Will the new handset be worth the wait?
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is currently the most powerful flagship Samsung offers, but that’s not the case for much longer. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is set to debut this February 1, packing quite a few improvements under the hood. What’s new with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and is it worth waiting for? Let’s take a look at the current rumored changes in our quick Galaxy S22 Ultra vs S23 Ultra comparison.
Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra: At a glance
Curious about what’s new here? Keep in mind the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s specs are not official, and this quick look is based on what we expect to see. Here’s a quick summary of the expected differences between the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra:
- The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will replace the current Gen 1 processor on the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
- Exynos chips will no longer be pushed globally, though it is possible variants with the processor will still exist in some form.
- The Galaxy S23 Ultra should get a few camera improvements, including a jump from a 108MP main shooter to a 200MP camera.
- The Galaxy S23 Ultra may introduce satellite connectivity for emergency calls, as well as possibly for general texting in dead spots.
Keep reading to know more about the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs S23 Ultra and how they differ from each other.
Design and display
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra isn’t expected to be much of an aesthetic departure from its predecessor, with the same boxy design and camera setup. If rumors are accurate, the Ultra may be slightly wider but not enough that you’d even notice at 163.3 x 78.1 x 8.9mm. In comparison, the Ultra was 77.9mm wide. You’ll also see the return of a stylus and the same type of punch hole on the front display as the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra featured a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 3,088 vs 1,440 and a 120Hz refresh rate. Unless Samsung surprises us here, expect to see the same display specs for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Its possible brightness could see an increase, as that’s become a bit of a trend but we can’t say for sure.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s design will be all about subtle refinement, similar to what we saw with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3. If you liked the Note-like design of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, this probably won’t bother you much. Still, Samsung has essentially been using this same design since 2020 with the last Note.
Hardware and performance
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra was and still is a beast, running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or an Exynos 2200, depending on the region. The base ram configuration started at 8GB of RAM and went as high as 12GB of RAM. . Internal storage started at 128GB and went as high as 1TB of storage. You also got a 5,000mAh battery, 45W fast charging, and 15W wireless charging.
It’s hard to beat these specs but we know Samsung will make at least one big improvement here. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will reportedly run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor globally. The wording doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be an Exynos version as well, but it should mean that every market will at least have the option for a Qualcomm chip. This is a major change, as some parts of the world currently have little choice in the matter.
It’s not too surprising that the Galaxy S23 Ultra would run on the latest Qualcomm silicon, but there’s actually a bit more to this rumor. It seems that Qualcomm is working on two versions of the Gen 2: a standard variant, and a souped-up overclocked model. Rumors claim Samsung will be using the latter of these models in the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The overclocked model will apparently bump up the Cortex-X3 CPU from its 3.19GHz default to 3.36GHz. The Adreno 740 GPU may also get a slight speed up, going from 680Mhz to 719MHz.
Battery life should get better thanks to a more efficient SoC, but don’t expect it to get bigger. Rumors currently suggest the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra battery will be the same 5,000mAh battery found in the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is set to be a smaller upgrade from the S22 Ultra, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The rest of the specs for the Galaxy S23 Ultra are less clear. There have been a few rumblings about faster charging speeds, but nothing substantial enough to report. The same goes for RAM and storage configurations. According to an FCC filing, you can expect Bluetooth 5.3 which is a small upgrade from the Bluetooth 5.2 standard found in the Galaxy S22 Ultra. This is an incremental upgrade, so the focusfocus here is just on stability and security.
One notable hardware trick that the Galaxy S23 Ultra might offer is satellite connectivity. We’ve seen several phone makers hype up the ability to use satellite for emergencies, with some companies set to offer special plans for non-emergency use when you find yourself in a dead spot and still want to be able to send a text. It appears that Samsung’s satellite solution might be a bit more ambitious than just emergencies, as it will also support low-quality images. We can’t say a lot about how Samsung’s solution might be similar or different to Apple and Huawei’s latest flagships but it’s clear satellite technology is going to be one of the hottest trends in mobile this year.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is shaping up to be an iterative update versus the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but of course, there could still be some surprises ahead we aren’t aware of.
Camera hardware and features
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra had a pretty powerful camera onboard, even if it was a carry-over from the Galaxy S21 Ultra. You had a 108MP main camera (pixel-binned down to 12MP), a 12MP ultrawide lens, a 10MP 3x optical telephoto lens, and a 10MP 10x optical telephoto lens. Selfie fans were also graced with a pretty solid 40MP selfie camera up front as well. It looks like the Galaxy S23 Ultra won’t be dramatically switching things up, but it will be making a few notable upgrades.
The biggest change here is the main shooter, which will reportedly jump to a 200MP camera. Don’t expect to actually take 200MP shots, as the camera will undoubtedly use Pixel Binning technology for a better shot while also sacrificing the megapixel count. This works well for other phones like the S22 Ultra, so we imagine you won’t actually notice or care here either. Other than the 200MP main camera, rumors point to a 10MP 10x periscope camera, a 10MP 3x telephoto camera, and a 12MP ultrawide lens. Nighttime performance could also see improvements, as the camera may use an ISOCELL HP2 sensor which will reportedly improve night performance for both photos and video.
Samsung tends to go bigger and better, not smaller and lesser. Strangely the Galaxy S23 Ultra selfie cam might be the one exception. There is at least one rumor suggesting that all Galaxy S23 models will have a 12MP front camera. This is actually a step up for the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus, but would be a significant on-paper decline from the 40MP camera on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Just keep in mind there’s more to a good camera than just megapixels, so I wouldn’t necessarily say this will be a downgrade. We’ll have to wait and find out.
We don’t know much about what other AI or software tricks the Galaxy S23 Ultra might introduce. According to tipster Ricciolo, we might see at least one new mode: Ultra Stabilization. There’s no solid details on what this will bring, but the new optical image stabilization could be designed to take on Apple’s Action Mode.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra: is the s23 worth the wait?
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra might not be a massive leap on paper, but we’d still wait until February 1 to pick up a new phone unless you really need one now, as Samsung’s latest is less than a month away now. Even if the Galaxy S23 Ultra doesn’t impress you, waiting might be a good idea as you’ll likely see the S22 Ultra receive even deeper discounts once the Galaxy S23 Ultra starts shipping. You’ll also be able to pick up even cheaper in the second-hand market via places like Swappa or eBay.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Ultra-premium build quality • Gorgeous screen • Solid performance
The Note and S series merged in one device
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra pushes productivity, power, and photography to the utmost to satisfy the most demanding users out there. The phone combines outstanding performance, a stunning design, and the S Pen previously found on Galaxy Note handsets.
If all you care about is the latest and greatest, absolutely the Galaxy S23 Ultra is what you’re looking for. It has everything we loved about its predecessor while making a few iterative updates that help it keep up with the times. You can reserve a Galaxy S23 Ultra right now through Samsung and you’ll receive a $50 Samsung Credit for one device, or $100 credit for two. Keep in mind this is a non-commitment offer, meaning you can always cancel your reservation at launch.
If you’re on a budget, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra certainly looks to be the better deal. You get a similar design, and similar specs, but you’ll likely end up saving hundreds. Right now you can already find the Galaxy S22 Ultra for as little as $1,000, which is a $200 savings from its retail price. We have every reason to believe the Galaxy S23 Ultra will start at the same $1,200 price but once this happens its possible we could see the S22 Ultra fall even below the $1,000 mark until it runs out of existing stock.
Just remember, we also still don’t know everything about the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. There could still be big secrets waiting that would be enough to sway you one way or another.