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Galaxy S23 Ultra vs S22 Ultra: Which has better specs and features?

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs S23 Ultra NextPit
© Samsung, nextpit

Between the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which Samsung flagship do you buy in 2023? To help you choose, we compared both Samsung flagships to find out whether the 200 MP camera lens and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 are worth opting for the new model.

We were able to review both smartphones and this article is therefore a complete comparison of the Galaxy S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra. You'll find our impressions on both smartphones and of course, a clear recommendation on which model to buy.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy S22 Ultra: The spec sheet comparison

  The new Ultra The 2022 Ultra
Device
Illustration
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Screen 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 3088 x 1440 pixels
Refresh rate 120 Hertz
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Memory 8/256 GB / 12/512 GB / 12/1 TB
UFS 4.0 / LPDDR5x
8/128 GB / 12/256 GB / 12/512 GB / 12/1 TB
UFS 3.1 / LPDDR4
microSD
Software Android 13 | One UI 5.1
Camera Module Main: 200 MP
Ultra-wide angle: 12 MP
Telephoto lens 1: 10 MP
Telephoto lens 2: 10 MP
Main: 108 MP
Ultra-wide angle: 12 MP
Telephoto lens 1: 10 MP
Telephoto lens 2: 10 MP
Selfie camera 12 MP 40 MP
Battery 5,000 mAh
45 watts wired
15 watts wireless
5 watts reverse wireless charging
Connectivity 5G, LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 5.3 5G, LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 5.2
IP Certification IP68
Colors Lavender, Cream, Green, Phantom Black Phantom White, Phantom Black, Burgundy, Green
Dimensions and weight 6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 in / 8.25 oz
(163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9 mm / 233 g)
6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 in / 8.04 oz
(163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9 mm / 229 g)
Price (MSRP) from $1,199 from $1,199
Rating
Read the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review
Read the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review
Offers*

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Table of contents:

Display and design

If we put the two models next to each other, it might be difficult to determine differences in design right away. With the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung has used a sophisticated, timeless design, where the cameras embedded directly in the back stand out. The more angular shape compared to the base models also moved the device closer to the Galaxy Note corner, whose legitimate heirs are the Ultra models.

The S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra side-by-side
Well? Which one is the new one? / © NextPit

Apparently, Samsung did not see much need for action, so the back looks similar (except for inconspicuous color accents on the cameras), the S Pen is still embedded in the device and the front looks almost identical.

But only "almost", because there is definitely one difference at the front: The display glass is less curved on the sides than in the predecessor. Samsung is thus slowly turning away from the curved trend.

For the first time, Samsung uses Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which is at the front and back and is surrounded by an aluminum frame. The glass is not only supposed to be even more robust than its predecessor but also consists of an average of 22% recycled materials.

Yes, Samsung also takes a small step in the right direction in terms of sustainability: While there were still six components made of recycled plastic last year, there are now supposed to be 12 in the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra in Cream.
I find the Cream color of the Galaxy S23 Ultra to be particularly soothing. / © NextPit

The differences in dimensions are hardly noticeable or visible. Length and width have increased by 0.1 and 0.2 mm, respectively, while the thickness has remained unchanged at 8.9 mm. The Galaxy S23 Ultra's weight of 233 grams is also only marginally higher than the 229 grams of the predecessor. The color scheme has been slightly adjusted.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with an S Pen
The design of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is still the same. / © NextPit

The new S23 Ultra comes in four regular colors Phantom Black, Cream, Lavender, and Green, plus four exclusive colors that are only available in the Samsung Store.

We did not notice any differences in the display right away: The resolution remains identical (QHD+, 3,088 x 1,440 pixels), as does the adaptive refresh rate of 120 hertz and the screen diagonal of 6.8 inches. The maximum brightness still reaches 1,750 nits and of course, it is again a "Dynamic AMOLED" panel. After all, if it ain't broke...

Samsung's Galaxy S23 Ultra display is flawless
The 120Hz QHD+ AMOLED display of the Galaxy S23 Ultra is flawless and very bright. / © NextPit

Performance and connectivity

Regarding performance, there is a very interesting change. The Galaxy S22 Ultra was released with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, with European models equipped with the Samsung Exynos 2200 processor. The Galaxy S23 Ultra, on the other hand, features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC in all markets, even in Europe.

However, Qualcomm and Samsung still give the SoC the add-on "For Galaxy". The optimized version of the system clocks faster and should even be able to keep competing flagships that are also equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 at bay. In reality, the Galaxy S23 Ultra performs better and offers better stability.

Thermal throttling is much less aggressive and more controlled. The S23 Ultra regulates temperature consistently to ensure you have a pleasant experience even during intense tasks.

You can see in the following table that the power gain provided by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is rather considerable compared to last year's Exynos 2200 chipset.

  Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
(Snapdragon 8 Gen 2)
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
(Samsung Exynos 2200)
3DMark Wild Life Too powerful 5,682
3DMark Wild Life Stress Test Best loop: 12,278
Worst loop: 7,386
Best loop: 5,741
Worst loop: 3,351
Geekbench 5 Single: 1,912
Multi: 4,981
Single: 1,155
Multi: 3,356

There is also no need to dwell on connectivity as almost nothing has changed.Of course, Wi-Fi 6E is supported again, only Bluetooth has improved from version 5.2 to 5.3 compared with the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The 128 GB storage option has been dropped, so you have the alternatives 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB, all of which were already available in the Ultra in 2022.

However, the speed has improved since UFS 4.0 memory is now the default. As for the RAM, there is 8 GB alongside the 256 GB storage, and the larger models again have 12 GB of RAM.

Cameras and picture quality

Samsung advertised the Galaxy S23 Ultra to feature a 200 MP sensor in the main camera. If we just looked hastily at the four-part camera setup, we might think that not much else has changed here either.

Instead of 108 MP, there are 200 MP, followed by the ultra-wide-angle cam with 12 MP and the two telephoto sensors with 10 MP each, just like in the S22 Ultra.

A detailed look at the Galaxy S23 Ultra's cameras
The Galaxy S23 Ultra's quad 200 MP camera module is the most versatile on the market. / © NextPit

But don't be fooled, as it seems Samsung has put a lot of work into the software and AI. According to our reviews, the S23 Ultra has better image quality during the day and at night, the photos turned out great. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is once again the most versatile camera smartphone on the market.

Find in the following galleries photos that were snapped during our review of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

You can also have a look at our gallery of images taken with the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

To make it even easier for you to compare, we have created a gallery that directly compares the quality of the photos of the Galaxy S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra.

Samsung has also improved the selfie camera, which is now equipped with a 12 MP sensor against 40 MP on the S22 Ultra. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is well on its way to being the best camera smartphone in 2023.

Software and update policy

The Galaxy S23 Ultra runs Android 13 with the corresponding One Ui 5.1 interface. If you take a look at our Android 13 update tracker, you will know that Android 13 is also running on the S22 Ultra. So, if you are looking for a really good reason to switch from the Galaxy S22 Ultra to the S23 Ultra, you will not find anything in this category.

Galaxy S23 Ultra screenshot
One UI 5.1 is completely smooth on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, especially when it comes to animations. / © NextPit

The exception is, of course, the update policy. Samsung promises—as you know by now—four major Android updates. Thus, the Galaxy S23 Ultra will logically be supported for an additional year. The same applies to the five years of support in the form of security updates. To get an idea of Samsung's very popular user interface, it is best to take a look at Camila's detailed review of One UI 5.

Beyond that, you don't have to go all out for exclusive features on the S23 Ultra that you won't see on the S22 Ultra. And yes, that includes S Pen features.

Battery life and fast charging

Samsung retained the same battery as the Galaxy S22 Ultra. This means that the Galaxy S23 Ultra has a 5,000 mAh capacity battery, and you won't find the charger in the box. The separately available charger for the Galaxy smartphone also charges with a maximum of 45 watts or 15 watts wirelessly. Reverse charging is also possible again.

Samsung does not even enter this quick-charging race, in which the Chinese competition in particular outbids each other. Maybe it is also a question of sustainability? What do you think?

While battery life was one of the major drawbacks of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung has corrected that with the S23 Ultra. The new flagship is very durable and was able to last up to 13:09 before dropping below 20% in our battery benchmark with the QHD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and 200 nits brightness.

Galaxy S23 Ultra battery life benchmark
With the screen at Full HD+ and 60 Hz, I'm confident the Galaxy S23 can achieve 15 to 16 hours of battery life. / © NextPit

For comparison, the Galaxy S22 Ultra only lasted 8:40 hours and it was quite difficult for it to last for an entire day with heavy use as shown in the following image.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra battery tests
The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a battery life that can be very disappointing. / © NextPit

Price and availability

So, we are done with that and come to the unappetizing part of our comparison: The prices! Fortunately for the US fans, Samsung kept pricing the same as for the equivalent S22 models, while the rest of the world saw increases in all models.

Price (MSRP) 128 GB 256 GB 512 GB 1TB
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra $1,199 $1,299 $1,399 $1,499
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra - $1,199 $1,299 $1,399

If you take a closer look at the table, you will probably notice that the comparison with the entry-level models is a bit lopsided. After all, the 128 GB version is no longer available, so we should fairly compare the cheapest S23 Ultra with the Galaxy S22 Ultra with 256 GB and a price of 1,349.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra has been on sale since February 17 on the official store and at all its regular retailers.

Conclusion

The Galaxy S23 Ultra with its S Pen
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is really a convincing high-end smartphone. / © NextPit

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is without a doubt THE Ultra flagship from Samsung to choose from this year. Although at first glance it looks a lot like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, its improvements make it a much more relevant choice. Even if you have a Galaxy S22 Ultra, it's still worth the upgrade, as it's a Galaxy S22 Ultra without most of its nasty little flaws.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is also the only Samsung flagship I can recommend. After reviewing it, my colleague Antoine also thinks it's the only Galaxy S23 to buy this year. So, you'd better wait for the price of the Galaxy S23 Ultra to drop rather than look for an opportunity to buy a cheaper Galaxy S22 Ultra.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra offers excellent performance, the camera module is simply amazing with its versatility and the battery life has been made worthy of a smartphone of its size and stature. It will probably be the most complete smartphone of the year.

The increase in its price in selected regions might be a hindrance, but thanks to the excellent update policy and the battery life, you can easily make your investment worthwhile by taking it to the end of its 5-year software maintenance warranty. By buying the Galaxy S23 Ultra, you'll simply have the best Android smartphone on the market.

Then again, these are questions we always ask ourselves with the new iPhones, aren't they?

Comparison: The best foldable phones

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Product
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Rating
Rating: OnePlus Open
Rating: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Rating: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Rating: Google Pixel Fold
Rating: Motorola Razr+ (2023)
Rating: Motorola Razr (2023)
Price Comparison
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Carsten Drees

Carsten Drees
Senior Editor

I started blogging in 2008 and have written for Mobilegeeks, Stadt Bremerhaven, Basic Thinking and Dr. Windows. I've been at NextPit since 2021, where I also discovered my passion for podcasts. I have been particularly interested in Android phones for many years now, and would like to get involved with the highly exciting smart home market. LEt's see, did I miss anything else? Oh yes, I love Depeche Mode and suffer with Schalke 04.

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