Samsung launches Galaxy S24 Ultra, Galaxy S24, and Galaxy S24+ smartphones

Details of Exynos 2400 vs. Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 geographical split released.

David Harold

Samsung has announced the Galaxy S24 series smartphones. The Galaxy S24 Ultra uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset globally, while the S24 and S24+ models are split between Snapdragon and Exynos processors based on regions. The lowest storage configuration is now 256GB, with higher prices. The Galaxy S24 Ultra has a custom Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform and features a larger vapor chamber for better thermal control. The smartphones have AI-enabled features, including intelligent translations, GenAI for photo image editing, and AI-assisted search. Generative Edit also enables video frame generation. The Exynos 2400 processor has a combination of 10 (!) high-performance and low-power cores, with an AI engine and an AMD RDNA 3-based GPU with ray tracing.

What do we think? While most of what we hear from inside Samsung suggests Exynos is not much loved, it is getting a big push in the latest Samsung lineup. Why? It’s not performance, with first-run AnTuTu benchmarks suggesting the Exynos 2400-powered Galaxy S24 lags behind the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3-powered Galaxy S24.

It’s not features, either, with WiFi 7 unavailable on the Exynos 2400. The way Samsung has decided to carry this over into its model range seems to be a case of cutting off your nose: All Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24+ models lack WiFi 7, even the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 one, which could support it. Samsung says this is to ensure feature consistency across the range. If you want WiFi 7, you need the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which is equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip and will be capable of connecting to WiFi 7 networks.

I understand that Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is better than Exynos on power, too (though my source may be a little biased).

Exynos 2400 is a massive 10-core beast with Arm CPU and GPU cores and NPU cores that we understand were developed in-house at Samsung LSI in South Korea. Samsung’s NPU has reconfigurable data prefetching and operational flow for high-compute utilization; multi-precision 17K MACs (multiply-accumulate operations) supporting INT4, 8, 16, and float16; and a dynamic “shallow” operation mode to cover extremely low-power or low-latency requirements.

So, why does it exist? With Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Qualcomm has pushed up prices significantly. There is the unavoidable price increase, caused by the fact that Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 reportedly costs as much to make as Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 cost to buy. But there is also the opportunistic price increase: Qualcomm knows it is in a prime position to demand a high price for Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. With MediaTek apparently looking at similar price increases, it makes sense for Samsung to have a second source it can control itself, and with the relatively wide geographical reach for Exynos 2400, Samsung is showing it means what it says when the company claims it could go it alone if it had to.

Samsung announces new smartphones using Snapdragon and Exynos processors

Samsung has launched its Galaxy S24 Ultra, Galaxy S24, and Galaxy S24+ smartphones. The Galaxy S24 Ultra is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset as its exclusive processor worldwide. On the other hand, the S24 and S24+ models are split, with the US, Canada, China, and Japan getting the Snapdragon chip, and Australia, Europe, and Korea getting Exynos. Prices are uniformly higher than the previous generation, and the lowest storage configuration is now 256GB. Preorders are underway as of January 18.

Samsung says the Galaxy S24 Ultra has a custom AP called the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform for Galaxy, which is optimized especially for Galaxy users. It will be interesting to see what performance boosts this delivers. We assume there are some with Samsung claiming, “Galaxy gaming is more powerful thanks to hardware and software improvements.”

Quite interesting is that Galaxy S24 Ultra boasts a new thermal control system with a 1.9× larger vapor chamber. The goal is to improve device surface temperature and let it run with sustained performance for longer before thermals cause throttling. With ray tracing enabled, we do expect this to be a hot device (in more ways than one). The displays are all 2,600 nit at peak brightness for improved outdoor visibility.

The range focuses on AI-enabled features including intelligent text and call translations, the ProVisual Engine for image capturing and sharing, and AI-assisted search. The Circle to Search feature is cool: With a long press on the home button, users can circle, highlight, scribble on, or tap anything on Galaxy S24’s screen to see Google search results. It’s fully visual search too—draw around an object and Circle to Search will try to match the image.

Galaxy S24
The Galaxy S24’s Circle to Search feature. (Source: Samsung)

Other AI features include Generative Edit to resize, straighten, and edit out reflections. Instant Slow-Mo generates additional frames to slow down a video, whether taken on the device or downloaded from the Internet.

We previously covered the Exynos 2400, but now we know that it features one high-performance Cortex-X4 core running at 3.2 GHz, two Cortex-A720 units operating at 2.9 GHz, and three Cortex-A720 cores running at 2.6 GHz. Additionally, it has four low-power Cortex-A520 cores at 2 GHz. The AI engine has 2-GNPU (General NPU) and 2-SNPU (Shallow NPU), which Samsung claims delivers 14.7× performance over the previous generation. The GPU remains the AMD RDNA 3-based Xclipse 940, with enough ray tracing for shadows and reflections.