The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra was officially unveiled on Wednesday, shipping will start on Tuesday, February 7th, 2023. However, the first devices are already haunting the Internet and with them various tests, comparisons and sample images of the cameras. We looked around on Twitter and collected some first impressions.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra camera setup and test images
As for the camera setup, not much has changed on paper. Ultra wide lens, 3x telephoto and 10x telephoto come from the previous Galaxy S22 Ultra. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has a brand new main camera with Samsung’s 200 megapixel HP2 sensor. Here is a comparison of the different zoom levels.
The zoom capabilities of the S23 Ultra have therefore become even better. Resharpening and digital post-processing only become apparent at 100x digital zoom. And even then the pictures are still usable, at least as snapshots.
The Google Pixel 7 Pro is also known for its software functions, which help the camera hardware, which is significantly inferior to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Here is the comparison in mixed lighting conditions and with high dynamic range.
The Google Pixel 7 Pro does very well, but struggles a lot with correctly exposing all parts of the image and combining them in a coherent overall picture. The Galaxy S23 Ultra, on the other hand, captures the scene almost perfectly. It processes the dark foreground and the differently bright areas in the middle just as well as the sky in the background, which is a bit too strong on the Pixel 7 Pro.
But how big are the advances over the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra? The predecessor of the Galaxy S23 Ultra was already one of the best camera phones on the market. And rightly so – while the house itself is more naturally lit by the S23 Ultra, with fewer red tones flowing in from the overall scene, the S22 Ultra’s software is more sky-oriented. Accordingly, this is captured more naturally.
Conversely, the S22 Ultra lacks some neutrality in the house and the S23 Ultra exposes the sky a bit too pale. However, since these are purely software effects, Samsung could counteract this with an update at any time.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra battery life
Samsung also promises a lot when it comes to battery life, just like every manufacturer with every new cell phone. Apparently rightly so. Compared to the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max, the Galaxy S23 Ultra had nothing to hide. In the battery test, the Samsung achieved a very good runtime of 11:15 hours compared to 11:25 minutes for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Remarkably, the Samsung smartphone kept things significantly cooler. In the end, the thermometer measured 34.5 degrees compared to 38.5 degrees on the Apple iPhone. In addition to the mighty Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, this also speaks for the powerful cooling solution, which Samsung apparently rightly advertises with.
Samsung OneUI 5.1
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is just as understrained as in the battery test when it comes to everyday tasks such as opening, closing and switching apps. Even if the latest version of Samsung’s interface, One UI 5.1, has to handle dozens of apps.
There is one interesting point about the design. In the image below you can see the comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the S22 Ultra from the side. The display of the predecessor is much more curved and the black border begins visibly further down on the side frame.
While curved displays are an important design feature on flagship phones for many users, the author of the photo takes exactly the opposite approach. In his experience, the S23 Ultra with the less curved edge feels much better in his hand.