Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. S23: Should you upgrade?

Samsung has kicked off the new year in style with the launch of the Galaxy S24 lineup. As has been the case for the last few years, the series includes three top-of-the-line smartphones that offer quite a few improvements over their respective predecessors. You get more powerful hardware, AI-enhanced software, and more.

The regular Galaxy S24 seems to be a great option if you're in the market for a new compact flagship and have been thinking of upgrading for a while. But what if you already have the Galaxy S23 from last year? Should you still go for Samsung's latest and greatest? Let's compare the Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. S23 and find out.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. S23: Design and display

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Unless you take a real close look at the two side by side, it can be quite hard to tell the Galaxy S24 apart from the last-gen model. However, there are indeed some subtle differences. While the Galaxy S23 has a slightly curved frame, the newer model features flat sides that give the phone a more squared-off feel in the hand.

The second-generation 'Armor Aluminum' now comes with a smooth, matte finish that covers the rear too, and should make the smartphone a lot more resistant to smudges and fingerprints. You still get a triple-lens primary camera system, with individual lenses housed in their own rings. The front and back are also protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2.

Looking at the different colorways of the Samsung Galaxy S24

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The Galaxy S24 sports a 6.2-inch screen, which is a tad bigger than the 6.1-inch panel you'd find on its predecessor. However, slimmer bezels mean that the phone's physical footprint remains largely unchanged. Although the resolution (1080x2340 pixels) and refresh rate (120Hz) are the same, the Dynamic AMOLED display is still gorgeous to look at and interact with, thanks to LTPO technology. It can also reach a peak brightness of up to 2600 nits, which means you'll have absolutely no issues using the smartphone even in the brightest of settings.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Samsung Galaxy S24Samsung Galaxy S23
Dimensions147 x 70.6 x 7.6 mm (5.79 x 2.78 x 0.30 in)146.3 x 70.9 x 7.6 mm (5.76 x 2.79 x 0.30 in)
Durability & Case Material(s)IP68 rating for dust & water resistance. Gorilla Glass Victus 2 (front & back), Armor aluminum 2 frameIP68 rating for dust & water resistance. Gorilla Glass Victus 2 (front & back), Armor aluminum frame
Weight167g (5.89oz)168g (5.92oz)
Display6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED (1080x2340 pixels resolution), LTPO, 120Hz refresh rate, 2600 nits peak brightness6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED (1080x2340 pixels resolution), 120Hz refresh rate, 1750 nits peak brightness
Chipset (SoC)Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for GalaxyQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
RAM & Storage8GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB8GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB
SensorsUnder-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Compass, and BarometerUnder-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Compass, and Barometer
Wireless ConnectivityWi-Fi 6e, 5G (mmWave & Sub-6), Bluetooth 5.3, GPS, NFC, and USB-C 3.2Wi-Fi 6e, 5G (mmWave & Sub-6), Bluetooth 5.3, GPS, NFC, and USB-C 3.2
Other FeaturesSamsung DeX (wired & wireless), Galaxy AISamsung DeX (wired & wireless), Galaxy AI via future update
Battery & Charging4,000mAh, 25W (wired) and 15W (wireless) charging, 4.5W reverse wireless charging3,900mAh, 25W (wired) and 15W (wireless) charging, 4.5W reverse wireless charging
Cameras (Rear)50MP wide-angle, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto (3x optical zoom); Scene optimizer, Night mode, and 8K video recording50MP wide-angle, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto (3x optical zoom); Scene optimizer, Night mode, and 8K video recording
Camera (Front)12MP wide-angle, 4K video recording12MP wide-angle, 4K video recording
OS & Update PolicyAndroid 14 (preinstalled), seven years of major OS updatesAndroid 13 (preinstalled), four years of major OS updates
Color OptionsStandard: Onyx Black, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet, Amber Yellow; Online-Exclusive: Jade Green, Sapphire Blue, Sandstone OrangePhantom Black, Cream, Lavender, Green

Oh, and there are also a bunch of new colorways to choose from! Four of these are standard shades, while the remaining three are exclusive to Samsung's online store.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. S23: Hardware and cameras

To no one's surprise, the Galaxy S24 packs in hardware that's the absolute best the world of Android has to currently offer. Driving the smartphone is Qualcomm's top-tier Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (for Galaxy) SoC, although devices sold in selected markets will have Samsung's own Exynos 2400 chipset. While that's great, what isn't so great is that the Galaxy S24 still starts with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. Interestingly, if you were to compare the Galaxy S24 Plus vs. S23 Plus, you'd notice that the newer model now features 25% more RAM (12GB) as standard.

The Samsung Galaxy S23

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Coming to other key specifications, things are mostly the same. Just like the Galaxy S23, the latest model also includes just about everything — from Wi-Fi 6E and 5G to Bluetooth 5.3 and Wireless DeX support — for connectivity. Even though the Galaxy S24's 4,000mAh battery is a little bigger than what you get with the last-gen model, it still charges at 25W. Of course, wireless charging is included as well.

Samsung has made no changes in the camera department either, as the Galaxy S24 features exactly the same setup as its predecessor. You still get a triple-lens setup — comprising a 50MP primary sensor, a 12MP ultrawide unit, and a 10MP telephoto lens (with 3x optical zoom) — on the back, complete with goodies like a plethora of shooting modes (e.g., Nightography, Super HDR) and 8K video capture. The 12MP front-facing camera is also the same. However, the new smartphone does pack some new tricks (discussed later) designed to elevate your camera experience.

Looking at the different colorways of the Samsung Galaxy S24

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. S23: Galaxy AI and software

If there's one area where the Galaxy S24 differs from the previous-gen model, it's the software. With its 2024 phone lineup, Samsung is officially hopping aboard the AI bandwagon. The Galaxy S24 series comes with a suite of AI-powered tools (clubbed under the 'Galaxy AI' moniker) that enable features such as real-time translation of voice calls, summarization of notes, generative photo editing, and more.

It's too early for us to say how well Galaxy AI actually works, but even if it does — and even if these AI-based features are worth buying the newest model — you should note that they won't be available for free forever.

Generating an AI wallpaper on the S24

(Image credit: Future)

Artificial Intelligence is great, but you know what's even better? Longer software support. And that's exactly what you get with Samsung's newest top-tier phone(s). Following Google's lead, the company has announced that the Galaxy S24 devices — which come with One UI 6.1 overlaid on Android 14 — will get seven years of major software and security updates. This could very well be the biggest reason for you to consider getting the latest Galaxy, especially if you like to use your smartphones for a long time.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. S23: Should you upgrade?

Samsung's flagships have always ranked among the best Android phones available out there, and we're certain the Galaxy S24 will be no different. From high-end hardware to feature-laden software, this thing has it all. But then, so does the last-gen model.

Compared to the Galaxy S23, Samsung's newest smartphone is nothing more than an evolutionary upgrade. The design and primary specifications are almost identical between the two, and even if Galaxy AI ends up being actually good, most of its features — at least those that are cloud-based — will eventually come to the older device(s) as well.

The Galaxy S23 display while outdoors

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

So, here's the thing! If your current device — whether it's from Samsung or any other brand — is already a few years old at this point and you're in the market for a new high-end smartphone, definitely go for the Galaxy S24. However, there's absolutely no reason to upgrade to the latest model if you already have the Galaxy S23. It's still plenty powerful for just about everything you expect a modern-day smartphone to do and will continue to be supported for years to come.

Rajat Sharma

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.

  • me just saying
    not for me. I will stick with the s23u for at least another year.
  • Mike Dee
    I upgraded every year except 1. It may same expensive, however I never worry about battery degradation and I typically get a decent amount for my Trade In. I also like having the latest variation even if the changes are slight
  • BobVA
    It's rarely (as in never) worthwhile to upgrade from the prior generation. Smartphones are mature tech, and the difference from one year to the next is always minor. That's true not only for the S23 to S24, but from one generation of iPhone to the next, from 1 year of Pixel to the next, yadda ,yadda, yadda. For most users it's not even worth upgrading after only 2 generations. Heck the S20 still does pretty much what an S24 does if you don't care about "AI."

    Battery degradation after one year. LOL.

    I also find the focus on physical design pretty amusing. From the front they all look the same: a slab of black glass. From the back, only the cameras set them apart. Again, most buyers couldn't care less what the back or edges of the phone look like. They're going to cover it with a case anyway.