This week’s Unpacked event brought Samsung’s latest flagships – the Galaxy S24 trio. You can check out our hands-on review for an introduction to the new features and hardware upgrades. And if you’re curious what all those AI features are all about, watch these videos.
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is a rethink on how the long telephoto lens should work – instead of a fixed 10x lens, Samsung went for 5x magnification and a high resolution 50MP sensor that offers high quality zoom between 5x and 10x. And more, it enables 8K video recording and 4K @ 120fps from the tele camera.
Then there’s the Samsung Galaxy S24+ at $300 less than the Ultra. Except this year it has the same RAM (12GB) and boasts a flat 6.7” LTPO display with QHD+ resolution and 1-120Hz refresh rate, same as the Ultra. The battery capacity is just 100mAh shy of the Ultra too. This is the best S+ that we’ve seen in years and (unless you care about the S Pen), the only real downside of going Plus instead of Ultra is that the cameras are basically the same as on the S23+ and those already felt outdated.
You can go down $200 and get the small Galaxy S23 – it’s not tiny, but it is the smallest new phone that Samsung sells. However, you only get 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage (vs. 512GB on the S23+ and S23 Ultra) and the display is stuck at FHD+ resolution (four years after the S20 brought the last QHD+ display in the line). Also, charging happens at just 25W, not 45W like the two larger models.
We should note that Samsung will deliver 7 generations of OS updates and 7 years of security patches. Even if you personally don’t keep it for that long, you can sell it off or hand it off to a relative and they will still get up to date software. Also note that the current storage capacities are doubled due to the pre-order bonus.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE costs $560 if you want the same memory configuration as the S24. This one also has an FHD+ display (though it isn’t LTPO) and 25W battery charging (for a 4,500mAh battery). However, it uses the old Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and will get more limited software support (3 OS updates one of which already happened, plus 5 years of patches).
Less glamorous but still very popular are the cheaper entries into the A-series. The Samsung Galaxy A25 has a 6.5” FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display, an Exynos 1280 chipset (with a microSD slot) and a 5,000mAh battery with 25W charging. Besides the chipset, it also has a weaker camera setup compared to the S23 FE (50MP main with OIS, 8MP ultra wide, no tele), but that’s quite okay given the sizable price difference between the two.
The Samsung Galaxy A15 5G is even cheaper and while it suffers a few cutbacks, it’s quite similar. It has a 6.5” FHD+ display at a lower 90Hz and it uses the slower Dimensity 6100+ chipset. The ultra wide camera is down to 5MP and that’s it for the differences between the A25 and A15 5G.
There aren’t a lot of horizontal foldables in the US market – the Samsung one, the Google one and this one, the OnePlus Open. At $1,500 this one offers plenty of RAM and storage and boasts a better than average camera with a 48MP main (1/1.43”, OIS), 64MP 3x tele and 48MP ultra wide (114°). It has two LTPO3 displays (120Hz), 7.82” inside and 6.31” cover display. It has fast charging too, 67W for the 4,805mAh battery, unlike its two rivals.
The Motorola Edge+ (2023) is a killer deal – Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and 6.67” 165Hz display (FHD+, Dolby Vision) for just $425. It’s limited to 8GB of RAM, but at least Motorola equipped it with 512GB storage. The 50MP main camera (1/1.55”, OIS) is joined by a 12MP 2x portrait cam and a 50MP ultra wide (114°). The 5,100mAh battery does 68W wired fast charging and 15W wireless charging.
The non-plus model is also worth a look, though it’s not worth the downgrade for just $75 if you ask us. The Motorola Edge (2023) has a 6.6” 144Hz display (FHD+) and a mid-range Dimensity 7030 chipset. The 50MP main camera is about the same, but the ultra wide drops to 13MP and there’s no portrait lens here. Also, the battery capacity is reduced to 4,400mAh, though the 68W wired and 15W wireless charging remain the same. Again, it’s a fine phone, but the Edge+ offers so much more.
If you’re looking for a cheap model, the Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) might be more appropriate. The 6.6” IPS LCD (120Hz, FHD+) works with the included stylus and you get a Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset enabling 5G connectivity. The cameras are fairly basic (50+8MP) and the 5,000mAh battery charges at only 20W.
There’s also the Motorola Moto G 5G (2023) at $50 less, but it might not be worth it. The display is nearly the same at 6.5” 120Hz IPS LCD (FHD+) and the Dimensity 930 is comparable, but you lose the ultra wide camera and 4K video recording. Charging is even slower at 15W.
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