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Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Galaxy S23: Should you upgrade?

Renders of the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S23 next to each other.
Galaxy S24 (left) and Galaxy S23 Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S24 series was revealed at Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Unpacked event, and while the smallest of any flagship range is often in danger of being overshadowed, the Samsung Galaxy S24 shone like the brightest of stars when given the stage. Equipped with a new Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, an upgraded dynamic refresh rate, and some incredible AI abilities, the Samsung Galaxy S24 is the smaller flagship to buy if you want your phone on the more svelte side.

But is it a strong upgrade choice if you’re already using a Samsung device? Many people will have picked up last year’s Samsung Galaxy S23 and will be wondering if they should trade in their existing device and buy Samsung’s newest and brightest. If that describes you, then don’t worry — we’ve put together an all-encompassing comparison of the two phones and let you knoe whether you should upgrade your Galaxy S23 for a Galaxy S24.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Galaxy S23: specs

Samsung Galaxy S24 Samsung Galaxy S23
Size 147.1 x 70.6 x 7.6 mm (5.79 x 2.78 x 0.30 inches) 146.3 x 70.9 x 7.6 mm (5.76 x 2.79 x 0.30 inches)
Weight To be confirmed 168 grams (5.93 ounces)
Screen size 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X (Dynamic 1-120Hz) 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X (120Hz)
Screen resolution 1080p FHD+ resolution 2340 x 1080 resolution at 425 pixels per inch
Operating system Android 14 with One UI 6.1 Android 13 with One UI 5.1 (upgradable to Android 14 with One UI 6.1)
Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB
MicroSD card slot No No
Tap-to-pay services Google Pay, Samsung Pay Google Pay, Samsung Pay
Processor Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
RAM 8GB 8GB
Cameras Rear: 50-megapixel primary, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom

Front: 12MP

Rear: 50MP primary, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom

Front: 12MP

Video Rear: Up to 8K at 30 frames per second (fps), 4K at 60 fps, FHD at 120 fps, and 960 fps for slow motion

Front: Up to 4K at 60 fps

Rear: Up to 8K at 30 frames per second (fps), 4K at 60 fps, FHD at 120 fps, and 960 fps for slow motion

Front: Up to 4K at 60 fps

Bluetooth Yes, Bluetooth 5.3 Yes, Bluetooth 5.3
Ports USB-C USB-C
Biometrics Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor and face recognition Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor and face recognition
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery 4,000mAh

Super Fast Charging 2.0 (25W)

Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 (15W)

Wireless PowerShare (4.5W)

3,900mAh

Super Fast Charging 2.0 (25W)

Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 (15W)

Wireless PowerShare (4.5W)

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support 5G 5G
Colors Cobalt Violet, Amber Yellow, Marble Gray, Onyx Black Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender
Price From $800 From $800
Available from All major offline and online retailers All major offline and online retailers

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Galaxy S23: design and display

Sometimes, new devices make a big jump in design language, and sometimes the manufacturer just tweaks a beloved formula. The Galaxy S24 falls into the latter category, so don’t expect to see too many visual differences between the older device and the newer one. They’re largely the same in terms of style, so if you love the Galaxy S23’s look, the S24 is more of the same. The biggest change is that the S24 has flat matte sides, whereas the S23 has glossy rounded ones.

Unfortunately, you’re going to need different cases for these two similar phones, as the two have slightly different dimensions and small differences in rear camera placement. But outside of that, they’re very similar.

That’s not the case with the displays, though. The Galaxy S24’s display is slightly larger at 6.2 inches, but Samsung has also taken the opportunity to make a few improvements. The resolution is still 1080p Full HD+, but it now has a dynamic refresh rate and can range anywhere between 1Hz and 120Hz. This is a big boost for the device, as lower frame rates mean lower power demands, which should boost battery life. Bringing the Galaxy S24 in line with the ultra-premium Galaxy Ultra range is a big boost for this flagship device and enough for the Samsung Galaxy S24 to win this round.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Galaxy S23: performance, battery life, charging

Samsung Galaxy S23 laying flat on table showing off USB-C charging port and speaker grills
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Here’s a shocker: This new device has newer hardware than the older model. It’s standard practice, and so it’s no surprise that the Galaxy S24’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip is more powerful than the Galaxy S23’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. But how big is that power boost? In reality, probably not that large. The Galaxy S23 was already more than powerful enough, offering incredibly fast performance, along with snappy app loads and switches. You’re unlikely to notice any additional power, even with the most demanding games.

Other specs are basically identical. You’ll get 8GB of RAM in either phone, as well as the choice of 128GB or 256GB of storage. Samsung had the chance to change the base storage amount to 256GB, and it’s a little disappointing it didn’t, as 128GB for a flagship phone in 2024 is on the lower side. With app and game sizes increasing and photos and videos being capable of much larger resolutions, you may have to be conservative with your space with a 128GB SSD — especially since neither phone supports microSD card expansion.

The S24’s battery is slightly larger, but only by 100mAh, so it’s unlikely to make a huge difference. On the plus side, that means it’ll probably have the same excellent performance as the Galaxy S23, which managed around two days between charges during our review period — which, admittedly, was while not being used as a primary device. Charging is the same across both devices, with 25-watt wired charging, 15W wireless, and 4.5W of reverse wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Galaxy S23: cameras

The white Galaxy S24 laying down with the gray and purple S24 next to it.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Galaxy range includes some of the best camera phones in the business, and the smaller versions are no exception. Both the Galaxy S24 and S23 have a triple-lens setup, comprising a 50-megapixel main lens, a 12MP ultrawide lens, and a 10MP telephoto lens with a 3x optical zoom. It’s a great camera suite, and it’s not even that galling to see the exact same configuration reappear on the newer phone. It’s still a very good camera, and while updating to some higher-megapixel lenses would have been nice, it’s not a deal breaker.

As such, this would be a tie. But it has the chance to not be, as Samsung is packing some serious AI smarts into its new phones. Galaxy AI promises to do a lot, and we’ll cover it in more detail later. But for the camera, it’s promising to add real-time HDR in the viewfinder, as well as Samsung’s version of Google’s Magic Editor and editing suggestions for the Gallery app. It remains to be seen whether these additions change the S24’s camera experience significantly, though, so for now, we’re keeping this as a tie.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Galaxy S23: software and updates

Samsung Galaxy S23 displaying apps on screen
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Again, no surprises here, as both phones use Samsung’s interface over the latest version of Android. The Galaxy S24 has as much of an edge as any other newer phone. It launched with Android 14, so it has one more major Android update “in the tank,” as it were.

However, that’s less of a concern than it might otherwise be, as Samsung has committed to delivering four years of major Android OS upgrades, as well as five years of security updates for the S23. The S24 has an incredible seven years of operating system updates, but there’s not much point in buying the newer phone just to get that. After all, by the time your Galaxy S23 runs out of updates, the Galaxy S24 will be old hat already, and you’ll be looking at the Galaxy S27 or even the Galaxy S28.

So, yes, the Galaxy S24 technically has the upper hand, and seven years of updates is impressive and worth applauding. But it’s not a reason to upgrade to the S24 from the S23. We’re judging this a tie, as they both rock the same excellent software.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Galaxy S23: special features

Someone using the Edit Suggestions feature on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Galaxy S24 and S23 share quite a few special features, including the desktop-emulating DeX mode — but Samsung is really drawing a line in the sand between the old and the new with “Galaxy AI.” This new feature doesn’t presage a return of the dreaded Bixby; instead, it’s a blending of AI (including Google’s AI) with Samsung’s devices that brings the AI experience into intimate contact with your phone.

Some of the new features promised include “Circle to Search with Google,” where you can circle something on the screen and Google will search for it, on-device live translations, transcriptions, and “Chat Assist,” which detects your tone and suggests if it thinks you can use different words to convey another tone. Finally, Edit Suggestions and Generative Edit will be familiar to anyone who’s used Google Photos’ edit suggestions and the Pixel’s Magic Editor.

Galaxy AI is the big angle Samsung is pushing with the Galaxy S24 launch, but keep this in mind: Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy AI features are also coming to the Galaxy S23 at some point down the road. We don’t know exactly when, so the S24 does have the AI edge for now. But that won’t always be the case.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Galaxy S23: price and availability

Samsung Galaxy S23 side view on green lampost
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S24 is currently available for preorder and will be released and available in retail stores and carriers on January 31. Prices start from $800.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 is currently available, and prices also start from $800. However, expect prices to fall sharply now that the Galaxy S24 has been revealed. If you’re looking to buy one, you may be able to score a great deal by shopping during holiday periods like Black Friday or Prime Day.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Galaxy S23: Should you upgrade?

The purple Samsung Galaxy S24 sitting upright by a plant.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S24 will likely be one of the best smartphones Samsung has ever produced. It’s powerful, gorgeous, and now possesses some of the strongest AI smarts out there. But is it a worthy upgrade if you’re already using a Galaxy S23? Absolutely not.

While the new phone wins out in a number of categories, the phones are frankly rather close in capabilities, and you’re not missing out on that much by holding off on upgrading for another year or two — or even three. The Samsung Galaxy S23 is still a great smartphone, and if yours still makes you happy and is performing as well as it ever did, there’s no reason to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S24. Instead, save those pennies and wait for at least the next generation.

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Mark Jansen
Mark Jansen is an avid follower of everything that beeps, bloops, or makes pretty lights. He has a degree in Ancient &…
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