Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Review

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Review

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has truly earned its Ultra moniker this year. The phone got a serious photographic upgrade with a new 200MP sensor that records 8K video and Expert RAW mode to shoot like a real camera. This adds to the phone’s incredibly long list of features, including a built-in stylus, multitasking and a desktop mode, which lets you use your phone on any big-screen TV or monitor just by connecting it via USB-C.

There’s really no other Android phone that comes close to this level of functionality – or price. With a stratospheric starting price of $1,200, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is an unthinkable purchase for most people. But for those who want it, it’s the ultimate Android phone and most premium handset.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – Design and Features

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has undergone a minor facelift. The curved screen is a little flatter now, which Samsung says allows users to write notes and draw right up to the edge of the screen using the phone’s pop-up stylus. Also, the sides are a little flatter, making the whole phone more square, so it’s easier to hold with a firmer grip.

Despite the tweaks to the screen, it’s still the same pocket-sized 6.8-inch stretch as last year. The other screen specs also remain the same as last year: 3,088 x 1,440 pixel resolution, 1,750 nits brightness, and 120Hz refresh rate. The other slight tweak is that the refresh rate adaptive can go down to 1Hz to help preserve battery life.

Beyond the screen specs, the S23 Ultra’s Super AMOLED display is stunning with saturated colors and dark blacks like night. The phone has also been upgraded with a third level of vision enhancer to make the display easier to see in daylight. It has the same 1750 nit display as its predecessor, but this little software feature allows it to shine closer to that maximum brightness so you can see the display even in direct sunlight.

On the back, not much has changed for the Galaxy S23. It features the same floating island camera design that has now carried over to the regular Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+. The only tiny difference on the newer model is that the camera lenses are a bit larger.

The phone is rated IP68 for dust and water resistance, so it can survive water immersion up to 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) deep for 30 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – Performance and gaming

The Galaxy S23 Ultra features a special version of the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip that has been tuned with a higher clock speed of 150Hz specifically for Samsung Galaxy devices. But honestly, without being specifically told or running benchmarks, you won’t really notice the difference in performance between this device and another device running the regular version of the same APU, like the OnePlus 11.

Aside from the extra clock speed, the Galaxy S23 Ultra has plenty of muscle to make app switching snappy and fast. More impressively, it allows the phone to take and process 200MP photos in seconds, record 8K video, and display feeds from four different cameras simultaneously in Director video mode.

Of course, that makes the Samsung Galaxy S23 just as capable of hard-hitting games like Genshin Impact and Apex Legends. The phone easily runs both games at maximum settings without image dropouts or hitches.

If you want a handheld for work, the Galaxy S23 offers plenty of that too. It can easily run three apps simultaneously, and thanks to the large screen, you can view them all at once with a window split. It also has a built-in feature called “DeX” that lets you connect to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse through a USB-C hub and use it like an Android OS desktop.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s other standout feature is its ridiculous 200MP camera – a significant boost in resolution over the S22 Ultra’s 108MP snapper. Shooting at this massive resolution lets you capture stunning detail, but it also introduces some noise, especially in low-light situations.

Also, colors tend to get washed out when shooting at maximum resolution, and you lose Samsung’s smart imaging features like object detection and optimizer. You’ll need to do a bit of post-processing in the Google Photos app or even Photoshop to get the most out of that full 200MP.

If you’re really into editing your photos to look perfect, you’ll definitely want to shoot in Samsung’s Expert RAW camera mode, which is now integrated into the base camera app. This mode takes images at 50MP resolution while opening up all the settings you’d expect from a mirrorless camera, including shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity, and more.

Of course, the biggest advantage of Expert RAW mode is that you’re shooting in uncompressed RAW image format, giving you a lot more room to recover shadows, reduce highlights, and make other image adjustments. serious image in programs like Photoshop and Lightroom.

While you can shoot full resolution and RAW photos, the camera defaults to 16 pixels in one, so you’ll typically capture 12MP images with higher dynamic range and detail. Year after year, photos from the Galaxy S23 Ultra are sharper with higher contrast and detail than those taken with the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Samsung’s latest flagship also comes with improved Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) which really helps reduce vibration when shooting photos and recording videos.

As with the other cameras, the phone has a 12-megapixel Ultrawide, a 10-megapixel 3x optical telephoto lens, and a 10MP 10x optical telephoto lens. The difference between the photos from these cameras in the S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra is less pronounced than the main sensor.

However, Samsung’s improvements to Space Zoom are far more impressive. Samsung has not only made super zoomed photos on the Galaxy S23 Ultra sharper than its predecessor, but it’s also taking back the crown from the Google Pixel 7 Pro.

Perhaps the biggest upgrade has been the selfie camera. Despite dropping the resolution from 40MP to just 12MP, it now has autofocus, 60fps for videos, and a Super HDR capture mode. The new selfie camera performs better overall, and the photos are sharper and more vibrant than those I took on the previous generation Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – Battery life

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has seen no change in battery size this year, still sitting at a fairly sizable 5,000mAh capacity. That’s plenty of power to keep this gargantuan phone going all day with around 30% to 40% of its battery intact. And it’s a busy day watching videos, listening to music and podcasts, scrolling through social media and playing mobile games.

Purchase guide

THE Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra starting at $1,199 and it comes with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. Meanwhile, there is an upgrade 12GB of RAM and a 512GB model available for $1,379and finally the most high-end model doubles the storage to 1TB for $1,619.

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