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[Review] Brightest Star in the Galaxy - Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra


Pros

Cons

+ 200MP Main Camera

- Costly

+ Less curve edges display

- Looks identical to S22 Ultra

+ Custom Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Price: RM5699


The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra shares a familiar design with its predecessor S22 Ultra. However, let’s not hop to the conclusion that both smartphones share the same specifications. Check out our review to find out the upgrades the S23 Ultra offers!


 

Design


The Galaxy S23 Ultra shares the same design as the S22 Ultra, rounded edge, tiny punch-hole design notch, and a quad camera system module. The back of the S23 Ultra is made of frosted glass, which is fingerprint resistant & scratch resistant while still being aesthetically pleasing.


Another thing that remains the same is the S Pen, it's still available on the highest-end model of the Galaxy S series even though it once belonged to the Note family. It is very acceptable that the S Pen feature be merged on the S23 Ultra, given that the S23 Ultra has a huge display, as the Note series used to.


The Galaxy S23 Ultra comes in four standard colors: Green, Phantom Black, Lavender, and Cream whereas the review unit I got is Green. If you’re looking for a more playful color choice like Lime, Sky Blue, Graphite, and Red, you may get these exclusive colors from Samsung.com.


 

Display


The S23 Ultra sports a 6.8-inch 1440p Dynamic AMOLED 2X display topping a 120Hz refresh rate to deliver the best clarity, color calibration, and contrast. Also, the peak brightness of the S23 Ultra is still 1750 nits just like its predecessor.


What makes the S23 Ultra is the amount of curve on the screen’s edges appears to be reduced than most of the curved display smartphones in the market. However, the display finds a sweet spot between people who want curved screens and those who wish for flat displays.


Given how big the display that the S23 Ultra is, the under-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is placed slightly lower than usual. But there’s not much effect on the overall experience, just you’ll have to be careful not to drop the S23 Ultra if you have small hands.


 

Camera


The S23 Ultra boasts a 200MP Wide-angle Main camera, a 12MP Ultra-wide camera, and two 10MP Telephoto cameras with one being 10x Optical Zoom and the other 3x Optical Zoom.


The new Adaptive Pixel 200MP sensor allows users to capture ultra-fine resolution images without losing out on the details in every shot. It also enables users a choice to crop the images for alternative compositions.


The overall experience for taking everyday pictures using the S23 Ultra is superb thanks to its advanced camera sensor and the fastest processor.


Besides, these are the images I’ve taken when I went to the Demon Slayer Total Concentration Exhibition at Pavilion Bukit Jalil. I don’t wanna lose out on the clarity of the pictures, so every picture in that album was taken with on 200MP Camera.


Given how excellent the image quality is taken with the S23 Ultra, you will be the person with the “best camera phone” in the gang when it comes to group photos and such.


In terms of video recording, the S23 Ultra Super Steady mode helps to remove the "hand shakiness" effect, which is similar to the effect when using a gimbal.


 

Performance


Of course, as a flagship smartphone, the most powerful configuration is essential. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. As you know the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset heats up a lot after intense gaming sessions. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 on the Galaxy S23 Ultra seems to have no overheating issues at all.

(Antutu Benchmark Score: 1188107)


I have tested the Genshin Impact on S23 Ultra. Without a doubt, the S23 Ultra is able to take on these power hunger games with no pressure.


The S23 Ultra comes with 8GB RAM with 256GB UFS 4.0 storage, offering a stutter-free experience while gaming. Also, the S23 Ultra is one of the first smartphones in the market to utilize the UFS 4.0 storage chips.


Moreover, the S23 Ultra houses a 5000 mAh massive battery with the support of 45W Super Fast Charging which is comfortable for your day-to-day usage. The sad fact is that it does not come with the 45W Samsung Power Adapter as it was sold separately to address the e-waste problem.


It also supports Wireless PowerShare among other brand smartphones. Though, you can’t use this feature if the battery is lower than 30%.


Not to forget about the existence of the S Pen on the S23 Ultra. You can use the S Pen to doodle or perform Air Actions on the Camera app while holding down the Pen button on the side. Min min is not a fan of taking pictures of my own so I rarely use the Air Actions other than jotting down a note.


 

One UI 5.1


The S23 series is the first Samsung device to get to experience the One UI 5.1 on launch. With One UI 5.1, users are able to cut out an object, or person in an image which is similar to the Apple cut-out feature. To use the feature, you will need to long-press on the subject you want, after that, you can save the copy, share or save it as an image for later use.


Because it is an automatic cutout, you will need a clearer subject in the image in order to obtain the most accurate result.


Another friendly addition of the One UI 5.1 is also gallery-related, users can now view the EXIF data of images and videos easily without going to the image and selecting the details tab to view the info, just swipe up on the images/video to reveal all the information which is very efficient.


What’s more about the One UI 5.1 is that it added a new battery widget to display the battery life of the device, S Pen, and other accessories such as Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.


On the other hand, One UI 5.1 is offering users one of the coolest tricks to pull out with the S Pen, where users can write out the words using the S pen instead of typing on the keyboard. On the S22 Ultra, users can only use handwriting to text on certain apps, but it seems like the One UI 5.1 breaks this limitation of the S Pen.


Users can now use the S Pen to write on any application such as Facebook, Instagram, and Gmail. As long as you point your S Pen to the text area until the S Pen UI changes and you can start writing.


 

Buy or no buy?


While the S23 Ultra looks identical to its predecessor S22 Ultra, I would say the S23 Ultra is definitely worth picking up if you don’t own an S22 Ultra. Maybe because the standard color choice on the S23 Ultra looks more appealing to me.


Still, if you wanted to trade in your S22 Ultra or older device for the S23 Ultra, it is still worth the upgrade judging by the functionality it provides, with notable upgrades such as a bigger battery, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset for Samsung, double resolution camera, and so on.


Act fast while the pre-order gift is still available on Samsung’s official website to enjoy a double storage upgrade worth up to RM500 and an RM400 e-voucher to spend on the website.














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