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Galaxy S23 Ultra Vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Is It Worth Upgrading?

The South Korean tech giant Samsung revealed the Galaxy S23 Ultra at the Galaxy Unpacked event on Feb. 1, but does the smartphone qualify as a worthwhile upgrade from the Galaxy S22 Ultra? When it came out, the Galaxy S22 Ultra offered best-in-class performance and battery life, along with the utilities of the S-Pen. Even today, the smartphone can click stunning images, shoot stable videos, and run video games on the highest available settings.

In terms of design, Samsung hasn’t changed much from the Galaxy S22 Ultra to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, except for the camera module on the back panel, which now has protective rings for all the lenses. The only major build difference is that the Galaxy S23 Ultra features Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which offers better drop protection and scratch resistance, while the S22 Ultra comes with Gorilla Glass Victus Plus. The Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a 6.8-inch QHD+ AMOLED display (500 ppi) that supports up to 120Hz refresh rate and has a peak brightness of 1,750 nits. Doesn’t it sound familiar? That is because the Galaxy S22 Ultra has an identical display specification, but is slightly less bright at 1,500 nits.

Related: The Galaxy S23 & S23 Plus Are Minor Upgrades Without A Price Bump

Under the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s aluminum frame and glass back chassis is a modified version of the 2023 flagship processor of choice, which Qualcomm is calling the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy, the fastest Android smartphone chipset right now. Naturally, it is more powerful and efficient than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4nm) on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. However, users won’t be able to tell one chipset’s performance from the other apart with everyday tasks. But the Galaxy S23 Ultra will perform better with processor-intensive tasks like gaming or video editing.

Regarding storage, the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s base variant offers 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, an upgrade over the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s base variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The top variants of both phones offer 12GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra flaunts a new 200MP (f/1.7, OIS) primary camera – Samsung’s ISOCELL HP2 sensor. When compared to the 108MP (f/1.8, OIS) ISOCELL HM3, the Galaxy S23’s primary camera should be able to click detailed and evenly lit images even in a challenging environment. The remaining three cameras on the Galaxy S23 Ultra are essentially the same as those on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. This includes the 10MP (f/2.4, OIS) and the 10MP (f/4.9, OIS) sensors, which provide 3x and 10x optical zoom, respectively. Then there’s a 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide sensor on both phones.

For some reason, Samsung has reduced the resolution of the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s front camera to 12MP (f/2.2, AF) from 40MP (f/2.2, FF) on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Nonetheless, Galaxy S23 Ultra’s selfie camera can now record Super HDR videos in 4K at 60 fps, and the primary camera can do Portrait video in 4K at 30 fps. The Galaxy S23 Ultra also comes with the new Dual Vertical Transfer Gate for balanced exposure and Super QPD tech to improve low-light focus, along with other photography improvements included with the new processing package.

Samsung says that the 5,000 mAh battery on the Galaxy S23 Ultra will last longer compared to the S22 Ultra, despite having the same battery capacity. Both phones support wired fast charging up to 45W, wireless charging up to 15W, and reverse power-sharing up to 4.5W. Common connectivity options on the phones include Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi Direct, mmWave, Sub-6Ghz 5G, and Bluetooth (v5.3 on the S23 Ultra and v5.2 on the Galaxy S22 Ultra).

Carrying forward the Galaxy Note series’ legacy, both Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy S22 Ultra come with the iconic S-Pen, which offers several helpful features such as note-taking and photo editing. Additionally, users get an under-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner on both devices.

Considering how similar the two phones are, and given that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will receive Android updates till 2026, there is no compelling reason for owners to upgrade. Galaxy S22 Ultra owners should skip Galaxy S23 Ultra and wait for the company to release another iteration of the smartphone with better features, unless there are any fantastic trade-in deals available.

Next: Galaxy S23 Vs. Galaxy S22: What’s New & Improved?

Source: Samsung 1, 2

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