Android companies appear to be ceaselessly following Apple’s lead. Could it be because even they recognize that Apple is superior? The latest example of this copycat phenomenon is the newly released Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, which seems to be a shameless clone of the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Let’s take a closer look at the blatant similarities.
1. Titanium body just like iPhone 15 Pro Max
Gone are the curvy plastic backs of Samsung phones. The S24 Ultra now sports a sleek titanium frame, just like the iPhone 15 Pro Max. While the material does feel premium, it’s hard to ignore the lack of originality. The titanium frame on the S24 Ultra might sound sophisticated, but let’s peel back the layers and see if it’s truly an upgrade or just a desperate attempt to catch up with Apple’s sleek aesthetic.
While titanium boasts undeniable strength, its scratch resistance isn’t significantly better than stainless steel, a material used in previous Samsung flagships. Moreover, titanium adds considerable weight, making the S24 Ultra noticeably heavier than its predecessor. This might feel cumbersome for one-handed users or those who prioritize portability.
The cold, industrial feel of titanium clashes with Samsung’s playful design heritage. Remember the vibrant colors and unique textures of older Galaxy flagships? The S24 Ultra’s titanium feels generic, more concerned with emulating iPhone than carving its own design path.
Samsung justifies the price hike by pointing to the “premium” titanium, but consider this: the iPhone 15 Pro Max uses aerospace-grade titanium, a material significantly lighter than the surgical-grade stainless steel employed in its predecessor. So, are we paying for exclusivity or simply following Apple’s price tag with no tangible performance gain?
Elsewhere, titanium extraction and processing are notoriously energy-intensive and environmentally damaging. While Samsung touts the phone’s “eco-conscious” design, the titanium choice raises questions about their commitment to sustainability. Is this a genuine push for greener tech, or just another marketing buzzword masking a trend-chasing decision?
Samsung claims the titanium frame is a leap towards a futuristic aesthetic. But is it truly innovative, or just a fleeting trend? Titanium might feel cutting-edge today, but it could quickly become passé, leaving the S24 Ultra dated before its time.
The S24 Ultra’s titanium frame might entice some with its premium aura, but it comes with downsides: questionable durability gains, design disharmony, and dubious environmental benefits. This “upgrade” feels less about genuine innovation and more about hastily following Apple’s lead, leaving buyers to question whether they’re paying for substance or simply chasing a fleeting trend.
2. Flat screen/display similar to iPhone 15 Pro Max
The curved-edge displays that were once a Samsung signature are gone. The S24 Ultra now has a flat screen, mimicking the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s design. This change might please some users who prefer a more boxy aesthetic, but it feels like Samsung is simply riding the iPhone’s coattails. The S24 Ultra’s flat screen marks a dramatic departure from Samsung’s signature curved displays. Is this a welcome change embracing ergonomic comfort or a bland imitation of the iPhone’s aesthetic? Let’s peek beyond the surface.
Curved displays were more prone to cracking due to their uneven surface. The flat screen offers better structural integrity, potentially making it more resistant to accidental drops and scratches. However, some might miss the added protection provided by curved phone cases that seamlessly hugged the previous Galaxy models.
The flat screen undeniably echoes the iPhone’s minimalist aesthetic. While some might appreciate the familiar feel, others might yearn for the unique design identity that was once a hallmark of Samsung flagships. The S24 Ultra’s screen feels less like a bold design statement and more like a cautious step towards mainstream conformity
The S24 Ultra’s flat screen presents a mixed bag. It tackles ergonomic concerns and potentially boasts better durability, but sacrifices the immersive viewing experience and unique design flair of its curved predecessors. Whether this is a welcome evolution or a bland imitation depends on individual priorities and design preferences.
3. Android adopts Apple’s iOS-like full wallpaper, always-on display
Android 14 introduced a new full-wallpaper, always-on display (AOD) feature that looks eerily similar to what Apple has been doing for years on iOS. This “inspiration” is a bit too close for comfort.
Is the full-wallpaper AOD truly necessary? Apple has been refining its AOD for years, focusing on information delivery and minimal battery drain. Android’s approach feels flashier, leaning into aesthetics and customization. While some might find it exciting, others might see it as unnecessary feature bloat.
4. Unjust $100 price increase, from $1200 to $1300, mimicking Apple’s pricing pattern
Samsung has followed Apple’s lead in another unsavory way: by raising the price of its flagship phone. The S24 Ultra starts at $1300, a $100 increase over the S23 Ultra. This price hike feels unjustified, especially considering the lack of innovation.
Samsung justifies the price hike by pointing to upgraded internals and the aforementioned titanium frame. However, the performance gains compared to the S23 Ultra are marginal, making the “upgrade” feel more like a marketing buzzword than a tangible improvement. Similarly, the titanium, while undeniably premium, raises questions about its actual impact on user experience versus its hefty price tag.
Apple excels at positioning its products as aspirational luxuries, commanding a premium price for perceived exclusivity and brand image. Samsung, on the other hand, lacks that same cachet. The S24 Ultra, despite its high price, feels more like a “me-too” device trying to catch up rather than a groundbreaking innovation deserving of a luxury price tag.
5. They changed to a 5x telephoto lens (moving from 10x just to mirror the iPhone 15 Pro Max)
Samsung was once the undisputed king of smartphone zoom, with its previous models boasting up to 10x optical zoom. However, the S24 Ultra takes a step back, offering only a 5x telephoto lens. This move seems like a deliberate attempt to match the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s specs, sacrificing innovation for parity.
6. The new OneUI 6.1 is an 80% replica of iOS 17
Samsung’s new OneUI 6.1 interface borrows heavily from iOS 17, with similar notification styles, lock screen widgets, and even the same app library concept. While some users might appreciate the familiarity, it’s disheartening to see Samsung lose its unique design identity.
7. Android also removed the charger from the box, a concept originated by Apple
Following in Apple’s footsteps (pun intended), Samsung has also stopped including a charger in the S24 Ultra box. This environmentally-unfriendly practice is another example of Android blindly copying Apple, even when it hurts consumers.
8. Like Apple devices, Android phones too lack a headphone jack
Samsung joins the ranks of Apple in ditching the headphone jack on the S24 Ultra. While some argue that wireless headphones are the future, this move alienates users who prefer the convenience of wired audio.
9. I also noticed that the S24 Ultra maintains the same design as last year’s S23 Ultra
Aside from the material change, the S24 Ultra looks almost identical to its predecessor. This lack of design evolution further reinforces the impression that Samsung is simply copying Apple’s playbook.
The S24 Ultra’s near-identical appearance to its predecessor, the S23 Ultra, feels like a punch to the gut for those expecting a revolutionary new flagship. Is this stagnation a sign of Samsung running out of ideas, or a calculated strategy to play it safe? In fact, this approach feels lazy, bordering on stagnation. Where’s the push for groundbreaking forms, the exploration of futuristic materials, the daring experiments that once defined Samsung’s design language?
Some might argue that Samsung is taking a calculated approach, prioritizing internal upgrades and software improvements over flashy design changes. While this strategy has merit, it risks losing those who value design excellence as a key factor in their smartphone choice. Samsung needs to strike a delicate balance between iterative improvements and bold design leaps to keep their loyal customers engaged and attract new ones seeking exciting advancements.
The S24 Ultra’s stagnant design is a major disappointment. If Samsung wants to reclaim their crown as the design innovator, they need to break free from the shadow of Apple and inject some much-needed excitement and originality into their flagship devices.
Please refrain from purchasing $1300 Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. If you have $1300 to spend on a smartphone, consider getting the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which only costs about $1200. It offers superior design, innovation, and value for money. Samsung’s blatant copying of Apple is a slap in the face to its loyal customers. It’s time for Android companies to stop following and start leading. Only then can they truly compete with Apple and offer consumers a genuine choice.