Who needs a separate camera when you have the Samsung S23 Ultra? With this remarkable device in your hands, you can seamlessly interact with the world and supercharge your productivity. There’s no bluffing here – the 200MP camera alone surpasses the capabilities of its predecessors in the Galaxy series.
According to Omdia Tech, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has claimed its throne as the best-selling Android phone of 2023, ranking 5th globally, just after the iPhones. But what is it about this smartphone that has captured the hearts of so many?
Personally, I believe it embodies the true essence of a complete package. While premium phones often offer incremental upgrades, the Galaxy S23 Ultra sets itself apart. Let’s take a look at its specifications, then explore what makes it the preferred choice for millions of users in the world, and finally, dive into the in-depth review and pricing
Specs of Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
- Network: GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE / 5G
- Dimensions: 163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9 mm (6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 in)
- Weight: 234 g (8.25 oz)
- Build: Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), aluminum frame
- SIM: Nano-SIM and eSIM or Dual SIM (2 Nano-SIMs and eSIM, dual stand-by)
- IP Rating: IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 min)
- Display: Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1200 nits (HBM), 1750 nits (peak), 6.8 inches, 1440 x 3088 pixels
- OS: Android 13, One UI 5.1
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8550-AC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (1×3.36 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3×2.0 GHz Cortex-A510)
- GPU: Adreno 740
- Memory: 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM, 1TB 12GB RAM (UFS 4.0)
- Main Camera: Quad – 200 MP wide, 10 MP periscope telephoto (10x optical zoom), 10 MP telephoto (3x optical zoom), 12 MP ultrawide
- Selfie Camera: 12 MP wide
- Sound: Stereo speakers, no 3.5mm jack, 32-bit/384kHz audio, Tuned by AKG
- Battery: Li-Ion 5000 mAh, non-removable, 45W wired charging, 15W wireless charging, 4.5W reverse wireless charging
- Colors: Phantom Black, Green, Cream, Lavender, Graphite, Sky Blue, Lime, Red, BMW M Edition
- Price: Starting at $1,199 for 256GB storage
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Review
Design and Display
The design of the Galaxy S23 Ultra may seem like a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Samsung has continued the legacy of its successful design language from the previous year’s S22 Ultra, refining the edges to make it even more comfortable to hold and write on with the S Pen.
The device retains its premium build with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on both the front and back, along with an aluminum frame, ensuring durability. However, Samsung has also squared off the frame’s edges, making it more ergonomic for the S Pen. While the curved display remains, it’s a design choice that might not please everyone, especially those who prefer flat screens. This is where the smaller Galaxy S23 models have an advantage with their flat screens.
The display on the S23 Ultra is another area where Samsung continues to shine. It features a Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ support, and a peak brightness of a staggering 1750 nits. This means you can expect vibrant colors, deep blacks, and exceptional brightness for outdoor use. The screen size is a generous 6.8 inches, offering an 89.9% screen-to-body ratio. Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 ensures protection against scratches and drops.
One notable improvement is the optimization for S Pen use, making it a seamless experience for note-taking and creative tasks. However, it’s worth mentioning that the curved edges may not be to everyone’s liking, as they can sometimes lead to accidental touches.
- Software and Performance
The Galaxy S23 Ultra runs on Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 5.1 out of the box. While there are no revolutionary UI changes, there are several quality-of-life improvements and new features to enhance the user experience. One standout addition is the new battery widgets, reminiscent of iOS widgets, which provide quick access to connected devices’ charge levels.
Expert RAW access is now available directly from the camera app, improving the photography experience. Users can also customize where their screenshots are saved on the device, offering greater flexibility. However, it’s worth noting that accessing the camera via the lock screen shortcut still requires unlocking the phone, which may be inconvenient for some users.
Despite these improvements, there are still areas where Samsung’s software can be refined. Samsung tends to duplicate software already provided by Google, which can lead to redundancy. Essential apps like Expert RAW or Good Lock should come pre-installed or be readily available on the Play Store. Additionally, during the initial setup, users are prompted to download various third-party apps, including Microsoft apps like LinkedIn and Outlook, which may not be desirable for everyone.
The highlight of the Galaxy S23 Ultra is undoubtedly its camera system. Samsung has taken the 108MP sensor from the S22 Ultra and nearly doubled its resolution, resulting in a 200MP ISOCELL HP2 sensor. While the default setting captures 12MP binned images by combining 16 pixels into one, users can opt for the full 200MP mode for greater flexibility in cropping and reframing photos.
The images produced by this camera system are nothing short of excellent, offering superb clarity and detail. The device also excels in low-light photography, delivering impressive results.
Comparing the Galaxy S23 Ultra to the Galaxy Note S22 Ultra, it’s clear that Samsung has made significant strides in camera technology. The increased resolution allows for more detailed shots, and the image processing algorithms have been further refined to produce stunning photos in various conditions.
While the S22 Ultra was already a photography powerhouse, the S23 Ultra takes it up a notch. It’s worth mentioning that the S23 Ultra competes closely with other flagship devices like the iPhone 14 Pro Max and even surpasses the Pixel 7 Pro in certain aspects.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra presents users with a versatile range of storage options to suit their individual needs. With choices ranging from 256GB, and 512GB, to a whopping 1TB of internal storage, this flagship caters to a wide spectrum of users.
The base 256GB model offers ample space for apps, media, and documents, while the 512GB and 1TB variants are perfect for power users and content creators who require extensive storage for high-resolution photos, 8K videos, and large files. In tandem with its impressive storage offerings, the Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts up to 12GB of RAM, ensuring smooth multitasking, future-proofing, and top-tier performance.
This substantial RAM capacity makes the device well-suited for running multiple apps seamlessly and handling resource-intensive tasks effortlessly, guaranteeing a responsive and efficient user experience.
Battery Life and Charging
One area where the S23 Ultra excels is in battery life. With a robust 5000mAh battery, it offers over 13 hours of usage on a single charge. This means you can comfortably go through a full day of heavy use without worrying about running out of battery.
Samsung has also included fast charging capabilities, with a 45W wired charger that can reach 65% charge in just 30 minutes, as advertised. Wireless charging at 15W and reverse wireless charging at 4.5W are also available.
Price of Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes at a premium price, starting at $1,199 for the 256GB storage variant. While this is double the storage compared to the S22 Ultra, it’s essential to consider whether the price increase justifies the improvements. The S23 Ultra is also available in higher storage options: 512GB for $1,379 and a whopping 1TB for $1,619. It’s essential to weigh the storage needs against the added cost.
Is the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra worth Buying?
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra not only provides users with a range of generous storage options but also pairs them with ample RAM, making it a versatile and high-performance smartphone.
Whether you prioritize extensive storage for your content or require robust multitasking capabilities, the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s storage and memory configurations have you covered, ensuring a superior mobile experience tailored to your specific needs.
It’s a safe yet outstanding flagship phone. It builds upon the success of its predecessor, the S22 Ultra, delivering notable improvements in camera technology, display optimization for the S Pen, and exceptional battery life. While it comes at a premium price, its performance, camera capabilities, and overall experience make it a top contender in the premium flagship smartphone market.
Samsung continues to raise the bar for Android devices, and the S23 Ultra is a testament to its commitment to innovation and excellence. If you’re looking for one of the best smartphones available, the S23 Ultra is undoubtedly worth considering.