Review: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra


Last year, Samsung combined the Galaxy S series, which is very well known for its outstanding cameras with the Galaxy Note and the S Pen, which is known for its productivity features. In doing so, it created a new device – the Galaxy S22 Ultra, a top-of-the-line smartphone with all the features one could want. This possibly also allowed Samsung to focus on its foldable smartphones – the Fold and Flip Series, which it sees as the future.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is not a major departure from its predecessor, featuring almost the same design and the S Pen, in addition to the 10X optical zoom camera. However, lots have changed in terms of the camera module. It now offers a 200-megapixel main camera, promising detailed pictures and videos, and night shots.

This year, Samsung is taking a different approach, using the same powerful Snapdragon chip in all versions of the S23 Ultra, regardless of where they’re sold. This is a change from the past, where overseas versions were equipped with Samsung’s in-house Exynos chip. I believe this change is in the right direction, given that one architecture would allow Samsung to tightly integrate both hardware and software together for an outstanding user experience.

So, in the S23 series, there are three models to choose from – the S23, the S23+, and the S23 Ultra. Go for the Ultra model if you need an S Pen. If not, the Galaxy S23 Plus offers a better deal, being both cheaper and lighter. It does lack the 10X optical zoom camera, but it still has a 3X zoom camera, a similar processor, fast charging, and a slightly smaller battery. If a smaller phone is your preference, consider the Galaxy S23.

Over the past week, I have been testing the top-of-the-line flagship by taking photos and videos in and around Sharjah, really wanting to test what its 200-megapixel camera module can do. I have also been using the S23 Ultra as my main smartphone for my daily activities as a power user. And, I have to say, I am really impressed with what it can do.

So, let’s get into the specifications. The S23 Ultra comes with a 6.8-inch QHD AMOLED display that offers an adaptive refresh rate ranging from 1 – 120Hz. On top of the display, you will find a 12MP front shooter. On the right edges, you will find the volume and power buttons, while the top edge has the noise-cancelling microphone.

On the bottom edge, you will find the stylus slot, a speaker grille, a noise-cancelling microphone, a USB-C port, a second noise-cancelling microphone, and the dual SIM slot. The dual SIM slot does not offer a micro SD card slot and hence the internal storage is not expandable.

Continuing with the specifications, the phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, which is paired with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM. You also get to choose the internal storage of either 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB. Our review unit came with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.

The battery on this one is rated at 5,000 mAh and the phone supports 45W wired or 10W wireless charging. The box does not come with a charger, though a USB-C charging cable is included with the device. The phone is also rated at IP68 for dust and water resistance. The S23 Ultra is available in four colours – Phantom Black, Cotton Flower, Botanic Green, and Mystic Lilac. The one reviewed here is the Botanic Green variant.

The overall build quality and design is top-notch. The body does not attract fingerprints, which is a great thing. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts an exceptional display, exhibiting brightness and vivid colours. With a 6.8-inch QHD OLED screen having a resolution of 3088-by-1400 pixels and a maximum brightness of 1,750 nits, it’s not surprising that it’s one of the best displays on a phone.

The overall performance is mind-blowing. The S23 Ultra has got to be one of the best-performing smartphones I have tested in recent times. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, manufactured by TSMC with a 3.36GHz CPU, outperforms in everyday tasks such as email management, web browsing, and video streaming. It’s also equipped to handle demanding tasks such as 60-fps gaming (Genshin Impact and Fortnite), 4K video editing, and multitasking with GPS navigation.

The camera module on the S23 Ultra is a game changer – it performs consistently without having a worry about lighting conditions. The 200MP shooting model offers the flexibility to crop images after capturing, preserving detail while enabling a fresh perspective. The S23 Ultra now includes the ExpertRAW mode in its camera app, offering greater control than the standard Pro mode. This mode enables shooting in RAW format with multi-frame exposures, and introduces a 50-megapixel RAW option, offering more detail than the default 12MP shot while consuming less storage space compared to a 200-megapixel file.

Daytime images typically appear more defined and clear, thanks to Samsung’s enhanced processing technology. The resulting photos offer a reduced washed-out appearance and a more striking appearance. Furthermore, indoor or low light images show significant improvement, with the S23 Ultra capturing a more natural look compared to the overprocessed appearance of the S22 Ultra. The latest model also produces cleaner detail with minimal noise.

The 200MP shooting option on the Galaxy S23 Ultra allows you to crop images after capture, offering a unique perspective while maintaining detail. Although the S23 Ultra has a 12MP front camera, which is downgraded from the S22 Ultra’s 40MP, I was impressed by the improved portraits due to advanced AI and a noteworthy Night portrait mode.

The S23 series runs on the Android 13 operating system with Samsung’s very own One UI 5.1 software running on top. The S-Pen adds a whole new dimension of productivity to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. I am a user of the Note20 5G and I know the importance of the S-Pen. Hence, the inclusion of the S-Pen on the S23 Ultra, just like the S22 Ultra before that, is a value add.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra offers the same high-capacity 5,000 mAh battery as the S22 Ultra. During our tests, we were able to clock almost 13 hours of battery life on a single charge. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra should last more than a day in a real-world usage scenario.

In conclusion, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is an outstanding Android phone. Its 200MP camera is exceptional, offering improved low-light performance, with images rivaling even some of the best phones out there in the market. The S23 Ultra boasts impressive speed, is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip, and is the best phone for gaming that I have tested.

Additionally, the 13-plus hour battery life is a significant improvement over the Galaxy S22 Ultra. If you don’t require the S Pen, the Galaxy S23 Plus may offer better value at a lesser price, with a smaller 6.6-inch display, but the same powerful Snapdragon chip, bright screen, and 256GB storage. However, if you are one of those who seek a comprehensive phone with a 200MP camera, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is well worth the investment.

Price: AED 5963 (Pre-order Price of AED 4949 with free gifts)

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1 Comment

  1. Os telemóveis Samsung sempre foram uma das marcas mais populares do mercado com uma variedade de funcionalidades, sendo a gravação de voz uma delas.

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