Samsung opened 2023 by launching its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S23 Ultra. This is the successor to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with various improvements such as the latest chipset specially formulated for Samsung, namely Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, a 200 megapixel camera sensor, and new color choices.
What’s the performance like? The following is YANGCANGGIH.COM’s review of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Flat and ergonomic design
The physical appearance of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is identical to the S22 Ultra, with a neat design concept and a body that tends to be boxy with smooth curves in the corners.
One thing to note about the S23 Ultra is its weight. At 233 grams, this phone is one of the heaviest in its class. This means that the S23 Ultra is slightly heavier than the S22 Ultra, which is “only” 228 grams.
With a screen measuring 6.8 inches, this phone has dimensions that are larger than most Android phones. Even so, the body is ergonomic even when used with one hand. Of course, if your hands are big enough to hold it.
One thing to note, considering that the rear camera lens is quite large, there is always the possibility that a finger will “drop in” and make the lens dirty. This happens quite often when holding the phone to play games in landscape position . But this is easily overcome by providing a case that has a camera lens cover.
For screen quality, there is nothing to doubt. The Super AMOLED screen with QuadHD + resolution on the S23 Ultra is capable of displaying sharp visuals and rich colors, and has a high brightness level which makes it quite comfortable to use in bright sunlight. For the record, the S23 Ultra’s screen can appear brighter and dimmer than the S22 Ultra’s screen.
The S23 Ultra screen also supports an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz. This feature is suitable for those who like to play games. With a high refresh rate , the animation in the game looks smooth and is free from the stuttering effect that sometimes bothers some users.
There is also a Vision Booster feature which now supports three levels of light settings so that the screen is glare free when used during the day. Samsung also provides settings such as color tones and contrast levels to ensure that the screen display suits the user’s taste. In short, the S23 Ultra’s screen is the best for an Android smartphone, both in terms of visual quality and features.
The photos and videos are very good
The main feature that Samsung sells with the Galaxy S23 Ultra is the camera’s ability to record photos and videos. There are four cameras behind with the following specifications:
- Main Camera: 200MP sensor 1/1.3″ 0.6 micron pixels, f/1.7 lens, PDAF, AF, OIS
- Ultra-wide camera: 12MP 1/2.55″ sensor, 1.4 micron pixels, f/2.2 lens, PDAF, AF, OIS
- Telephoto Camera 1: 10MP 1/3.52″ sensor, 1.12 micron pixels, 3x optical zoom f/2.4 lens, PDAF, OIS
- Tele Camera 2: 10MP 1/3.52″ sensor, 1.12 micron pixels, 10x optical zoom f/4.9 lens, PDAF, OIS
The camera features provided are quite complete, starting from Night Mode, Pro Mode, Pro Video, Portrait, Panorama, to Slow-Motion and Dual View Video. Samsung also provides an Expert RAW feature for recording photos in RAW format which gives flexibility when editing photos. The user interface in the camera application has also not changed, so Samsung cellphone users will be immediately familiar with using it.
While using the camera, there is no annoying lag except when shooting in 200 megapixel mode which makes the phone freeze for 2 seconds before it can be used again. To speed up the S23 Ultra’s performance when shooting, you can install the Camera Assistant application from Samsung which can adjust the shooting speed and manage various other functions that are quite useful, such as taking photos using the self-timer as well as setting Auto HDR and automatic lens switching.
Then what about the quality of the photos? We tried to take pictures with the default Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra settings, which are in the 12 megapixel photo setting. The results of photos in 12 megapixel mode in ideal light conditions look very good, with sharpness, detail and colors that are pleasing to the eye. The following is an example of an unedited S23 Ultra photo.
To shoot 50 megapixel and 200 megapixel photos, you must first select the options in the menu. From testing, using the 200 megapixel mode does not produce better photos than the 12 megapixel mode. From testing, the results of 200 megapixel photos are not as sharp as 12 megapixels. The following is a comparison of 200 megapixel and 12 megapixel photos from the S23 Ultra.
Shooting 200 megapixel photos also produces very large files that take up space on the phone’s internal memory. As a note, the advantage of using 200 megapixel mode is only when you want to crop or print large sizes (in meters). However, if you only print 10R or view photos on a cellphone or computer screen, a 12 megapixel photo resolution is more than enough.
Details on 12 megapixel photos look better than 200 megapixel photos, especially in low light conditions. This is of course in line with the pixel binning concept that is applied. In 12 megapixel mode, the sensor will combine 16 pixels into 1 larger pixel. The result is that larger pixels will be more sensitive to capturing light, resulting in better low-light photos.
The following is an example of a photo of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in low light conditions.
One thing that Samsung excels at is the 100x zoom capability. From testing, photo detail at 100x zoom is quite improved compared to the previous generation. However, it is still far from adequate for objects such as human faces. This 100x zoom mode is more suitable for photographing objects with uncomplicated details such as signboards, traffic signs or other simple objects. The following is an example of a photo with 100x zoom.
For photo results at the optical zoom setting, namely 3x and 10x zoom, the results are very good. Especially in ideal light conditions such as outdoors during the day, as seen in the following example photo.
In low light conditions, such as at night or in a room with dim lighting, the 3x and 10x zoom photos on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra are still sufficient for sharing on social media or printing at sizes up to 10R. The following is an example of a shot taken by the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in low light conditions.
One advantage of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra camera lies in the Portrait mode. You can manipulate the bokeh effect after taking photos in this mode. The following is an example of a photo of the S23 Ultra in Portrait mode with Studio effects. This effect makes the face appear brighter and does not look dark due to the shadow effect of the objects around it.
Portrait mode can also work for objects other than humans, such as the following rooster.
The video quality of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is also very good in all light conditions, as long as you don’t use digital zoom. The following is an example of a video we recorded at Raisa’s concert at GBK in low light conditions using a zoom lens.
The Pro Video mode also provides quite complete settings, such as shutter speed and ISO settings as well as a microphone that can be adjusted in direction or using a Bluetooth headset. There is also a Super Steady feature which is very effective at reducing the effects of hand shake or movement when recording videos. We can walk fast enough while recording and the final video looks very stable without the disturbing effects of shaking.
The front camera is also capable of producing attractive videos with good audio capture as shown in the following examples.
One special thing lies in the chipset used. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset specifically designed for the S23 Series. Combined with the fastest LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 4.0 at the moment, the S23 Ultra can run all applications with a bang.
This phone also has an effective heat management system so it never feels too hot in the hand. Two usage scenarios that make the phone quite warm are when using the camera to take pictures and record videos for a long time and when playing intensive games. In addition, the temperature of the cellphone is maintained and comfortable in the hand.
For game fans, the S23 Ultra will also be suitable for playing any game comfortably. Heavy games like Genshin Impact, CarX Street and so on can be run comfortably. The temperature on the cellphone body is also maintained so that it still makes playing games run comfortably.
One thing that deserves thumbs up is the durability of the battery. From our tests, the S23 Ultra’s battery can last up to 18 hours when used with a pattern of using messaging and e-mail applications very often, taking pictures and social media quite often, and running various applications occasionally. If you use the camera or play games for a long time, the battery will last around 12 hours. From our observations, the S23 Ultra’s battery lasts about 2 hours longer than the S22 Ultra.
The best Android flagship smartphone at the moment
There are three improvements brought by the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, namely camera quality, battery life and performance. All of this is arranged in software and UI that is more mature, comfortable and easy to use. From our experience using it, the camera capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra deserve praise with improved quality and features when compared to the S22 Ultra .
Interestingly, the price of the S23 Ultra is no different from the S22 Ultra. Unlike other flagship phones, the newest generation is sold at a higher price. With all the functionality and facilities that are still maintained, such as the S-Pen, extra bright and clear screen and elegant design, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra deserves to be named the most advanced Android smartphone in early 2023.
The advantages of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
- The results of photos on all lenses are very good, especially in ideal light conditions
- Video results are very good in various conditions
- The video stabilizer works effectively
- The screen is brighter so it is quite comfortable to use during the day in the sun
- The built-in speaker is loud and clear
- Unique and unmarketable color choices
- There’s a handy S Pen
- Long battery life, improved from S22 Ultra
- The cellphone body only feels warm when working optimally
Disadvantages of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
- The body is relatively large and heavy
- The camera lens is too big so it is often accidentally touched when playing games or making phone calls
- 100x zoom is only suitable for photographing objects with minimal detail and in daylight
- Image stabilization when recording video is limited to the ultrawide and 1x zoom settings
- The battery is quite wasteful when used to play games or record photos and videos intensively
- Battery charging is not as fast as its competitors
- There is no power adapter in the sales package