To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus hands-on review: Toeing the line

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus gets a big display upgrade and is slightly cheaper than last year

The most predictable tech launch is back, with Samsung’s Galaxy S24 smartphones first out of the gate as the new year begins. Even more predictable is the arrival of a trio of models to mull over this year, but curiously it’s the middle one – the S24 Plus – that has seen some of the biggest changes.

Rather than simply being a regular S24 with a slightly bigger screen and a beefier battery, the S24 Plus is slowly edging closer toward the specifications offered by its pricier sibling, the Galaxy S24 Ultra, while also falling in price compared with last year.

READ NEXT: Best smartphone 2024

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: Key specifications, UK price and release date

  • 6.7in 120Hz QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display
  • Exynos 2400 for Galaxy
  • 256GB or 512GB storage
  • 12GB RAM
  • Triple rear cameras: 50MP (f/1.8) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 10MP (f/2.4) 3x zoom
  • Selfie camera: 12MP (f/2.2)
  • 4,900mAh battery (45W wired charging)
  • IP68 dust and water resistance rating
  • Aluminium frame
  • Colours: Cobalt Violet, Amber Yellow, Onyx Black, Marble Grey
  • UK release date: Preorder from 17 January, available from 31 January
  • UK price: £999 (256GB), £1,099 (512GB)

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: Design, key features and first impressions

The focus this year, however, isn’t as much on the hardware as it is on the software, and specifically on something Samsung is calling “Galaxy AI”. Essentially, this is an umbrella term for the phone’s collection of AI features, which include advanced stuff such as live translation in calls and audio transcriptions, as well as new photo-editing features such as AI generative autofills and easy object cutouts.

If you want to learn more about Galaxy AI, you can head over to my Galaxy S24 Ultra hands-on preview, where I go into much more detail. I’d recommend you come back here when you’re done reading, however, since there’s a lot to get through with this year’s Galaxy S24 Plus variant.

Arguably, the most important change is that the S24 Plus is no longer limited to the same FHD+ screen resolution as its smaller sibling. Here, we’re finally getting QHD+, which is the same pixel-packed resolution offered by the S24 Ultra. It’s practically the same size, too  at 6.7in versus 6.8in and it now has an adaptive refresh rate that automatically adjusts between 1Hz and 120Hz, rather than a simple toggle – a first for the non-Ultra models. Brightness also gets a solid bump, with Samsung claiming that the display can reach a peak brightness of 2,600 nits.

Sadly, you don’t get the fancy titanium frame introduced on the Ultra model, but the Armor Aluminium construction still looks and feels great. A layer of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 should keep the screen relatively scratch-free, and the IP68 water and dust resistance rating returns.

Like the regular model, the phone can be picked up in a choice of four colours: Onyx Black, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet and Amber Yellow.

Despite the chipset parity between all three models last year, the S24 and S24 Plus have gone back to Samsung’s own Exynos silicon in 2024, while the Ultra gets the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy exclusively. There’s no word yet on the architectural makeup of the new Samsung chip, so I’m unable to provide any comparisons. However, historically speaking, Samsung’s Exynos CPUs have lagged behind their Qualcomm counterparts in both performance and stamina terms, so hopefully this year will be different.

All three S24 models come with 12GB of RAM, and in the case of the S24 Plus, you get the choice of either 256GB or 512GB of non-expandable storage, and if you preorder before 31 January, you can buy the 512GB phone for the same price as the 256GB model. As you would expect, the S24 Plus’ battery is larger than the regular model’s at 4,900mAh, but it also charges faster at 45W vs 25W.

As for the cameras, the Samsung Galaxy S24 gets a triple-sensor array on the rear, consisting of a 50MP (f/1.8) main unit, 10MP (f/2.4) 3x zoom sensor and a 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide unit. Samsung’s Space Zoom tops out at 30x, rather than the 100x offered by the S24 Ultra and, on the front, there’s a 12MP (f/2.2) selfie camera, embedded in a centrally placed hole-punch notch.

Finally, on the software side of things, the S24 Plus launches with Android 14 and Samsung’s One UI 6.1 OS. The reveal also confirmed that each of the S24 series devices will receive OS and security updates for seven years.

READ NEXT: Best Samsung phone

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: Early verdict

Samsung’s decision to increase the screen resolution to match the Ultra model is a smart one. Ideally, the S24 Plus should be seen as the middle ground between both models, so this is a good step at re-establishing the middle child’s reason for being.

What’s an even smarter move, however, is that the S24 Plus costs £50 less than its predecessor did at launch, despite the upgrades – a welcome move on Samsung’s part that will, surely, lead to an increase in sales.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus starts at £999 for the 256GB model, with the 512GB version priced at £1,099. It’s available to preorder today, and the phones should start shipping on 31 January.

Read more

First Look