Home Samsung Galaxy Technology Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Review: A Worthy Smartphone Upgrade for You
Home Samsung Galaxy Technology Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Review: A Worthy Smartphone Upgrade for You

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Review: A Worthy Smartphone Upgrade for You

In February of 2023, Samsung debuted the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Along with the Galaxy S23 Plus and the Galaxy S23, this 5G phone is part of the Galaxy S23 series. The Galaxy S23 Ultra holds the highest rank on the ladder to the throne. The Galaxy S23 Ultra follows the lead of today's top-tier smartphones.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra has been one of the most anticipated Samsung flagship phones of all time this year. It's not surprising, given that it's the follow-up to last year's Galaxy S22 Ultra, which was an excellent phone. The new Galaxy S23 Ultra's highlights are, of course, the new 200MP primary camera and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset, which has been optimised specifically for Samsung's new flagship phones and is the only chip used worldwide.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra takes many design cues from the Galaxy S22 Ultra, as you might expect. Nonetheless, this in no way diminishes the Galaxy S23 Ultra's superiority over its forerunner. Samsung offers two upgrades meant to enhance the product's usability. Both the functionality and the capabilities of the camera have been upgraded. So how big a deal are these alterations to the Galaxy S23 Ultra? Check out our review article for the details.

You can think of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra as a sort of review of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It improves upon its forerunner's weaknesses while keeping what made it great. The Galaxy S23 Ultra looks and feels like its forerunner, the S22. On the other hand, the body of the phone has four changes.

The first is the material. The Galaxy S23 Ultra has an aluminium armor frame. Meanwhile, the back cover and screen layer are made of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2. These two materials are said to give the Galaxy S23 Ultra greater durability than its predecessor. It is said to be more impact-resistant, especially if you fall from a certain height.

The second difference is in the body's curvature. The Galaxy S23 Ultra appears less curved than the Galaxy S22 Ultra because the curvature angle has decreased. There were numerous advantages to this modification. For instance, improving the ergonomics of using a stylus pen to take notes. The Galaxy S23 Ultra's frame isn't completely flat, so the device is still easy to grip.

The third modification concerns the placement and size of the control buttons. The Galaxy S23 Ultra's power and volume controls are slightly bigger than those of the Galaxy S22. The two controls on the phone's right side are now lower than on previous models. That makes it more convenient for the thumb to get to. This is another way the Galaxy S23 Ultra's design prioritizes user comfort.

Various colours, including green, phantom black, lavender, and white, can be purchased from an online or physical store. You can get the other four colours through Samsung online retailers—red, lime, sky blue, and graphite. Because all colour options have a matte finish, fingerprints are less likely to be left behind.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra, like its predecessor, is waterproof and dustproof thanks to its IP68 rating. This means that your smartphone is protected from dirt and liquids of minimal intensity. Furthermore, it continues to function after being submerged in a 1.5-meter-deep pool of fresh water for 30 minutes.

Exceptional Visuals
The Galaxy S23 Ultra has the same display as the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The display on the smartphone is a 6.8-inch 2x Dynamic AMOLED panel. It has a resolution of 2K (1440 x 3088), a pixel density of 500 ppi, and can refresh at an adaptive 120 Hz. Because the smartphone display is so adaptable, the refresh rate changes based on the software being used. The Galaxy S23 Ultra, according to Samsung, can have a refresh rate as low as 1 Hz.

When the High Brightness Mode is enabled, Samsung claims that this 19.3:9 display can achieve a brightness level of 1200 nits. That's a lot of light, so it's suitable for use outside. According to reports, the display on the Galaxy S23 Ultra is even brighter, measuring 1750 nits. Viewing HDR content allows users to achieve this maximum brightness level. The screen on the Galaxy S23 Ultra is clear and bright, with wide viewing angles. The scorching heat of direct sunlight has no effect on the screen's readability.

The display on the Galaxy S23 Ultra is S-Pen compatible, capable of displaying HDR + content, and has Widevine L1 certification. The screen has several functions, including an always-on mode, glare reduction, and enhanced contrast for the visually impaired. The latter alters the hue and saturation.

Furthermore, this smartphone allows the user to customise the sensitivity and screen resolution. 2K, Full HD+, and HD+ resolutions are all available. Game performance will be more consistent at lower resolutions, and battery life will improve.

Having a high-quality screen without equally impressive audio is a bit pointless. Because both of these are essential for meeting the demands of modern multimedia and gaming systems. It is worth noting that the Galaxy S23 Ultra has stereo speakers. The main speaker is on the bottom, and a smaller one is built into the top earpiece.

The volume of this phone's speaker is impressive. The decibel level of loudness measured is -25.6 LUFS (Loudness Unit Full Scale). Both the Galaxy S22 Ultra (-27.3 LUFS) and the Galaxy Z Fold4 cannot compete with their performance (-28.3 LUFS).

The Galaxy S23 Ultra speaker is both extremely loud and capable of producing high-quality sound. The treble is clear, and the vocals are presented clearly. This smartphone includes Dolby Atmos sound profiles from Samsung. The volume of background noise can be adjusted depending on the user's current activities.

Stylus Pen with Several Functions
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the second generation of mobile phones born from the union of the Galaxy S and Note series. As a result, this phone unquestionably supports the S Pen stylus pen. The S Pen can be inserted into a special space on the lower left side of the phone. The S Pen, with a latency of 2.8 milliseconds, keeps the Galaxy S23 Ultra one step cooler than competing phones, especially when it comes to productivity.

Because the S Pen serves more than just navigation. It's also useful for taking quick notes, drawing, and making things easier for photo and video editors. The S Pen, as well as the smartphone, support a variety of additional functions. As a remote for sliding presentation slides, a camera shutter, and a cropping tool for screenshots, for example.

One feature of the S Pen that we like is the ability to unlock the screen instantly. Users do not need to enter a password or fingerprint when taking notes and the screen suddenly locks. Simply press the button on the S Pen, and the smartphone screen will appear. This feature is disabled by default. Users must manually activate it in the settings menu.

Collaborating with the Samsung Notes application makes using the S Pen even more enjoyable. Because this application allows users to share notes with colleagues. Everyone who receives the note has the ability to edit it. This feature is essential if you work in a group.

All Galaxy S23 Ultra units manufactured for international distribution use the same system-on-chip (SoC). Galaxy uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 system-on-a-chip. Qualcomm designed this SoC for the Galaxy S23 Series. What, in your opinion, differentiates the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 from other SoCs, given your familiarity with the previous generation? There is a clear distinction based on the clockspeed of the central processing unit and the graphics processing unit. This update has boosted the Galaxy S23 Series' performance.

To power the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset makes use of a CPU with a 1+2+2+3 architecture. In addition to the lone 3.36 GHz Cortex X3 core, it also includes a pair of 2.8 GHz Cortex A715 processors, a pair of 2.8 GHz Cortex A710 processors, and a trio of 1.8 GHz Cortex A510 processors (2.0 GHz).

Adreno 740 graphics processing unit (719 MHz), Spectra image signal processor, Hexagon artificial intelligence processor, and an integrated 5G modem are also included in this SoC. The 4 nm fabrication method fuses all constituent parts into one solid block.

Beyond those specific components, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 generally supports many new features and standards. Just one example is the hardware accelerator used by the AV1 codec. Ray tracing and horizon-levelling are two other examples. It works with LPDDR5x memory and UFS 4.0 storage.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra can be purchased in various storage and processing capacities, all based on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. Devices with 12 GB of RAM and 1 terabyte of storage space, as well as 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB or 512 GB of storage space, are all available in Malaysia.

Let's check the benchmark test results for an idea of the smartphone's potential performance.

With a score of 3,725 on 3DMark Wildlife Extreme, the Galaxy S23 Ultra performed admirably.

CPU performance in GeekBench 5 testing came in at 1522 for single-core operations and 4754 for multi-core tasks. According to the test results, the Galaxy S23 Ultra has a high performance. However, how does the phone perform when subjected to a heavy workload for an extended period of time?

This question arises because the CPU and GPU on the Galaxy S23 Ultra have a faster clock speed than regular Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones. SoCs with clockspeeds are prone to throttling and performance fluctuations. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 on this phone exceeds expectations. The Galaxy S23 Ultra performs well in the CPU Throttling and 3DMark Wild Life Stress Tests.

The performance of the smartphone dropped to 81% of its peak performance after 60 minutes of CPU Throttling testing. The graph of the decline is gradual and smooth. If smartphone gaming produces results like this, it feels normal. However, this result was obtained by the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which is a general flagship.

This indicates that the thermal system on this phone is excellent. The cooling component (vapour chamber) of the Galaxy S23 Ultra is larger than that of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The impact was felt. Meanwhile, the 3DMark Wild Life Stress test shows that the phone's stable GPU performance is at 62.9%. It's not spectacular, but it's a step up from the Galaxy S22 Ultra (59.8%).


When it comes to the Galaxy S23 Ultra's camera, two things have changed. The Galaxy S22 Ultra's main camera sensor has been upgraded to 200 megapixels (MP) from 108 MP. The incorporation of dual pixel phase detection autofocus (PDAF) into the front-facing camera is the second modification.

Apart from the rear and front-facing cameras, nothing has changed. ISOCELL HP2 200 MP sensor is used for the primary camera. The sensor's pixel size can be as small as 0.6 m, and it measures 1/1.3 inches. The Galaxy S23 Ultra's primary camera can capture 12.5 megapixel images in ideal lighting. When granularity is required, you can switch between 50 MP and 200 MP mode. The primary camera on the smartphone has a lens with a focal length of 24 mm and an aperture of f/1.7. It has PDAF, Laser AF, and OIS, which can all work in any direction. In addition to the main camera, Samsung has included three secondary cameras.

A 12 megapixel ultrawide camera (f/2.2; 120-degree field of view), a 10 megapixel telephoto camera (f/2.4), and a 10 megapixel periscope telephoto camera (f/4.9) are included. Their autofocus capabilities are standard on all models. Ultrawide cameras are the only ones that lack OIS. The telephoto camera has a 3x optical zoom, while the periscope telephoto camera has a 10x zoom.

The front-facing camera has a 12 megapixel resolution and an f/2.2 aperture for selfies and group photos. This camera appears to have lower resolution when compared to the 40 MP front-facing camera on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Of course, there are other considerations aside from finality. Because Samsung claims to improve the quality of portrait and low-light photography.

One of the embedded features that assists is a dual-pixel phase detection autofocus system. The Galaxy S23 Ultra's five cameras can all capture high-definition video at frame rates of up to 60 frames per second. The main camera, in particular, is capable of recording 8K video at 30 frames per second. As the user records, the camera is free to move around.

For those who enjoy tinkering with their photos later, Samsung offers an Expert RAW mode for taking raw photos. When using Expert RAW, the Galaxy S23 Ultra's primary camera can capture images at a whopping 50 megapixels. The resolution will almost certainly be significantly higher than the standard 12.5 MP setting. The camera on the Galaxy S23 Ultra takes excellent photos. The lighting conditions have no effect on the quality of photographs taken with any modern camera.

Finally, the front camera's photo capture quality is superior to that of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Detail and dynamic range have both improved. Concerning video recording, I believe that the video captured by this HP camera is more stable than that of its predecessor. Switching between cameras is also more smooth.

Commitment to 5-Year Operating System Updates
The Galaxy S23 Ultra ships with the Android 13 operating system and the OneUI 5.1 interface. Samsung's interface isn't much different from the previous version, OneUI 4.1. At least from the outside. However, there are numerous enhancements available in OneUI 5.1 from Samsung. For example, larger icon sizes with smoother animations and transition effects for views. The text from the image can then be extracted and copied directly into messages, emails, and documents.

Expert RAW is now available in the camera app's more menu. In contrast to the previous OneUI, you must download Expert RAW as a separate app from the Galaxy Store. Expert RAW enables you to take high-quality photos without processing and then edit them on your own computer.

SOS is another new feature in OneUI 5.1. If you quickly press the power button five times, the phone will contact emergency services. Meanwhile, Samsung has committed to providing operating system updates for the Galaxy S23 Ultra for the next five years.

Until the fifth year after release, the five years are divided into four operating system upgrades and security system updates. As a result, the Galaxy S23 Ultra will be upgraded to Android 17 and will receive security system updates until 2028.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra, like its predecessor, comes with a 5,000mAh battery. However, this time it is much more efficient. The Galaxy S22 Ultra's biggest flaw was its battery life, which never got me through the day when I used it at full display resolution. However, things have shifted.

While charging speed has remained constant, I believe the S23 Ultra is the first Samsung flagship in a long time to maximize battery size. Under the hood is a massive 5,000mAh battery, which is the same as in previous generations, but the software has been much better optimized to make this battery work.

One of the most noticeable flaws with the S22 Ultra was its poor battery life, which Samsung has worked hard to address. I consider it a success. You can expect at least 8.5 hours of screen time and easily a day's worth of battery life. This, of course, depends on your user profile, but I doubt many people will have complaints about the battery life on the Samsung S23 Ultra.

Last Call to pre-order the Galaxy S23 Series
You have a few more days until the pre-order promotion ends on 23 February 2023! If you’d like to enjoy a bigger storage, get an upgrade of Double Storage for the same price worth up to RM500 when you place your orders now. You can also pre-order at Samsung Malaysia’s official website to receive a RM400 e-voucher. If you pre-order at Samsung Experience Stores or Samsung Authorised Partner, you can receive Samsung Accessories worth up to RM458. Visit the websites below for more information:

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