Is the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra worth it?
Updated: February 1, 2023 7:05 p.m.
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Is the S23 Ultra worth it? Or, to give it its full title, is the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra worth it? Read below to see what you get for the $1,199 asking price for comparison with competing offers on the market.
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Is the Galaxy S23 Ultra worth it? What specs do you get for your money?
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is definitely the device you want to buy if you like cinema or photography. The base specs below don’t really give you the full story of the upgrades to the camera, which now comes with Super HDR 4k 60fps video shooting on the front and rear cameras, as well as 8K 30 ips on the rear camera.
It has dramatically improved low-light images and functionality, including faster autofocus in low-light conditions where it’s usually difficult to focus.
You also get expanded camera assistant settings, including auto shift modes and a faster shutter selector, plus Astro Hyperlabs allowing for better star photography at night, and ExpertRaw – giving you the best tools color calibration of any phone on the market. There’s even a GIF remaster feature. All in all, it’s a videographer/photographer’s dream.
- Screen size and resolution: 6.8 inches / 3088 x 1440
- Display Type: 2x 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED Display with Vision Amplifier (1750 nits)
- Mass: 234g
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 “For Galaxy” Edition
- Memory: 8 GB / 12 GB
- Storage possibilities: 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB
- Drums: 5000 mAh (super fast charge 2.0)
- Cameras: 12MP selfie camera / 12MP ultra-wide angle camera / 200MP wide-angle camera / 10MP 2 telephoto lenses
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra against the competition
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra
Unlike the standard Galaxy S23, the Galaxy S23 has seen substantial improvements over the previous generation: with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 offering a 34% better CPU, 41% better GPU and 49% better NPU performance. On top of that, you get the superior cameras discussed above, a brighter screen, and slightly improved battery life.
If you thought the Galaxy S22 Ultra was worth the money last year at its MSRP, then we’d definitely say the S23 Ultra is worth it considering the upgrades, but now you can pick up an S22 Ultra for $994 on Amazon , which is a substantial discount, and might be tempting if the chipset and camera improvements aren’t so important to you, as this is still a great phone.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max
From what we know from the latest information on the S23, the iPhone 14 Pro Max comes with superior battery life (about 4-5 hours, although this will have to be independently tested after the S23 Ultra is released), a slightly more powerful chipset, comparable display, storage and memory options.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s camera is significantly superior, however, both in terms of lenses and software, which may be worth the extra price for those interested in photography/filming.
Both devices cost roughly the same amount, so what you think is the best value really depends on what you prioritize. We go into a more detailed comparison of the two on our dedicated Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max guide.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro
Simply put, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is in a different league to the Pixel 7 Pro: it has a much more powerful processor chip, superior cameras (although the Pixel 7 Pro is a bit better at natural skin tones) and a brighter screen. The Pixel 7 Pro is £300 cheaper at $899 though, making it a much more budget-friendly alternative.
For a more detailed look at how the two compare, check out our Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Pixel 7 Pro page.
Is the S23 Ultra worth it? Last word
So in summary, is the S23 Ultra worth it? Well, the improvement in technology between the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy S23 Ultra is significant, and it has the best camera of any smartphone currently on the market, but the asking price is definitely high.
If you’re not so keen on photography/filming and don’t mind Apple’s iOS, the iPhone 14 Pro Max might be a better option for you. Alternatively, the Galaxy S22 Ultra can now be had for $994.