February 23, 2024

June Wan/ZDNET

During Samsung’s annual Unpacked event, three new flagship smartphones appeared on the scene: The Samsung Galaxy S24, S24+, and S24 Ultra. The new Galaxy S24 lineup brings new AI-powered features, brighter displays, and upgraded camera features, making them an attractive set of smartphones.

Also: Every Samsung product announced at Unpacked 2024

If you’ve stuck by your Samsung Galaxy S22 for a while now and are wondering if it’s worth it to upgrade to the S24, let us help you decide. Surely, tons of software upgrades make the new phones look like they’re worth it, but it might be in your best interest to wait another year. Here are a few things to consider before you make your decision.

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy S22

Samsung Galaxy S24

Display

6.1-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED with 120Hz 

6.2-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED with 120Hz (LTPO 2.0)

Weight

167g

197g

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

RAM/Storage 8GB with 128GBGB/256GB 8GB with 128GB/256GB
Battery 3,700mAh with 45W charging 4,000mAh with 45W charging
Camera 50MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto (3x), 10MP front 50MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto (3x),12MP front
Connectivity 5G (mmWave and sub-6 GHz) 5G (mmWave and sub-6 GHz)
Price Starting at $649 Starting at $799

You should buy the Samsung Galaxy S24 if…

Samsung Galaxy S24 Colors

June Wan/ZDNET

1. You want a brighter display

The Galaxy S22’s display peaks at 1,300 nits, which isn’t too far off from the 1,750 nits the top-tier S22 Ultra offers. However, Samsung’s S24 offers a whopping 2,600 nits, making its display brighter than the latest flagship phones from its biggest competitors like Apple and Google.

Also: Samsung Galaxy S24 series hands-on: I did not expect this model to be my favorite

If you use your smartphone in all kinds of lighting conditions, the brighter display will matter to you, especially if you use it outdoors in direct sunlight. If you need a very bright display, consider the Galaxy S24.

2. You’re ready to dive into Galaxy AI

A major theme within this year’s Galaxy smartphone lineup is the further integration of AI into the phones’ capabilities. From live translations and AI-generated note summaries to AI-powered speech-to-text technology, the S24 lineup is laden with AI.

If you were a fan of Google’s integration of AI into its Pixel 8 smartphone lineup, you’d be impressed with Samsung’s latest phones too. So, to follow Samsung into the “new era of mobile AI,” go with the Galaxy S24.

3. You want a beefed-up camera system 

Speaking of AI, there are plenty of AI-powered features embedded within the S24’s camera and photo tools. AI is responsible for the S24’s upgraded Nightography Zoom feature, which allows for sharper images taken in low-light conditions. 

Additionally, with a suite of Galaxy AI photo editing tools, the S24’s AI-powered camera features will allow you to edit your photos at all stages of the photo-taking process. Pair these features with the S24’s 12MP ultra-wide camera, 50MP wide, and 12MP front cameras, and you’re sure to take pictures with impeccable quality. 

You should buy the Samsung Galaxy S22 if…

Describe what's shown in the image.

June Wan/ZDNet

1. You’re on a budget

Now that the Galaxy S22 is two generations behind us, it’s priced fairly low, making it the price of a midrange smartphone with high-end features. With its impressive triple camera system with a telephoto camera and 4K video recording, the S22 is perfect for amateur smartphone photographers with a few hundred dollars to spare.

Also: S23 vs S22: What are the main differences?

Samsung no longer directly sells the S22 due to the S24’s release. But you can still find it on Amazon while supplies last. You’ll also find lower-priced refurbished Galaxy S22 models on Amazon, Walmart and other tech resale sites. Depending on storage capacity and physical condition, you can find the S22 as low as $300.

2. You’re a casual smartphone user

Not everyone requires the most up-to-date gadget. If you don’t, you may appreciate a smartphone that’s reasonably priced with current-ish features and software. Samsung provides its flagship Galaxy smartphones with software updates for four years, so the S22 will be reliable software-wise until 2026.

Additionally, the S22 has a smaller battery capacity than newer phones on the market, but if you don’t game or frequently stream battery-eating videos on your phone, the S22 will work just fine.

Alternatives to consider

Google Pixel 8 Pro AI Wallpaper

BEST GOOGLE ALTERNATIVE

Google Pixel 8 Pro

The Pixel 8 Pro is Google’s latest high-end smartphone that also integrates many AI-powered features into its user experience.

Samsung Galaxy S23 in hand

BEST SAMSUNG ALTERNATIVE

Samsung Galaxy S23

The S23 touts an impressive camera system and plenty of desirable features. If you’re a fan of Samsung but don’t want to be two generations behind, consider the S23.