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Forget Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra — 6 reasons to buy Galaxy S24 Plus instead

 Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus in yellow and Galaxy 24 Ultra in hand in titanium violet.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus in yellow and Galaxy 24 Ultra in hand in titanium violet.

There’s a reason why companies go for a tiered approach with their phone releases. It's mainly a way to reserve the best features for the top-of-the-line model, which provides conumers an extra incentive to pay up for the more feature-packed model. After we put the Galaxy S24 Ultra and S24 Plus through their paces, something odd happened that we haven’t seen before — for once, the Plus was the worthier phone.

Trust us, that’s a tough sentiment for us to share, but we came away convinced about that in our Galaxy S24 Plus review. The middle child in the series has a lot in common with its bigger, more expensive sibling in the S24 Ultra. And while there are hardware features in that $1,299 phone that you won’t get in the S24 Plus (namely the S Pen and extra 5x optical zoom camera), you’re getting the same set of software features including the handy desktop PC-like experience of Samsung DeX.

Don’t get us wrong, there are still compelling reasons to look at the top-of-the-line Galaxy. But we’ll share all the ways the Galaxy S24 Plus beats the S24 Ultra, so you can feel more confident about your buying decision if you opt for the former.

The Galaxy S24 Plus is cheaper by $300

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus back
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus back

This is probably the biggest reason why the S24 Plus beats the S24 Ultra. What’s important to mention here is that the S24 Plus remains at the same $999 starting price as last year's model, while the S24 Ultra gets an increase of $100 that results in a $300 price difference between the two.

The reason why this is important is because the two phones share many of the same hardware, including a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB starting storage. Additionally, they both offer IP68 ratings for water and dust protection.

In the past, these two models were usually separated by $200, but now that gap has grown. As a result, the S24 Plus offers greater value in the eyes of consumers who are looking to save money.

The Galaxy S24 Plus has a lighter, sleeker design

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.

Sure, the Galaxy S24 Ultra gains a new design complete with a fancier titanium frame to make it more durable. But Samsung’s flagship still feels over bloated compared to S24 Plus.

Not only is the S24 Plus lighter at 6.95 ounces (versus the S24 Ultra’s 8.22 ounce weight), it’s also sleeker at 0.3 inches thin. In comparison, the S24 Ultra is a smidge thicker at 0.34 inches.

Those figures may not look substantially far apart, but we can tell you after holding the two phones together that there’s a noticeable difference. The sleeker look and lighter feel of the S24 Plus certainly holds up in the hand much better.

You get the same set of Galaxy AI features

A photo of the Samsung Galaxy S24 in hand with the Circle to Search feature in use. The circle is half drawn.
A photo of the Samsung Galaxy S24 in hand with the Circle to Search feature in use. The circle is half drawn.

Samsung’s clearly invested in the power of artificial intelligence, and both of these phones are proof of that because they share the same exact set of Galaxy AI features. Most people thought that the Galaxy S24 Ultra would have some exclusive ones, much like how Google’s Pixel 8 Pro boasts a couple of exclusives over the standard Pixel 8, but that’s not the case here.

As a result, the Galaxy S24 Plus has access to productivity features like Circle to Search, Chat Assist, and Live Translate — while also acquiring the same generative AI features found on the S24 Ultra, such as Instant Slow-Mo, Generative Edit, and Edit Suggestions.

Even longer battery life

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.

Typically a bigger battery ends up giving a phone the extra endurance to clear our custom battery benchmark test for much longer, but that’s not what our testing reveals. The Galaxy S24 Plus’ 4,900 mAh battery manages to outlast the larger 5,000 mAh battery cell of the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

In reality, the difference is one minute — with the S24 Plus reaching a time of 16 hours and 46 minutes, while the S24 Ultra getting to 16 hours and 45 minutes. We already know that the power efficiency of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is helping out a lot with these leaps in battery life, but this is the first time that the Plus model manages to outlast the Ultra in our testing.

Brighter display for the Galaxy S24 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Review Photos.

In our testing, the S24 Plus manages to reach a peak brightness output of 1,396 nits with its 6.7-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2x display — whereas the S24 Ultra’s 6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2x gets to 1,363 nits. Our eyes can barely notice that minor difference in luminance under sunny conditions, but that’s why we put a light meter against their displays to objectively tell which is brighter. In this case, it’s enough to propel the S24 Plus above its sibling.

Same charging tech on both models

Samsung galaxy s24 and galaxy s24 plus
Samsung galaxy s24 and galaxy s24 plus

The last reason why the Galaxy S24 Plus beats the S24 Ultra is because it charges faster. This is mainly due to the fact that they share the same charging tech, which gives them top USB-C wired charging speeds of 45W.

In 15 minutes, the S24 Plus gets up to 40% while the S24 Ultra isn’t too far behind at 39%. That 1% variation is also present when charging both phones after 30 minutes, where the S24 Plus and S24 Ultra get to 72% and 71% respectively. Given the price difference between the two phones, the fact that charging is essentially a dead heat across the two phones is a big win for the Plus.

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