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5 phones you should buy instead of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

Someone holding the violet/purple Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Looking to upgrade your phone this year? You may be considering Samsung’s new Galaxy S24 Plus, which is the middle child of the S24 lineup. Given how solid the S24 Plus is, that’s not a bad idea at all.

But is the Galaxy S24 Plus the best phone you can get? Maybe not, as there are plenty of other great choices that you can choose from as well. Here are some of the best alternatives to the Galaxy S24 Plus that you should take a look at before spending your hard-earned dollars.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

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

If you’re considering the Galaxy S24 Plus because it’s larger than the base model S24, consider going a step further and check out the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Not only does the S24 Ultra have a slightly larger display at 6.8 inches instead of 6.7 inches but it also has a ton of other improvements over the Plus model. The display features the tougher Corning Gorilla Armor instead of Gorilla Glass Victus 2, and the frame is titanium instead of aluminum, so it’s a more durable phone overall.

If you value mobile photography, the S24 Ultra has a top-tier quad-camera system with a 200-megapixel main camera, a 10MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, a 50MP periscope telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultrawide lens. This quad-camera system will help you get even better closeup shots with the 5x optical zoom periscope telephoto lens, which is great for capturing wildlife and live events.

To top things off, the Galaxy S24 Ultra has an integrated S Pen stylus, which is great for navigating, handwriting notes, and even sketching on your device. The S Pen is also a remote control, so you can use it for presentations or even use it as a remote shutter for photos.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra even has a slightly larger battery at 5,000mAh instead of 4,900mAh, so it will last even longer than the S24 Plus. And you still have the 45W wired charging speeds as the S24 Plus.

It may cost a little more than the S24 Plus, but the S24 Ultra is the better buy if you want a large phone. It also goes up to 1TB of storage instead of just 512GB, which is great if you plan to take a lot of photos and video. If your wallet can accommodate it, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is well worth a look.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

A white Samsung Galaxy S23 next to a pink Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

For those who were thinking about the Galaxy S24 Plus because it has a larger screen than the standard S24, you may consider going with the Galaxy S23 Plus instead. Even though it’s last year’s model, it’s still a great buy — hear me out.

The S24 Plus did not change much from the S23 Plus besides the new flat-edge frame. There is also a 0.1-inch difference in display size (6.7 inches versus 6.6 inches), but that’s honestly very negligible and hardly noticeable in real-world use. The S23 Plus only gets 1,750 nits of peak brightness instead of 2,600 nits, however, but it’s still perfectly usable in bright sunlight.

The triple-lens camera system on the Galaxy S24 Plus is identical to the one on the Galaxy S23 Plus, and both have the same storage capacities. Though the S23 Plus only has 8GB RAM instead of 12GB, with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip, it still packs plenty of power and performance.

Though Samsung made Galaxy AI a selling point of the new S24 series, select older Galaxy models are also getting access to Galaxy AI, including the Galaxy S23 Plus. So, you’ll still be able to use the cool AI features like Circle to Search, generative AI photo editing, Live Translate, Note Assist, and more on your S23 Plus.

As you can see, the S24 lineup was a pretty iterative upgrade overall, so if you just want an S24 Plus for the large display, you can save money and go with the S23 Plus instead. You’re getting 90% of the same experience for a lot less money. What’s to complain about?

OnePlus 12

OnePlus 12 Flowy Emerald held in hand against grass background.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Looking to get a lot of bang for your buck? Then you really can’t beat the OnePlus 12, especially when you compare it to the Galaxy S24 Plus.

The OnePlus 12 has a similar-sized display at 6.82 inches, and it’s curved for a more immersive experience. The OnePlus 12 takes things a step further by offering 4,500 nits of peak brightness, which is way more than the S24 Plus’ 2,600 nits. If you want a phone that you can see while standing on the surface of the sun, then the OnePlus 12 is it.

Like the Galaxy S24 Plus, the OnePlus 12 uses a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, though it’s the general version and not the Galaxy-optimized one. Still, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is the year’s flagship Qualcomm chip, and it provides plenty of power to the OnePlus 12, especially since it can have between 12GB and 16GB RAM, depending on the storage model you choose.

OnePlus also packed in a fantastic triple-lens camera system with Hasselblad color tuning. You have a 50MP main shooter, a 64MP periscope telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, and a 48MP ultrawide camera for incredibly detailed shots. Even the selfie camera is an impressive 32MP.

To top things off, the OnePlus 12 has a massive 5,400mAh battery inside, with support for up to 80W wired charging in the U.S. and 100W internationally. That means you can go from zero to 100% in less than an hour, and the 5,400mAh battery can easily last two full days on a single charge.

Not only that, but the OnePlus 12 supports 50W wireless charging as long as you have a supported charging pad. It also has 10W reverse wireless, which is faster than the competition.

All of this is also cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus, with a starting price of just $800 versus $1,000. And OnePlus has great trade-in deals on its website so you can save even more. If you want the most bang for your buck, this is a great phone to look at.

Google Pixel 8 Pro

Google Pixel 8 Pro in hand.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

For the same price as the Galaxy S24 Plus, you could also consider the Google Pixel 8 Pro. Why? There are quite a few reasons.

With the Pixel 8 Pro, you have a beautiful 6.7-inch display that reaches 2,400 nits of peak brightness and is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, just like the S24 Plus. But you get the benefits of a Pixel device.

The Pixel 8 Pro features Google’s stock Android 14 experience and not a custom fork of Android like Samsung’s One UI 6.1, which purists will appreciate. Google also uses its own in-house Tensor G3 chip inside the Pixel 8 Pro, which means optimized performance and power efficiency. While previous generations of the Tensor chip have had issues, the G3 seems to have improved and fixed the previous problems, including no more overheating.

The Pixel 8 Pro also has a better triple-lens camera system. On the rear, it has a 50MP main camera, a 48MP telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom, and a 48MP ultrawide lens. Pixels always take great photos with realistic colors, unlike Samsung, which tends to create oversaturated and artificial colors.

Battery life is similar, though the Pixel 8 Pro has a 5,050mAh cell instead of 4,900mAh. Though the wired charging speed is capped out at 30W, it can get up to 23W wireless charging and it also has Battery Share reverse wireless charging.

The Galaxy S24 exceeds at raw performance and display quality. If your priorities lie more with good camera quality and clean, simple software, the Pixel 8 Pro is a better overall choice.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

A person folding up the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Is the draw of a 6.7-inch display what makes you think about getting a Galaxy S24 Plus? If so, you might want to also take a look at the Galaxy Z Flip 5 instead.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 has the same 6.7-inch display, but it’s a much more compact phone since it’s a foldable clamshell. Samsung upgraded the Z Flip 5’s cover display this time around with a 3.4-inch screen that can run any app. The cover display is also very useful for selfies with the rear cameras.

Inside the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip, which means you get very capable performance in such a small and compact form factor. That said, some sacrifices need to be made due to the form factor. The Z Flip 5 only has a dual-camera system with a 12MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide, with no telephoto camera and only a 10MP selfie camera.

Even so, you get a compact and portable form factor that opens up to reveal a beautiful 6.7-inch display, so it’s a tradeoff. The battery is only 3,700mAh so it would only last around a full day, and it has 25W wired charging speed and 15W wireless with 4.5W reverse wireless.

If you’ve ever considered trying foldable phones, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is a great option. When it’s open, it’s the same size as the Galaxy S24 Plus, but you get extra benefits like the smaller size, and it’s easier to take higher-quality selfies using the main camera, too. It’s a more unusual S24 Plus alternative, but if you want your next phone to stand out from the crowd, this is the one to get.

Editors' Recommendations

Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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