Samsung Galaxy S24 First Look cover

Samsung Galaxy S24 First Look and Unboxing – Compact Cruiser Gets Meaningful, Powerful Upgrades

The smallest and most modestly priced of the triumvirate of new Galaxy S24 series smartphones launched at Galaxy Unpacked 2024, the Samsung Galaxy S24 may be the smallest of the lot but hosts multiple subtle but meaningful upgrades across the board that improve its endurance, display quality, cameras and performance. 

Samsung Galaxy S24 First Look intro

While it looks tiny compared to the huge Galaxy S24 Ultra and equally large Galaxy S24+, it is every inch a flagship phone from stem to stern. Fresh off its Malaysia launch, we managed to get a retail sample for field testing. Here’s our Samsung Galaxy 24 first look and unboxing where we check out what this pint sized powerhouse has to offer!

Samsung Galaxy S24 First Look – What’s in the box?

Like other Samsung phones of late, the Samsung Galaxy S24 has the bare minimum of extra kit bundled with the phone. Our Galaxy S24 first look sample has the phone itself inset in a recyclable cardboard tray with the screen itself protected by a black protective sticker. 

Samsung Galaxy S24 First Look box contents

Also bundled in the box itself is a USB-C to C charging cable, the usual warranty and quick start guides and a SIM eject pin.

Samsung Galaxy S24 First Look – Design and how does it stack up to the prior Galaxy S23

At first blush, the Samsung Galaxy S24 looks rather similar to its predecessor the Galaxy S23 which debuted last year as it weighs the same at 168g, is just as thick at 7.6mm and retains a similar design that hosts rounded corners and a flat top, bottom and sides without bevelling or rounding of the edges.

What has been improved though has been its durability. Our Galaxy S24 first look sample retains its IP68 dust and water resistance rating and Samsung is using a new and improved formulation of their proprietary material in the chassis dubbed as Armor Aluminum 2.0 that is about 10% tougher to nicks and scratches than its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy S24 First Look base

While it isn’t as tough as the titanium alloy used in the Galaxy S24 Ultra, Armor Aluminum 2.0 is still plenty tough for daily use case scenarios and is certainly a darned lot tougher than the conventional aluminium used in many competing designs. 

In terms of ergonomics, our Galaxy S24 first look sample is an easy step up from the earlier Galaxy S23 with the power button and volume rocker within easy reach of the thumb on the right with the base hosting a SIM card tray, USB-C port for charging and docking as well as a slit for one of the two speakers that form a stereo pair. The left side and top are otherwise unadorned.

Samsung Galaxy S24 First Look right side

The front display and backplate retains the same tough Gorilla Glass Victus 2 armoured glass used in its predecessor to protect it from potential misadventures with the display panel itself having similar dimensions and sharpness, with a slightly larger screen size by 0.1-inches by shaving down the bezels in the form of a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 100% DCI-P3 and an FHD+ resolution at 1080 x 2,340 pixels though the display itself has upgrades especially in brightness and power efficiency. 

Samsung Galaxy S24 First Look left side

This time around, Samsung is using a more energy efficient, and brighter LTPO OLED panel that allows it for a more power-efficient adaptive refresh rate from 1-120Hz while also offering massively improved 2,600 nits peak brightness; the older Galaxy S23 maxed out at 1,750 nits peak brightness. Up top you get a tiny punch hole for the 12MP selfie camera that is capable of 4K@60fps video capture along with a slit for the earpiece and speaker.

Samsung Galaxy S24 First Look front

In essence, the Galaxy S24 gets a brighter, more power efficient display that has the same crisp FHD+ resolution and excellent 100% DCI-P3 colour reproduction as its predecessor.

The backplate itself has a matte satin finish that is fairly fingerprint resistant with Samsung’s now signature vertically aligned camera array perched in the corner with each of the three individual camera sensors protected by a thin chromed ring of metal with an embedded LED flash alongside it. 

For the camera itself, the Galaxy S24 has an identical setup as its larger sibling the Galaxy S24+ with a primary 50MP F/1.8 rear camera that has optical image stabilisation, a 12MP F/2.2 ultra wide angle camera and a 10MP F/2.4 telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and OIS too with the collective ability to capture up to 30x digital zoom for stills and up 12x for up to 4K video with 8K video allowing for up to 5X zoom.

The improvement here is that the Galaxy S24’s camera has support from Galaxy AI for steadier, crisper shots when zoomed in and improved low light performance too.

Samsung Galaxy S24 First Look cameras

For Malaysia, Samsung is issuing the Galaxy S24 in all official announced colourways including online exclusive colours too at the Samsung Online store. Our Galaxy S24 first look unit comes in a shade officially referred to as Amber Yellow though it can also be acquired in Onyx Black, Marble Grey and Cobalt Violet nationwide and, if you acquire it at the Samsung official online store, in Sandstone Orange, Jade Green and Sapphire Blue. The phone itself has IP68 dust and water resistance too.

Overall tactility is excellent and those prizing the ability to type one-handed, the Galaxy S24 comes in clutch as my thumb can reach all the way across the screen without having to change my grip.

Samsung Galaxy S24 first look and unboxing – Processor and specifications for Malaysia

The most significant upgrades for the Samsung Galaxy S24 come under the hood. Beyond the brighter display, our Samsung Galaxy S24 first look sample for Malaysia uses their own in-house Exynos 2400 for Galaxy processor paired with 8GB LPDDR5X RAM and either 256GB or 512GB UFS 4.0 storage. Samsung has done away entirely with the smaller 128GB capacity for the Malaysia market which is a welcome move seeing how large games and movies are these days.

Some other regions like China, Canada and the United States  use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy processor but for Malaysia, it’s only used in the top of the line Galaxy S24 Ultra that we unboxed recently. 

Of note here is that the Galaxy S24 retains the same full-powered Galaxy AI experience as its higher end siblings including full access to edit and remaster photos, live translation of phone calls and translating messages, summarising notes and more which makes it potentially able to supercharge productivity several fold. 

While there is some contention at the usage of an Exynos 2400 for Galaxy chipset, our initial benchmarks and field tests look promising. What truly impresses is the massive commitment to support that Samsung has as the Galaxy S24 will have a whopping 7 years of OS and security updates. This means it will keep ticking nicely all the way till 2031 and all the way till Android 21. 

Samsung Galaxy S24 First Look front

Powering the phone is a slightly larger 4,000mAh battery which is 100mAh up from the Galaxy S23’s battery while retaining 25W wired fast charging, 15W wireless fast charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging.

As it stands, the Galaxy S24 has subtle but meaningful upgrades that aim to help it retain its role as the titular compact flagship phone with the biggest feature being its Galaxy AI array of features that are unlike anything else that the company has launched before. 

Samsung Galaxy S24 First Look amoled

Stay tuned for our full review to see if it’s worth your money! In the meantime, you can preorder the phone at the Samsung official online store here and all authorised Samsung partners and retailers as well as Samsung Experience stores nationwide.