Pro’s footsteps in using titanium as a statement of being a ultra-premium device. Titanium has its perks: aside from being stronger than aluminum, it is also lighter as well, leading to the Galaxy S24 Ultra being lighter than its predecessors.

Since we’re talking about the same design for the past two generations, the button and port layout are the same, and the same goes for the S-Pen placement at the bottom and the IP68 rating.

The only time you know that you’re holding a Galaxy S24 Ultra is that it feels smidge lighter on the hand. To be specific, the Galaxy S24 Ultra weighs 2 grams lighter than its predecessor–and that includes the new periscope camera in the whole package.


Galaxy S24 Ultra Hands-On Philippines: Display

While you’re technically getting the same display size at 6.8 inches, the Galaxy S24 Ultra no longer has a curved display like previous Ultra models (and to an extent, Samsung’s Note phones). This time, the display is flat, with skinny bezels across all four sides for a symmetrical look.

We mentioned on our 2024 trends we want to see that flat displays should be the new norm, and Samsung is going for that trend with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Flat displays are better than curved ones since they are less prone to breaking, and finding a suitable screen protector is much easier. We’re not sure if other premium flagship phones will follow suit, but Samsung’s decision on the Galaxy S24 Ultra should be enough to encourage other brands.

As for the display itself, the other difference is that it can go brighter than the S23 Ultra’s display. That may be a minor detail, but it means a lot especially when you are the type that often uses your phone outdoors.


Galaxy S24 Ultra Hands-On Philippines: Cameras

The Galaxy S24 Ultra’s camera setup is almost similar to its predecessor, save for the periscope camera: instead of a 10-megapixel sensor with 10x optical zoom, Samsung opted to go for a 50-megapixel sensor with 5x optical zoom instead. That may sound like a downgrade, but you have to factor in the higher resolution of the sensor used–and the fact that the periscope camera has a brighter f/3.4 aperture (vs f/4.9 on the Galaxy S23 Ultra).

While we weren’t allowed to take sample photos since we were using engineering units, this is one of the things we really want to test on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Both the S23 Ultra and S22 Ultra have been the go-to phones for taking videos in concerts at a distance for their stellar performance and image quality, and we expect the Galaxy S24 Ultra to double down on that despite the lower optical zoom range of its periscope camera.


Galaxy S24 Ultra Hands-On Philippines: Internals, Software

Being a flagship, you have the latest and greatest internals on the Galaxy S24 Ultra: Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, 12GB LPDDR5X RAM, and up to 1TB of UFS 4.0. While we wished Samsung went for charging speeds faster than 45w for the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s 5000mAh battery, the biggest changes are on the software side–with an emphasis on AI.

Samsung is extensively utilizing AI for productivity, communications, and photography. The Live Translation feature is very helpful in communicating with someone that does not know your language, while we see the Interpreter feature to be a favorite among jetsetters who travel to different countries and have a hard time understanding the language.

For photography, Samsung is following Google’s footsteps with its utilization of generative AI for creative photo editing. One of the features we tried is the smart eraser tool where you can remove unwanted details on your image like your ex, and it works really well–you don’t need to use a different photo editor to clean up your photos before posting them on social media.

There’s a lot for us to explore with all of these Galaxy AI smarts, and we’ll be exploring them further on our review once we get our hands on a retail unit.

Aside from the AI powered software features, Samsung also matches Google’s Pixel 8 commitment with the Galaxy S24 Ultra: seven major Android updates and 7 years of security updates. That’s the best update commitment we have on any device right now, beating Apple’s software update commitment on iOS devices.


Galaxy S24 Ultra Hands-On Philippines: Wrap-Up and Initial Conclusions

While the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s design looks truly premium with the flat display and titanium frame, its main selling point is the whole software and user experience. Like every single tech brand out there, Samsung is banking heavily on AI, and the features we’ve tried on the Galaxy S24 Ultra shows a lot of promise on how AI can be utilized to improve our day-to-day lives.

Galaxy S24 Ultra Hands-On Philippines: Price

The Galaxy S24 Ultra starts at Php 84,990 for the 256GB variant, and goes up to Php 106,990 for the 1TB variant.



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