There's been a clear shift in priorities ever since TM Roh took over as the boss of Samsung's mobile division. Roh agreed to as much in our interview with him during the previous Unpacked event. The focus is on extracting more from less instead of going all out on hardware. While that's commendable, it shouldn't be stretched to the point where it feels like an excuse to cut corners.
It was widely expected that the Galaxy S24 Ultra will be offered with 16GB of RAM, even if on the bigger storage variants that cost more. Earlier benchmarks of the device had hinted at that. The latest reports reveal that the Galaxy S24 Ultra will stick with 8GB of RAM on the base model and 12GB on the more expensive variants. If this wasn't enough, Samsung is reportedly sticking with just 8GB RAM on the base model of the Galaxy S24 and S24+.
It's about time the company bumped up the memory, particularly on the Ultra. Samsung hasn't changed the RAM offerings for its top-of-the-line flagship for four years in a row. It really doesn't look good anymore, particularly when you consider that other Android brands have already been offering 16GB RAM on their flagships. Some have even gone as high as 24GB!
As you can probably expect, the response about the Galaxy S24's lack of RAM upgrades hasn't been great. The hard-core Samsung users, the loyalists who have stuck by the company for years, are quite vocal about their disappointment. The power users who just want the best specs on their Samsung flagship now feel more desperate than ever before. Samsung clearly isn't living up to their expectations, leaving them with no option but to look elsewhere.
The Galaxy S24 already has to fight an uphill battle with those fans. Samsung's decision to bring back the Exynos chipset with next year's flagship series has already irked them. The Snapdragon-only Galaxy S23 series showed them all what they had been missing. Now customers in markets where only the Exynos variant will be sold are once again bracing to get the short end of the stick.
It's not so much the checkered history of the Exynos that's a cause for concern this time around but the brilliance of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. This powerful new chipset will be used for the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the other handsets in select markets. As things stand, it's quite possible that those who get the Exynos-powered variants next year will feel like they're having to live with a downgrade, even if Samsung doesn't believe that to be the case.
Samsung's most loyal fans have effectively been asked to swallow these bitter pills even before the device has been launched. Talk about a way to dent the excitement for your new flagship! We can already hear grumblings from the fanbase. It's not looking good, and I've consistently been pointing out that alienating this group would be counterproductive.
As the person calling the shots at Samsung's mobile division, TM Roh has done incredibly well in many aspects, as we've highlighted here time and again. However, it does seem that the focus has shifted a lot more towards optimization and away from what made Samsung's flagships so exciting in the first place. I've talked about how Samsung needs to embrace innovation again, but this is again a one step forwards, two steps backwards approach from the company. The choices that have been made for the Galaxy S24 series will only increase the gap between Roh and Samsung's most loyal fans.
Customers who have stuck with the company through the ups and downs, who have supported every flagship launch with their hard earned money, deserve better. At least give them the option to buy the best variant of the device, with Snapdragon and the highest amount of RAM possible, regardless of where they're located. Samsung already sells through its own online store in the vast majority of markets it operates in, so it's not like distributing these phones even as online-only exclusives would be a problem.
We do understand that these are business considerations behind the decisions that Roh is making, and while they will pad the bottom line and increase shareholder value, it's counterproductive to consistently let your most loyal fans down. They're the fans that hype up the company and its devices, acting as ardent advocates online and elsewhere. They've already become muted and will only feel more disenfranchised if nothing is done.
So on behalf of that silent majority, TM Roh, let me suggest that Samsung considers launching powerful online exclusives for the Galaxy S24 series. These limited edition devices should offer the highest storage and RAM coupled with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. It doesn't even have to be only the Ultra, do it for any of the three models, no matter if the device gets a bit heavier or a bit thicker. It's fine, we'll be far too excited to even care about that!