Samsung Galaxy S24 review: the most powerful among compact smartphones

Samsung Galaxy S24 small compact review features camera performance price Italy photo photo sample benchmark

With the new Galaxy S24 series, Samsung faced a significant challenge: being able to do something better than the excellent S23, which we appreciated so much last year. Because the point is this: how can you improve smartphones that are already practically perfect? Well, in addition to the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, the eyes of all technology enthusiasts have been focused on the smallest of the family, which arrives with almost unchanged dimensions and design, but with an improved and slightly larger display, and the much feared Exynos 2400.

No more Qualcomm processor, therefore, at least for S24 and S24+ and, believe me, the criticisms regarding this choice by the brand have been truly numerous. We've been trying the Samsung Galaxy S24 for some time and now we're ready to tell you whether or not it's worth buying and, above all, whether the transition between S23 (with Qualcomm) to S24 (with Exynos) makes sense.

Samsung Galaxy S24 review: small and powerful

Samsung Galaxy S24 video review

Design and ergonomics

Aesthetically, Samsung Galaxy S24 continues to follow the design line introduced by the brand two years ago. Also this year the key to the "little one" of Samsung's new lineup is to offer a top of the range smartphone with very compact dimensions.

In essence, the dimensions increase by less than a millimeter but, at the same time, the diagonal of the screen increases compared to the previous generation thanks to an excellent job of optimizing the frames. There are also few new features regarding the materials, which do not feature titanium as in the Ultra variant, but which still include a frame in Armor Aluminum 2 and Gorilla Glass Virtus 2 both on the front and rear.

Samsung Galaxy S24 small compact review features camera performance price Italy photo photo sample benchmark

Also Samsung Galaxy S24 then it is IP68 certified for water and dust resistance and like all the new components in the lineup it is partly made with recycled materials.

In short, it is undoubtedly the most comfortable and lightest model to use, and although many might "criticize" the fact that it looks a lot like an iPhone, it must be said that in terms of size it is the model I prefer among the three new Samsung smartphones .

Display

One of the main innovations of Samsung Galaxy S24 it lies in the display which, thanks to an excellent job of finishing the frames, this year has a screen-to-surface ratio of 90.9% (unlike the 86.8% of the S23). If you have read our review of the S23, you will surely remember that one of the biggest criticisms we made of last year's smartphone was related to the visibility of the display in direct light conditions.

Samsung Galaxy S24 small compact review features camera performance price Italy photo photo sample benchmark

Well, though Samsung Galaxy S24 it does not have the same anti-glare processing as the Ultra variant, with the new panel this problem has been perfectly solved: the display of the "small" one from Samsung is now able to guarantee a peak brightness of 2600 nits, and that is almost 1000 nits more than the previous generation.

Samsung Galaxy S24 small compact review features camera performance price Italy photo photo sample benchmark

It is obviously a Dynamic AMOLED 2X type display, FullHD+ compatible with HDR10+ and a variable refresh rate between 24 and 120 Hz: the quality is unquestionably good, the colors are brilliant, the perfectly calibrated whites also supports the color-based balance of the environment.

Unfortunately, however, this year too Samsung has decided to limit the management of the refresh rate a bit: in the settings you can choose to set only the dynamic refresh rate, or the 60 Hz one, but it is not possible to "force" it to work at 120 Hz or 90 Hz, so as to have fluidity, but also lower consumption.

Hardware and Performance

Now, in terms of hardware and performance, there is some (half) good news and some news that you all know by now and which might make some people turn up their noses. The good news is that unlike last year, this time Samsung Galaxy S24 it is equipped with UFS 4.0 memories, much more powerful than the UFS 3.0 used in the S23: it's a shame, however, that only the 256 GB variant can take advantage of these memories, while the 128 GB one continues to use UFS 3.1. The other news is that unlike S24 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24+ do not use a Snapdragon 8 Gen. 3, but the new Samsung Exynos 2400 SoC.

The reason? In my opinion it is simply a question of prices, given that the South Korean giant produces Exynos in-house. And yes, it is perhaps this return to the Exynos that could stop someone from making a generational upgrade but, in reality, things are not that dramatic: in daily use the Samsung hardware platform has proven to be very valid, always fast and reactive and allows the execution of any type of operation without any problem.

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When it comes to unvarnished performance, the Exynos 2400 from Samsung Galaxy S24 it did not disappoint even in the scores obtained in the benchmarks which, in some cases, also highlighted scores higher than those obtained by the Snap 8 Gen. 2 of the S23.

Samsung Galaxy S24 review features performance camera price italy photo photo sample discount coupon

You notice it in GeekBench, you notice it in AnTuTu and you notice it in practice in any benchmark application: in short, on paper the Exynos 2400 is faster than the Snapdragon 8 Gen. 2, and there's no doubt about it.

Samsung Galaxy S24 review features performance camera price italy photo photo sample discount coupon

What changes is the management of the frequencies of the various CPU cores, which with the Exynos continues to be more "conservative" compared to the Snap for an obvious reason: to contain temperatures. Anyway Samsung Galaxy S24 it is a device that tends not to overheat in everyday use, almost never even in gaming, but when the processor is put under pressure for long periods (and the system exceeds the temperature of 45 degrees), then thermal throttling occurs like a saber that cuts the operating frequencies of the processor and reduces its performance.

Let's be clear though: Samsung Galaxy S24 it is however a fast, snappy, very powerful smartphone and totally free of micro-lag also thanks to the excellent optimization work done with One UI 6.1.

The capsule audio is excellent, as is the stereophonic effect, although there are some flaws on the connectivity side: for example, it is not compatible with WiFi 7 networks (we'll get over it) and with UWB connectivity. In terms of reception, things are improving compared to last year, but let's say that it is still not at the level of a Motorola, which is my point of reference in the Android world in terms of reception.

Camera

Although it might seem that the photographic sector of Samsung Galaxy S24 is practically identical to that of the previous generation, in reality there is great news with the new smartphone, but let's go in order.

Samsung Galaxy S24 small compact review features camera performance price Italy photo photo sample benchmark

The main camera uses a 50 megapixel sensor, with stabilized F/1.8 optics, and is flanked by a 12 megapixel F/2.2 ultrawide without AF and a 3 megapixel F/10 1.39x telephoto camera with optical stabilization.

The main novelty lies in the image processor integrated into the SoC, which processes images quite differently compared to last year. In any case, in a completely general way, the photographs taken with the Samsung Galaxy S24 they continue to be of good quality, in line with what one would expect from a top of the range, and in good brightness conditions they continue to be characterized by a good dynamic range, excellent details and a good white balance. But if over the years you have become accustomed to the super high saturation of Samsung smartphones, with S24 you may be disappointed: the brand has deliberately said goodbye to its super saturated colors, in favor of more natural images that tend a little more towards warm tones .

Even at night Samsung Galaxy S24 It's good, but to be honest, not very good. The fault lies above all with the ultra-wide (which, among other things, I would have liked to see equipped with auto focus) and the telephoto camera: the ultra-wide angle lacks a bit in detail due to its not too bright aperture, and this is also the case for the 3x zoom but, this time, due to the somewhat reduced resolution.

The front camera is excellent, as always, and the videos are good, which can be recorded at the maximum resolution of 8k at 120 fps. In 4K at 60 fps it is possible to use all lenses but, unlike what happens in the S24 Ultra, it is not possible to record at 120 fps in 4K but only in FullHD.

Software

Android 14 customized by One UI 6.1 and 7 years of guaranteed updates, both as regards the operating system and as regards security patches. In short, Samsung Galaxy S24 (as well as all the other members of the series) is one of the longest-lasting smartphones on the market and, doing some calculations, it will be updated until 2031.

Over time, Samsung's One UI has managed to go from one of the GUIs I least liked to my favorite GUI, and this year it is enriched with the much-discussed Galaxy AI, which integrates a series of functions on all new S24s that they exploit the artificial intelligence of Samsung and Google.

In any case, it is an extremely fluid and well-structured GUI, which never lags and which is very rich in features and customization possibilities also thanks to Samsung GoodLock, which opens up an almost infinite world of customizations.

All Galaxy AI: what the artificial intelligence functions are and what they do

A separate chapter should be reserved for the topic of artificial intelligence, because the Samsung Galaxy S24 series makes extensive use of the functions Galaxy A.I. under different aspects of daily use. Starting from the desire to break down linguistic barriers: Live translation translates texts and calls in real time, Interprete splits the screen to translate conversations from vivo between two people, Chat Assistant helps to have a conversation in another language by correcting expressions and tone and the Samsung keyboard translates messages and emails in real time.

Then there are Note Assistant, which in the Notes app can summarize scheduled activities and create notes in an optimized and more refined way, and Transcription Assistant deals with transcribing, summarizing and translating voice recordings. Samsung then talks about a new search standard that “it will change the way Galaxy users discover the world around them": is called Circle and Search, in collaboration with Google: after holding down the Home button, the user can circle, highlight or touch anything on the screen to perform a search without leaving the app they are using, with AI taking care of providing contextual information and answer even complex questions.

Then there is the suite of editing tools ProVisual Engine, using generative AI to elevate the photographic experience. Edit Suggestions suggests the best edits for the photos you take, Generative Editing fills parts of the background when you expand its outlines, move people and objects in the image, and Instant Slow Motion takes standard video and turns it into slow-motion by generating additional frames.

Battery and recharge

Battery side, Samsung Galaxy S24 it uses a slightly larger 4000 mAh than last year's 3900 mAh, which however is managed in a completely different way due to Samsung's new SoC which is less economical in terms of energy saving compared to the Snap.

Samsung Galaxy S24 small compact review features camera performance price Italy photo photo sample benchmark

In reality however, with this smartphone the autonomy varies greatly based on the type of use, and if in "normal" conditions the energy consumption is medium-low and rather linear, when you start to push the accelerator the Exynos could become quite energy intensive.

In essence, the battery life has worsened compared to last year, but has become much more sensitive to the types of tasks being performed: personally, not worrying too much about consumption, I managed to get about 5 hours of screen on with Samsung Galaxy S24 while with S23, again with my standard use, I reached poco more than 5 and a half hours of screen on.

Charging bad: Samsung Galaxy S24 it is the only one of the three smartphones to stop at the traditional 25w, but it also supports reverse wireless charging.

Price and considerations

Available for purchase from January 17th with availability from January 24th, the Samsung Galaxy S24 is priced at €929 for the 8/128 GB variant and of €989 for the 8/256 GB one. Furthermore, until February 26th, by registering your smartphone on Samsung Members you will receive a free charger, a cover and a protective film for the display.

Samsung Galaxy S24 small compact review features camera performance price Italy photo photo sample benchmark

And, I'll tell you right away: I like this little guy. It is a compact, handy, powerful smartphone. The camera will not be at the level of its big brother Ultra and yes, it has some room for improvement, but it is still capable of taking excellent quality images.

It's a shame for Qualcomm's abandonment in favor of Exynos: Samsung's new SoC has improved a lot compared to the old versions, but it continues to be too energy-intensive and afraid of high temperatures.


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Buy Samsung Galaxy S24 directly from the Samsung Store: until February 26, by registering your smartphone on Samsung Members you will receive a free charger, a cover and a protective film for the display.

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