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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review: Small tweaks

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review: Small tweaks

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is still the king of Android phones, much like its predecessor, the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It shares similar specs, such as four rear cameras with 10x optical zoom, S-Pen support, and of course, a huge 6.8-inch OLED display.

Quick specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy (4nm)
  • 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, 12GB RAM and 512GB/1TB storage
  • 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 3,088 x 1,440 pixels resolution
  • IP68 dust/water resistant

I was very tempted to just copy and paste my S22 Ultra review, because really, not much has changed. The design is similar, but the internals are much better all around. The most obvious, of course, is the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy. It's a mouthful of a name, but it's essentially Qualcomm's latest flagship octa-core processor, but customised for Samsung with slightly higher speeds. It's fast, snappy, and great for gaming as well. The 6.8-inch display drops the curved edges, but keeps the high brightness of 1,200 nits (going up to 1,750 nits). The screen also gets a Gorilla Glass Victus 2 upgrade that should improve its odds of surviving a drop.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

At the back are the four cameras, but this time, Samsung has doubled the megapixel count for the main camera to 200MP. Otherwise, it's a similar setup, with an 200MP wide, a 10x optical telephoto (10MP), a 3x optical telephoto (10MP), and a 12MP ultrawide. Normal and low-light shots are excellent, similar to last year's, and there's an astrophotography mode you can use with the Samsung Expert RAW app. However, the weather conditions the last week or so have been ridiculously cloudy, so I've been unable to test this. I'll update this review when I do. 10x optical zoom appears to be pretty good this time around, with plenty of details in bright light. Low-light zooms are a bit more tricky, but still worth trying. Don't bother with the space zoom features, unless you're a fan of pixelated images.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Battery life, too, is similar to the S22 Ultra. Our video-loop test gave us 10 hours 54 minutes, and the phone's 5,000mAh battery is good enough to last a full day. There aren't any new fancy S-Pen features either, but the existing ones are already great. You can take pictures from afar with the stylus, use it to doodle fun AR effects to entertain your nieces and nephews, and quickly take notes with its handwriting feature.

At S$1,828 for the base 256GB model, S$2,098 (512GB), and S$2,458 (1TB), the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra commands a premium. But it's still the ultimate flagship Android phone to get. You can give this a miss if you already own the S22 Ultra. It will be available on Feb 17, but you can pre-order now from Shopee, Lazada, or Amazon. If you want special exclusive colours, you'll have to get it from Samsung's online store instead.

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Note: Review unit provided by Samsung.

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