everything changes, nothing changes

One sees clearly only with the heart. The main thing is invisible “. This impressive and beautiful replica of the fox Little PrinceBy Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the newly official Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra perfectly resonates with the general feeling that it can leave when it’s out of hand. Yes, the most important things in this smartphone are hidden from our eyes, and therefore we have to look closer to discover them.

For all practical purposes, this is not an emotional sequence waiting for you – read again for that. Little Prince. So put away the fiddles and the towels. Before we can look at the heart of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, we need to look into the heart of the first contender for the title of the best smartphone of 2023. You will understand quickly. Here are our first impressions of Samsung’s new flagship.

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Samsung Galaxy S23 UltraDesign: let’s not round the corners

It’s a fact acknowledged by the brand, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is not meant to trick people who have fallen for the S22 Ultra or even the S21 Ultra. The first targets of this device are those who have been using the same smartphone for several years and now want to change it to enjoy the crème de la crème. However, the new phone does not try to radically differ from its predecessor. It even takes almost all its aesthetics.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra // Source: Arnaud Gelineau – Frandroid

All? No! A very small detail adds a grain of salt to give this Galaxy S23 Ultra a touch of authenticity. The screen is actually less curved on the sides. However, it is not a flat slab, but the canons of the highest level of beauty have a hard tooth. It probably won’t change your browsing experience. On the other hand, there is a direct result in the grip of the device. The edges of the smartphone are flatter. Not as much as the iPhone 14, but still noticeable.

Right now, I admit I can’t tell if I prefer this new sensation of contact with my palm. But I can say right now that I didn’t find it unpleasant, and the evolution remains subtle enough not to be prohibitive. Also of note, this reinforces the intentionally raw and industrial aspect of the S23 Ultra, which contrasts with the more cute side of the S23 and S23+. We also have the usual squared-off corners that look almost sharper with a slight modification this year.

Slightly flat edges on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra // Source: Arnaud Gelineau – Frandroid

The cameras on the back retain the same layout as the 2022 predecessor, with all cameras integrated independently of each other. Samsung explains that it received a lot of positive feedback about this design last year, so it wants to repeat this good formula. We’ll just note that the rings around the lenses reflect light a bit more on the S23 Ultra because they’re a bit wider, but that’s a detail.

It’s no surprise to the rest: it’s a great smartphone, destined to be the successor to the last Note series. Trust the measurements It measures 78.1 x 163.4 x 8.9 mm and weighs 234 grams. It doesn’t play in the lightweight category, so keep that in mind before making any purchases. The screen remains gorgeous, could it be otherwise with Samsung’s sauced AMOLED? It boasts a large 6.8-inch diagonal, an adaptive refresh rate ranging from 1-120Hz, and a promised 1,750 nits brightness rating, so you’ll never have to squint under the sun’s heaviest storms. Also note that by default the definition is set to Full HD+ to save battery, but QHD+ is up to you if you want to enable it.

Source: Frandroid

The S Pen is there and always on the bottom right corner. Note that the S23 Ultra’s stylus changes shape slightly, so don’t try to insert the S22 Ultra. It wouldn’t pass. Finally, we are dealing with a rugged smartphone with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and back, while the frame is made of reinforced aluminum. As for the repairability index, it shows a fine score of 8.2/10.

Samsung Galaxy S23 UltraSnapdragon 8 Gen 2, the true hero of all time

Frustration in the European ranks of Galaxy S users has grown year by year: why did Samsung insist on integrating Exynos chips into models sold on the Old Continent when the rest of the world had more power? To put out the flames, the brand paradoxically summoned a dragon. For Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra // Source: Arnaud Gelineau – Frandroid

It’s Qualcomm’s latest powerful SoC, and it’s clearly here to rock. This will result in more power – we’ve already been able to test a smartphone powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 – and this will be especially good for performance in 3D games, which really hurt the S22 Ultra and Exynos 2200. all. We have good reason to expect improvements in terms of thermal management and autonomy, two things in which the choice of chip plays an important role.

Another reason to be optimistic: Samsung claims that Qualcomm has teamed up with it to design a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 optimized for the S23. The brand suggests this should affect photo processing, but we’re betting it will also result in the fluidity found in everyday experience.

In short, we’re looking forward to it, but we’re dealing with a development that’s currently invisible to the eye unless we can run the tests to see it with our hearts. Still a little patience Little Prince.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra200 megapixels: waiting for the final version

UItra practical wide angle. Pure x3 optical zoom. A delightful 10x optical zoom. All this, we will definitely have it with this Galaxy S23 Ultra. However, this generation comes to spice up this well-known but highly regarded formula with a home-grown 200-megapixel primary photo sensor.

Obviously, I immediately activated the option to see what this 200 Mpx mode was worth in the camera. Do we have a real improvement there compared to the 108 Mpx mode? It is difficult to perceive with the naked eye, and therefore more in-depth tests will be required again. So my dear Little Princewill have to settle for some incomplete reviews first.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra // Source: Frandroid

So be aware that the 200 Mpx mode succeeds in its small effect: when you take a photo with it and then zoom in, you can capture small details with great precision. This should come in handy when you want to crop an image to keep only a portion of it. This should be more practical than the x100 digital zoom that the S23 Ultra can achieve, and it should remain quite a gadget.

Be warned, I noticed a significant lag time (several seconds) every time a photo was taken at 200 megapixels. Samsung spokespeople wanted reassurance, explaining that we don’t yet have a version of the firmware for sale. Users should have a right to a shorter processing time, but it is unlikely to disappear entirely.

200 Mpx mode on Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra // Source: Arnaud Gelineau – Frandroid

You can also choose a 50-megapixel interval mode to avoid this discomfort and the overwhelming weight of 200 Mpx shots. The main camera also benefits from optical stabilization that is twice as effective compared to the previous generation’s 1.5 – 3 stops of stabilization. Useful for videos.

Additionally, we can’t wait to try out the improved autofocus on each photo sensor, even the front. Plus, for selfies, we go from 40 to 12 megapixels. Samsung explains that this was necessary to better manage focus. A blessing in disguise and a good opportunity to remember that higher resolution does not equal better photo quality.

Selfie with Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra // Source: Arnaud Gelineau – Frandroid

The “false problem” of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

We can move to a 5000 mAh battery and one that supports up to 45W quite quickly. Under Android 13, there is nothing surprising in the One UI 5.1 interface either. But it does please with the promise of four updates. major updates and five years of security patches. Quiet.

There is 5G as well as Wi-Fi 6E. And with all this information, we wandered a little around the owner. The biggest shake-up, the switch to Snapdragon, is happening under the hood of the beast. Moreover, the changes compared to the previous model are very subtle…some might say insufficient. However, this “wrong problemHe responds to his interlocutor in Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy S23, S23 Plus and S23 Ultra // Source: Arnaud Gelineau – Frandroid

He argues that comparisons between models from one generation to the next are an exercise happily undertaken by tech enthusiasts, but not by the general public, who swap smartphones every three years on average. In this context, the quality gain is more noticeable. If we’re clearly aware of his marketing rhetoric, we’re using this speech to emphasize the obvious: switching smartphones every year is clearly not a behavior to be encouraged.

That’s why we’d recommend this great-looking Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to people who have a phone that’s a little coughed up after years of wear and tear. Then you can tame it like a foxLittle Prince. If you have a newer device, it’s less relevant. Especially since the price is far from affordable for all budgets.

Samsung Galaxy S23 UltraSamsung Galaxy S23 Ultra price and release date

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra was released on February 17, 2023. Three configurations are available at three prices:

  • 1,419 euros for a model with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage;
  • 1599 euros for the 12/512 GB version;
  • 1839 euros for 12 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage.

Where to buy

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra at the best price?

The pre-order offer from February 1 to 16 allows you to take advantage of a bonus of €150 when you return your old phone (in addition to the residual value) and double the smartphone’s storage at no extra cost. Example: For a pre-order of 256 GB S23 Ultra, you will receive 512 GB.

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