Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Added by on 02.02.2023 | Last update 05.15.23
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is Samsung's latest flagship smartphone with a major focus on photography. The device features a 200MP camera and is equipped with an exclusive Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip that promises the fastest Android performance.

The display is optimized for use with the S Pen, and the device also features smart enhancements to the One UI 5.1 user interface.

The camera sensor has the ability to combine 16 pixels into one for brighter, more detailed photos or can shoot in full 200MP mode.

The front camera has also been upgraded to a 12MP sensor.

However, the Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a high price tag and no improvements in charging speed. The phone aims to challenge the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Google Pixel 7 Pro, aiming to become the phone with the best camera on the market. Despite the high price, first impressions of the device are positive.


  • Powerful 200MP camera
  • Flatter display, better for S Pen
  • Exclusive Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip for Galaxy
  • Smart One UI 5.1 improvements


  • Very expensive
  • No improvement in charging speed

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Specifications

  • Release date: 2023, February 01
  • Colors: Phantom Black, Green, Cream, Lavender, Graphite, Sky Blue, Lime, Red, BMW M Edition
  • Dimensions: 163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9 mm.
  • Weight: 234 g.
  • Screen: 6.8" in, 1440 x 3088, Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • Camera : Quad, 200MP
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8550-AC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (1x3.36 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2x2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2x2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3x2.0 GHz Cortex-A510)
  • Memory: 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM, 1TB 12GB RAM
  • Battery: 5000, Li-Ion, non-removable
  • Network: GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE / 5G
  • Operating system: Android 13, One UI 5.1
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (under display, ultrasonic), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer

If you are curious to find out all the details before reading the full review, visit the page for Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Specs, where you will find even the smallest detail about the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Release date and price

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra release date is February 17 and it is currently open for pre-orders. Its price starts at $1199 / £1249 / 1949 Australian dollars for 256 GB of memory, which is double the memory offered in the Galaxy S22 Ultra. However, UK and Australian prices are £100 / AU$100 higher compared to the Galaxy S22 Ultra. There are also 512GB options for US$1,399. / AU$2,249 and 1TB for US$1,599. / AU$2,649.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Design and colours

The design of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra features a larger camera compared to the Galaxy S22 Ultra and a flatter display, making it easier to use the S Pen. The phone has a 6.8-inch screen with a smooth curve, but with a thinner surface. The S23 Ultra is made with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, making it more durable and resistant to scratches and drops.

Samsung has also made efforts to protect the environment in the design by using recycled materials. The phone comes in four colors - black, green, cream and lavender. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is slightly heavier than its predecessor, weighing 8.2 ounces and measuring 6.4 x 3.0 x 0.35 inches.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Display

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra features a large 6.8-inch QHD OLED display with a resolution of 3088 x 1400 pixels and a brightness of 1750 nits. It retains the same 120Hz refresh rate as the previous model, with the added benefit of a less curved screen, making it easier to use with the S Pen.

The display showed sharp images, vivid colors and wide viewing angles. The device also features a Vision Booster function to adjust colours and contrast depending on lighting conditions and an eye comfort function for more comfortable viewing.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts a powerful array of cameras that is sure to impress. It's the first flagship phone in the US with a 200MP camera that promises to deliver poster-sized prints. This powerful main large-format camera offers several advantages, including the ability to combine 16 pixels into one larger pixel, resulting in brighter and more detailed photos, especially in low light. In addition, shooting in 200MP mode allows cropping of the image after capture, preserving detail even after cropping.

Dual 10MP telephoto lenses with 3x and 10x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom provide exceptional clarity and detail. The 100x cosmic zoom option is still available, but the results may not be as good.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra's front camera has a 12MP lens, which may seem like a downgrade compared to the S22 Ultra's 40MP front camera. However, Samsung is promising better portraits overall thanks to improved artificial intelligence and a compelling Night Portrait mode.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra offers several exciting camera enhancements, including an astro-hyperlapse mode for capturing the movement of stars, improved autofocus, and a multiple exposure mode for combining multiple shots into one photo.

In terms of video recording, the device offers improved video stabilization and the ability to record 8K video at 30 fps with a wider shooting angle.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is powered by an exclusive version of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which is specifically designed for the Galaxy. This processor is said to provide an even higher clock speed than the standard version, reaching up to 3.36 GHz. Samsung wants to deliver the world's fastest Android smartphone with the S23 Ultra.

Based on benchmark tests, the Galaxy S23 Ultra performs strongly and even outperforms the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max in terms of graphics. Geekbench results show that the Galaxy S23 beats the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 14 in multi-core performance, but the iPhone 14 Pro's A16 Bionic is still the fastest. In terms of graphics performance, the Galaxy S23 Ultra stands out with its high frames per second (FPS). According to 3DMark's Wild Life tests, the S23 Ultra outperforms the iPhone 14 Pro.

In an Adobe Premiere Rush test, the Galaxy S23 Ultra transcodes a 4K video file to 1080p in about 40 seconds, which is a few seconds faster than the S22 Ultra. iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, however, manage a few skunders faster.

In terms of usability, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is extremely responsive when using the app switcher and when opening and closing apps. The only lag that is noticeable is when editing a 200-megapixel photo in the Gallery app.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra ONE UI 5.1

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra runs the latest One UI 5.1 software built on Android 13. This software offers a number of useful enhancements that make the device more user-friendly and personalized. One of the most significant improvements is voice-to-text input, which allows the device's assistant, Bixby, to answer incoming calls and deliver messages via speech-to-text or voice-to-text.

One UI 5.1 also offers a new Modes option that allows users to create customized settings for different aspects of their lives, such as sleep, exercise, driving or work. This feature is similar to the Focus mode in iOS 16, but on a Samsung device.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Battery

Battery life and charging on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra have not improved much.The phone still has the same 5000 mAh battery as its predecessor, the S22 Ultra. But with the new Snapdragon 8 Gen chip, the battery life is expected to get longer.

The S22 Ultra performs worse in battery support, clocking around 10 hours in use mode with the screen on, compared to 13 hours on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Unfortunately Samsung hasn't made any changes to the fast charger, still offering the same 45W speed. Other brands offer faster charging speeds to as high as 100W.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra offers limited improvements over its predecessor, the S22 Ultra. It features a 200MP camera, a flatter display and a more powerful processor. Upgrading from the S22 Ultra may not be necessary. However, if you have an older Galaxy phone or another brand's flagship from a few years ago, the S23 Ultra may be the best choice among premium Android flagships.

For those who don't need the S Pen, the Galaxy S23 Plus may be a better option since it costs $200 less. It offers a slightly smaller 6.6-inch display, but has the same powerful Snapdragon chip, most of the camera upgrades, an equally bright screen, and the same 256GB of storage.

However, if you want a phone that can do it all, and you're curious about the 200MP camera capabilities, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is worth a look.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra video review

Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is based on our team's personal experience with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and third-party sources. While every effort has been made to provide accurate and reliable information, readers should keep in mind that this is a subjective assessment. The writing of this article was not paid for or sponsored by Samsung.

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor

Hello, I am Richard Taylor, a technology expert and journalist from the UK. I have a degree in Computer Science from the University of Birmingham. My passion is the latest technology, especially smartphones. That's why I chose to test, analyze, and write expert reviews about them. My technical expertise, combined with a deep passion for technology and years of experience, has made me a trusted source of information. Over the years, I have written reviews for various sites, but for quite some time now, I have been writing exclusively for PhonesData. You can see more about me here or read all my smartphone reviews here.

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