Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15: Samsung ups the ante with AI power

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Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15

Intro


Samsung's all-new Galaxy S24 is shaking things up in the flagship phone market! This compact powerhouse takes aim directly at Apple's iPhone 15, which launched last fall. We'll dive into what makes these two phones tick and help you decide which might be the perfect fit.

Sure, some classic rivalries remain: Android versus iOS, triple-lens cameras on the S24 against the iPhone's dual setup, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip battling Apple's Bionic processors. But this year, Samsung throws down two game-changers: a big push on artificial intelligence and a massive boost in software support!

It feels like the innovative Samsung of old is back, and the S24 stands out from the iPhone 15's familiar approach. Let's get a closer look at how these contrasting philosophies play out in the real world!

Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15 differences:


Table of Contents:

Galaxy S24+, 256GB: Save $100 at Amazon

The Galaxy S24+ is also available on Amazon. At the moment, the exciting Samsung device with 256GB of storage for $100 off.

Galaxy S24 is available on Amazon for 10% off

The Samsung Galaxy S24 with 128GB of storage sells at $80 off its usual price. This is a limited-time deal. All colors arrive at the same discount.

Galaxy S24+: up to $720 off with eligible trade-in

If you don't care much for the latest and greatest flagship model from Samsung, consider the S24+. The middle member of the S24 family is currently up to $600 off with eligible trade-ins, plus double the storage on Samsung. Online exclusive colors are available.
$479 99
$1199 99
Buy at Samsung

Galaxy S24: save up to $500 with a trade-in

The S24 arrives at Samsung as well. Right now, there are no discounts available before trade-ins, but you can trade in an eligible device to save up to $500. Online exclusive colors available.
$299 99
$799 99
Buy at Samsung

iPhone 15: save up to $620 via trade-in credit at Apple

Get the fantastic iPhone 15 straight from the source and save up to $620 with a trade-in. Your minimum trade-in credit amounts to $40. Daily cashback available with Apple Card.
$179
$799
Buy at Apple

iPhone 15 Plus: $40-$620 off with a trade-in at Apple

Looking for the bigger-sized iPhone 15 model? In that case, we suggest you consider the iPhone 15 Plus. The Apple store offers up to $620 off as a trade-in credit on a new iPhone 15 Plus.
$279
$899
Buy at Apple

Heads-up: Samsung is giving a special offer to early customers by making each storage upgrade practically free! This means you can buy the 256 GB model for the price of a 128GB one, 512 GB at the price of the 256 GB, and even 1 TB at the price of 512 GB!

Design and Size

More similar than before


The Galaxy S24 and the iPhone 15 are somewhat similar to each other when it comes to size and weight, offering buyers a smaller flagship phone for a decent price. But the similarities don't end there this time around, as Samsung has made a significant shift (by today's standards) in the design of its non-Ultra phones, shaping them into more of a flat block of metal and glass, instead of a smooth pebble.

But don't worry, the S24 is not simply flat sides, a flat display, and a flat back. The edges have a slight angle to them to make the phone more comfortable to hold. Although, we still felt like the S24 dug in into our hands a bit more than expected when we got to hold it during our hands-on experience with the phone.

Protection-wise, both phones come with an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, which is the best you will get in a mainstream flagship phones at the moment. One thing that the iPhone 15 is known for is its slightly more durable glass dubbed "Ceramic Shield." The Galaxy S24 does come with the new Gorilla Glass Victus 2, but unlike the Gorilla Glass Armor on the S24 Ultra, the Victus 2 is not said to offer that big of a jump in durability, so we venture to guess that the iPhone's protection is still slightly ahead in this case.

Now let's take a look at the available colors.

  • Cobalt Violet
  • Amber Yellow
  • Marble Gray
  • Onyx Black

  • Black
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Pink
  • Blue

Display Differences



The iPhone 15 has arguably one of the best displays on the market when it comes to image quality. Unfortunately, there is one major downside that clearly places it behind when compared to the Galaxy S24 (or S23 for that matter), and that is its 60Hz refresh rate. In contrast, the Galaxy S24 not only continues to rock a 120Hz smooth display like its predecessor, but now also supports a 1-120Hz variable refresh rate, which makes its display even more power-efficient.

Additionally, even though Apple upgraded the peak brightness with its latest iPhones to 2000 nits, Samsung has equipped the S24 with an even brighter display that can reach 2600 nits.

Frankly, the peak brightness numbers that manufacturers are not exactly representative of how bright a screen is typically, as the number given usually does not correspond to the overall brightness level of the screen. That said, our display lab tests show that the S24 is, indeed, way brighter than the iPhone 15, as you will see below.

Other than the refresh rate and brightness, both phones have similarly sized OLED screens which come with stellar contrast levels, color reproduction and accuracy, as well as HDR performance.

Display Measurements:



We use specialized software and a professional light meter to determing the light output of these phones. That is also how we measure the color accuracy of the displays.

Our measurements of the Galaxy S24's screen show us that it can reach both higher and lower levels of brightness, which means you'll have an easier time seeing what's being displayed when it is bright, and it will be easier on your eyes in very dark conditions.

Our tests also show that the S24 is more color accurate and has a more neutral greyscale compared to the iPhone 15, which makes it more suitable for viewing content the way it was intended by the creator, such as professional photos and movies, for example.

Performance and Software

Samsung steps up with the software support!

The Galaxy S24 comes in two variations regarding its processor — just like its predecessors did in 2022 and before that — and those are the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (4nm) for North America or the Exynos 2400 (4nm) for the rest of the world. Now, keep in mind that history has shown the Snapdragon variants to be more capable and reliable, while the Exynos models usually come with some issues attached to them such as lower power efficiency and/or performance.

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On the iPhone's side we have Apple's A16 Bionic, which is the same chipset that came with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max last year. Just because it is one year older and not the latest from Apple does not mean it is incapable though, as it still manages to be one of the top performers even a year later.

Truth of the matter is, leaving the Exynos chipset aside, both the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and the A16 Bionic are complete powerhouses and are plenty good for anything that can be thrown at them, so real-world experience should feel equally pleasant with either of the two phones.

One benefit with the S24, is the fact that its base storage starts at 256GB, while the iPhone 15 starts at 128GB. The S24 also has a bit more RAM than the iPhone 15, although given how differently both phones utilize this hardware it is not really relevant in this case.

Now, on the topic of software support, Apple had that as a major benefit for its phones for a long time. However, after Google announced that it will be supporting its flagship phones for 7 years straight from now on, Samsung seems to have taken that to heart, and now it will also support its flagships with 7 years of Android updates and security patches, starting with the S24.

Performance Benchmarks:


Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Samsung Galaxy S242119
Apple iPhone 152595
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Samsung Galaxy S246820
Apple iPhone 156651
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S244246
Apple iPhone 152950
3DMark
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S242588
Apple iPhone 151896

The results we got during out benchmark tests are a bit of a mixed back. For instance, the single core performance is significantly greater on the A16 Bionic inside the iPhone 15. Things then even out for the multi-core score, but afterwards the Exynos 2200 inside the Galaxy S24 blows the iPhone 15 out of the water.

We perform our tests in room tempreture, so that the performance is not affected by any conditions that lean towards anything else than usual usage. We also test the phones without any cases on, just to make sure that nothing is impacting the heat dissapation that cools the phone as it is under heavy loads.

Camera

iPhone still missing a telephoto camera, unlike the Galaxy


Galaxy S24 cameras in a nutshell:
  • 200MP main (wide)
  • 12MP ultra-wide
  • 10MP 3X telephoto
  • 12MP front

iPhone 15 cameras in a nutshell:
  • 50MP main (wide)
  • 12MP ultra-wide
  • 10.5MP front

Like its predecessors, the Galaxy S24 comes with three cameras embedded in its back panel. That includes the main (wide), an ultra-wide, and a dedicated 3X telephoto camera. The iPhone 15, on the other hand, does not have a telephoto and only comes with a 2X sensor crop as far as zooming is concerned.

The Galaxy S24 also comes with new perks thanks to Samsung's new focus on artificial intelligence. Samsung says that AI has made its new flagship lineup more capable in low-light conditions thanks to advanced noise algorithms that result in a clearer image while taking photos and recording video. Colors are also more true to life with the S24's cameras, as Samsung has added a dedicated color tuning solution.

Main Camera



The first thing you will notice is that the Galaxy S24's main camera has a wider field of view, so it captures more in a single shot compared to the iPhone 15. However, probably because of the 24MP default, the iPhone's photos look sharper compared to the 12MP photos from the S24.

The Galaxy's photo is darker and more saturated, whereas the one from the iPhone shows more detail in the darker areas of the image and has more neutral, natural colors.


During night time, the Galaxy S24 is the one to achieve better results, offering much more detail both in the shadows and in the highlights. Now, for the dark areas it is fairly obvious, such as the trash bins at the bottom right for example. To compare how the two phones have exposed for the highlights, you can look at the lamp at the far left that's illuminating the blue sign below it.

Zoom Quality



Now, suffice it to say, one cannot expect much from the iPhone 15 here, as it simply does not have a dedicated telephoto camera. The Galaxy S24, on the other hand, does, and it shows in this comparison here. The text is perfectly readable and the photo has plenty of sharpness and detail to it, unlike the iPhone's, which seems to mess up some of the words, making them look weird.

Ultra-wide




The ultra-wide camera on the S24 appears to handle situations requiring HDR better than that on the iPhone, as there is clearly more detail visible in the tree here, as well as some of the architecture.


In low light, however, the iPhone takes much sharper photos, with a more realistic exposure. The Galaxy S24's image is soft in this case, and it has failed to capture the lighting inside the bar.

Selfies



In this case, the iPhone is the one to have a wider field of view, so it's front camera captures a bit more than that of the S24. The Galaxy has taken a surprisingly less saturated and contrasted photo here, whereas the iPhone 15's photo pops a bit more.

We also notice that the S24's selfie camera is sharper, especially if you take a look at the eyes and hair.

Video Quality


Video Thumbnail

And above you can check out the video quality on both phones.

Audio Quality and Haptics

Flagship-quality audio, but iPhone might be better

The audio quality that Apple manages to muster from its mobile devices, including the iPhone 15, has been impressive for years. There's a good amount of base coming out of this little phone, giving off a sound that feels well balanced.

The Galaxy S24, on the other hand, sounds a bit disappointing for a 2024 flagship. Its speakers have trouble covering the low frequencies more than the competition, and that's including other flagships besides the iPhone 15, like the Pixel 8 for example. To top it all off, the S24 does not get as loud as its rivals either.

Battery Life and Charging

The Galaxy might have longer battery life


The Galaxy S24 comes with a 4,000 mAh battery capacity, and the iPhone 15's battery is 3,349 mAh. Samsung said that battery life has improved, and that became immediately visible after we put it through our battery tests.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:


Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S248h 20 min
Apple iPhone 157h 51 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S2416h 18 min
Apple iPhone 1513h 25 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S245h 28 min
Apple iPhone 158h 24 min

Here, the S24 managed to last longer than its Apple competitor in two out of three of our battery life tests, losing the 3D gaming one. But that is not too surprising, given how much more graphically powerful the S24's chipset is compared to the iPhone's.

We use a game that is more taxing on the system when we perform our 3D gaming battery life tests on phones, so the results you see here are closer to what you should expect when you push either of these handsets more than usual.

For the gaming and video streaming battery tests we have the displays set to 60Hz, even if they are capable of more. We only turn on 120Hz for the web browsing battery test, but only when both phones support it. Otherwise, it is also performed in 60Hz.

PhoneArena Charging Test Results:


15 Mins(%)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S2427%
Apple iPhone 1532%
30 Mins(%)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S2456%
Apple iPhone 1560%
Full Charge(hours)Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S241h 12 min
Apple iPhone 151h 55 min


As for charging, the iPhone 15 supports up to 27W wired charging, but Apple recommends you use its 20W USB Type-C charging brick. The Galaxy S24, on the other hand, charges at up to 25W with Samsung's recommended charging brick.

Wireless charging speeds for both phones max out at 15W, but the iPhone has the upper hand thanks to its MagSafe solution which lets the wireless charger securely fit to the back of the phone.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S24 has reverse wireless charging, which allows you to charge accessories like Galaxy earbuds and smartwatches, albeit a bit slowly (just 4.5W of power output).

Specs Comparison


Here is a quick overview of the specs for both phones, but don't forget we have a more detailed iPhone 15 vs Galaxy S24 specs page where you can see all of the information you need.


The spec sheet reveals something very simple that favours the Galaxy S24, and it is the fact that Samsung offers buyers slightly more for their money, at least on paper. You get a dedicated 3X telephoto camera, more base storage, and a smooth 120Hz display with variably refresh rate, which are all perks the iPhone 15 does not have.

Summary



At the end of the day, the Galaxy S24 offers more for the money. You get a dedicated telephoto camera, better graphical performance, and smoother 120Hz display. The iPhone 15, on the other hand, produces sharper photos and is still an absolute beast when it comes to video recording.

But things really boil down to the services and unique features the two phones come with. Are you more keen to try out the S24's AI features and make use of that telephoto camera? Or are you a fan of Apple's approach to software and the (in)famous Apple ecosystem? These are the main couple of questions you have to ask yourself before deciding which one to go with.

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