Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is definitely one of the best smartphones on the market right now, no doubt about that. You get incredible performance with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, plenty of RAM and storage, a whopping 200MP camera, two telephoto lenses for 3x and 5x optical zoom, S Pen integration, and more. It’s certainly an impressive package.

But it’s not perfect. In fact, some weaknesses could be improved in the next version, the Galaxy S25 Ultra. Here’s what I hope to see next year.

A new design

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Galaxy S23 Ultra's camera modules.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (left) and Galaxy S23 Ultra Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Galaxy S24 Ultra uses the same design as the S23 Ultra, which used the same design as the S22 Ultra. Simply put, the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s design is a bit tired these days.

Not that there is anything wrong with the overall design, but it’s just getting a little stale and boring. This isn’t just a Samsung issue, to be fair — it also applies to Google, Apple, and even OnePlus at this point. However, that doesn’t give Samsung a pass. It would be great to see a new design show up for the Galaxy S25 series, including the S25 Ultra.

We’re at the point where the Galaxy S series is due for a design refresh. The rumor mill hasn’t indicated whether that design refresh will actually happen next year, but I certainly hope so.

More RAM

The Galaxy S24 Ultra's screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Samsung offered two RAM options with the Galaxy S21 Ultra, giving users the choice of 12GB or 16GB RAM, depending on the amount of storage. However, Samsung removed that 16GB option with the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and it has yet to return.

Though 12GB RAM is still plenty, it would be nice to see the return of 16GB RAM with the highest storage (1TB) for those who really want it. Especially considering the Ultra’s starting price, it would be a nice perk to keep it as future-proof as possible.

And consider this: the OnePlus 12 is cheaper than the Galaxy S24 Ultra, yet you can get that phone with 16GB RAM. There’s really no reason why Samsung shouldn’t return to offering more RAM for its most expensive, non-foldable phone.

Improved cameras and 10x optical zoom

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Galaxy S23 Ultra's camera modules.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (left) and Galaxy S24 Ultra Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

One of the most puzzling choices with the S24 Ultra is Samsung’s handling of the telephoto lenses in the quad camera system.

While the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra had a 10MP periscope telephoto capable of 10x optical zoom, Samsung changed that on the S24 Ultra to a 50MP periscope telephoto with only 5x optical zoom. Granted, the 50MP resolution means it can capture higher resolution zoomed-in shots with 10x optical quality cropping.

The 10x optical zoom was a huge selling point for the S23 Ultra, so it’s odd that Samsung decided to nick that off the list. Having 5x optical zoom doesn’t look quite as impressive on paper, especially when most of the competition does the same thing. The S24 Ultra’s 5x telephoto camera is very good, but the shift from 10x to 5x remains an odd choice. Hopefully, the Galaxy S25 Ultra brings back the 10x optical zoom with more megapixels and a larger sensor.

While we’re on the subject, it would also be nice to see Samsung bump up the megapixels on the ultrawide camera, too, for higher resolution and detail.

Faster charging

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in Titanium Gray with S Pen on side showing battery levels.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

One of the big advantages that most Android phones have over iPhones, even with the change to USB-C, is that they can charge faster. Samsung could also improve in that department.

For example, the OnePlus 12, a flagship phone for 2024, has 80W or 100W fast wired charging, depending on the region you’re in. Still, even if you’re in the U.S. and have the “slower” charging speed, 80W is still pretty damn fast. With the OnePlus 12, you can go from a completely dead battery to full in about 30 minutes.

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is still capped at 45W fast wired charging. It’s better than the 25W of the base model Galaxy S24, but even so, 45W is still slower than 80W.

I would love to see the Galaxy S25 Ultra go even faster with the charging speed. Seeing how fast the OnePlus 12 charges up makes me wish my S24 Ultra would be as fast. Of course, with the better power efficiency of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, you don’t need to charge up your phone as often. Still, a bump in wired charging speeds can’t hurt, right?

Bring back expandable storage

The base of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

One of the advantages that many Android phones had over iPhones years ago was the ability to expand storage via a microSD card. These days, it’s getting harder to find a phone that does this, including Samsung’s top-tier flagship. You’re likely to find the option on more low-end or mid-tier budget phones, but definitely not on the expensive flagships from most manufacturers.

While it’s unlikely, I would love to see Samsung bring back expandable storage. Sure, the S24 Ultra comes in a 1TB version, but you have to pay a pretty penny —$1,660, to be exact — to get that storage capacity. It’s more feasible for many people to get 256GB or 512GB and add more storage via a memory card when needed.

It’s getting harder and harder to find a flagship phone with expandable storage these days, so it’s highly unlikely. It’s been four years since Samsung last offered the option on the Galaxy S20, after all. But hey, I can dream, right?

We still have quite a wait

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in Titanium Orange and in Titanium Silver.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S24 series just came out a couple of months ago, so we still have quite a bit of a wait until the S25 lineup.

While the S24 Ultra is one of the best premium Android phones available right now, it still has room for improvement. After all, with such a high starting price, these aren’t very big asks.

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