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I can't believe I love this Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra downgrade

 An image of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.
An image of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

As I’ve gotten older, I've developed an appreciation for simple and refined design that eschews flair for practicality. And the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is a great example of that.

For years, Galaxy Ultra models and their Galaxy Edge predecessors have come with curved edges to their displays. Over the years, refinements on display panels have led to gentle curved edges that make for very usable bezel-less screens. And curved displays came to the likes of the Google Pixel phones and flagship OnePlus models.

But like the Google Pixel 8 Pro, the Galaxy S24 Ultra has dropped the curved edges of its predecessors and gone for flat screen edges. I’d normally consider this an off-putting downgrade; what can I say, I like curves.

There’s always been something pleasing about seeing a screen neatly bleed into the phone’s chassis, as to my eyes they've always felt a little sci-fi-esque – in the vein of Star Trek rather than the rugged aesthetic of Star Wars’ galaxy far, far away. And it generally makes a phone rather comfortable to grip, though you’ll need to grip indeed as curved screens lead to slippery phones, especially on the larger 6.7-inch plus screen sizes.

an image of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
an image of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

So with the Galaxy S24 Ultra, I was fully prepared to turn my nose up at its lack of curves. But I didn’t. Instead, I’m rather besotted by this change.

Samsung said it dropped the curved display to give the S Pen more practical screen space for people to scribble on. And I found that to be the case, with long sweeps of the stylus sticking to the screen rather than slipping off curved edges as was the case with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

I was thinking that a flat screen would make the Galaxy S24 Ultra uncomfortable to hold, but that isn’t the case.

an image of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
an image of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The curved sides made out of titanium with a somewhat soft-touch finish, means the large phone feels unexpectedly lovely in my hands, while also being less likely to suddenly leap out of grasp when I stretch my fingers to reach for a top corner one-handed.

I also reckon the use of Corning’s new Gorilla Glass Armor will work well on a flat screen rather than a curved one.

I’d have liked the adoption of titanium to make the Galaxy S24 Ultra notably lighter than its predecessor but that’s not the case, with it only shedding a gram overall. But in my hands, the Galaxy S24 Ultra just feels superior to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which is a phone I still think has a wonderful design.

an image of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
an image of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The matt back of the Galaxy S24 Ultra which has layers of paint to make for a smooth finish that also feels kinda deep (this might sound a little nonsensical, but I advise you go and see a Galaxy S24 Ultra for yourself), neatly compliments the flat screen and the curved edges.

All in all, these minor tweaks may seem iterative but add up to a phone that looks and feels like a step up from the Ultras that preceded it.

an image of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
an image of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Of course, there’s a heck of a lot more to like about the phone as you’ll see in our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review. These range from a refined rear camera suite to AI features that have promise even if they aren’t perfect yet.

Other than tweaking the software experience, which I feel is still a weak point of Samsung phones due to the overabundance of menus and One UI-centric apps, and bolstering AI smarts, it’s hard to see how Samsung will improve upon the design of the Galaxy Ultra line. I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Samsung's now used the same overall design for three generations of Galaxy Ultras.

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