Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: Samsung’s Best Smartphone To Date

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: Samsung’s Best Smartphone To Date

Samsung’s decision to streamline its premium smartphone offering last year with the Galaxy S22 Ultra proved to be a great decision, merging the functionality of the Galaxy Note series with the flexibility of the Galaxy S series. It paid off for the company last year, and 2023’s iteration, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, keeps that journey on the right track with some interesting new additions alongside tried-and-true features.

While much of Samsung’s focus this year is on camera and productivity improvements, the first thing that captures the eye is the S23 Ultra’s 6.8-inch AMOLED display. Fans of big smartphones won’t be disappointed as colors vividly pop off of perhaps the best display we’ve seen on a Samsung smartphone to date.

Samsung says it optimized the display specifically for gaming and video, and it feels like that is exactly what it is doing under its Gorilla Glass Victus 2 casing. Multimedia visuals are engrossing in a way that I rarely experience when using smartphones without sacrificing frame rate.

That level of performance is powered by the device’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy processor, a version of Qualcomm’s leading Android chip that features accelerated CPU and GPU speeds that boost the S23 Ultra’s multimedia experience. The chip is also a major contributor toward the device’s camera improvements. According to ZDNet, the chip powers a feature called Semantic Segmentation that recognizes numerous features of photos and videos in real-time and optimizes them.

Another major factor in the improved camera quality is Samsung’s new 200MP Adaptive Pixel sensor. 200MP may feel like overkill as it rolls off the tongue, but the sensor allows for an enormous amount of detail capture at, as Samsung describes it, “ultra-fine resolution.” The end product shows this as images and video captured during our time with the S23 Ultra were incredibly crisp in high- and low-light settings.

While the Selfie camera did get a marked decrease year-to-year, dropping from 40MP to 12MP in 2023, it still produced great images comparable with other leading smartphones and a great Portrait setting. It does get a nice video update though, increasing front-facing video capture to 60fps so your video calls look even better.

It should be noted that we did experience some overheating after using the camera nonstop for an extended amount of time (between 30-60 minutes).

Battery life was also surprisingly great considering the fears engendered by the words “overclocked CPU and GPU.” The S23 Ultra regularly held a day-long charge under regular, everyday use and stood up well under heavy use, maintaining  roughly 12 hours of battery life. Even with the increased performance, the S23 Ultra’s battery outperformed the S22 Ultra without increasing the battery size.

Slight improvements to S Pen latency help Samsung’s pro-grade phone maintain its reputation as the go-to Android option for productivity, and improvements to Google Meet integration and connectivity between Samsung devices streamline workflow for those engrossed in the Samsung ecosystem.

The entire package roots the Galaxy S23 Ultra as the best top-tier smartphone Samsung has produced to date and one of the greatest Android smartphones on the market currently. The price (starting at $1,200) is a steep barrier to entry, but the S23 Ultra is well worth the cost for everything that it does.

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