Earlier this month, Samsung has released the latest Galaxy smartphone lineup, the Galaxy S23 series. All eyes were on the highest spec-ed Galaxy S23 Ultra, and I could not wait to have my hands on one.
When Samsung sent us one for review, I didn’t hesitate to transfer all my files and apps to the new device, and use it as my daily driver. Now at about one week in, here are some of my initial thoughts.
Changes From The S22 Ultra
The Galaxy S23 Ultra looks practically identical as the S22 Ultra at first glance. The key difference being a slightly wider flat surface on the screen, making the curved area to be narrower and more extremely angled. And how would I know? I went to a local phone accessories shop and found out the S22 screen protector wouldn’t fit, and had to wait a few more days for the stock to arrive in order to have it installed. Minor inconvenience aside, I welcome the change as it is easier to hold, and I have yet to experience any mistouch.
The camera bump is a tad thicker than the predecessor as well. The Galaxy S23 Ultra now gets a 200MP main camera, up from 108MP. The flankers remained the same as before — a 12MP ultrawide, a 10MP telephoto and a periscope camera.
Under the hood, it gets a bespoke Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy chipset, which is tuned to a higher clock speed.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with 12GB of RAM, and you get the option of 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of storage.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s box is slim. In fact, you don’t get much in accessories. You only get the phone, a Type-C connector, a SIM tray remover, and documentation. Samsung had been hard at work to be more environmentally friendly with their packaging — using soy ink for printing, and recycled paper for packaging. Not to mention how efficient they are at using the limited space available.
One may argue the lack of a bundled charger, however. Personally I have 6 chargers, and they are USB-C. Having a bundled charger only contributes to more e-waste, and I welcome this move.
Galaxy S23 Ultra User Experience
I’ve always been a purveyor of mid-range phones, as I only needed phones that are “good enough” instead of the crème de la crème money can buy. Hence, there are times that I was left wanting more from my smartphone, and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra helped scratch that itch.
The S23 Ultra’s main shooter has been my go-to camera despite having a Fujifilm mirrorless within arms reach, mainly due to the great balance between quality and convenience Samsung managed to get. By default, the 200MP camera pixel-bins the images down to a 12.5 megapixel file, but I could always bump the resolution up to 50MP or even at max resolution when I need that additional detail.
Aside from the main shooter, I like how complete the overall camera package is. Entry-level or mid-range smartphones tend to only offer multi-camera setups for the sake of having them. While usable, I found them to be a clutch option at best. While the flankers do not boast tons of megapixels like the main shooter, I find the cameras’ colour science to be pleasant and work well in a variety of applications. I can’t wait to test these out further and I will publish my findings in the upcoming review.
In addition, I find the S Pen on the Galaxy S23 Ultra to be a convenient tool in my arsenal. As an editor, I often have to take screenshots and highlight specific sections of images, the S Pen is far more precise than my sausage fingers.
However, I am still getting used to the large 6.8″ AMOLED screen. Even after coming right after reviewing the OnePlus 11 5G, the additional 0.1 inch makes a huge difference in terms of width. My thumb could barely reach the other side of the screen, so I had to adapt to two-handed use.
So far, my time with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is still short and not exhaustive, however it has been positive. For a more in-depth review of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, please stay tuned to The AXO.
For more information the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, please visit the official website.