Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in review: Finally with Snapdragon Proprocessor
The Galaxy S22 Ultra was a very good smartphone, but unfortunately it never managed to 100 Procent convince, because due to the in-house Exynos-Prozessors, the battery life and the performance were simply too bad for me. The South Korean manufacturer would like to have fixed exactly these points with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
For a recommended retail price of 1.399 euros, customers can finally get the current topproprocessor from Qualcomm, which was previously only available outside of Europe for the S series. Together with the 5.000 mAh battery, a significantly better battery life should be achieved. You can read in this (short) test report whether this is really the case.
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Conclusion on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
After the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra disappointed me a little, I am now almost completely convinced of the S23 Ultra, because the two biggest criticisms of the last few years have finally been resolved. By that I mean, of course, the battery life and the performance, which thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen2 are finally at flagship level. At least in terms of battery life, there is currently hardly any other Android flagship that can match the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. As a user of the HUAWEI Mate 50 Pro only dream…
Otherwise, the smartphone delivers an all-round successful overall package with almost no weaknesses. As usual, the design is excellent, the display is great, the cameras are decent and all the other points (loudspeakers, fingerprint sensor, vibration motor, S-Pen,...) are on a very high level.
Buy Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Design & display - great
The software used is the in-house OneUI, based on Android 13. The advantage of OneUI is that many elements and menu items can be operated with one hand, which I really like. Likewise the always-on display, which in my opinion is one of the best. The biggest advantage over the competition is undoubtedly the update supply. Samsung promises to provide the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra with updates for five years. As of today, this is unique in the Android world.
Performance & battery - it was time...
Finally, we come to the biggest and best improvement of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Of course it's him Proprocessor. For years we had to settle for the in-house Exynos SoCs in Europe, while the rest of the world did Proprocessors from Qualcomm. This made a significant difference not only on paper, but also in everyday life. The QualcommProcessors have always delivered better performance and significantly better efficiency in recent years.
Now we can also enjoy these advantages in Europe, because the Galaxy S23 series is the first S series to be shipped worldwide with a Qualcomm SoC. The Snapdragon 8 Gen2 is used here, which is supported by 8, 12 or 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB of flash memory. The latter cannot be expanded via microSD and I think 8 GB RAM is not enough for the entry-level model, especially since the basic models for the S20 Ultra and S21Ultra were equipped with 12 GB of RAM.
The day-to-day performance is terrific. Apps start and close extremely quickly, and the gesture control stutters that have been typical of recent years are finally a thing of the past. Even with larger games or complex apps, the smartphone has none Protrouble. The box is running and together with the 5-year update supply you are future-proof here.
As already mentioned, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen2 also has a positive effect on the battery life. At the end of the day I still had between 36 and 56 at full resolution Procent battery left. My screen-on-time was 5 to 6 hours. In short: The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is above average and is one of the best of the current flagship smartphones. Hats off to Samsung! Unfortunately, the smartphone can only be charged with up to 45 watts, which is extremely weak. It doesn't even come with a power adapter.
Camera - good, but not the best
A quad camera is used on the back, which is set up as follows:
- 200 MP main camera - f/1.7 - 1/1.3 inch
- 12 MP ultra wide angle camera - f/2.2 - 1/2.55 inch
- 10 MP telephoto camera - 3x - f/2.4 - 1/3.52 inch
- 10 MP periscope camera - 10x - f/4.9 - 1/3.52 inch
Even if the main camera comes with an extremely high resolution, the pictures are not really sharper than with current competitors. I even think that HUAWEI P60 Pro takes even sharper pictures. Nevertheless, the sharpness is quite high. The dynamic range and color reproduction are appealing, but I like the P60 here too Pro a little better. The S23 Ultra struggles, especially in backlight. I like photos at night, especially because a lot has happened here compared to the predecessor. Nevertheless, there is room for improvement, because the images are too noisy for such a large sensor and the white balance is sometimes not correct.
The ultra wide angle camera is rock solid with the same strengths and weaknesses as the main camera. Zoom shots succeed with very good sharpness and a decent dynamic range. Some recordings are reproduced a bit too saturated and I like HUAWEI better in low light, but overall Samsung delivers one of the best zoom recordings here.
Videos in 4K with 30 or 60 FPS look really good in daylight. Samsung is at the forefront here. Pictures taken with the front camera are particularly convincing with a sufficiently realistic color reproduction and good dynamic range. Even in terms of sharpness, I like it surprisingly well
Samsung uses the earpiece as a second speaker, which creates a stereo sound. They get very loud and sound really good overall. I would like a little more bass here and there, but that's complaining at a high level.
The built-in vibration motor and fingerprint sensor are among the best on the market. Furthermore, the smartphone is protected against the ingress of water and dust according to IP-68.