Over the years, the Galaxy S series has become known for its sleek designs, high-end hardware specs, and advanced camera systems. Samsung has also added various software features and user interface enhancements. The Galaxy S series has been a critical and commercial success for Samsung, and it has helped the company establish itself as a major player in the global smartphone market. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the latest flagship smartphone from Samsung Electronics. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra was released on the 17th of February with a price tag of $1,199. It features the latest hardware and software advancements from Samsung. In this blog post, we will discuss the features, performance, and overall value of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
|Display||6.8-inch QHD AMOLED|
|Rear cameras||200MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto, 10MP 10x telephoto|
|Refresh rate||1 – 120Hz adaptive|
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB|
|Charging||45W wired/10W wireless|
|Size||163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9mm (6.4 x 3.0 x 0.35 inches)|
|Colors||Green, Phantom Black, Cream, and Lavender|
Software and Battery
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is designed to impress with its impressive specifications, much like its predecessor. The phone boasts a large 6.8-inch WQHD+ Super AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate. The device runs on a customized Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, which Samsung calls the “Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy”, and is available with up to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. The SIM card tray can accommodate two nano-SIM cards and supports dual 5G standby, but the phone lacks expandable storage.
In terms of connectivity, the phone supports multiple 5G bands, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, Ultra Wideband (UWB), and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port. The device has a 5,000mAh battery that supports 45W fast wired charging and 15W wireless charging but does not come with a charger in the box.
Samsung’s One UI 5.1 provides a polished user interface with smooth animations and transitions throughout. The camera app now includes Expert RAW mode, making it useful for professional photographers. The Gallery app allows users to extract objects, people, and pets from photos and save them as PNG files for sharing. The phone includes two new battery widgets and an improved dynamic weather widget. Moreover, the phone is compatible with Samsung Galaxy Book laptops’ keyboards and trackpads. The device also supports copy and paste functionality to and from other supported devices, much like an iPhone with a MacBook.
The S Pen remains a popular feature, allowing users to jot down handwritten notes and convert them to text. However, using the S Pen can be challenging because of the palm rejection issue. Despite its high price, the phone still has a problem with bloatware and third-party apps. It comes preloaded with Microsoft 365, OneDrive, LinkedIn, Outlook, Facebook, Spotify, and Netflix apps. Unfortunately, OneDrive cannot be uninstalled, and the phone includes many Samsung-branded apps, some of which have Google alternatives, such as Samsung Internet and Google Chrome. Most Samsung-branded apps, except for the core apps, can be uninstalled.
Related: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro
Design and Build Quality
The design of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra stands out with its larger camera module on the back and a flatter display panel. Although there is still a slight curve to the 6.8-inch screen, it is now flatter and slimmer, providing a more comfortable experience when using the S Pen.
In terms of durability, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is the first smartphone to feature Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which offers better protection against scratches and drops. JerryRigEverything’s durability tests have shown that the S23 Ultra is quite resilient.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra comes in four colors – Green, Phantom Black, Cream, and Lavender. Samsung has also emphasized the eco-friendliness of the device by using recycled materials in its construction. These include using discarded fishing nets for the S Pen inner cover and bottom speaker module, recycled water barrels for the side key and volume key, and recycled aluminum for the SIM tray. While the Galaxy S23 Ultra is the same size as its predecessor, the S22 Ultra, it is slightly heavier, weighing in at 8.2 ounces and measuring 6.4 x 3.0 x 0.35 inches.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts an exclusive version of Qualcomm’s latest processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen for Galaxy, which promises higher clock speeds than the standard chip, peaking at 3.36 GHz. Additionally, Samsung claims that the S23 Ultra has the world’s fastest mobile graphics, which is supported by several benchmark tests that we’ve run.
|Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy||1396||4882|
|Galaxy S22 Ultra||Snapdragon 8 Gen 1||1240||3392|
|iPhone 14 Pro Max||A16 Bionic||1882||5333|
|iPhone 14 Pro||A16 Bionic||1891||5469|
|iPhone 14||A15 Bionic||1727||4553|
The S23 Ultra performed well in Geekbench, which measures CPU performance in both single-core and multicore applications, outperforming its predecessor, the Galaxy S22 Ultra, in both tests and the iPhone 14 in multicore performance but not in single-core performance. However, the iPhone 14 Pro’s A16 Bionic chip still holds the top spot in terms of overall speed. We used 3DMark Wild Life to test the graphic performance of the S23 Ultra, and it performed exceptionally well, achieving a high frames per second (FPS) count.
|Unlimited (FPS)||Extreme Unlimited (FPS)|
|Galaxy S23 Ultra||79.3||20.9|
|Galaxy S22 Ultra||57||14|
|iPhone 14 Pro Max||74||20|
|iPhone 14 Pro||74||19|
During our benchmark tests, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra outperformed the iPhone 14 Pro, achieving 79 frames per second (FPS) compared to the iPhone’s 74 FPS on the Unlimited test. It also narrowly edged out the iPhone with a score of 20.9 to 20 FPS on the more demanding Extreme Unlimited test.
We also conducted an Adobe Premiere Rush test by transcoding a 4K video file to 1080p and timing the results. The S23 Ultra completed the task in 40 seconds, which is 7 seconds faster than its predecessor, the S22 Ultra. However, the iPhone 14 Pro only took 26 seconds, while the Pro Max needed 30 seconds.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra proved to be highly responsive when using the app switcher and popping in and out of open apps. The only lag observed was when attempting to edit a 200MP photo in the Gallery app. During gameplay, the S23 Ultra delivered stunning graphics and highly responsive controls when playing Apex Legends. It did not slow down even after prolonged usage, and the device did not heat up significantly. It is noteworthy that the S23 Ultra has a larger vapor cooling chamber than its predecessor, which should result in sustained high performance and lower heat generation.
One of the standout features of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is its new 200-megapixel primary camera sensor. Despite having the same size as a 108-megapixel sensor, the ISOCELL HP2 sensor boasts a 16-to-1 pixel binning system that captures 12-megapixel photos by default, with the option to take photos at the full 200-megapixel resolution. While the full resolution images contain an impressive amount of detail, they also have a softer appearance and a much larger file size than the binned images. The new autofocus system, dubbed “Super QPD,” uses all 200 million pixels grouped by four adjacent pixels as focusing agents for faster autofocus than its predecessor, which could only track changes horizontally. The Galaxy S23 Ultra also features a new 12-megapixel autofocus selfie camera with an 80-degree field of view, which is also included in the rest of the Galaxy S23 lineup.
The phone’s camera app has an Expert Raw mode that takes users to a separate app in the Galaxy Store, which includes Astrophotography modes.
The phone’s daylight image quality is excellent and captures every detail without oversharpening, although the color treatment may be subjectively cooler compared to other devices.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra captures excellent low-light photos with good details and dynamic range. However, it struggles with bright street lights, though the light flares are not as pronounced as with the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The Night mode produces slightly better images with less noise but takes a few seconds longer to save the image and should only be used in very dark conditions. The autofocus is impressively quick even in dimly lit scenarios, proving that the new sensor was a significant improvement. However, the S23 Ultra still struggles to accurately capture extremely dark scenes, resulting in a dreamy HDR effect.