The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is Samsung’s latest and greatest flagship, and while it’s always interesting to compare the newest phones to their contemporaries, it’s worth remembering that many people come to these versus pieces because they’re looking to upgrade from an older device.

So, how does the Galaxy S24 Ultra compare to the baseline Samsung Galaxy S23, one of our favorite compact flagships of 2023? Is it a worthwhile upgrade, or are you better off saving your money? 

Below, we’ve looked at how the key specs and features of the Galaxy S24 Ultra compare to the Samsung Galaxy S23. For a side-by-side comparison of Samsung’s latest Ultra models, specifically, check out our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra versus Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra shootout. 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23: specs

Before we get to an in-depth breakdown of how these two phones compare, here’s a brief overview of their key specs.

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Samsung Galaxy S23
Dimensions: 162.3 x 79 x 8.6mm 146.3 x 70.9 x 7.6mm
Weight: 232g 168g
Display: 6.8-inch AMOLED 6.1-inch AMOLED
Resolution: 1440 x 3120 1080 x 2340
Refresh rate: 1Hz-120Hz (dynamic) 1Hz-120Hz (dynamic)
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Rear cameras: 200MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto (3x zoom), 50MP periscope (5x zoom) 50MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto (3x zoom)
Front camera: 12MP 12MP
RAM: 12GB 8GB
Storage: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
Battery: 5,000mAh 3,900mAh
Charging: 45W wired, 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wireless 25W wired, 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wireless
Colors: Titanium Violet, Titanium Gray, Titanium Black, Titanium Yellow, Titanium Blue, Titanium Green, Titanium Orange Green, Phantom Black, Cream, and Lavender

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23: price and availability

Samsung Galaxy S23 screen held at an angle

The Samsung Galaxy S23 launched in February 2023 (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung announced the Galaxy S24 Ultra on January 17, 2024, and the phone became available to purchase on January 31. The Galaxy S23 arrived just under a year earlier, on February 17, 2023.

Pricing for the Galaxy S24 Ultra starts at $1,299 / £1,249 / AU$2,199, which represents a price bump over the Galaxy S23 Ultra (in the US, at least).

Unsurprisingly, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is way more expensive than the Galaxy S23, which started at $799.99 / £849 / AU$1,349 for the 128GB model at launch. The 256GB model – which is where the Galaxy S24 Ultra starts in terms of storage – arrived at $859.99 / £899 / AU$1,449, so that’s a significant price difference. You’ll surely be able to find the standard Galaxy S23 for a cheaper price in 2024, too.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23: design and display

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra from the back with S Pen mostly withdrawn

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra looks a lot like the Galaxy S23 Ultra before it, but it has a slightly tougher, more industrial design.

Its display is completely flat, like the standard Galaxy S23, though it’s made from Gorilla Glass Armor, which is 56% tougher than the S23’s Gorilla Glass Victus 2.

One way in which the Galaxy S24 Ultra evolves is through its titanium alloy frame, which is both stronger and more premium-looking than the aluminum material you’ll find on the Galaxy S23. Samsung has also reduced the bezel size on the Galaxy S24 Ultra, so it’s more of an ‘all-screen’ device than the Galaxy S23.

At 162.3 x 79 x 8.6mm and with a weight of 232g, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is also way bigger than its brother in every way. The 64g weight difference is particularly noteworthy, so fans of compact phones will want to consider the Galaxy S23 first.

Launch colors for the Galaxy S24 Ultra include Titanium Black, Titanium Gray, Titanium Violet, Titanium Yellow, Titanium Blue, Titanium Green, and Titanium Orange. The Galaxy S23, by contrast, came in Phantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender, Graphite, and Lime.

One notable design difference between these two is the inclusion of Samsung’s S Pen stylus on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. It’s unique among Samsung’s phones in this regard.

The bigger Galaxy S24 Ultra also packs a much larger display than the Galaxy S23. While the Galaxy S23’s display measures a compact 6.1-inches, the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s screen measures 6.8-inches.

If you’re struggling to visualize that difference, just take a look at the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Galaxy S23 side-by-side (see the right-hand side of the below image). The difference is very similar when you swap in the new flagship.

Samsung Galaxy S23 series standing upright against colorful backdrops

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus, Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy S23 (Image credit: Samsung)

Another difference between these two phones is their respective display sharpness, with the Galaxy S24 Ultra maintaining the QHD+ resolution of the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S23 has a mere FHD+ resolution. Of course, the smaller screen size on the Galaxy S23 tends to reduce the visual impact of such a pixel shortfall.

Samsung has managed to push the brightness of the Galaxy S24 Ultra display way up, with the phone boasting a 2,600 nits peak brightness in HDR situations. That’s considerably brighter than the Galaxy S23’s 1,750-nit peak.

Both phone displays get to 120Hz, though the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s screen outshines the Galaxy S23’s on this front thanks to its LTPO panel technology. This makes it far more flexible and thus efficient, capable as it is of shifting right down to 1Hz where appropriate.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23: cameras

Samsung Galaxy S23 camera array

The Samsung Galaxy S23’s camera array (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The Galaxy S23 offers a familiar and nicely rounded camera set-up, especially for such a compact and reasonably priced flagship. Its 50MP 1/1.56″ main sensor is joined by a 12MP ultra-wide and a 10MP 3x telephoto.

Samsung has tweaked the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s camera set-up from previous Ultra phones, but the end result is far more impressive than the S23’s.

You could say that Samsung technically scaled back its periscope camera on the S24 Ultra, shifting from a 10MP 10x component to a 50MP 5x one. However, it also ramped up the sensor size alongside that pixel count, so it takes better-quality zoom shots at up to and including 5x, and even comparable 10x and beyond shots thanks to superior hybrid zoom techniques and bolstered AI.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra from the back in titanium grey

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra’s camera array (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is fronted by a huge 1/1.3″ 200MP main sensor, like the Galaxy S23 Ultra before it. Suffice to say, this dwarfs the Galaxy S23’s main sensor in every respect, sucking in way more light and information.

This is supported by a 12MP ultra-wide and a 10MP 3x telephoto, which isn’t too dissimilar to the Galaxy S23’s back up sensors.

Samsung went big on AI in 2024, giving the S24 Ultra advanced camera features that the Galaxy S23 simply doesn’t have access to. The new ProVisual AI Engine, in conjunction with that spread of zoom lengths, means that the Galaxy S24 Ultra can deliver sharp shots across the zoom range, as mentioned.

Elsewhere, Samsung’s Galaxy AI software can supply edit suggestions such as removing reflections or remastering the whole image. The Generative Edit feature, meanwhile, works like google » data-auto-tag-linker= »true » data-before-rewrite-localise= »https://www.techradar.com/tag/google »>Google’s Magic Editor to fill in the gaps left when straightening up an image, as well as highlighting and moving subjects around.

You can also use AI to make a slow-motion video from a normal video with the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S23 camera samples:

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra camera samples:

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23: performance and software

Samsung Galaxy S23 is an excellent gaming phone

The Samsung Galaxy S23 (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The Galaxy S24 Ultra represents a generational advance over the Galaxy S23 in performance terms.

While the Galaxy S23 has a capable Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, the Galaxy S24 Ultra gets the newer, faster Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. Both chips are special ‘for Galaxy’ versions too, which means they’re clocked a little faster than the off-the-shelf variants used by other phones.

Unlike the rest of the Galaxy S24 range, you’ll get that Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 no matter where you are in the world, which is reassuring.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s prime core has a slightly slower clock speed than the Gen 2’s. However, it also has one extra performance core, and these are clocked higher. It also drops one efficiency core, but can ramp up to 2.3GHz.

Meanwhile, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 GPU can produce 40% improved hardware-accelerated ray tracing than its predecessor (that’s the fancy lighting technique that’s coming to define modern console and PC gaming). This is aided by a meaty vapor chamber cooling system in the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which enables it to maintain that high performance for longer.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra playing <a href=Call of Duty Mobile » loading= »lazy » src= »https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/zSvWg9RvakXpNdi4QrSVue.jpg » data-pin-media= »https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/zSvWg9RvakXpNdi4QrSVue.jpg »/>

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

In short, the Galaxy S24 Ultra runs faster, cooler, and more efficiently than the Galaxy S23. Throw in considerably more RAM (12GB vs 8GB) and we have a clear performance winner.

The software on the two phones is broadly similar, especially with the Galaxy S23 now eligible to receive the same One UI 6.1 update (on top of android 14) as the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Mind you, the Ultra has two big advantages over the S23 in the software department. One is Samsung’s new seven-year update promise for both the main UI and security updates. That’s a big advance on the Galaxy S23’s four and five-year offer respectively.

We’ve already mentioned the other Ultra advantage: Samsung’s AI push. Thanks to that improved Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processing power and Samsung’s work with Google, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is capable of several AI tricks, many of which have been lifted from the Pixel 8 (including real time subscription and AI wallpaper generation).

Many of these AI features are also now available on the Galaxy S23 – check out our Samsung Galaxy AI compatibility explainer for the details – but several of those aforementioned camera enhancements remain exclusive to the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23: battery life

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra battery settings menu

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra’s battery settings menu (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

The Galaxy S24 Ultra has a 5,000mAh battery, which is considerably larger than the Galaxy S23’s 3900mAh cell.

In our lab testing, the Galaxy S24 Ultra lasted a huge 16 hours and 45 minutes in its default Adaptive display mode, while the Galaxy S23 got just over 10 hours at the same settings. In other words, there’s no battery life contest between these two phones, although 10 hours is still plenty long enough if you’re someone who doesn’t mind charging your device every night.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra has the Galaxy S23 beat on charging speeds too, with a maximum supported rate of 45W to the smaller phone’s 25W. Both phones support 15W wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23: verdict

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23

(Image credit: Samsung / Future)

There’s no doubt in our minds that the Galaxy S24 Ultra is a better phone than the Galaxy S23. The Galaxy S23 Ultra most certainly was, and the Galaxy S24 Ultra offers subtle improvements on that outstanding phone right across the board.

It’s got a more powerful chipset, a better design, a brighter screen, a bigger battery and vastly superior camera specs, though those premium features do, naturally, come at a cost. And a very high one. Not taking into account any (inevitable) price cuts for the Galaxy S23, the Galaxy S24 Ultra costs at least $500 / £400 / AU$850 more than Samsung’s 2023 standard model. 

In our book, the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s upgrades are worth the money – there’s a reason the device sits on our list of the best phones, after all – but it’s also true that not everyone will need the super premium features that its enormous price tag gets you.

If you’re simply after a capable handset with a slick processor and a decent screen, then Galaxy S23 is absolutely worth considering. But if you’re wondering whether the Galaxy S24 Ultra is an objectively better phone than the Galaxy S23 – either because you’re looking to upgrade from one to the other, or you’re currently deciding between the two – then the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

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Violette Laurent est une blogueuse tech nantaise diplômée en communication de masse et douée pour l'écriture. Elle est la rédactrice en chef de fr.techtribune.net. Les sujets de prédilection de Violette sont la technologie et la cryptographie. Elle est également une grande fan d'Anime et de Manga.

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