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    Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

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    Last updated: February 27th, 2024 at 17:15 UTC+01:00

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    Introduction

    Samsung's Galaxy S23 smartphone series consists of three models. The Galaxy S23 Ultra sits at the top of the range and follows the same fundamental design ideas as the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

    In other words, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a spiritual successor to the now-canceled Galaxy Note smartphone series. It has a built-in S Pen holster, just like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but the 2023 model has flatter surfaces, and the screen's side edges are not wrapping around the edges as much as they did in previous years.

    Although the Galaxy S23 Ultra looks almost like its predecessor, Samsung focused on improving several hardware aspects, from camera to raw hardware, and the 2023 Ultra model is a different beast.

    Design

    The Galaxy S23 Ultra has a squarer form factor than the rest of the series because it's the only variant to adopt the S Pen. The back panel and display curve around the side edges, but only slightly. The S23 Ultra is flatter than the Galaxy Note series used to be.

    The Galaxy S23 Ultra's back panel doesn't have a protruding camera housing. Instead, each camera resides in its own circular cutout, resulting in a cleaner, more minimalist design. The display has an Infinity-O cutout for the selfie camera. The phone has a USB-C and speaker grille on the lower edge, and the physical keys are located on the right edge of the device.

    Samsung has prepared four standard color options for the Galaxy S23 Ultra: Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender. The phone is IP68-certified for dust and water resistance. It measures 163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9mm and weighs 234 grams.

    Display

    Samsung's 2023 flagship phone has a 6.8-inch Quad HD+ (3088 x 1440) display with an adaptable refresh rate of 1-120Hz.

    The panel is Dynamic AMOLED 2X and supports HDR10+. It's protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which should increase drop resistance without making the glass less resistant to surface scratches.

    Although the panel retains 1750 nits of brightness as the 2022 model, it boasts great color accuracy and improved outdoor visibility through Vision Booster technology. The panel also has a 240Hz touch sampling rate in Game Mode.

    Specifications

    The Galaxy S23 Ultra could features a Snapdragon chipset in every market, thus ending the Qualcomm-Exynos duality. The new flagship is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which was manufactured on a 4nm node.

    More so, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is powered by a unique version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which has slightly higher clock speeds for its CPU and GPU. Other hardware specs include 8/12GB of LPPDR5 RAM, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of UFS 4.0 storage.

    GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, and Galileo are all supported. The device has two physical SIM slots and supports one eSIM. It has a 5,000mAh battery with 45W fast-charging capabilities. Connectivity features include 5G, Wi-Fi 6e, and Bluetooth 5.3.

    Camera

    The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the first Samsung flagship to feature a 200MP primary camera. It has an f/1.7 aperture, an 85-degrees FOV, and improved image stabilization,. The shooter is based on the new ISOCELL HP2 sensor announced in January 2023. It can capture 200MP images but also supports a 50MP mode through 4-in-1 pixel binning and a 12.5MP mode via 16-in-1 pixel binning.

    The camera is able to capture 8K 30fps videos without much cropping and promises improved low-light autofocus thanks to Super Quad Phase Detection. Smart ISO Pro allows the shooter to simultaneously capture 12.5MP images and 4K 60fps HDR videos.

    The camera setup also comprises a 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2 aperture, 80-degrees FOV), a 10MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom (f/2.4 aperture and 36-degrees FOV), and a second 10MP telephoto shooter with 10x optical zoom (up to 100x hybrid zoom, f/4.9 aperture, 11-degrees FOV). The selfie camera has a resolution of 12MP, an f/2.2 aperture, 80-degrees FOV, and support for Super HDR video recording.

    Software and Features

    The Galaxy S23 Ultra ships with Android 13 and One UI 5.1. It's an iterative update after One UI 5.0, and it doesn't bring many design changes.

    The Galaxy S23 Ultra will benefit from at least four major OS upgrades throughout its lifetime, which should make it one of the most future-proof phones on the market. The first major update, which includes Android 14 and One UI 6, was released for the S23 Ultra, along with the Galaxy S23 and S23+, in late October, 2023.

    Availability and Price

    The Galaxy S23 series, including the Ultra model, was scheduled for an official unveiling on February 1, 2023. The phone entered a short pre-order period until February 17. Before Unpacked 2023, customers could reserve the phone online and earn $50 in Samsung Credit.

    The Galaxy S23 Ultra with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage launched for $1,199. The 12GB versions with 256GB and 512GB of storage were released for $1,299 and $1,399, respectively.