We’ve been trying for a few weeks Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and we’re not afraid to say it’s the smartphone to beat. Samsung’s new flagship has filled the gaps and defects of last year by rightfully entering the Olympus of super smartphones: a device with a long-lasting battery, a noteworthy photographic sector and the ever-present stylus (one of a kind). We tell you everything in ours review.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra review
A technical sheet of 10 and praise
Before telling you what and why we were thrilled with this Galaxy S23 Ultra, let’s rattle off some features for lovers of data sheets.
Dimensions: 163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9
Weight: 233 grams
Operating system: Android 13 con One UI 5,1
Net: 5G with Dual-nano SIM or nano SIM + eSIM
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, GPS, Glonass, USB-C
Display: Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 1-120Hz, HDR10+, 1750 nits (peak) with 1140×3088 resolution
Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 2
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 gen 2 with “for Galaxy” customization
RAM: 8/12 GB
Internal memory: 256GB/512GB/1TB, non-expandable
Drums: 5000 mAh
Fast Charging: 45W
Rear camera: quad camera as follows, 200MP, f/1.7 (main) 12MP, f/2.2, 120° (ultra-wide) 10MP, f/2.4, (3X telephoto) 10MP, f/4.9, (10X optical telephoto)
Front camera: 12MP f/2.2
Galaxy S23 Ultra review: what we liked
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has come to the market to do the impossible: surpass its predecessor. Galaxy S22 Ultra was – and remains – a smartphone, one of the most complete on the market, perfect for working, playing, entertaining and communicating. Using the touch or the always appreciated stylus. Yes, because today the S Ultra remain the only smartphones with the built-in stylus in the body of the smartphone.
But let’s go back to our main character. And we do it by starting with a little spoiler:
What the heck does “Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy” mean?
Galaxy S23 Ultra brings with it a number of improvements that have allowed it to surpass S22 Ultra.
The first – the one that made the nerds tear their hair out already during the launch conference – is the presence of the processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxywhich is a customized variant of what, to date, is the best performing mobile chipset in the world.
In fact, until last year Samsung had two variants of its flagship line: on the one hand the one with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon, destined for the American market, on the other the one with the Exynos produced by the same Korean giant, aimed instead at European and Asian territories .
This choice, which undoubtedly had solid motivations, however had obvious consequences: the versions with the Exynos tended to be less powerful but above all much more energy-intensive.
We don’t know what convinced Samsung to extend the partnership with Qualcomm for the European versions, what we do know is that Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 5000 mAh battery lasts 2 days with light use and a day with intense use, taking you quietly after midnight with 12% with almost 6 hours of screen time without any energy saving precautions, therefore with an adaptive screen refresh rate of 120 Hz, QuadHD + resolution and active 5G. In short, the biggest limp of Galaxy S22 Ultra has definitely been fixed.
However, we have said that something changes also in terms of power.
What does “world’s best performing chipset” mean? considering that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is also used by top of the range products from OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo and Honor.
As anticipated, this is the “for Galaxy” version. And it’s not called that just because it’s inside a Samsung smartphone. The two companies have worked hand in hand to ensure users a higher CPU and GPU clock speed, which go from 3.2GHz to 3.36GHz and from 680MHz to 719MHz respectively. We could therefore say that this Snapdragon for Galaxy is as if it were already the 8+ Gen 2 version of Qualcomm’s latest chipset.
However, know that by comparing the Galaxy S22 Ultra with the Galaxy S23 Ultra, you will hardly notice any differences in daily use, and this is normal. However, we are talking about terminals that are born to be super top of the range so speed is the basic element of both: they are splinters in everything, with last year’s model still keeping up with the newcomer.
The presence of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor brings with it another advantage: support for 200 MP photo sensors, which we find in this Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. In fact, the Korean giant replaced last year’s 108 MP sensor with a 200 MP sensor:
You rightly ask: are there substantial differences to the naked eye?
Yes and no.
Or rather, perhaps the question should be asked another way.
The right question is: are there any improvements aside from all these extra megapixels?
But you see them when you compare Galaxy S23 Ultra with Galaxy S22 Ultra, that is, with both phones in your hand at your disposal. You must therefore take the photo of the same thing or the video of the same situation to understand that something changes, and even a lot.
If you only take Galaxy S23 Ultra you cannot grasp the news. In short, S22 was an excellent smartphone also on the photographic front, S23 as well. So photograph everything, now like last year, without difficulty. But now you get even better results.
Qualcomm chipset also supports the Multiple Semantic Segmentation, that is the ability to recognize every single element of the photo – in any shooting mode – and to improve it separately in order to have a ready-to-use photo. And that’s what the Galaxy S23 Ultra does.
But now, photos in hand, let’s try to understand what changes.
Galaxy S22 Ultra – Day
Galaxy S23 Ultra – Day
Let’s start with the simple things: daytime photos.
There is a difference but it is very slight. They both do great and to notice the changes you really have to look at them with a magnifying glass
Galaxy S22 Ultra – Night
Galaxy S23 Ultra – Notte
Galaxy S22 Ultra – Night
Galaxy S23 Ultra – Notte
The comparison becomes easier at night where the S23 Ultra brings out much more detail than the S22 Ultra. Here, it remains a bit watercolor all the same but there is really no comparison.
And that doesn’t just apply to the main sensor and standard mode.
For example, you can see more details even in portrait mode, with the S23 Ultra which also gives us a more natural and gradual blur. It feels almost mechanical instead of a software effect.
Galaxy S22 Ultra – Portrait mode at night
Galaxy S23 Ultra – Portrait mode at night
We can do a similar discourse on details by taking the images taken with the telephoto lens which, incidentally, is always excellent. For example, this window on S23 holds more detail than the same window captured with S22.
Galaxy S22 Ultra – Zoom at night
Galaxy S23 Ultra – Zoom at night
We also have the option of scattare i RAW con l’app Expert RAWwhich also happened last year with its predecessor.
Here too we notice an improvement with the S23 RAWs which are heavier because they contain more information. This translates to greater freedom of editing in post production.
Photo editing taken in RAW on Galaxy S22 Ultra
Photo editing taken in RAW on Galaxy S23 Ultra
Also the videos are great, both day and night. In general we have better stabilization and then we find what we have seen in the photos, therefore more details, even at night.
As for the software, what can I say? We like One UI a lot, and it is more and more complete, so complete that sometimes you stumble upon some functions, such as the one that shows the constellations within the camera application, in augmented reality, so you know exactly what you are photographing. Or, again, theHyperlapse a 300x which helps you capture the Earth’s rotation.
And the rest?
We don’t want to dwell too much on the established things: the display is always greateven if the temperature seems slightly different than the predecessor, the audio is very loud and clear when watching videos without headphones, it practically never heats up, gaming is a pleasure, the nib is as versatile as ever and the software is always fast, functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Within the ecosystem, everything gets better… again
If you already own other Samsung products, or are planning to purchase them, please know that Galaxy S23 Ultra, inserted in the Korean ecosystem, will give you even more satisfaction.
In fact, over time the Asian giant has developed a series of functions that allow devices to talk to each other with the aim of making your life easier.
Any examples? You can use the touchpad of a Galaxy Book to manage your tablet and smartphone, you can find your notes everywhere as well as recently viewed sites, you can find photos taken with Expert RAW on your PC and then edit them in Lightroom effortlessly.
Of course, you don’t have to embrace the whole Galaxy family, but know that combining the Galaxy S23 Ultra with other Samsung products will only improve your user experience.
Galaxy S23 Ultra review: prices and conclusions