King of the hill
Packing a top-tier camera system, AI-powered extras, and an integrated stylus, the Galaxy S24 Ultra offers an unmatched smartphone experience. The sheer number of features make its sky-high price almost seem justified.
- Durable titanium frame
- Full S Pen support
- Seven years of software and security updates
- Galaxy AI won't be free forever
Everything you need
Having everything from a solid camera setup to superfast charging speeds, the OnePlus 12 aces the essentials of smartphone experience. Then there's the asking price, which makes the whole package even better.
- Relatively affordable
- Stunning design
- Fast wired and wireless charging
- No proper IP68 rating
- Curved display
Even though 2024 has barely begun, the world of Android has already seen two major product launch events, with both Samsung and OnePlus unveiling their latest smartphone lineups — led by the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the OnePlus 12 respectively — within days of each other. As you'd expect, these two smartphones offer the absolute best in terms of hardware, software, cameras, and just about everything else you could possibly want in a modern Android flagship. That's all well and good, but which one of them deserves your hard-earned money? We compare Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. OnePlus 12 to help you make the best decision.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. OnePlus 12: Design and display
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The overall design of both Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12 has remained largely unchanged over their respective predecessors, although there are noticeable refinements.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra now comes with a titanium frame that's more durable than the last-gen model's aluminum frame, while also being slightly lighter. The flat back panel, which is secured with Gorilla Glass, sports a smooth satin-like finish and is home to the smartphone's quad-lens rear camera system, with each lens housed in its own ring.
The back panel of OnePlus 12 is also protected by Gorilla Glass, but it slightly curves on both sides to meet with the smartphone's aluminum frame. Similar to the previous-gen model, you get a big circular camera island at the back, housing the smartphone's triple-lens rear camera setup. The entire base of the camera island flows over to one side, blending seamlessly into the frame.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12 are huge smartphones that are nigh impossible to use with one hand, a fact that becomes even more apparent once you take a look at their displays. The 6.8-inch LTPO AMOLED panels on both smartphones are a sight to behold, featuring HDR10+ support and 120Hz refresh rate. However, there are some differences.
The Galaxy S24 Ultra finally features a fully flat screen, shielded by a layer of Corning Gorilla Armor that offers much improved scratch resistance, while also reducing reflections. The display works flawlessly with the embedded S Pen stylus and can reach a peak brightness of up to 2600 nits.
On the other hand, the OnePlus 12 comes with a slightly curved screen that is guarded by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2. The display is backed by 'Aqua Touch' technology that allows touch input to be registered even in the presence of water and can hit an astounding peak brightness of up to 4500 nits.
With OnePlus 12, you get an IP65 rating and two colorways — Flowy Emerald and Silky Black — to choose from. Conversely, Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra sports an IP68 rating and is available in seven funky colorways, three of which are online-exclusive.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. OnePlus 12: Hardware and cameras
|Header Cell - Column 0
|Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
|162.3 x 79 x 8.6 mm (6.39 x 3.11 x 0.34 in)
|164.3 x 75.8 x 9.2 mm (6.47 x 2.98 x 0.36 in)
|Durability & Case Material(s)
|IP68 rating. Gorilla Armor (front), Gorilla Glass (back), Titanium frame
|IP65 rating, Gorilla Glass Victus 2 (front), Gorilla Glass (back), aluminum frame
|6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED (1440x3120 pixels resolution), LTPO, 120Hz refresh rate, 2600 nits peak brightness
|6.82-inch AMOLED (1440x3168 pixels resolution), LTPO, 120Hz refresh rate, 4500 nits peak brightness
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (for Galaxy)
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
|RAM & Storage
|12GB RAM, 256GB/512GB/1TB Storage
|12GB/16GB RAM, 256GB/512GB Storage
|Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity Sensor, Compass, Barometer
|Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity Sensor, Compass, Color Spectrum
|Wi-Fi 7, Multi-Band 5G, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS, NFC, USB-C 3.2
|Wi-Fi 7, Multi-Band 5G, Bluetooth 5.4, GPS, NFC, USB-C 3.2
|DeX (wired and wireless) support, S Pen, Galaxy AI
|Battery & Charging
|5,000mAh, 45W (wired) and 15W (wireless) charging, 4.5W reverse wireless charging
|5,400mAh, 80W (wired) and 50W (wireless) charging, 10W reverse wireless charging
|200MP wide-angle, 50MP periscope telephoto (5x optical zoom), 10MP telephoto (3x optical zoom), and 12MP ultrawide. 8K video recording
|50MP wide-angle, 64MP periscope telephoto (3x optical zoom), and 48MP ultrawide. 8K video recording
|12MP wide-angle. 4K video recording
|32MP wide-angle. 4K video recording
|OS & Update Policy
|Android 14 (with One UI 6.1) preinstalled. Seven years of software and security updates
|Android 14 (with OxgenOS 14) preinstalled. Four years of software updates and five years of security updates
|Flowy Emerald, Silky Black
|Titanium Green, Titanium Blue, Titanium Orange, Titanium Violet, Titanium Yellow, Titanium Black, Titanium Gray
Considering they're flagship devices, it should come as no surprise that Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12 are crammed with cutting-edge hardware. Both smartphones are driven by Qualcomm's top-shelf Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 silicon and are offered with multiple configurations. While the Galaxy S24 Ultra features 12GB of RAM and 256B/512GB/1TB of internal storage, the OnePlus 12 sports 12GB/16GB of RAM and 256GB/512GB of onboard storage. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12 also come with advanced vapor chambers for enhanced thermal efficiency and better passive cooling, and might just be two of the best gaming phones you can get in the market today.
Both smartphones are equally stacked in terms of connectivity options, offering everything from Wi-Fi 7 to multi-band 5G to NFC. There are some device-specific goodies as well, such as wired/wireless DeX support on the Galaxy S24 Ultra, and alert slider on the OnePlus 12.
Now let's talk about cameras! Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra packs a truly versatile quad-lens rear camera setup, comprising a 200MP primary sensor, a 50MP periscope telephoto lens (with 5x optical zoom), a 10MP standard telephoto unit (with 3x optical zoom), and a 12MP ultrawide module. OnePlus 12 also comes with a very capable triple-lens rear camera system, including a 50MP primary sensor, a 64MP periscope telephoto lens (with 3x optical zoom), and a 48MP ultrawide module. Of course, the camera arrays on both smartphones are complemented by a plethora of extra features such as Auto HDR, Night Mode, and 8K video capture.
Even if we just go by the numbers, there's no denying that Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12 are two of the best camera phones of this year. No matter which one you choose, you're going to get some great photos. You'll just have to decide whether you prefer the AI-enhanced (discussed later) photos of Samsung, or the Hasselblad-tuned images of OnePlus.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. OnePlus 12: Software and battery
Both Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12 come with the latest and greatest Android 14 out of the box, with each smartphone having its own custom UI overlay baked on top. Whether you prefer Samsung's One UI 6.1 or OnePlus's OxygenOS 14, you get loads of customization options and functionality-enhancing features with each.
That said, One UI 6.1 also includes a whole bunch of AI-powered tools for things like real-time translation of voice calls, generative photo editing, and more. They are all part of Samsung's 'Galaxy AI' software suite that you'll eventually need to pay for. Samsung has also promised seven years of major software and security updates for the S24 lineup, becoming only the second smartphone manufacturer (after Google) to do so.
On the other hand, OxygenOS 14 keeps things simple and doesn't offer any fancy AI-based features, but OnePlus will offer four major software updates and five years of security updates for the OnePlus 12 series.
Battery life is something that depends on a lot of factors, but both smartphones are pretty well-equipped to handle everyday requirements of most users. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra has a 5,000mAh battery, with 45W wired charging and 15W wireless charging support. OnePlus 12 sports a slightly bigger 5,400mAh battery, with much faster 80W wired charging and 50W wireless charging support.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. OnePlus 12: Which should you buy?
Loaded to the gills with powerhouse features, Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12 are hands down two of the best Android phones available out there. They both come with top-of-the-line specifications, amazing cameras, and much more. There's no wrong choice here, you just have to decide what exactly do you want in a smartphone, and how much you're willing to pay for it.
Of the two smartphones, the Galaxy S24 Ultra undeniably packs more features. You get a top-tier camera system, AI-powered extras, and the bundled S Pen makes the phone a productivity powerhouse. The new software update policy also means that you'll be able use the Galaxy S24 Ultra for years to come, provided you get a good case to keep it in mint condition. All that's great, but with a starting price of $1300, this smartphone doesn't come cheap.
Then there's the OnePlus 12. It has awesome cameras, superfast charging speeds, and although the curved display can limit the efficiency of screen protectors, it's a gorgeous panel that can be used even when wet. Sure, OnePlus's update policy doesn't quite match up to Samsung's, but it's good enough. However, what's most important to note here is the starting price of $800, which makes the OnePlus 12 an incredible value-for-money smartphone.
Here's our suggestion! If you're on the hunt for a fully-loaded flagship that you plan on using for a long time and money is no object, go ahead and get the Galaxy S24 Ultra. On the contrary, if you just want a well-rounded flagship that can effortlessly handle everyday tasks without costing a fortune, go for the OnePlus 12.
One of a kind
True to its name, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is an ultra-premium Android smartphone that includes a wide range of AI-enhanced features. Thanks to the excellent software policy, you'll be able to keep using it for years to come.
It may not have AI-based enhancements, but the OnePlus 12 is still a top-of-the-line Android smartphone that can make quick work of even the most demanding tasks. The software support is also decent, at least for the price.
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When Rajat got his first PC—a Pentium III machine with 128MB of RAM and a 56kbps dial-up modem—back in 2001, he had little idea it would mark the beginning of a lifelong love affair with gadgets. That fascination, combined with a penchant for writing and editing, ultimately led to him becoming a technology journalist. Some of Rajat's other interests include Photography, Hand Lettering, and Digital Typography. He's also somewhat obsessed with wrist-worn timepieces, and appreciates a Casio just as much as a Jaeger-LeCoultre.