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Tech Talk Reviews: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

In this latest edition of Tech Talk Reviews, Boardroom reviews Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra smartphone that’s equipped with a new AI platform.

This story is part of Tech Talk Reviews, a series highlighting tech reporter and digital creator Michelai Graham’s experience testing new tech gadgets, emerging platforms, apps, games, and more. Find more reviews here.

It’s no secret that I’m an iPhone Stan, but for the past six weeks, I’ve been testing the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (S24U).

It might sound weird to hear this, but the first thing I say about the new smartphone when people ask me about it is that it feels good in my hands. The sleek titanium frame reeled me in quickly, and it was kind of nostalgic to dive back into using an Android device day to day.

In this latest edition of Tech Talk Reviews, I break down everything you need to know about the S24U and how it differs from other smartphones on the market.

The Specifics

(Photo courtesy of Samsung)

I did a download on the new class of Galaxy S24 devices back in January when Samsung first announced them, but I didn’t go deep on how advanced the S24U is. The S24U is the first mobile device from Samsung to feature a titanium frame, which reduces the smartphone’s weight. It comes in titanium black, titanium gray, titanium violet, and titanium yellow, with storage space ranging from 256 GB to 1 TB.

The S24U’s design differs from the other smartphones in its class, which is expected as it is the upper-level Galaxy S24 model. It has square edges, as opposed to round ones, and each titanium color comes with a matt finish. The device’s 6.8-inch display almost takes up the entire front cover of the smartphone, which comes from Samsung reducing the border around it by 42% compared to previous models.

The S24U features five cameras, including ultra-wide, wide, and telephoto cameras. The other S24 models only feature three cameras. The S24U also comes with a stylus, dubbed the S-Pen, that tucks into the bottom of the device. It can be used in various ways, from navigation to note-taking.

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The S24U’s best new feature is Galaxy AI, the bespoke new AI platform that operates on S24 devices and is accessible via the cloud. Galaxy AI features enable live text and call translations, enhanced search, photography and editing, and more. One feature, Live Translate, enables real-time voice and text translations of phone calls within a native app. The Chat Assist feature is built into the Samsung Keyboard and develops different messages and responses with conversational tones. Within the Notes app, Galaxy AI can be used to summarize, format, spellcheck, and translate text files.

The S24U also features a transcription option in the Voice Recorder app, though you have to fully record some audio before tapping the AI icon to generate a transcript. Users can tap Galaxy AI to suggest image edits, and it also offers Generative AI edits where users can decide what they want to edit on their content.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra costs $1,299.99 for 256 GB, $1,419.99 for 512 GB, and $1,659.99 for 1 TB.

Michelai’s Review

(Photo by Audrey Blackmore)

When I first set up my S24U, I was more than lost trying to navigate the Android interface. It came back to me quickly, but it didn’t dawn on me until picking up this phone that my brain was warped by Apple‘s pull.

Still, I jumped right in, and there were a few things that automatically stuck out to me. The S24U’s volume control button sits right above the power/lock button, which is half the size of the volume button. This was one of my least favorite things since my instincts kept telling me to press the larger button to lock the device, and it didn’t work, of course. I will be honest and say I never got used to that design because why not just split the buttons up and put one on the opposite side or on top of the smartphone?

Besides that, I really loved the design of the S24U. It’s a bit bigger than my iPhone 14 Pro, but it was so easy to hold in my hand. I feel like the titanium matte finish helped give it an easy grip in my hand. Transparently, I downsized from the Max device when I upgraded to the iPhone 14 Pro because I didn’t like how the Max would fit into my hand. I was always straining my pinky, and I really needed that finger to stay in good shape.

On to Galaxy AI. Samsung’s new AI features are powered by Google’s Gemini suite of AI offerings and operate throughout the device. Since I also use a lot of these AI features on my Google Pixel 8 Pro, catching on to them came to me pretty easily.

I mean, honestly, who doesn’t want five cameras? I played around with them a lot simply because I had access to them, and it was nice to have multiple options. One of my favorite things about the S24U is the display. It was so bright and crisp, and I found myself getting lost in the animated wallpaper I chose because the display was that appealing to me.

(Photo by Audrey Blackmore)

As for my favorite feature, that would definitely have to be the Circle to Search feature, which lets me search on my screen without opening up different apps. For instance, I could take a photo of sneakers or a jacket I saw someone wearing, circle or draw on that item, and the device would pull up options across Google Search to purchase it. I am sure we all do this, but I’m constantly screenshotting things on social media that I want, and this feature comes in handy for that and cuts out a lot of the manual research I have to do.

The S-Pen came in a close second once I realized that I could use the stylus while my phone was locked to take notes on the black lock screen. The lightbulb in my head went off, and I began using the feature to jot down notes at any given time. I’m one of those people with 100 notes on my iPhone, and sometimes, I find it really inconvenient that I have to unlock my phone and tap an app before I get to jot something down, so this feature on the S24U gets a 10/10 from me.

Another roadblock I ran into caused a bit of chaos in my little studio. I have a Google Nest Hub display, and with my Pixel 8 Pro also in the mix, it was nearly impossible to use the “Hey Google” command at home since all three devices would respond. I’m sure there is a workaround for this, but I haven’t figured one out yet. 

While I enjoyed getting familiar with the S24U and getting reacquainted with an Android device, I don’t know if there was anything about the new smartphone that would sway me away from Team iPhone.

Maybe I can be convinced one day, but for now, stay tuned for more product reviews. And let me know what you think of the S24U if you’ve had a chance to try it out.

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Michelai Graham

Michelai Graham is Boardroom's resident tech and crypto reporter. Before joining 35V, she was a freelance reporter with bylines in AfroTech, HubSpot, The Plug, and Lifewire, to name a few. At Boardroom, Michelai covers Web3, NFTs, crypto, tech, and gaming. Off the clock, you can find her producing her crime podcast, The Point of No Return.

About The Author
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham is Boardroom's resident tech and crypto reporter. Before joining 35V, she was a freelance reporter with bylines in AfroTech, HubSpot, The Plug, and Lifewire, to name a few. At Boardroom, Michelai covers Web3, NFTs, crypto, tech, and gaming. Off the clock, you can find her producing her crime podcast, The Point of No Return.