The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is finally official and it may be the least obvious upgrade in the history of Samsung flagship phones. That’s to say that it looks almost identical to the Galaxy S22 Ultra but it actually isn’t.
The most obvious difference is the color – the Galaxy S23 Ultra ships in three new colors – Green, Lavender, and Cream join the Phantom Black of old.
So what’s new? Inside the Galaxy S23 Ultra ticks a custom-tuned Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy. Samsung went with Qualcomm’s latest SoC for its entire Galaxy S23 lineup and you won’t get an Exynos-powered S23 in any market this time.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for the Galaxy S23 Ultra has a Cortex-X3 core, running at up to 3.36GHz, up from the usual maximum 3.2GHz on the SD 8 Gen 2. The Adreno 740 GPU is reportedly clocked at 719MHz, instead of 680MHz.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender
The other big improvement is the main camera. It’s Samsung’s 200MP ISOCELL HP2 sensor and it’s adaptive. It can combine 16 pixels into one for a 12MP final resolution with 2.4µm individually-sized pixels. Or it can combine its pixels 4-to-1 and give you a 50MP shot with more detail to work with.
Starting with the Galaxy S23 series, Samsung is moving its Expert RAW app as a mode inside the native camera app and giving you the option to shoot RAW images with the benefits of multi-frame processing – higher levels of detail, HDR, and better noise reduction – at up to 50MP.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra also brings a new Astro Hyperlapse video mode. The new main camera has improved video stabilization over the old 108MP main camera thanks to Adaptive VDIS, which analyzes and subdivides movements and recognizes lighting conditions, and the new sensor’s 2x wider OIS angle – compensating for around 3°, compared to the 1.5° of the S22 Ultra.
The new 200MP camera, Astrophoto feature
There’s a new front-facing camera, which is shared with the Galaxy S23 series – a 12MP f/2.2 unit with autofocus. The other three cameras on the back of the Galaxy S23 Ultra are largely the same as those on the Galaxy S22 Ultra – there’s a 10MP 10x f/4.9 periscope camera, a 10MP 3x f/2.4 shorter telephoto unit, and a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera with autofocus.
The screen is another thing that’s largely untouched from the previous Ultra but it was already a masterpiece. The panel is a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x of 1440x3088px resolution, and 1,750 nits of brightness. The display can adaptively refresh from 1Hz to 120Hz.
What has changed is the addition of a smarter Vision Booster that can adjust the color tone and contrast of the display at three different lighting conditions. The other meaningful upgrade has to do with protection – the Galaxy S23 Ultra premieres the new Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on both the front and back.
The other key spec that is carried over from the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the battery. It’s the same 5,000mAh capacity with the same 45W maximum charging speed. Samsung claims the S23 Ultra will reach 65% charge after 30 minutes on the charger.
You can buy the Galaxy S23 Ultra from today in four colors – Phantom Black, Green, Cream, and Lavender – and in up to four configurations that start from 256GB this year – 8/256GB, 12/256GB, 12/512GB, and the range-topping 12/1TB.
The base Galaxy S23 Ultra starts from €1,400 in Europe, $1,200 in the States, and ₹115,000 in India.