Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a 200MP photography powerhouse
Snapdragon power and streamlined styling for Galaxy flagship
With one of the highest pixel counts ever found in a phone camera, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is out to establish itself as the new photography king of the Android world. The flagship is taking no prisoners anywhere else, either, with an extensive spec sheet filled with cutting-edge tech. It landed alongside the more mainstream Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus at Samsung’s Unpacked 2023 event, and should go on sale later this month.
We’ve seen phones with 200MP cameras before, namely the Xiaomi 12T Pro and Motorola Edge 30 Ultra, but the Galaxy S23 Ultra is the first with Samsung’s new HP2 sensor. It’s able to shoot 8K video (or 4K HDR at 60fps), snap 200MP stills at a rapid 15 frames a second, and uses 16-to-1 pixel binning for astonishing low-light performance. And it’s brought some friends, too: a 12MP ultrawide and twin 10MP telephotos, one set up for 3x optical zoom and the other for 10x. There’s also a 12MP selfie camera up front.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is a giant of a phone, with a 6.8in, 3088×1440 resolution AMOLED display that curves over the edges and towards the metal frame. Those curves are a little more subtle this time around, meaning there’s more flat surface area than the outgoing S22 Ultra. It’s got an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, plays nicely with HDR10+ content, and is paired with a set of Dolby Atmos-approved stereo speakers. A fingerprint sensor sits under the display for biometric security.
Underneath, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU provides ample performance muscle, with some specific clock speed boosts for Samsung phones – a first for the top-tier chip, which has up to now only been seen in standard form in other phones. Depending on the model, it’s paired with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM, and 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of on-board storage. MicroSD expansion sticks around for another year, for adding extra capacity once you run out.
There’s also room for a 5000mAh battery, which can charge at 45W over USB-C, or at 10W wirelessly. Powershare lets you reverse wireless charge smaller tech, like wireless earphones.
Just like last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung’s latest flagship phone comes with a pop-out S Pen digital stylus. The dimensions haven’t changed all that much, but the general styling has been tweaked with more prominent camera bumps. The whole thing is IP68 water resistant.
It arrives with the latest version of Samsung’s OneUI interface, sitting on top of Android 13. New additions for 2023 include a Modes and Routines feature, letting you automate settings and apps based on the time of day or your location, and Bixby text call for responding to incoming calls with a text message.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is up for pre-order from today, and will be going on general sale on the 17th of February. Expect to pay £1249 for a SIM-free handset with 256GB of storage, or kiss a healthy portion of your monthly paycheque goodbye to pick one up on a contract. Prices climb to £1399 for the 512GB model, and £1599 if you need 1TB of on-board storage.
If you move quickly, and pre-order directly from the Samsung website, the firm will double the storage to 512GB for the price of 256GB – but you only have until the 16th of Feb to bag the bargain.