Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus vs. iPhone 15 Plus: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus vs. iPhone 15 Plus: Design and screen

Why you can trust Android Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The Galaxy S24 Plus

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

There isn't much to talk about on the design side of things with either device. Both phones share the same design as their predecessors and don't necessarily stand out — in fact, they look very similar. The Galaxy S24 Plus has boxy sides and a glass back that's protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2, and the aluminum mid-frame provides good structural rigidity.

The camera housing at the back is similar to last year, with each camera ensconced within individual rings. The result is a clean design that looks modern, and coming in at 196g, the S24 Plus isn't too heavy or unwieldy to hold and use. The iPhone 15 Plus is also unchanged in this area, offering the same camera housing as last year, with the two cameras arranged diagonally.

iPhone 14 Pro Max on dock

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

The iPhone 15 Plus also has an aluminum mid-frame, with both of these devices missing out on titanium. That said, you get IP68 ingress protection on both phones, and they have the best glass protection currently available. The iPhone 15 Plus is a smidgen taller and heavier than the S24 Plus, but it is comfortable to use.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Coming to the screen, the Galaxy S24 Plus has a distinct edge thanks to higher 2600-nit brightness in HDR content and 120Hz refresh. The iPhone 15 Plus goes up to 2000 nits in HDR content and is limited to 60Hz, being the only device in this category not offering 120Hz. That's a huge limitation, and you can easily make out a difference between a 60Hz panel and 120Hz — the tech should have been standard across the iPhone 15 series.

That said, the panel itself is still good, and while the iPhone 15 Plus doesn't get as bright as the S24 Plus when playing HDR videos, it is brighter in daily usage scenarios. Both phones have HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and Samsung offers extensive customizability, including a good always-on mode. That's another feature that you just don't get on the iPhone 15 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus vs. iPhone 15 Plus: Hardware

The Galaxy S24 Plus in hand, outside

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Samsung went back to its dual-sourcing strategy with the S24 series, and that means the S24+ will come with the Qualcomm-based Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in North America and select global markets, and the Exynos 2400 in other regions. This means that there is a marked difference between the two variants, and the Qualcomm version is the one that still has the edge.

The iPhone 15 Plus is powered by last year's A16 Bionic, and while it misses out on the A17 Pro, it still has plenty of power to spare. It plays the latest titles without breaking a sweat, and it continues to be a good overall choice if you like playing games on your phone. The Galaxy S24 Plus tends to throttle early, but it still holds up pretty well at gaming.

The Galaxy S24+ has 12GB of RAM as standard and 256GB of storage with the base model, with the iPhone 15 Plus offering 6GB along with 128GB of storage. Both phones have Bluetooth 5.3, but you miss out on Wi-Fi 6e on the iPhone 15 Plus. There are global Sub-6 5G bands, mmWave in North America, NFC, dual-band GPS, and all the extras you'd need in this category.

Switching over to the cameras, the Galaxy S24 Plus has a 50MP main lens joined by 12MP ultrawide-angle and 10MP zoom modules. The phone uses the same camera hardware as last year, but changes to the algorithms and tuning mean you get markedly better photos in every situation.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The iPhone 15 Plus has a new 48MP camera at the back — the same as the iPhone 14 Pro — and it uses the same 12MP wide-angle lens. While the 48MP shooter delivers much better photos, the lack of autofocus on the wide-angle lens is a bit of a letdown, as is the missing zoom lens.

Both phones take stellar photos in just about any situation, but the S24 Plus has a distinct edge, particularly in low-light situations. The phone is able to control highlights better, delivering granular detail while minimizing noise levels. The iPhone 15 Plus still has a tendency to blow out details in low-light scenes, but it is back in the lead when it comes to video recording.

I haven't used a phone recently that didn't last at least a day, and there are thankfully no issues with either of these devices. The S24 Plus has an edge thanks to a larger 4900mAh battery, and it easily goes up to a day and a half with medium use. The iPhone 15 Plus still manages to deliver a day, but with heavy use you may need to charge before the day's out.

Like previous years, you don't get a charger in the box with either device, and that continues to be annoying.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus vs. iPhone 15 Plus: Software

Using Chat Assist translation on the Galaxy S24 Plus

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Samsung made a lot of changes to its software in the last two years, and the result is that One UI 6.1 based on Android 14 looks modern and clean. There's still a lot of bloatware out of the box, and Samsung continues to bombard users with push notification ads, but if you're already using a Samsung phone, this isn't new.

Of course, the big talking point with One UI 6.1 is the introduction of Galaxy AI. Samsung rolled out a ton of new features with the device, and some of them are useful — mainly around image and video editing. Most of these features are within Samsung's own utilities like Samsung Keyboard and Samsung Internet, so if you don't use these regularly, you don't get to take advantage of Ai-assisted dictation and so on.

The iPhone 15 Plus runs iOS 17, and it doesn't have any noteworthy features as such. What you get is a modern interface that's fluid, and while there isn't much customizability, it is immediately familiar, and that counts for a lot.

When it comes to updates, Samsung will deliver seven Android OS updates to the Galaxy S24 Plus, with the iPhone 15 Plus slated to get at least five updates. Samsung is doing a good job rolling out updates on time as well as monthly security patches, so there isn't anything to fault in this area.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus vs. iPhone 15 Plus: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

While the iPhone 15 Plus technically costs $100 less than the Galaxy S24 Plus, you're getting just 128GB of storage, and that just isn't enough in 2024. You'll need to get the 256GB model, which costs $999 — the same as the S24 Plus. With that being equal, the S24+ just gives you plenty of features: you get a vibrant AMOLED panel that goes up to 120Hz, better battery life, cameras that take better photos, and at least two additional software updates.

The iPhone 15 Plus has one too many limitations: the screen doesn't go beyond 60Hz, you don't get an always-on mode, there is no autofocus on the wide-angle lens, and you won't find a telephoto lens at the back. The S24+ isn't intentionally hobbled like the iPhone 15 Plus, so you actually get a phone that justifies its $999 asking price — it is one of the best Samsung phones of 2024. 

If I had to pick one between the two, I'd buy the Galaxy S24 Plus. I'm not sold on Galaxy AI, but it doesn't get in the way, and Samsung has made a lot of positive strides in recent years on the software front — its seven-year guarantee is more than what you get with the iPhone. The iPhone 15 Plus is positioned in such a way that it just makes more sense to get the Pro version, and the phone just doesn't do enough to warrant $899. I like that it uses USB-C like the rest of the iPhone 15 series and has the Dynamic Island, but not having basic features like a 120Hz panel is a letdown.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • sremick
    You're seriously asking such an absurd question on an Android website?
  • krisqz
    Why mentioning slower fast charging among top androids as a con in comparison with an iPhone?