Two months ago I posted my full review of the Galaxy S23 Ultra. At the time, I claimed that this device was like “déjà vu with slight upgrades.” I’m hoping that wasn’t taken in any sort of negative connotation as it’s not meant to be. It’s déjà vu because the hardware is pretty much identical to last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra, while the internal upgrades are the typical processor and camera upgrades. If one weren’t paying close attention, they probably wouldn’t think the Galaxy S23 Ultra is worth the upgrade. Now having spent two months with the device, I’m here to send a clear message: You should buy this phone.
Two months can really open your eyes to what you like about a phone, but maybe more importantly, what you don’t like. In the case of this phone, it’s a very limited list of things I don’t care for. And they’re really quite nitpicky. For example, I wish it sat flat on surfaces without a wobble due to the rear cameras. That’s not the end of the world. It can be cumbersome to hold at times, too. That’s to be expected, it’s a relatively massive phone. What else? The stock launcher’s app drawer is paginated. Get a 3rd-party launcher, nerd!
You see, my issues with the device could be considered non issues. The important stuff, like screen brightness and clarity, camera performance, battery life, and durability are really what you’re paying for with this device. And all of those things listed are top notch. The display is stunning, arguably one of the best ever put on a phone, the cameras are insane, the big ol’ battery can get you through two days no problem with proper usage, and I’ve dropped this thing way too many times on hard surfaces (gym flooring and my LVP flooring at home) with no signs of damage yet. I knew it would take quite a phone experience to get me off of my Pixel 7 Pro for a bit and that’s what this phone delivers.
The only thing I find myself truly missing from the Pixel 7 Pro is the camera’s shutter speed. When I press the S23 Ultra’s shutter button, there’s the briefest of delays between click and shoot. Because of this, taking pictures of moving objects can become a little annoying, such as a fast moving dog or person. To correct the issue, you may find yourself popping into the Pro Photo mode and manually tweaking the shutter speed. This could lead to darker photos, though, so there’s this balance we’re always looking for between good exposure levels and snappy shutters. If you’re using the 200MP setting, there’s no fixing the slow shutter and processor speeds. The files created by that setting are massive, so it seems perfectly natural for it take forever. We’ll let it slide.
Let’s say you’re ready to get off of the fence. Now is not a terrible time to snag yourself one of these phones. An unlocked model can be had for as little as $629, so long as you have a really good trade-in. Even with no trade-in and you go a more traditional way of purchasing, at least you know this phone is going to be supported well into the future, at least two years after you’re done paying it off on a 24/mo payment plan. Just sayin’, it’s something to think about.
I’m here all week, so if you have any questions about my time with the phone or its features, please, shoot them down in the comments and we can discuss.