Samsung was the first major player to create the Ultra segment. As early as 2020, the Galaxy S20 Ultra established that Ultra means more than Pro (or Pro Max) – it means an oversized screen and battery, an ultra-high pixel main camera, an ultra-versatile camera system, and ultra performance.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the embodiment of the Ultra phone and by far the most popular Samsung phone on the market. Even though some may think the design is a bit outdated at this point, it’s undoubtedly a case of form following function. The rectangular body is perfect for carrying a large quad camera setup, a powerful chipset with its cooling system, a large 5,000mAh battery, and a stylus. Not to mention the largest screen you can find on a non-folding phone.
Now in its fourth generation, the Galaxy Ultra has embraced its identity of the S Pen, thus reinforcing another feature that only the Galaxy Ultra has. Samsung made sure that the Galaxy S23 Ultra has another ultra-worthy feature added in the form of the new 200MP camera.
But let’s get back to that word « outdated. » When it comes to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, very little has changed compared to its predecessor. While the Galaxy S22 Ultra was somewhat of a paradigm shift from the S21 Ultra, the S23 Ultra is a subtle evolution. The S Pen is no longer a novelty, the rest of the cameras, the screen, and the battery are practically the same, as is the design and construction, for the most part. The most significant changes are the switch to Qualcomm silicon and the new 200MP image sensor – changes that likely didn’t motivate most S22 Ultra users to upgrade.
In the end, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a safe haven for Galaxy Ultra (and former Galaxy Note) loyalists who want a familiar, all-around Samsung powerhouse. It’s a significant device for Samsung, and the company remains true to its roots. It’s a situation that’s reminiscent of the iPhone Pro Max: people want this package year after year.
So now that the Galaxy S23 Ultra conscientiously is the best smartphone one can buy for about 8 months, it’s time to see how it holds up and what, if anything, has changed.