Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Hands-On Preview!

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We got our hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, so here are our hands-on preview, and our first impressions!


Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Hands-On Preview!

Samsung just launched the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and here is our hands-on preview and first impressions of this flagship smartphone with a 200 MP camera!

Boosted Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Performance!

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is powered by a specially-boosted variant of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile SoC, which features a quad-cluster architecture:

  • 1 x Arm Cortex-X3 core (3.36 GHz, instead of 3.2 GHz)
  • 2 x Arm Cortex-A715 cores (2.8 GHz)
  • 2 x Arm Cortex-A710 cores (2.8 GHz)
  • 3 x Arm Cortex-A510 cores (2.0 GHz)

The new processor feels very snappy, and appears to be more power efficient – the Galaxy S23 Ultra last longer than our Galaxy S22 Ultra on typical use. We will have battery benchmarks up shortly!

Read more : Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Colour Options Compared!

200 MP Main Camera

The biggest upgrade in the Galaxy S23 Ultra is its new Adaptive Pixel main camera, which is built around the 200 MP Samsung ISOCELL HP2 (S5KHP2) sensor, and features a slightly wider f/1.7 aperture.

This is a large 1/1.3-inch sensor with 200 million pixels, each of which is 0.6 μm in size. The Galaxy S23 Ultra camera will be able to combine up to 16 pixels to form a single large pixel for much better low-light performance.

Video capabilities also got an upgrade, thanks to this new sensor. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra can now record 8K videos at 30 frames per second, instead of just 24 fps previously.

It also boasts better Adaptive VDIS capability, and improved optical image stabilisation (OIS), delivering silky smooth videos by doubling the angle to ±3°, from the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera‘s ±1.5°.

Similar Telephoto + Wide-Angle Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra reuses the same 3X and 10X zoom cameras from the Galaxy S22 Ultra, right down to their Sony IMX754 sensors.

The ultra-wide angle camera gets a newer sensor – the Sony IMX564, which appears to be an incremental upgrade of the S22 Ultra’s IMX563.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra rear cameras

12 MP Selfie Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra also features another camera upgrade in the front. Instead of a 40 MP sensor in the Galaxy S22 Ultra, it now features a new 12 MP camera, with the same f/2.2 aperture.

While this may seem to be a downgrade, it is actually an upgrade as the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 40 MP sensor defaults to 10 MP. On top of that, it features a Dual Pixel sensor for faster and more accurate auto-focus!

We tried using the front camera, and found that it was superior to the front camera of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. More of this later in our review.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra front camera


The only buttons on Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra are all located on the right side – volume control buttons and a Power switch.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra buttons

S Pen

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with the same S Pen as the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It too boasts a very quick 2.8 ms latency.

We tried swapping them and both S Pens appear to fit both devices. From what we can tell – they are physically and functionally similar, if not exactly the same.

USB Type C Port

At the bottom of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, you will find a SIM card tray, next to the USB port, as well as the S Pen in its slot.

The USB port is, of course, the new bidirectional Type C port, which is now the EU standard.

Read more : EU Orders All Brands To Use USB-C, Including Apple!

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Hands-On Preview!

SIM Tray Without SD Card Slot

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra supports two physical SIM cards, as well as a single eSIM. The SIM tray is located at the bottom, next to the USB port.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra SIM tray

Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is protected in the front and in the back by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2.

Gorilla Glass Victus 2 is not just tougher, it is also made from 22% pre-consumer recycled content!

Armoured Aluminium

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is also protected on all four sides by an Armoured Aluminium frame.

5,000 mAh Fast-Charging Battery

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a large 5,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, which supports 45 watt fast wired charging, and 15 watt fast wireless charging.


Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Specifications Compared!

I created this table to compare the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s specifications to last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra!

Specifications Galaxy S23 Ultra Galaxy S22 Ultra
Display 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
– 1440 x 3088 pixels (500 ppi)
– 120 Hz dynamic refresh rate (1~120 Hz)
– 1750 nits peak brightness
Protection Gorilla Glass Victus 2 Gorilla Glass Victus+
Water Resistance IP68
Platform Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
CPU 1 x Cortex-X3 (3.36 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A715 (2.8 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A710 (2.8 GHz)
3 x Cortex-A510 (2.0 GHz)
1 x Cortex-X2 (3.0 GHz)
3 x Cortex-A710 (2.5 GHz)
4 x Cortex-A510 (1.8 GHz)
GPU Adreno 740 Adreno 730
Memory +
12 GB + 256 GB
12 GB + 512 GB
12 GB + 1 TB
8 GB + 128 GB
12 GB + 256 GB
12 GB + 512 GB
12 GB + 1 TB
External Storage NA
Front Camera 12 MP camera, f/2.2 40 MP camera, f/2.2
Main Cameras 200 MP Adaptive Pixel camera, f/1.7
12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
10 MP 3x zoom camera, f/2.4
10 MP 10x zoom camera, f/4.9
108 MP Dual Pixel camera, f/1.8
12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
10 MP 3x zoom camera, f/2.4
10 MP 10x zoom camera, f/4.9
Connectivity Wi-Fi : Wi-Fi 6E
Ultra-Wideband (UWB)
Bluetooth : BT 5.3
USB : USB Type C
Wi-Fi : Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth : BT 5.2
USB : USB Type C
S Pen Yes, 2.8 ms latency
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, Under Display
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope,
Geomagnetic, Light, Proximity
GPS GPS, Beidou, Galileo, Glonass
Battery 5,000 mAh Li-Po battery
Charging 45 watt wired charging
15 watt wireless charging
Wireless PowerShare
Dimensions 78.1 mm wide
163.4 mm tall
8.9 mm thick
77.9 mm wide
163.3 mm tall
8.9 mm thick
Weight 234 grams 229 grams


Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Prices + Pre-Order Offer!

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes in four main colours – Phantom Black, Green, Lavender, and Cream.

Sadly, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will be significantly more expensive than last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra!

Here are the official launch prices for the three available storage capacities:

  • 256 GB : RM5,699 (about US$1,336 / £1,083 / A$1,888 / S$1,755)
  • 512 GB : RM6,199 (about US$1,453 / £1,179 / A$2,052 / S$1,910)
  • 1 TB : RM7,199 (about US$1,688 / £1,369 / A$2,388 / S$2,218)

While the increased price may be disappointing, Samsung is offering some great pre-order offers:

  • you get a free upgrade to the next storage option!
  • if you buy from the Samsung Online Store, you get an RM400 e-Voucher
  • you get 30% off Samsung accessories, Samsung Care+, Galaxy tablets, Watch, and Buds earphones!
  • you get to save up to RM600 more when you trade in!

Here are online purchase options for your convenience:


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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