So not too long ago, SAMSUNG with its usual annual time releases the Galaxy S23 series for the year 2023, and yes, just last week, we did an unboxing also, which you can click here to find out as well.
Who is this for?
This is especially for those who wanted one of the best phones with a stylus included for all note taking, scribbling with packed in powerful hardware as a start which can bring you towards great multitasking capability and sheer gaming performance when you needed to, yet not gaming like in outlook, but more towards geared professional users when bringing it around for all your social meetups and meetings.
Just by looking at the back, the Galaxy S23 Ultra looks similar to the predecessor, the Galaxy S22 Ultra, especially when it comes to the form factor, weight and outlook, just a few grams heavier and basically day to day use you will not feel any difference if you have used the previous one. While it does look big in size, it is not an issue holding such a device where Samsung improved the materials with reinforced armor aluminum which makes it sturdy, ergonomically friendly. Everything else remains from the camera island positioning and the ever loved Ultra look from the large screen, the SPen, similar button positioning and dual speakers.
To me, remaining the same does not mean a bad thing or choice, the ever loved looks of it makes it appealing towards your daily usage, be it social, business or even leisure with the Galaxy S23 Ultra, in short, premium and durability closed gaps as one device.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra display is backed by a 6.8 inch curved AMOLED QHD 2X display and its a gorgeous one, with a proper color gamut and close to accurate color pallete display over the screen. It comes with a fast pace dynamic 120Hz refresh rates, this also means when it is idle, it will go as low as 1Hz only, taking advantage on power saving to avoid further frame wasting. HDR10+ is present as well for all your High Definition Range streaming which is widely supported on apps today. While gaming can go fast paced, highly suitable for FPS genres. Usage under the bright sunlight is no issue as it can boost up brightness up to 1750nits while over darker environment it dims downs naturally so that it does not hurt your eyes over your favorite novel reading sessions. Protecting the device over the glass is the ever famed Gorilla Glass Victus 2 which Corning tested to survive light drops and scratches.
The phone is especially goes over to the main star of the show, which is the camera. A 200MP ISOCELL camera is well equipped as a formidable rear shooter. Over its normal automatic mode, during day time you get what you expect, good dynamic range and clarity is well present on major areas with slight distortion only, which is actually one of the great camera we tried so far for now. the 200MP mode gives further details and close to lossless zooms over the shot thanks to the binning process as well, with an exception that it lacks dynamic range, especially if zoomed in, exposing certain blurriness if you are lacking brightness over surroundings. One thing that is also deserving praise is the after each shots processing is snappy in consideration over every 200MP shots which actually took quite an amount of processing power to complete it, therefore this is also attributed from the optimised software over the Camera app software which part of OneUI.
200MP Shot test, normal and zoomed.
Mixed shots (day and night)
Oh yeah, if you want to take a few moon shots, this phone can do it, which is possible from the S21 series onwards. The selfie module is also a step up improvement from last year’s S22 series, this time it offers more wider range of capture while still retains a good quality via normal and portrait mode, which I am not complaining, as more improvement is better for the consumers.
Video capture took a step up towards the max of 8K 30FPS recording that is going in to a range of high quality frame capture which is, if you love to make a small bite size trailer of your own, you can use the S23 Ultra as one of your camera to do that almost effortlessly, just make sure you have enough internal storage space left to do that. We will just post up a 4K 60FPS video recording and I can say, the stabilization is real good with the inclusion of gyro EIS, Video Steady and OIS.
Performance, Software, Benchmarks
Part of this is a recap from our impression, which the S23 Ultra is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SOC with customisation for higher clockspeed, which Samsung called it as Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy, giving it more speed and fluency towards multitasking with well tweak heat dissipations from the improved Vapor Chamber. As for the variants/sizes, internally you can choose from 256GB, 512GB or 1TB UFS4 internal storage with defaulted standard 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM with RAM Plus expansion for another maximum of 8GB Virtual Memory.
From the Software and experience, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is running Android 13 with OneUI 5.1. These bring new features such as improved Gallery App, Expert RAW, Dynamic weather widget, better Bixby Routine, Pause USB Power Delivery when gaming, Multiple SPen use, screenshot folder renaming and so much more coming with Samsung committed in further supporting the OS and UI update for at least four years. Now to the experience, all I can say it is a premium one, from battery side, it lasts the whole day on my daily use from gaming, a few note taking, 3 episodes of series and of course, taking a few pictures for social media consumption, a combination of 13 hours use hitting down to 15% before requiring a charge, which will get you back to about 75% in 30 minutes time. If you have a Galaxy Buds2, you can use the Galaxy S23 Ultra to wirelessly charge back your earbuds with ease, making it a side by side companion for compatible Galaxy accessories. If you love gaming on it, our test on Genshin Impact will be able to keep up nicely on a 60FPS almost all times over medium settings.
Here’s a benchmark chart for those who are interested in synthetic benchmarks 🙂 .
The Galaxy S23 Ultra does come with the S-Pen that is an improved carry over from the Galaxy Note and S22 Ultra, which is now properly embedded and can be slotted in the phone and take it out to be used whenever you need it with improve low latency on taking notes, drawing and scribbling, this make the S-Pen is very close to holding an actual pencil with accurate pressure sensitivity with SPen to text, allowing handwriting direct input to search bars and browser search bars. All of the S-Pen compatible apps are also compatible with it including those from Adobe and PenUp as well.
|6.8-inch 1440 x 3088 pixels, Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display, 120Hz refresh rate
|Optical Fingerprint, Face Unlocking
|Dimensions & Weight
|163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9 mm , 234g
200 MP, f/1.7, 24mm (wide), 1/1.3″, 0.6µm, multi-directional PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
10 MP, f/4.9, 230mm (periscope telephoto), 1/3.52″, 1.12µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS, 10x optical zoom
10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm (telephoto), 1/3.52″, 1.12µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, Super Steady video
12 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), Dual Pixel PDAF
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SOC, 4nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor
|12GB RAM up to 1TB internal storage
|45W Wired, 15W Wireless, 4.5W Wireless PowerShare
|Android 13 with OneUI 5.1
|3G WCDMA,4G LTE FDD,4G LTE TDD,4G 4×4 MIMO band,5G Sub6 FDD,5G Sub6 TDD, 5G 4×4 MIMO band. AX/WiFi 6e, UWB, NFC, BT5.3, GPS.
|Samsung Pay with NFC
|Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor
Conclusion and Verdict
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a piece of device and story that continues from the ever loving S22 Ultra with a much retained premium outlook design that is still represents what a phablet category should be, and retaining such size and form factor will be there to stay for now. It pack power, a degree of elegance with SPen still remains in your phone ready to take on your notes, while keeping all your productivity going with a powerful camera combination that brings imaging capture that you can appreciate and taken being an amateur user or an enthusiast. With at least of 4 years with future Android OS upgrades, you get to enjoy what a flagship series users enjoy as well, such as 5G, WiFi 6E, S-Pen, Samsung DeX which is a desktop environment that further enhances the productivity usage together with your laptop or PC of your choice. With the price starting from RM5,699 for the 256GB model, RM6,199 for the 512GB model, and RM6,699 for the 1TB model, it may sound pricey, but hey, for the price you paid for, it is all worth it considering this is also one of the popular powerful flagship that you can get.
- 120Hz Refresh Rate Display
- Comes with Gorilla Glass Victus 2
- Flagship class processor
- Great Android software and security update support
- No MicroSD Card Slot
- It is still quite heavy (on the weight)
Pre-order Galaxy S23 Ultra to enjoy complimentary storage upgrade worth up to RM500.Plus, get RM 400 e-Voucher to spend on Samsung.com/my and also up to 30% off PWP eco-promotions. Click HERE to find out more.