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Galaxy S24 Ultra alternatives: Google, Apple, and more


Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 3

Lanh Nguyen / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is the Korean brand’s latest and greatest flagship phone in 2024, bringing a super-powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, versatile cameras, and plenty more premium extras. Curious about this phone but want to get a better idea of your options? Then we’ve got you covered with our look at the best Galaxy S24 Ultra alternatives.

Buying the right Galaxy S24 Ultra alternative for your needs

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is a premium Android flagship phone through and through, and it packs a ton of features. These include the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 silicon, a flexible quad rear camera system, a huge battery, wireless charging support, and an IP68 rating. Samsung’s new phone even offers a variety of nifty AI-related features. It also doesn’t hurt that the series is unparalleled in terms of geographic availability.

So with all that in mind, the Google Pixel 8 Pro is arguably the best Galaxy S24 Ultra alternative in our book. The Google phone brings some impressive AI-related features, one of the best camera systems on the market, and premium extras like wireless charging and an IP68 rating. It’s not all perfect, though, as the Tensor G3 chip lags behind even last year’s phones, while availability is still limited compared to Samsung devices. Nevertheless, there are plenty of other options if this one isn’t doing it for you.

Samsung Galaxy S24 UltraSamsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

200MP camera • ProVisual Engine • Up to 1TB of storage • New AI tools

The best of the best in the S24 series

Samsung’s true flagship device, the Galaxy S24 Ultra offers the very best specs and features from any Galaxy phone to date. Ai and camera functions are the name of the game, with a 200MP primary camera, 50MP 5x telephoto, 10MP 3x telephoto, and 12MP ultrawide shooters. Smaller display bezels, 2,600 nit display, 5,000 mAh battery, an advanced cooling vapor chamber, up to 1TB of UFS 4.0 storage, and 12GB of RAM make for a powerful mobile computing system. The new ProVisual Engine offers AI-powered camera tools for photo and video capture.

The best Galaxy S24 Ultra alternatives

  • Google Pixel 8 Pro: The Pixel 8 Pro delivers a high-end experience at a cheaper price than the S24 Ultra. Google’s phone also serves up plenty of AI features and seven years of updates.
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: Samsung’s previous Ultra phone can be had for a little cheaper now, but you’re still getting a big battery, an S Pen slot, and an excellent camera system. This is also the last Ultra phone with a 10x camera.
  • Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: The latest Pro Max iPhone is as close as you can get to an Android superphone without running Android. The new device sports USB-C and a 5x camera for the first time, catching up to Android phones.
  • OnePlus 12: Want a powerful phone with a great display and fast charging? That’s where the OnePlus 12 comes in, offering ultra-fast wired/wireless charging, a big battery, and a periscope camera for the first time in the series.
  • Samsung Galaxy S24: The base S24 doesn’t have the S24 Ultra’s huge battery, pixel-dense screen, or that nifty 5x camera. Nevertheless, it packs the latest silicon, a raft of AI-enabled features, and the same lengthy update commitment.
  • Sony Xperia 1 V: The Xperia 1 V is the Android phone to get if you’re a media and photography enthusiast, bringing a variety of features that are missing from the S24 series. This includes a 4K screen, a variable telephoto camera, and microSD support.

Google Pixel 8 Pro: The best Galaxy S24 Ultra alternative

google pixel 8 pro lock screen with pixel buds pro

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Like the idea of a premium Android flagship? Then the Pixel 8 Pro is definitely worth considering as a Galaxy S24 Ultra alternative. Best of all, the phone is available for a few hundred dollars cheaper than the Ultra device.

We praised the Pixel 8 Pro for its versatile camera system, great design, and improved wired charging speeds. We also really liked the industry-leading update commitment at the time of its launch, offering seven years of updates. Toss in some cool AI features here and there’s a lot to like.

It wasn’t all good with Google’s latest Pro Pixel though. The Tensor G3 chip is capable but still lags behind 2023’s rivals, while the temperature sensor is a gimmicky addition. It’s also worth noting that several software features like Zoom Enhance and Video Boost weren’t available at launch. Nevertheless, these downsides aren’t enough to dampen our enthusiasm for the phone.

Google Pixel 8 ProGoogle Pixel 8 Pro
AA Editors Choice

Google Pixel 8 Pro

Excellent cameras • Fun, exclusive Android 14 customizations • Industry-leading update promise

Powerful Google phone with powerful camera features

The Google Pixel 8 Pro is packed with unique camera features and AI-assisted software that puts the smart into smartphone.

What makes it stand out

  • Reason #1: Raft of AI features

  • Reason #2: Seven years of software updates

  • Reason #3: Fantastic cameras


Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: The best alternative for Ultra fans

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra camera module

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Galaxy S24 Ultra might be the latest Ultra flagship, but the S23 Ultra is still worth a look in 2024. Samsung’s 2023 flagship retains features like a 200MP main camera, an IP68 rating, an S Pen slot, and a big battery with wireless charging support.

The S23 Ultra is also the last Galaxy phone with a 10x camera. Samsung claims that the S24 Ultra offers better 10x zoom shots via its 5x camera, but you’re still getting native 10x video with the S23 Ultra camera. Plus, we were pretty impressed with the 10x camera’s images beyond 10x.

Samsung’s previous Ultra phone does lose some ground to the S24 Ultra when it comes to horsepower and AI features, though. But does that really matter if the device is a little cheaper?

Samsung Galaxy S23 UltraSamsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
AA Editors Choice

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

New 200MP main camera • Beautiful display • S Pen functionality

The Ultra release of Samsung’s 2023 flagship line

Powered by the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 as the smaller models in the series, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra offers larger storage capacities and a whopping 200MP camera. S Pen support and a 6.8-inch display make the Ultra ideal for note-takers on the go.

What makes it stand out

  • Reason #1: Last Ultra phone with 10x camera

  • Reason #2: S Pen slot

  • Reason #3: Premium extras (IP68, wireless charging)


Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: The best alternative for Apple fans

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Titanium Black

Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority

If you want a top-notch premium phone but are partial to iOS, then the iPhone 15 Pro Max is undoubtedly the best option for you. This is as close as you’ll get to a high-end Android phone in the iPhone space.

Apple’s latest Pro Max model adopts a folded zoom camera (5x 12MP) for the first time in an iPhone, catching up to a feature Android devices have offered for four or five years. The iPhone 15 series also adopts USB-C for the first time instead of the ancient Lightning port.

The device also enables access to Apple’s expansive ecosystem of software, devices, and services. So the iPhone 15 Pro Max makes sense if you’re intrigued by the company’s entire device/service portfolio.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro MaxApple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Best camera in iPhone line • Titanium design • Ray Tracing

The ultra iPhone 15 model

Packed with the best of the best that Apple has to offer in 2023, the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers the new A17 Pro SoC, a well-equipped 6.7-inch display, and up to 1TB of storage.

What makes it stand out

  • Reason #1: USB-C for the first time

  • Reason #2: 5x camera for improved medium-range zoom

  • Reason #3: Access to Apple’s ecosystem


OnePlus 12: The best alternative if you want fast charging

OnePlus 12 Official image from OnePlus

We’re jumping the gun a little as the OnePlus 12 global launch takes place after the S24 launch. But it’s already available in China and it’s just a short wait for the global reveal on January 23. Nevertheless, there are plenty of reasons to look at this phone.

Perhaps the biggest reason to opt for the OnePlus 12 is its fast charging capabilities. Expect 100W wired charging speeds here, along with 50W wireless speeds. The 5,400mAh battery needs just under 30 minutes to reach 100% via a cable.

The latest OnePlus flagship brings a host of other notable features. This includes a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, a periscope camera (64MP 3x) for the first time in a conventional OnePlus phone, a bright QHD+ OLED screen, and an alert slider. The only major downside is that the phone lacks water resistance, only offering an IP65 splash-resistant rating.

OnePlus 12OnePlus 12

OnePlus 12

Unique design • Fast charging • Good battery life

The OnePlus 12 is an important update for the brand, they’ve matured as a company and it shows in their hardware. The OnePlus 12 offers the latest and best technology, including a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, 50W wireless and 80W wired charging, next-gen Hasselblad cameras, and more.

What makes it stand out

  • Reason #1: Super-fast wired/wireless charging

  • Reason #2: Great performance and big battery

  • Reason #3: Versatile camera system


Samsung Galaxy S24: The best alternative for Samsung fans

Samsung Galaxy S24 homescreen standing

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Galaxy S24

The base Galaxy S24 is an ideal Galaxy S24 Ultra alternative if you don’t want to spend a ton of cash. Notable highlights include a powerful processor, a few premium extras (wireless charging, IP68 rating), and some great AI-enabled software features. Samsung is also offering seven years of updates, matching Google for the best update policy in the industry.

Samsung’s cheapest S24 does make a number of compromises for the price, though. You’re getting a much smaller battery, an FHD+ screen instead of a QHD+ panel, and what’s effectively the same camera system we’ve seen for a few generations now.

Nevertheless, the S24 is still worthy of consideration owing to its combination of software smarts, long-term update support, respectable specs, and a more palatable price.

Samsung Galaxy S24Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung Galaxy S24

Slimmer than ever • Victus 2 glass • Bright display

Powerful AI smarts and slimmer bezels

The Samsung Galaxy S24 series focuses on added AI technology. With a 6.2-inch, 120Hz display, 128GB or 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and up to 2,600 nits peak display brightness, the S24 is promising to be a quality update in the line. The new AI features go deep, improving your experience with the camera, search, and much more.

What makes it stand out

  • Reason #1: Latest flagship processor

  • Reason #2: Same AI features as S24 Ultra

  • Reason #3: Seven years of updates


Sony Xperia 1 V: The best alternative for multimedia enthusiasts

Sony Xperia 1 V back in hand

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Are you a photographer? Or maybe you just love consuming multimedia content on your phone? The Xperia 1 V is one of the best Galaxy S24 Ultra alternatives if you answered “yes” to one of these questions.

Sony’s phone brings several features you don’t see on most high-end phones anymore, namely microSD card support and a 3.5mm port. The phone also delivers a 4K OLED screen, enabling unparalleled clarity in theory. The Xperia 1 V brings slick camera hardware too, including a variable telephoto shooter. Toss in the well-received Cinema Pro and Photo Pro apps and this should please amateur photographers.

Perhaps the biggest issue with the Xperia 1 V is the fact that Sony isn’t offering a long-term update pledge. That’s a giant shame when you’re spending ~$1,400.

Samsung Galaxy S24Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung Galaxy S24

Slimmer than ever • Victus 2 glass • Bright display

Powerful AI smarts and slimmer bezels

The Samsung Galaxy S24 series focuses on added AI technology. With a 6.2-inch, 120Hz display, 128GB or 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and up to 2,600 nits peak display brightness, the S24 is promising to be a quality update in the line. The new AI features go deep, improving your experience with the camera, search, and much more.

FAQs

No, the Galaxy S24 Ultra doesn’t have a headphone jack. But the Sony Xperia 1 V and REDMAGIC 9 Pro are two alternatives that offer a 3.5mm port.

No, the S24 Ultra lacks a microSD card slot. However, the Xperia 1 V and Samsung’s budget-focused Galaxy A series phones offer this option.

No, the S24 Ultra doesn’t come with a screen protector in the box.



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