Samsung may be the king of Ultra phones in the west, but the company has the likes of Xiaomi to contend with in China and other parts of the world. The Xiaomi 14 Ultra was launched globally in February 2024, just a month after Samsung’s premium flagship, and the phone is giving the Galaxy S24 Ultra some major competition, especially in the camera department.

There’s a lot to like about each phone, but if you’re in the U.S., there’s little chance you’ll get your hands on Xiaomi’s phone. However, if you’re somewhere where both Xiaomi and Samsung’s latest and greatest are available, you may have a hard time choosing between the two. Well, we’re here to make that decision a little easier with a direct comparison between two of the best Android phones on the market.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: The looks and hardware

Xiaomi 14 Ultra

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi and Samsung follow very different design languages for their flagship phones. It’s obvious by looking at the two that Xiaomi went for a bolder design while Samsung’s flagship is much more understated.

The most prominent design aspect of the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is the protruding camera housing in the back, which houses four sensors. It takes up much of the phone’s back panel, which is mostly flat and made with vegan leather. The phone even doubles down on the camera focus by incorporating a camera ring-like design on the circular housing.

This is in stark contrast to the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which has four camera sensors protruding individually from one corner of the phone’s back panel. On the one hand, the S24 Ultra is thinner as a result, measuring 8.6mm versus 9.2mm on the Xiaomi 14 Ultra. On the other hand, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is a little less interesting to look at, as Samsung once again opts for a frosted glass back panel of various colors (Xiaomi only has a few color options).

On the front, there are more differences, but they’re becoming more subtle. Samsung opted for a flat display this time around, while Xiaomi goes with a quad-curve design, although it’s less pronounced on the 14 Ultra. It makes for an interesting effect, although many people seem to prefer flat displays, and some may find Xiaomi’s approach a bit jarring.

Samsung also made a big change to the S24 Ultra’s design, thanks to Gorilla Armor, which improves durability and reduces reflections on the screen for better visibility. Xiaomi’s Shield Glass also improves durability, but it’s not clear how this compares to Samsung’s.

Both phones have flat frames, which should improve grip, but Samsung incorporates titanium into the design, which should help make the phone lighter. That said, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is quite a few grams lighter at 219.8g, compared to 232g of the S24 Ultra.

Both phones feature IP68 water and dust resistance.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: The specs and software

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 on a fingertip

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

The specs of these two phones are pretty similar, but there are some notable differences that set them apart, particularly Xiaomi’s flagship. Take a look below to see how they stack up against each other.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Category Xiaomi 14 Ultra Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
OS HyperOS, Android 14 One UI 6.1, Android 14
Display 6.73-inch LTPO AMOLED, 120Hz, 3000 nits (peak) 6.8-inch LTPO AMOLED, 120Hz, 2600 nits (peak)
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Adreno 750, 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Adreno 750, 4nm
RAM 12GB, 16GB 12GB
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB UFS 4.0 256GB, 512GB, 1TB UFS 4.0
Rear camera 1 50MP wide, LYT-900, f/1.6, 1/1.31-inch, 23mm, OIS 200MP wide, ISOCELL HP2, f/1.7, 1/1.3-inch, 24mm, OIS
Rear camera 2 50MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 14mm, 115-degree FoV 12MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FoV
Rear camera 3 50MP 3.2x telephoto, f/2.0, 75mm, OIS 10MP 3x telephoto, f/2.4, 67mm, OIS
Rear camera 4 50MP 5x periscope, f/2.5, 120mm, OIS 50MP 5x periscope, f/3.4, 111mm, OIS
Front camera 32MP, f/2.0 12MP, f/2.2,
Ingress protection IP68 dust and water resistance IP68 dust and water resistance
Connectivity Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4, global 5G bands, NFC, dual-band GPS Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.3, global 5G bands, NFC, dual-band GPS
Security Optical in-screen sensor Ultrasonic in-screen sensor
Audio USB-C, stereo sound, 24-bit/192kHz, Snapdragon Sound, AptX HD, AptX Adaptive USB-C, stereo sound, 32-bit/384kHz, AKG
Battery 5,000mAh, 90W wired charging, 50W wireless charging 5,000mAh, 45W wired charging, 15W wireless charging
Dimensions 161.4 x 75.3 x 9.2mm, 219.8g 162.3 x 79 x 8.6mm, 232g
Colors Black, White, Jade Green Titanium Black, Titanium Gray, Titanium Violet, Titanium Yellow

Both phones are powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and come with 12GB of RAM, although the higher storage variants on the Xiaomi 14 Ultra get 16GB of RAM. When it comes to the display, both devices have the same resolution and refresh rate, but the 14 Ultra wins out again with higher peak brightness, although the 2600 nits on the S24 Ultra is nothing to sneeze at.

Both share an equally large 5,000mAh battery (with an extra 300mAh for the 14 Ultra in China), and the S24 Ultra gets 45W wired charging, while the 14 Ultra supports a speedy 90W wired. Samsung says it’ll reach a 65% charge in 30 minutes, which is roughly the same time it takes to fully charge the Xiaomi 14 Ultra. The 80W wireless charging on the 14 Ultra will also top up the phone in under an hour, but you’ll be waiting much longer for a full charge on the S24 Ultra with just 15W charging. Both have reverse wireless, which is once again faster on Xiaomi’s phone.

Taking a closer look at the mostly flat display of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

For connectivity, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra comes with newer Bluetooth 5.4, while the S23 Ultra has the stiff capable Bluetooth 5.3. Samsung’s flagship also comes with UWB, something not present on the Xiaomi phone. That said, unlike the S24 Ultra, Xiaomi includes two-way satellite communication on its phone.

But of course, one of the biggest hardware perks that Samsung has over Xiaomi is the built-in S Pen, which adds even more value to the S24 Ultra.

Finally, on the software front, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra runs HyperOS out of the box which is an evolution of MIUI based on Android 14. As noted in the Xiaomi 14 review, there aren’t many visual changes, but the OS is more optimized and fluid and before, which users may appreciate. The S24 Ultra runs One UI 6.1 out of the box, which includes new AI features and camera optimizations. Both offer pretty great software promises, but Samsung takes the crown thanks to seven years of updates all around, while Xiaomi only offers four Android OS updates and five years of security updates.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: The cameras

Capturing a photo with the Xiaomi 14 Ultra

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

The camera setups on these phones are quite different. Samsung puts all its eggs one basket with a 200MP primary sensor, which uses pixel binning for bright, detailed images. As noted in our Galaxy S24 Ultra camera review, the images that come from the camera aren’t quite as finally detailed as you might expect, but they look more natural, which some may prefer.

The ultrawide sticks to 12MP and does fine enough, while the 3x telephoto camera also retains its 10MP from the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The biggest change is the 50MP 5x telephoto camera, which cuts the zoom level in half but increases the resolution by 5x. The result; much-improved optical and digital zoom.

Taking a photo using the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Xiaomi’s approach is quite different. Instead of one flagship sensor with more pixels than what anyone knows what to do with, the 14 Ultra uses four 50MP cameras. The primary camera gets a boost with a 1-inch-type Sony LYT-900 sensor, which is one of the latest and greatest. The other cameras use the Sony IMX858 and consist of an ultrawide, a 3.2x telephoto, and a 5x periscope camera.

Xiaomi’s cameras are tuned by Leica and should provide promising results, especially if the Xiaomi 13 Ultra is anything to go by, although, we still have to test the phone before we can make any judgements. The company even has a camera grip accessory for owners that want a more traditional shooting experience, complete with a two-stage shutter button, zoom lever, and a record button.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Which should you buy?

Xiaomi 14 Ultra back panel

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Both the Xiaomi 14 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra are two of the best Android phones you can buy in 2024. Both are very camera-focused phones, although they go about it in different ways. Samsung puts all its eggs in the 200MP basket, while Xiaomi spreads the love across all of its cameras.

Choosing between these phones largely comes down to preference and availability. Overall, the 14 Ultra offers better specs, from higher max RAM to faster charging. That said, you’ll pay much more for it, even at its lowest spec configuration. The Xiaomi 14 Ultra is also not coming to the U.S., meaning there’s not much of a choice for buyers in North America.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is more of a kitchen sink phone, especially when you take the built-in S Pen into consideration. It may not offer the better specs, but it’s a plenty capable phone that’s available in the U.S. and for a cheaper price. You honestly cant go wrong with either phone, but if you can spend the extra money and live in a place where it’s being sold, you might wanna grab the Xiaomi 14 Ultra.

Leave a Reply