The month of February has started yet again with another all-rounder from Samsung, the Galaxy S23 Ultra, with a fresh new chipset and an upgraded camera game. If you had doubts about that, I am about to change your mind, so buckle up!
Although there may not have been many aesthetic changes, the new 200MP main camera promises even better pictures in all lighting situations. The S23 Ultra looks every bit as stunning as you’d expect, given its hefty price when you add in the fastest mobile silicon now doing the rounds.
#1: Design – Old But Gold
If you were to hold the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra next to the S23 Ultra, you could easily confuse the two because they almost look identical. That doesn’t discredit this absolute masterpiece because even with curved glass bending into a core frame to reduce the width, the phone is still a large beast. There are only so many methods to reduce the size while maintaining a place for the S-Pen pen.
Apart from that, back camera lenses now protrude a little further, and rear glass is now available in four new colors: Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender which is also pretty cool. There are also minor styling changes and it still conceals a fingerprint sensor beneath the display for biometric security and is IP68 water and dust resistant.
#2: Camera – The Major Key
I know what you are thinking, yes the S23 Ultra is not the first smartphone with a 200MP camera, but it is first in line for Samsung’s home-grown HP2 sensor. In addition to being able to capture 200MP still images that are incredibly detailed in good light, it can also use 16-to-1 pixel binning to capture images that are just as amazing in dim light.
Additionally, instead of the pixel-binned 40MP sensor found on the Galaxy S22 Ultra from last year, the selfie camera now sports a 12MP sensor up front. As a result, we anticipate that images will appear a little sharper, however, we won’t know for sure until a thorough assessment.
The updated Night Portrait option, which now considers the hair, skin, and eyes independently before adding digital bokeh, is also advantageous. Even in decent lighting, we were able to spot it, but some haircuts didn’t appear very realistic. We’ll have to wait and see if low-light performance has improved.
#3: Display and Sound – Consistency + Durability
It’s not surprising to see a truly great display on the S23 Ultra, even though Samsung produces good displays for rivals like Apple. Because of its large 6.8-inch AMOLED display and 3088 by 1440 resolution, even tiny text appears razor-sharp.
Given its adaptive 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ compatibility, it can display streaming video with immaculate blacks and nearly limitless contrast. Scrolling also appears to be incredibly smooth.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra also features Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection, which is said to be able to withstand a 1-meter drop straight onto the concrete. We’ll have to assume that clumsy owners will be a little safer carrying one of these in their pocket since Samsung isn’t going to provide any demonstrations during our hands-on.
#4: Performance – New level unlocked
The S23 Ultra appears to be every bit the performance beast that the previous Galaxy Ultras have been. There are no Exynos-equipped models this time around, so the power comes from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU, which is paired with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM depending on the specification.
Qualcomm has increased the clock speeds for both the processor and GPU, so theoretically this should be the fastest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones get.
Apps launched almost immediately, and split screen and multitasking with the S-Pen were both almost faultless. When you take the S Pen out of its storage nook, a long list of features displays, and writing precision was excellent. Samsung doesn’t appear to have increased its capabilities for 2023, instead emphasizing broader updates to OneUI 5.1.
#5: Battery life – Last man standing
We anticipate the Galaxy S23 Ultra to survive a day between top-ups given its powerful performance. That’s in spite of a sizable 5000mAh battery and a CPU that uses less energy than it did last year, but based on all indications, it should be generally competitive with the more expensive alternatives.
The objective of the Galaxy S23 Ultra hasn’t changed; it’s still the pinnacle of Samsung in the smartphone space, with what appears to be astounding cameras and a productivity emphasis that few competitors can match thanks to the built-in stylus.