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    The best features that make the Galaxy S23 Ultra a top-tier phone


    Last updated: February 7th, 2023 at 19:34 UTC+01:00

    Samsung announced the Galaxy S23 Ultra a few days ago. Even though the 2023 model doesn't look all that different from the Galaxy S22 Ultra released last year, it almost feels like it has positively redefined Samsung's flagship strategy.

    From a new camera system and a new chipset to better software, the Galaxy S23 Ultra offers the best (non-foldable) mobile experience Samsung has created to date. It seems to be the pinnacle of the Galaxy S series, and it shines brighter than any other flagship, even though it arguably leaves room for upgrades in some places. Here are the new, best, and improved features defining the Galaxy S23 Ultra experience.

    Incredible mobile performance

    Samsung's new flagship phone is powered exclusively by a Qualcomm chipset. You won't find an Exynos variant anywhere in the world, which means that Samsung optimized the user experience to the best of its abilities and will probably offer solid firmware support for everyone throughout the phone's lifetime.

    And that's not all. The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset of the Galaxy S23 Ultra is slightly overclocked and features improved cooling with larger vapor chambers. The primary CPU and the GPU run at higher frequencies than the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 you'll find in other phones, which means that the Galaxy S23 Ultra has a leg up over its competition.

    The S23 Ultra SoC's primary CPU core runs at 3.36GHz instead of 3.2GHz, and the Adreno 740 GPU has a frequency of 719MHz instead of 680MHz. Early 3D benchmarks have shown that the phone offers incredible performance in 3D applications. Furthermore, mobile gamers can bypass the battery when plugging in the phone to a wall socket, improving heat management, performance, and battery life in the process.

    In addition, the Galaxy S23 Ultra uses faster memory all around. It boasts UFS 4.0 storage instead of UFS 3.1 and has LPDDR5X RAM, which can top 8.5Gbps, up from the standard LPDDR5's 6.4Gbps transfer rate.

    A new and powerful camera system

    Perhaps the most significant upgrade introduced by the Galaxy S23 Ultra, next to the chipset, is its camera system. For the first time, Samsung has developed a 200MP primary camera for the Galaxy S series, and the new Ultra takes full advantage of its capabilities, boasting features like 4-in-1 and 16-in-1 pixel binning and improved 8K video recording at 30 frames per second with better image stabilization and less cropping. The new ISOCELL HP2 sensor also recreates better images in low-light conditions thanks to Super Quad Phase Detection.

    The other cameras have also improved in meaningful ways. The telephoto shooters can maintain a higher quality at super high zoom levels, and the selfie camera, even though it has a lower 12MP resolution than before, now supports HDR10+ video recording.

    To top it all off, Samsung made its pro-grade camera app, Expert RAW, easier to access, and the latter is now better integrated with Adobe Lightroom, offering seamless syncing between the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy Book 3 laptops.

    Massively improved battery life

    Numbers don't always tell the whole story, and it's certainly the case regarding the Galaxy S23 Ultra's battery life. Even though the new flagship has a similar 5,000mAh battery with 45W fast charging as the 2022 model, battery life appears to have improved tremendously.

    Early reports suggest that the Galaxy S23 Ultra's battery life is on par with the iPhone 14 Pro Max, achieving similar screen-on times and outperforming the S22 Ultra by a significant margin.

    So, even though the Galaxy S23 Ultra has similar battery specs as its predecessor, Samsung achieved massive battery life gains through better optimization and the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.

    Great build quality using the latest materials

    Aside from improving performance over the years, Samsung also spent a lot of time and resources on making its phones more durable and built upon sustainable practices. The Galaxy S23 Ultra embodies those efforts perfectly.

    Samsung's new flagship has less screen curvature around the edges than previous models and uses a wider armor aluminum frame. In addition, the phone employs the latest Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection for the display and the back panel.

    These traits should make the Galaxy S23 Ultra one of the most durable, non-rugged smartphones on the market, possibly beaten only by the base Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+. They have a flatter design, which is inherently less susceptible to damage from drops on hard surfaces.

    One UI 5.1 is among the best updates to date

    The Galaxy S23 series is the first to ship with One UI 5.1. It's an updated version of One UI 5.0, boasting an expansive list of quality-of-life improvements and additions.

    One UI 5.1 brings a couple of new widgets. It improves the Gallery app with a Shared Family Album, the ability to choose the save location for screenshots and screen recordings, better search with face-detection capabilities, and more.

    Connectivity features were also improved in One UI 5.1 with additions such as Collaboration mode in Samsung Notes, advanced controls that allow Galaxy Book users to control the Galaxy S23 Ultra with the laptop's mouse, keyboard, or touchpad. And new media output for Wi-Fi speakers are also included.

    Even Samsung DeX was improved by One UI 5.1, as the desktop environment allows for easier window resizing in split-view mode and supports corner window snapping. You can check out our videos below for a closer look at One UI 5.1 and the Galaxy S23 Ultra itself.

    All in all, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a fine flagship phone that may not look too different from its predecessor. But its best features are what count the most: overall performance, battery life, camera, and user experience.

    If you're interested in buying the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung offers it on pre-order terms, and if you order one now, you may be lucky enough to have it shipped to your mailbox before the official February 17 release date.

    Phone Galaxy S23Galaxy S23 Ultra

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