The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S23 series is an important event not only for Samsung but for the entire smartphone industry. Tech pundits usually disagree on whether the launch of the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip series has meant that the Galaxy S series is no longer their flagship. However, they also have to agree that the Galaxy S series sets the tone year after year and often the yardstick against which the flagships of all other manufacturers are measured.
This year’s S23 devices look identical to last year’s S22 devices. In fact, the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung’s true flagship this year, looks and feels almost exactly the same as last year’s S22 Ultra.
However, if you look a little closer, you’ll see that it’s a classic case of new wine in an old bottle. The S23 Ultra isn’t just a device that’s received an annual spec update — it’s so much more than that, especially in three key elements. Two of those three elements are benchmarks for what a flagship device should be. The third is an element that we hope will become an everlasting trend.
Say what you will, but it’s very difficult to argue with the fact that the Galaxy S series has arguably the best smartphone camera for all budgets. The S23 Ultra gets the best possible sensor for its main camera, the 200MP ISOCELL HP2 sensor that Samsung manufactures in-house. While a 200-megapixel sensor for taking photos and videos might seem impressive, it’s actually baffling how Samsung has used that many pixels to enhance and sharpen the experience when taking photos and videos.
For example, the main camera supports Super Quad Pixel Autofocus, which basically means it uses all the pixels in the sensor to focus on a subject. Smartphone cameras don’t usually do that. This makes the subject tracking of the S23 Ultra sensational. Plus, the autofocus feels a lot quicker than any other smartphone we’ve tried to date.
Along with the 200MP main sensor, you also get an ultra-wide system with a 12MP sensor, a 10x telephoto system with a 10MP sensor, and a 3x telephoto system with a 10MP sensor. Sensor.
On the front is a 12-megapixel device that features HDR and dual-pixel autofocus for the first time ever. And of course you also have portrait mode on the front camera.
All this hardware has allowed Samsung to experiment with software as well. The S23 Ultra has a number of photo modes, but what really stood out to us was the addition of Astro and Multiple Exposure modes. These are things that you usually need a proper DSLR or mirrorless camera for, plus you need to spend a lot of time in post-processing software like Lightroom or Photoshop to get the best results. Needless to say, this is a feature we’re eagerly awaiting to test.
In addition, Samsung has also increased and doubled its OIS. This, along with their improved noise reduction, means that shooting and filming in the dark should no longer be a challenge.
Samsung says they are once again focusing on gaming with the S23 Ultra. In fact, they say that the S23 Ultra will bring users the ultimate gaming performance. Well, that’s a tall order, but at least on paper it seems they’ve done everything they can to stay true to their claims.
First and foremost the SoC. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset is quite a powerful SoC and handles even the most demanding tasks very well. However, Samsung went one step further. In the S23 Ultra series, Samsung relies on a specially developed and optimized version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
The new SoC brings a 34 percent increase in CPU performance, a 41 percent increase in GPU performance, and a staggering 49 percent increase in neural processing over the outgoing S22 Ultra.
Also, for the first time ever, we have ray tracing on a smartphone. Samsung was actually very serious when they claimed that they want to bring smartphone gaming as close as possible to PC and console gaming, and they certainly tried. Again, this is a feature we’d like to thoroughly test, assuming a game publisher actually releases a game with ray tracing enabled for a smartphone.
There are other improvements too. In order for the S23 Ultra to consistently deliver reliable gaming performance, Samsung equipped the device with a vapor cooling chamber that is approximately 2.7 times larger than that of the S22 Ultra.
The S23 Ultra also gets a ton of software features to help it perform better. You get AI-assisted adaptive performance that ensures you’re getting everything the Snapdragon SoC has to offer, ensuring a smooth and stable experience when playing hardcore and demanding games.
You also get a ton of extra features to help you get the most out of your battery life. There’s the AI-assisted adaptive performance feature, as well as the video streaming optimization. This essentially means that consuming content or videos on Google, YouTube, Insta and Facebook uses less power, which can increase battery life by up to 30 percent.
A touch of sustainability
This is where we feel we need to give Samsung some key props. To understand why sustainability matters and the need to recycle as many of our resources as possible, the entire exterior of the S23 Ultra, S23 and S23 Plus is made from recycled materials such as recycled aluminium. recycled glass and recycled PET. Even the S23 Ultra’s display, protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2, uses recycled glass.
Everything else about the S23 Ultra and its siblings, the S23 and S23 Plus, is in line with a flagship series in 2023.
The S23 Ultra features a 6.8-inch AMOLED display that supports a 120Hz refresh rate. In comparison, the S23 has a 6.1-inch 120Hz AMOLED display and the S23 Plus has a 6.6-inch 120Hz AMOLED display.
As for the battery, the S23 Ultra comes with a 5000mAh unit, the S23 Plus comes with a 4700mAh unit, and the S23 comes with a 3700mAh unit. With the exception of the S23, all devices support Samsung’s Super Fast Charging 2.0.
We’ve already seen the cameras that the S23 Ultra will get. The S23 and S23 Plus both come with a 50-megapixel main sensor, a 3x telephoto system with a 10-megapixel sensor, and an ultrawide system with a 12-megapixel sensor. Both devices have a 12-megapixel front camera.
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