For many consumers, there is no battle between iPhone and Android. Of course, this might be based on ignorance, but the battle that many people think of in the phone world is between the iPhone and Samsung. Nearly 13 years after the launch of the original Samsung Galaxy S device, Samsung is still offering the best of what Android has to offer to many, with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra leading the charge today.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra may not be the most exciting Galaxy release in 13 years. After the death of the Note series and the adoption of its design in the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the S23 Ultra has become much more repetitive.
But the iterative versions are usually the best. They take the latest generation of new design and experimental new features and polish them to improve the overall experience, even if they often don't offer anything completely innovative.
There is the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. This device is better than the Galaxy S22 Ultra in almost every way, but when you put them side by side you immediately notice the similarities. You don't have to upgrade from the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but if you have an older or younger one, that's pretty addictive in itself.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Rating: 4.5 stars
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- Amazing design
- Great camera
- Excellent battery life
- Very strong
- good show
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specifications
Here are the specifications of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Theme
Perhaps the first thing that strikes you about the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is its design, and it's far from a bad device. Sure, it looks very similar to the previous generation Galaxy S22 Ultra, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Overall, it's an attractive device that you will like more.
At the bottom is a USB-C port flanked by the S Pen slot, which has become a staple feature of the Ultra model after the Note series died. The power button and volume rocker are on the right side.
On the back, you'll find a quad camera, just like the Galaxy S22 Ultra. We'll talk more about these cameras later.
There are other differences between the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the last generation model; first of all, the camera module is bigger, but not too big. It's also slightly less curved around the edges, which I personally like better. As for colors, you have three options: Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender. If you order directly from Samsung, there are other options including Graphite, Lime, Azure and Red.
As mentioned, the Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with an S Pen. I'm not a huge fan of the stylus and didn't use it much, but it was very well made and offered a variety of features. If you like styluses, you'll love the S Pen with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
The mobile phone is very high quality in the hand. The device is well made and the metal rails and glass front and back feel the same. That's what you'd expect from a device in this price range, but it's still important to keep in mind.
Screen of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
The screen of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is designed to offer an incredible experience and it succeeds. The device has a 6.8-inch 1440p AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 1Hz to 120Hz.
This is a beautiful screen. The text is clean and the colors are vibrant and rich. It supports HDR10+, although there's no Dolby Vision support in classic Samsung fashion.
One of the best features of the screen is its smoothness without much battery consumption. This is due to the variable refresh rate. It's a technology that's been around for a while and it's certainly not unique to this phone, but I still really appreciate it.
Samsung rates the display with a maximum brightness of 1750 nits, which is quite high but equal to that of the S22 Ultra. Its brightness is sufficient for all use cases, including direct sunlight outdoors.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra speaker
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is equipped with stereo speakers, one below the top screen and one below.
The quality of the speakers here is excellent, just like for a telephone. While the speakers don't necessarily compete with a decent pair of headphones, the speakers deliver quite rich and deep sound, making them perfect for everyday use like watching videos in bed or browsing TikTok.
The speakers also get quite loud. There may be some distortion at higher volumes, but it's not unreasonable and it's much better than most other phone speakers.
Performance of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, along with 8GB or 12GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage. It's a small step up from the previous generation, but it means that the device is right up there with the best of Android phones.
In day-to-day use, the phone easily handles anything you throw at it. Quickly load apps and games, enable effortless multitasking, and more. Even mobile gamers can easily handle high frame rates in demanding titles like Call of Duty: Mobile .
Test results confirmed excellent performance. Here are the benchmark results we got from the phone.
The results are great and in line with what we would expect from a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 equipped phone. As far as Android phones go, it should be a phone that is at the top of its game, but falls short. comparable to the iPhones of the world.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra battery and charger
It's all powered by a 5,000mAh battery that supports up to 45W wired charging and up to 15W wireless charging.
The battery is sufficient for most users. I've found that it pretty easily lasts a full day of fairly heavy use and most of the second day. Most active users should find the battery life to be excellent, and if you charge well at night, you'll never have any battery life issues.
The only issue I have is that the 45W wired charging, while good, is nowhere near the Chinese competition. At MWC 2023, Realme announced a smartphone capable of charging at a whopping 240W. I don't expect Samsung to compete in promoting fast charging, but it would be nice if their devices could charge a little faster in an emergency. Fortunately, the device supports 15W wireless charging which is quite normal. It also supports 4.5W reverse wireless charging, which can be used to charge Qi-enabled headphones and portable devices.
However, as mentioned, the battery life of the phone is excellent.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra camera
The camera is perhaps the biggest upgrade to the device. The phone has an impressive five cameras, with the main camera having a resolution of 200 megapixels. This camera supports various technologies such as optical image stabilization, laser autofocus and more.
The main camera is supported by others. There's a 10-megapixel periscope telephoto lens with an impressive 10x optical zoom, as well as a standard 10-megapixel telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera.
The range of cameras is very broad and overall offers an incredibly versatile photography experience.
And what about the image quality? This is also great. In good lighting conditions, the Galaxy S23 Ultra was able to capture stunning images. Images were pretty consistent across lenses, and colors were generally vibrant, which is always nice.
Like many high-end smartphones, the Galaxy S23 Ultra uses pixel binning technology to deliver brighter and more detailed images. It works really well here. The camera wasn't quite as sharp as, say, the Pixel or the iPhone 14 Pro, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just a choice Samsung made for its phone.
One of the best features of the phone is its versatility, and indeed any image taken between 0.6x and 10x looks as accurate as the rest. As you start zooming in, detail degrades and at 100x zoom you can't expect anything remotely realistic. But still having the ability to take photos with a 100x zoom is pretty amazing. Again, you probably won't use it very often given the quality of the resulting images, but you can zoom in about 20x and still get high quality detailed images.
In low light, the camera is still capable of taking some pretty impressive photos, better than most smartphones. The phone wasn't as consistent in low light as it was in brighter conditions, but that's pretty common. Hopefully, phone makers keep improving on this.
The front camera is also good. The camera has a resolution of 12 megapixels and, at the same time, is capable of creating colorful and detailed images.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra software
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is based on Samsung's One UI 5.1 Android 13. If you've been using a Samsung phone lately, you'll be fine with the software here, but if you're new to it, it might take some getting used to.
A UI has never been my favorite, but to be honest, it's a far cry from the old days of bloated TouchWiz. The operating system feels pretty modern and sleek, and while there are more apps and features you probably won't need, most of the experience is intuitive. You'll have to get used to using Samsung apps (or the two watch apps, for example) instead of Google apps, but again, these apps are well designed and work well.
Overall, One UI is well designed and easy to navigate. Many people really like Samsung's approach to software, and here it remains mostly the same, if not a little more refined than previous generations.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is an uncompromising phone, except perhaps for the price. The device is very powerful, offers a great camera, a long battery life and a stylish and elegant design. If you're looking for the best Android phone right now, this device is a real contender.
Unfortunately, the Galaxy S23 Ultra doesn't have much competition in the US. They're from outside the US, as is the recently announced Honor Magic5 Pro, which directly takes aim at a Galaxy device in the camera and display department. In the US, perhaps the best competition comes from the Google Pixel 7 Pro, although this is perhaps a little unfair, as they are in very different price ranges. If you're looking for value for money, the Pixel 7 Pro is your best bet, but in terms of performance and overall quality, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is an outstanding phone.
Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra?
YES This is the best ultra premium android smartphone today.