I know what you’re thinking: “Man, I just bought this Samsung Galaxy S23 last year, but now I have to buy a new one?!”

Well, no, you don’t, but just in case you’re curious, the Galaxy S24 is here and it’s time to compare it to last year’s S23 model. Samsung lifted the veil on its newest flagship phones at Galaxy Unpacked on Wednesday, showcasing all sorts of hardware enhancements and, crucially, new AI features that set the S24 apart from the S23.

But just how different are these phones, really? Let’s take a look.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. S23: Price

There’s no need to ruminate on the prices of these phones for too long. The S24 starts at $799. In the same way, the S23 started at $799 when it launched last year. Samsung isn’t price gouging on this model.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. S23: Display

You can use the new display to read bummer tech news.
Credit: Kim Gedeon/Mashable

The display is the first area where Samsung made some changes between the S23 and S24, though they aren’t massive changes.

Namely, the screen size has been bumped up from 6.1-inches on S23 to 6.2-inches on S24. Again, small difference, but a difference nonetheless. The other really noteworthy upgrade will not be noticeable to most people’s eyes, but it might save some battery life. To be more specific, Samsung increased the adaptive refresh rate range so the S24 can run between 1 and 120Hz.

Previously, the S23 went between 48 and 120Hz. That should put a little less strain on the display this year.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. S23: Specs

Galaxy S24 on display

It’s what’s inside that counts.
Credit: Kim Gedeon/Mashable

Here’s how the basic internal specs of the S24 look on paper:

Right away, the biggest upgrade is going to be that new Snapdragon processor. Galaxy S23 had the older Gen 2 chip powering it, which obviously wasn’t a bad thing, but Gen 3 should provide a performance boost and access to new features.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. S23: Features

Hand holding Galaxy S24

AI is in your hands.
Credit: Kim Gedeon/Mashable

This is easily the area where Samsung brought the most heat with the S24 line. The new phone may not look that different or feature huge hardware upgrades outside of the processor, but it brings with it something new called “Galaxy AI.”

Put simply, that’s Samsung’s suite of generative AI features meant to rival the likes of the Google Pixel 8. Some of these shiny new AI toys for you to play with include:

  • Live Translate: Real-time on-screen language translation during phone calls

  • Chat Assist: AI that helps you find the right tone for text messages, as well as performing on-the-fly language translation

  • Interpreter: Similar to Live Translate, but taking place in-person instead of in phone calls

  • Note Assist: AI-generated summaries and formatting of your notes

  • Circle to Search: Draw a circle around anything on your screen and Google will run a search for that object so you can learn more about it

The Galaxy S23 can’t do any of that. If you want to upgrade from an S23 to an S24 (or you’re jumping into the Samsung ecosystem for the first time), this would probably be the main reason to do so.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. S23: Design

Kim Gedeon holding Galaxy S24

How it looks in the wild.
Credit: Alex Perry/Mashable

In terms of physical design, Samsung more or less stuck with what worked last year when making the S24. It doesn’t look too different from the S23 at a glance, as it features the same vertically stacked three-camera setup on the rear. Samsung says there is a more “seamless” connection between the side and rear this time around, but we haven’t spent enough time with the new phones to confirm that.

In terms of colors, there are bigger differences. The S24 is available in the following hues:

That’s a wider and more varied array of colors than last year. For reference, the S23 came in four colors: Lavender, Cream, Phantom Black, and Green. That Amber Yellow model of the S24 is sure to be eye-catching, if nothing else.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. S23: Camera

In terms of raw specs, Samsung didn’t make a lot of changes between the S23 and S24’s camera array. Both phones have identical 50MP wide lenses to go along with 12MP ultra-wide lenses, 10MP telephoto lenses, and 12MP selfie cams.

Galaxy S24

Three cameras, once again.
Credit: Kim Gedeon/Mashable

However, of course, AI changes the equation here. Samsung included a suite of AI editing tools that will automatically suggest edits to make your pics look better, and the video cameras can even create “instant slow-mo” for videos that were shot at regular speeds. There’s also a generative edit feature that allows you to move objects around in a frame (among other things) using AI, very similar to what the Pixel 8 had.

Whether you believe that stuff is transformative or more akin to parlor tricks is up to you, but AI is what makes the S24’s camera different from the S23’s.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. S23: Battery

This category will require more thorough testing before we can render a real verdict, but the S24’s battery should be a little more hearty than the S23’s. Last year’s model had a 3,900 mAh battery. The S24, on the other hand, carries a 4,000 mAh battery.

That, combined with the expanded range of adaptive refresh rate, should make the new phone last a little longer than the old one. But we don’t know for sure just yet.

Final thoughts

When deciding whether or not to jump on the S24 train or stick with the S23, you really need to ask yourself how much artificial intelligence matters to you.

These two phones appear largely the same from a hardware perspective, even when factoring in the slightly bigger display, better refresh rate, and larger battery in the S24. The new processor is a plus, too, but it’s the new AI features that ultimately put the S24 over the top for many. If you care about live language translation, on-the-fly photo editing, and other AI bells and whistles, the S24 might be worth the investment.

If not, I’m sure the S23 will work just fine for you.

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