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Should You Upgrade to Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra? Weighing the Worth of the Newest Galaxy Flagship

After using The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra close to a month, no doubt this latest Samsung Galaxy flagship boasts the latest technology and together with Galaxy AI, it sure delivers an enhanced user experience. Many of you are probably still holding back and you are still thinking whether it is worth upgrading from the S23 Ultra or older models, say no more, let's delve into the key upgrades and potential deal breakers to help you decide.



AI Takes the Wheel


The most distinctive update that debuts with the Samsung Galaxy S24 series is definitely the Galaxy AI, which includes a suite of AI features , like "Circle to Search" for image-based queries and multiple real-time language translation features like "Live Translate", "Chat Assist" and "Interpreter", which greatly improve productivity and convenience in daily life. 





The AI Generative Edit feature also further adds a layer of convenience as you can now perform a lot of editing on the go, including erase, resize and remaster photo etc., which previously would require a laptop and a professional app at the very least. If you think you will be making use of these tools very frequently in your daily personal and work life, the S24 Ultra offers you a very unique value and I would totally recommend you hop on. 


But also do take note that Samsung has also confirmed that Galaxy AI will be rolling out to older 2023 models, tentatively starting late March through software updates. Users of Galaxy S23 series, S23 FE, Z Fold5, Z Flip5 and Tab S9 series are covered so you will be able to enjoy  similar functionality without upgrading. However as of now we still do not know if the hardware differences would affect how Galaxy AI performs on older models but nevertheless, users can still hold off and decide until then. Samsung has confirmed that other older models will not receive the Galaxy AI upgrade so if you are using S22 Ultra or even previous models and the AI features are what you need, you could definitely go for the S24 Ultra.



Camera Powerhouse


The S24 Ultra boasts a 200MP main sensor, and due to newer algorithm and larger pixel size, it is able to provide more enhanced image processing and better low light performance, so you could expect sharper and clearer images compared to its predecessor, the S23 Ultra which has the same 200MP main sensor. 



For the telephoto lens, it might be hard to tell whether it is an upgrade or a downgrade from the S23 Ultra but actually it ends up depending on your usage pattern. The S23 Ultra has two telephoto lenses: a 3x optical zoom with a 10MP sensor and a 10x optical zoom with a 10MP sensor. The S24 Ultra retains the 3x zoom but upgrades the 10x zoom to a 5x optical zoom with a 50MP sensor. In this case, you could expect to see sharper images and more details when zoomed in at 5x, but at higher magnifications the results might not be as satisfactory compared to the S23 Ultra, but the AI Zoom features does help to enhance the details and reduce noise in long-distance captures. 



So summing things up, if you are looking to capture more stunning details at the 1x-5x zoom range, the S24 Ultra is definitely worth the upgrade. If you are a concert fan which want to record the stage from afar and often use the 10x zoom, the S24 Ultra might not perform as well as the S23 Ultra. Also if you're an average phone photographer, the jump from S22 Ultra's 108MP to 200MP might not translate to a significant difference in everyday use, so do consider your photography needs before making the upgrade.


Performance Boost


In Malaysia, The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is the only model in the series that comes with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, while the other 2 comes with Samsung's own Exynos 2400, and it does offers several improvements over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the S23 Ultra in terms of performance and efficiency. 



The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 boasts a new core architecture with improved clock speeds, resulting in a roughly 10-15% performance uplift in CPU tasks like app loading, multitasking, and web browsing, while the mew Adreno 750 GPU promises a 20-25% improvement in graphics performance, providing smoother gameplay and enhanced visual fidelity in demanding applications. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 also includes a dedicated AI processing unit, the Hexagon Processor, offering significant improvements in AI-powered tasks so technically speaking the Galaxy AI should be performing better on the S24 Ultra even if the S23 Ultra receives the update in future. 



The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is built on a 4nm manufacturing process compared to the 5nm process in the 8 Gen 2, so this translates to potentially improved battery life due to better power efficiency. It also supports faster RAM and storage storage options, which can further enhance overall responsiveness and data transfer speeds. Last but not least, it also enables support for the latest Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards, including the latest state-of-the-art Wi-Fi 7, providing faster wireless connectivity speeds. 


However, it's important to remember that benchmarks and theoretical improvements don't always translate directly to real-world performance gains. The S23 Ultra with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is still a powerful phone and the average user might not notice a significant difference in daily usage. Therefore, upgrading for the processor alone might not be necessary for everyone so consider these factors before you make your decision:


  • Usage Pattern: If you’re frequently pushing your phone to its limits with demanding games, intensive multitasking, or AI-powered applications, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3's improvements might be more noticeable and beneficial.

  • Battery Life: If battery life is a concern, the potential efficiency improvements of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 could be a compelling reason to upgrade.

  • Future-Proofing: Opting for the latest processor ensures longer software support and access to the newest features, which might be important for those who keep their phones for extended periods.


Verdict


Ultimately, the decision to upgrade depends on your individual needs and priorities. If you're a photography enthusiast, power user, or someone who heavily utilizes AI features, the S24 Ultra is definitely worth considering. However, if you're satisfied with your current phone performance and don't see a compelling reason for the upgrade, waiting for future iterations or software updates would still be a good choice.



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