Samsung’s hardware and software camera ecosystems are good news for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The business wouldn’t confirm whether the S23 Ultra has the same technology (only saying, unhelpfully, that they’re calling it a “200MP Adaptive Pixel sensor”), but I’d say it’s probably pretty close.
Samsung may not want to advertise that its brand is the second to adopt the component. Again, ecosystem and implementation matter. Two phones with the same sensor can produce very distinct photos.
The Ultra uses binning to aggregate information from many pixels to create a larger superpixel that gathers more light for sharper, lower-noise photos.
Unsurprisingly, camera updates rule here. Samsung and Google’s Pixel phones are competing in Android’s last major battleground. Pixel 7 Pro has been my camera for months. Try the S23 line. To eliminate blur in low-light videos, the Ultra has improved optical image stabilization.
The Ultra, S23, and S23+ have “enhanced” 8K video capture at 30 FPS with wider-angle views and new object-based AI that analyzes human traits like eyes and hair in each frame to “carefully depict a person’s dynamic qualities.”
The Ultra has a 200-megapixel wide camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide, and two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses with 3x and 10x optical zoom. “Because selfie cameras are more crucial than ever to how we interact today,” Samsung improves the 12-megapixel front-facing camera with quicker autofocus, 60 FPS video capture, and its “first Super HDR selfie camera.”
Samsung merged the Galaxy Note range into its flagship Galaxy S last year. Though nostalgic, the culling made sense. Smartphone sales have grown and shrunk over the past decade. As smartphone sales slow, consolidating into a flagship makes sense. Since the products have blended in recent years, why not mix them?
The S23 Ultra retains the Note’s signature S Pen (the other two don’t support the stylus). The cooperation with Google to bring live Samsung Notes collaboration to Meet—a tiny, mobile whiteboard app—is the greatest news.
The S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra have 6.1-, 6.6-, and 6.8-inch FHD+, QHD+ Edge, and 120 Hz displays, respectively. The devices will be the first to use Corning’s latest Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which offers better drop protection and scratch resistance than the 2020 version.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 powers the Galaxy S series. Samsung claims the Ultra’s 5,000 mAh battery and upgraded chip will extend life by 20%. The S23 and S23+ have 3,900 and 4,700 mAh batteries. Samsung promotes mobile gaming again. The business claims the Snapdragon chip improves AI and graphics by 40%. The Ultra has 8 or 12 GB of RAM and 256–1 TB of storage. It supports Wi-Fi 6E and 5G.
Samsung claims that the S23 is constructed of 22% recyclable materials, more than its predecessor. It recycles aluminum, glass, and plastic from fishing nets, water barrels, and plastic bottles.
“The most impactful technology is judged, not just by what it enables for people today, but also how it contributes to a brighter future,” mobile head TM Roh said in the release. “Galaxy S23 Ultra and the entire Galaxy S series are the new benchmarks for premium smartphone reliability. Power and lasting innovation in environmentally friendly gadgets are redefining peak performance.”
Preorders for all three devices begin today and arrive on February 17. Order before the 16th and get a free storage upgrade or $100 in Samsung credit.
S23 costs $800, S23+ $1,000, and Ultra $1,200. Black, cream, green, lavender, and online-exclusive lime, graphite, sky blue, and red are available. Samsung introduced three creative pro laptops to compete with MacBooks and Surface tablets.