As a long-time iPhone user for over 13 years, I was initially hesitant to venture outside the Apple ecosystem. But this year, curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to try something new. After using the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra for a little over a month, I’m happy to share my in-depth review of this impressive device. In this article, we’ll cover everything from design and build quality to battery life, performance, and camera capabilities.
Design and Build Quality
Color and Aesthetics
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra I’ve been using comes in an eye-catching green color, which I absolutely love. The overall design of the phone is not only visually stunning but also feels comfortable in hand, thanks to its slightly curved display.
The curved display of the S23 Ultra is not just a design choice but also adds to the comfort and ease of use. It not only looks great but also feels premium and well-engineered.
Premium Feel and Use of Recycled Materials
The back of the phone has a nice matte finish that adds to its premium feel. Interestingly, a lot of the phone’s components are made with recycled materials, which is an environmentally friendly choice. Despite this, there’s no noticeable compromise in the quality or feel of the device.
Armor Aluminum Frame and Durability Concerns
The S23 Ultra features an armor aluminum frame, which adds to its overall sturdiness. However, I did experience a slight durability issue when the phone fell between the crack of a car seat and the middle console. It resulted in a small chip on the device, which was disappointing, considering the fall wasn’t from a significant height. While the phone still functions well, I wish it were a bit more durable in this aspect.
Display and Screen Features
Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity OQHD+ Edge Screen Display
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra sports a gorgeous 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity OQHD+ Edge Screen Display. It’s the largest display I’ve ever used on a smartphone, offering a crisp and vibrant visual experience.
Compared to my iPhone 14 Pro, the S23 Ultra’s display is significantly larger. This difference in screen size becomes quite apparent when the two devices are placed side by side, making the iPhone 14 Pro appear rather tiny.
Brightness and Adaptive Refresh Rate
The display on the S23 Ultra offers a peak brightness of 1750 nits and 1200 nits for HDR content. It also supports an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, ensuring a smooth and seamless viewing experience, whether you’re gaming or watching videos.
Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and IP68 Water Resistance Rating
Protection is crucial for any device, and the S23 Ultra delivers with Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which safeguards the display from everyday wear and tear. Additionally, the phone has an IP68 water resistance rating, providing an extra layer of defense against accidental spills and splashes.
Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner
One of the standout features of the S23 Ultra’s display is the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. It’s incredibly convenient and offers a level of security that I wish my iPhone had. Although the S23 Ultra’s face recognition isn’t as quick as Apple’s Face ID, I found myself using the fingerprint scanner more frequently due to its convenience and speed. Having both options for security adds versatility to the device.
Performance and Battery Life
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Chip
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, ensuring top-notch performance. During my time with the device, I didn’t experience any performance issues or bugs, even when using demanding applications.
Geekbench Scores and Overall Performance
In terms of Geekbench scores, the S23 Ultra delivers impressive results, proving its power and capabilities. The phone’s performance has been consistently solid throughout my usage, leaving no room for complaints.
Battery Life and Screen-On Time
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the S23 Ultra is its exceptional battery life. I could easily get through an entire day, and on lighter usage days, the battery lasted a day and a half. With a consistent screen-on time of over 7 hours, the device’s battery life has been nothing short of remarkable.
Comparison with iPhone 14 Pro Battery Life
When comparing the battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to my iPhone 14 Pro, there’s a stark difference. The S23 Ultra’s battery life outperforms the iPhone by a significant margin, making it a superior choice for those seeking a device with long-lasting power.
Android Experience and Customization
Ease of Customization and Comparison with iOS
Switching from iOS to Android, I was pleasantly surprised by the level of customization available on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. The Android platform allows for a more personalized experience, enabling users to tweak various settings and aspects of their device. In comparison, iOS feels more rigid and limiting, making the Android experience a refreshing change.
Stock Apps and App Behavior
The stock apps on the S23 Ultra perform exceptionally well and integrate seamlessly with the Android ecosystem. While some pre-installed Samsung apps may not be as polished as their Apple counterparts, the overall app behavior is consistent and reliable. The Google Play Store also offers a vast selection of apps, making it easy to find alternatives to the stock apps if desired.
Pros and Cons of Android
Android offers several advantages, such as customization, a more open ecosystem, and compatibility with various devices. However, there are some downsides, including a fragmented update system and occasional inconsistencies between apps. Overall, the Android experience on the S23 Ultra is enjoyable, and the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
S Pen Functionality
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with an S Pen, which is a significant selling point for the device. My initial impressions of the S Pen were positive; it’s well-built and feels comfortable in hand. It seamlessly interacts with the device, providing an added layer of functionality.
Use Cases and Overall Enjoyment
Over the course of a month, I found the S Pen to be a valuable tool for various tasks, such as taking notes, sketching, and annotating documents. The S Pen offers a level of precision that is difficult to achieve with a finger, making it perfect for more detailed work. The overall enjoyment of using the S Pen is considerable, and it significantly enhances the S23 Ultra’s capabilities.
Front and Rear Cameras
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s camera system is genuinely amazing. Starting with the 12MP front-facing camera, it takes solid selfies for both photos and videos. However, the back of the phone steals the show with its powerful array of lenses, including a 200MP wide camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, a 10MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, and another 10MP telephoto lens with 10x optical zoom. This camera setup is nothing short of a beast.
Zoom and Scene Optimizer
What impressed me the most was the 10x optical zoom, which allowed me to capture incredibly detailed photos that closely resemble those taken with a professional camera. The scene optimizer is another noteworthy feature, intelligently recognizing scenes and optimizing colors for brilliant shots. While I personally appreciate the vibrance and sharpness this camera provides, it’s important to note that individual preferences may vary.
Low Light Performance and Moon Photography
The zoom capabilities of the S23 Ultra are great, but only up to a certain point. Up to 30x or even 50x zoom, the photo quality remains decent, but anything beyond that results in less clear images. Still, for a smartphone, the ability to zoom that far is impressive. The S23 Ultra’s low light performance is also remarkable, with the few low light shots I’ve taken turning out really nice.
As I was writing this, the whole moon photography craze happened. While it wasn’t the main reason I bought the phone, I have taken a few moon shots that have left people genuinely impressed.
Cost of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a premium device, and its price tag reflects that. While it is a significant investment, the device offers a plethora of features and capabilities that justify its cost.
Comparing Value with Other Smartphones
When comparing the value of the S23 Ultra to other smartphones, it’s essential to consider the device’s features and performance. The S23 Ultra offers a superior camera system, S Pen functionality, and a stunning display, making it a compelling choice for those seeking a high-end smartphone. While other devices may offer some of these features at a lower price, the S23 Ultra’s overall package and performance make it worth the investment.
Overall Impression of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
After using the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra for a month, I am thoroughly impressed with its performance, design, and features. The device offers a premium experience that lives up to its price tag, with a top-tier camera system, stunning display, and useful S Pen functionality.
For those considering the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, I highly recommend it if you’re seeking a high-end smartphone with a powerful camera, customizable Android experience, and exceptional build quality. While it comes at a premium price, the investment is justified by the device’s capabilities and performance.
For those interested in seeing a more in-depth comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max, I recommend checking out this article: The Ultimate Showdown: S23 Ultra vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max. In this comprehensive review, I dive into the specifics of each device, comparing their strengths and weaknesses to help you make an informed decision.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has exceeded my expectations and proven to be a worthy competitor in the smartphone market. If you’ve found this review helpful, please consider bookmarking our website for more content like this, and feel free to share the article with your friends and followers on social media. Thank you for your support, and happy smartphone shopping!