Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

I was one of those who cried when the Note family came to an end after the Note 20, when it was swallowed up by the regular Galaxy S with the “Ultra” suffix. And even if it does not say Note, there is no doubt that the successors, in particular the S22 Ultra, were practically Notes. Some will think it’s a joke, but it really stands out for its operation and design. Once you get used to using the S Pen and its beautiful camera, it’s hard to let go.

For the first few weeks, they give you a really good discount for turning in an old phone and an offer to double the storage. Well, not so much if you opt for the 512GB model, plus 1TB costs around $250 more. Depending on the storage, the price starts at 1,409 euros, which for 256 GB seems too much, and indeed it is. But if you’re shooting in 8k, it goes pretty fast with over 10MB per second of video. RAM is 12GB on all models and the 256GB is also available in an 8GB version if you want to save a little more.

The camera is quite overkill. Five lenses between 10 and 200 megapixels, in which the 10x optical zoom stands out. The camera supports RAW format, like almost all phones that want to compete with an SLR. As for the quality, I must admit that it is getting closer and closer to one. The front camera is 12 megapixels, the ultra wide angle 12 megapixels, the standard wide angle no less than 200 megapixels and the dual lens with 3x and 10x optical zoom, as well as 100x digital zoom (which is actually a combination of 10x optical and 10x digital zoom with AI, providing spatial zoom). The latter does not have much importance, it is too much that in the end it will not be very useful. As 200 megapixels, it should only be used for giant shots (which it does quite well). If that’s too much for you, you can get by with 50 megapixels.

I’ve always been a big fan of optical zoom. Although several manufacturers offer good 3x lenses, the S23 Ultra’s 10x lens works just as well even when it’s dark, or if you’re used to shooting cats or landscapes like me. On the night photo side, things are looking good too: better differentiation between black and gray and less image noise. In my opinion, it’s important to be able to see the edges clearly and even if it’s not quite perfect, it’s getting closer and closer to something that can be used for everything. And that’s already a big improvement. In addition, tones and colors are more vivid.


In keeping with the modern world, all glass, plastic and even aluminum are recycled. Well, up to a limit or the structural integrity would be lost, but they pushed it to the point that even the box is made from soy dyes and 100% recycled materials. Plus, plastic parts like the S Pen are made from as much recycled material as possible. Samsung’s Danish press officer told us in a briefing that he really hopes that more recycled materials will be used every year, because every year they will be more adept at this aspect of recycling without losing strength in the material, which is a very important factor. important.

It comes in 5 different colors, each with its matching built-in S Pen. Although it’s not exactly like that, as there are four other colors, including cherry red for those who order it direct from Samsung. The phone we tested is supposed to be cream-colored, but I’d call it a marbled white instead. It’s pretty, but I immediately had to hide it under a blanket.

Along with the new camera, it also hides new features inside. For example, Samsung now uses Self-made Snapdragon processors (licensed). Specifically, this Samsung has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, whichever way you look at it, it’s a beast.

It is true that the battery is still 5000 mAh like many others, but after a few days you realize that the battery does not drain as fast as most other phones. It comes without a charger, but supports 65-watt wired charging, wireless charging, and PowerShare. If I remember correctly, that would equate to 15 watts of wireless charging. I think a wired charger could have been included, as it comes with a wire. It also wouldn’t cost them much to include a small wireless charger or case, which doesn’t exist either. In my opinion, these are details that should come with any phone at this price so people don’t have to buy more accessories. In the very short test period I was able to use it, I didn’t completely squeeze the battery, but I can confirm that it lasts two full days without resorting to battery saving.


The screen is brutally bright. It’s a 2X 120Hz AMOLED, measures 6.8″ and delivers 3088 x 1440 and 1750 NITS with HDR 1200. I’ve tried setting the brightness to maximum. Not recommended unless you’re looking for a quick fix for cataracts or if you want your retina to melt It’s a very smooth, fluid and quite responsive screen, although it should be with a 240Hz touchscreen.

It also has other minor updates that are also important: Gorilla Glass Victus 2, IP68 certification and aluminum frame. It’s not that light, weighing in at 234 grams, and it takes up a whole hand, so it’s not exactly a small phone. Even with average use, the cooling holds up quite well, 27 degrees with a controlled ambient temperature of 21 degrees. And even under pressure it didn’t exceed 37 degrees, that’s impressive. In addition to the usual connections, it includes WIFI 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, something quite peculiar. As for security, as in all Ultras, it has Samsung Knox and Knox Vault.

By the way, the speakers are among the best I’ve tried. They’re easily comparable to a low-end Bluetooth speaker, which in practice means not only better bass sound, but also better mid-range sound, as well as much less distortion and almost no drive management.

Here is some reference data. It has plenty of power, so 37 degrees at full load when testing for over half an hour is enough.

Benchmark 3D Wild Life Extreme

  • Note 3753
  • 22.5 frames I snit

extreme slingshot

  • Maximum frames: 126 fps
  • Graphics test 1: 112.2 fps
  • Graphics test 2: 69.4 fps

Geek Bench 5

  • 1495 single-core
  • 4692 multicore

PC Mark work 3.0

Well, long story short, there isn’t much new to be honest. But if you look closely, it has a good screen, a great camera (which at least beats the rest), whether we’re talking stills, 4k video, darkness, and zoom. In fact, I probably won’t buy a new SLR when the one I have dies, I’ll buy an S23 instead. It has space to spare, Samsung’s user interface works great, and it’s easy to transfer and manage files. Besides that the S-stylus it’s easier to use than previous generations once you get used to it (which you will, trust me), plus impressive battery life even with demanding games. All this on a bright and colorful AMOLED screen.

It’s no secret that I’ve been a huge Note fan for many years, and while the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra isn’t terribly revolutionary, it’s still a big improvement over last year’s model. So much so that I am seriously considering retiring my Note 20. However, the price, even with the introductory offers, is not very affordable for everyone. It’s a shame, because it’s not exactly a mobile that goes unnoticed.

Rachel Maga
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life's biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.