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Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra goes big on night photography, gaming and sustainability

Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung’s top-shelf flagship phone of 2023 has officially arrived after months of leaks and hype.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
The S23 Ultra S23 Plus will be available in four colours— phantom black, cream, green, and lavender.

Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung’s top-shelf flagship phone of 2023 has officially arrived after months of leaks and hype. Launched at global Unpacked alongside the more mainstream Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus, the Galaxy S23 Ultra goes big on night photography, gaming, and sustainability. The phone is launching simultaneously in India, though we’re yet to get confirmation on exact pricing. In the US, the Galaxy S23 Ultra will start at $1,199.99.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs and features

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is mostly a familiar device though there are improvements in three key areas, those that should add on to make it an even “bigger” productivity powerhouse over the outgoing S22 Ultra.

There’s a new 200 MP camera sensor in this phone that sits behind a bit wider f/1.7 aperture lens. This should theoretically lead to better low-light photos.

Also Read | Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra hands-on review in photos: Quick first look at design, specs, features, and more

There are three more cameras in this phone, a 12 MP ultrawide, joined by two more 10 MP telephotos – one for 3x and another for 10x optical zoom— that seem more like do-overs from last year.

That said, as is usually the case with all top-of-the-line Samsung ultra-phones, “zoom” is again a big focus area. Samsung has introduced dedicated photo and hyperlapse video modes for Astrophotography in the Galaxy S23 series and the Galaxy S23 Ultra should particularly benefit from this.

Also Read | Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra first impressions: The new benchmark for flagship phones in 2023?

The 40 MP selfie camera seen in the S22 Ultra has been swapped with a seemingly more mundane 12 MP shooter, though Samsung is promising “enhanced nightography” in both photo and video (including better stabilisation) modes despite a cut-down on megapixel count.

The customary chip upgrade brings Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 to the S23 Ultra but with a slight twist. Samsung says it has partnered with Qualcomm to get first dibs on what it’s calling a Snapdragon optimised exclusively for Galaxy. Graphics and machine learning upgrades seem at the top of the list for the duo and when paired with some intricate vapour cooling, Samsung says the S23 Ultra will be able to pull “faster and smoother gaming performance” over the S22 Ultra.

Also Read | Samsung’s new Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus bring crucial updates to a familiar package

Core design, too, has received a bit of a rehash with Samsung going for a relatively flatter back that should bode well for ergonomics, though you should know that the S22 Ultra is still a hefty package weighing in at 234g. It still has the S-Pen “note” stylus, in case you’re wondering. The real change is coming by way build materials. Samsung says the Galaxy S23 series uses more recycled material than any Galaxy smartphone to date with the S23 Ultra in particular using it for as many as 12 internal and external components (versus 6 in the S22 Ultra). The retail packaging is also said to be made of 100 percent recycle paper.  

Rest of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs include a 6.8-inch 1440p Dynamic AMOLED 2X LTPO display with a variable 1Hz-120Hz refresh rate, up to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, Android 13-based One UI 5.1, and 5,000mAh battery with 45W fast wired and 15W wireless charging. You get 5G and Wi-Fi 6E support in addition to Bluetooth 5.3.

The S23 Ultra is made of two sheets of Corning Gorilla Victus 2 joined together by a metal frame. The phone has an ultrasonic fingerprint reader for biometrics and IP68-rating for water and dust resistance. It will be available in four colours— phantom black, cream, green, and lavender.  

Also Read | Samsung Galaxy S23, S23 Plus first impressions: The new default premium Android experience for masses?

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First published on: 01-02-2023 at 23:37 IST