For the longest time, I've been an iPhone fanboy in every sense of the word. But if the just-concluded Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event is anything to go by, I might end up switching sides.
Samsung just unveiled a slew of new devices under its flagship S-series lineup, including the Galaxy S24, S24+, and S24 Ultra, but the Galaxy S24 Ultra stood out for me.
I've used Samsung phones before, both the A-series and the S-series. But nothing quite compares to the majestic S24 Ultra yet. Over the years, technology has evolved and has redefined work.
With foldable phones doubling up and phones and "handheld PCs," who needs a heavy laptop weighing you down while on the go or on a trip? They are the perfect devices for multitasking, since they don't fall short in the screen real estate department. Lenovo is also making significant headway in this category with the ThinkPhone, reminiscent of the beloved Windows Phone.
But the thing with foldable phones or the Lenovo ThinkPhone, it's more inclined toward the productivity side of things. However, the S24 Ultra promises much more flexibility. With a 6.8-inch 1440p display (same as its predecessor, the S23 Ultra), the S24 Ultra promises great multitasking capabilities (especially when in Landscape mode), but also serves as a great travel companion with a great battery life right out of the box.
If you're in the market for a new phone or want to switch things up, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is right up your alley. Here's why I'm getting one later this year:
Life-like picture quality and insane zoom capabilities
Like most people, the camera quality is among the top things in my checklist when buying a new phone, and I have to say Samsung has outdone itself with the S24 Ultra. Right off the bat, the entry ships with a new 50-megapixel f3.45 5x telephoto lens, which is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset under the hood.
For someone who loves traveling and taking lots of photos like me, this is a no-brainer. With the high megapixel count on this phone, it means you'll essentially be able to capture crisp videos and pictures at 10x.
Everything else pretty much remains the same in the camera department, as the S24 Ultra still spots the cameras found in the S23 Ultra. That is a 200-megapixel f/1.7 as the main camera coupled with a 10-megapixel 3x telephoto camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera at the back, and finally a 12-megapixel camera to get your selfie game up.
Of course, it's baked with AI capabilities and features
Forget paying loads of cash to get subscriptions for third-party editing apps, Samsung's latest flagship phones are AI-powered, which means you can leverage the tech's capabilities to edit your photos and images to make them look cool. Part of the Galaxy AI features announced is the Generative Transform feature, which allows you to move, resize, or delete people or objects from your photos.
What's more, there's another feature dubbed Transform fill. As the name suggests, it allows you to fill in the background of a photo without you having to crop it. A great feature I know most Instagram users will appreciate, since it'll let you post your photo with the aspect ratio you want. Oh, and you can leverage the AI capabilities to transform your videos into slow-motion, too.
Live translation — The world is your oyster
There are so many different languages people use to communicate across the globe, and it's impossible to learn/speak all of them. Microsoft has been doing a great job with its Microsoft Translator app, which supports up to 133 languages currently.
Samsung is also looking into enhancing communication and breaking communication barriers, especially while on call with its new Live Translate feature. The feature is quite impressive as it allows you to make phone calls regardless of language barriers. Samsung describes the feature as a personal translator incorporated into your phone to foster multilingual communication in real-time.
This essentially means that you can communicate with anyone and relay accurate responses without necessarily knowing or speaking the language they are using on their end. What's more, the feature displays a live chat interface where you get real-time translations of the information being passed on to you while on a call. It also translates your response to the language the caller is using for efficient and effective communication.
Ditching the curve
While I haven't had the opportunity to lay my hands on the entry just yet, I couldn't help but notice that compared to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra predominantly sports a flat-screen display, though there's still a slight curve.
As far back as I can remember, most phones in the S-series come with a curved display. And while it adds a sleek aesthetic appeal, it's always been nothing more than that (at least for me). I often found myself scrolling away to the next page or moving an app on the edge of the phone to a new location while holding the phone, which was a huge pain in an otherwise smooth and incredible user experience.
It doubles up as a great productivity asset
Moving on from the lifestyle side of things, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra blends in perfectly with Windows devices and provides a top-of-the-line Phone Link experience. Of course, the experience gets even better when using Samsung laptops, which arguably feature some of the best Windows laptops.
Speaking of productivity, did you know that the entry ships with a Circle to Search feature? You can trigger the feature by long pressing the home button, which will launch an option to circle whatever you want to search on the internet, which in my opinion seems faster and more efficient than relying on AI-powered chatbots like Microsoft Copilot and OpenAI's ChatGPT.
Notably, you'd expect Samsung to choose Microsoft's Bing over Google for its devices given their long-standing relationship, but it went with the latter. This further asserts Google's dominance in the search market share.
Samsung is at the top of its game right now, and could potentially take over the mobile market share from Apple. Microsoft recently beat Apple as the world's most valuable company, due to the declining interest and overall low sales of the iPhone. Microsoft could also potentially leverage its current position to bring back Windows Phone or an iteration of the same with AI capabilities, owing to its recent and growing interest in the technology.
You can get your hands on the Samsung S24 Ultra at a starting price of $1,300 for the 256GB, though it's already available for preorders.
AT&T has launched a Galaxy S24 preorder deal that could get you the flagship phone for 100% free when you sign up for an Unlimited Your Way plan and trade in ANY Galaxy phone, regardless of age or condition. That's a pretty wild offer when you consider all the old Galaxies that are out there.
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Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.