Well, it seems like this is the time for incremental upgrades on phones, and after Apple, it is now Samsung’s turn to unveil its new flagship phone that looks suspiciously similar to the company’s previous offering.
Still, although incremental, some of the upgrades and improvements coming to the Galaxy S23 Ultra will likely be nice to have and therefore appreciated. However, there’s a “but”, which is there because (I don’t know about you), but I’m not willing to pay $1,200 for a phone that’s likely to turn out being 80-90% similar to what we already know and love about the Galaxy S22 Ultra…
According to Samsung’s teaser, one of the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s selling points is going to be the phone’s ability to take better photos of the moon and stars – you know, because that’s what the average person wants to do. Right… average person?
Despite the fact the Galaxy S23 Ultra is shaping up as one of the most comprehensive, feature-rich and capable smartphones of 2023, that doesn’t mean it will exist in a vacuum, which is the key point I’ll be making here.
Let’s get into a bit more detail…
Galaxy S22 Ultra instead of Galaxy S23 Ultra? Long software support makes getting last-year’s Galaxy flagship phone over the new one a great idea
While I wouldn’t usually advise anyone to buy an older phone when the new model is released, this year might be slightly different, as the Galaxy S22 Ultra already ticks every box and looks basically the same as the S23 Ultra!
But more importantly, the Galaxy S22 Ultra promises a total of fouryears of Android upgrades, which means even if you pick it up now (running Android 13), you’re guaranteed to receive a total of three new Android versions (up to Android 16), as well as four years of security support! iPhone aside, that’s the longest software support you can get when buying an “old” phone. Hats off, Samsung!
Older flagship phones seem to shine brighter than ever in the beginning of 2023! I also wouldn’t advise anyone to buy an iPhone 14 over the iPhone 13, while Pixel 6 owners don’t need to upgrade to Pixel 7 – although if you don’t have a Pixel 6, then the Pixel 7 is the way to go.
If you do want to pick up the new Galaxy S23 Ultra, you can pre-order it now! Here’s a quick list of improvements the S23 Ultra is expected to bring over its predecessors (based on leaks):
- First and foremost – the S23 Ultra will ship with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip in all regions of the world now, meaning the days of Exynos injustice are over – not something to overlook if you have a Galaxy running on Exynos…
- New 200MP primary camera, and upgraded ultra-wide-angle and selfie sensor; the star of the S23 Ultra show is expected to be that 200MP sensor, which is said to preserve more detail (duh!), but also improve low-light photography and videography (looking forward to those camera comparisons!)
- 256GB storage for the cheapest variant of the S23 Ultra model (makes you wonder why the Galaxy S22 Ultra started at 128GB in the first place); bizarrely, the S23 Ultra is getting 8GB of RAM for the base variant, which isn’t a great look – cheaper phones like the Pixel 7 Pro and OnePlus 11 start at 12GB RAM, which is never a bad idea when it comes to Android
Surprisingly (or not), that’s where (at least according to the leaked information), the more meaningful upgrades with the Galaxy S23 Ultra seem to end…
Of course, the greatest reason to go with the Galaxy S23 Ultra over a Galaxy S22 Ultra is if you live in a place where you absolutely can’t get your hands on a Galaxy S22 Ultra powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. Also, if your carrier comes in with that amazing offer, I’m not going to blame you for choosing the newer phone…
For everyone else, a discounted, refurbished, or even used Galaxy S22 Ultra might be the best $650 investment you’ve made in years…
- The Galaxy S22 Ultra will have one of the very best displays even in 2023 – super-bright, colorful, and high-refresh-rate; leaks say the new Ultra should be able to reach the same brightness as the old one
- Considering you aren’t buying a Galaxy S22 Ultra with the Exynos 2200 chip, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 version of the phone will be more than powerful enough to serve you well for years to come; again, don’t forget the extended software support that gets you three new versions of Android and four years of security patches
- The Galaxy S22 Ultra might very well be the second-best camera phone of 2023 when it comes to versatility; the zoom ceiling of Samsung’s 2022 flagship is still unmatched by any other Android phone/iPhone and it generally takes excellent photos and videos in all lighting conditions
- While not being the absolute best, the Galaxy S22 Ultra still boasts great battery life and charges reasonably fast; the new Galaxy S23 Ultra isn’t expected to bring a bigger battery or faster charging
According to a recent price leak, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is expected to start at a mind-spinning €1,400 in Europe, giving European buyers an even better reason to look elsewhere. Although I’ve been critical when it comes to the Galaxy S22 Ultra before, a price tag of $650-700 gives this phone a whole different level of appeal!
Galaxy S23 Ultra isn’t the phone for those with Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S21 flagships – it’s meant for people with other phones
You can find a Galaxy S22 Ultra in good-excellent condition for about half the price of the new Galaxy S23 Ultra. Similar offers are available on Amazon UK and in many European countries, where the new Galaxy S23 Ultra will be far more expensive (€1,400).
Don’t forget – we’re talking about multi-million businesses here, which have one major goal – to sell more phones (act surprised!). Therefore, setting the pace of hardware upgrades and innovating to “just the right level” is pivotal for the success of Samsung as a company (an exception to the rule might be Sony, which seems to make phones for fun).
If your current phone works just fine, you might want to skip the Galaxy S22 Ultra, S23 Ultra; Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series are expected to shake things up (a little bit harder).
But hey, just like the iPhone 14 is an upgrade aimed at those with old old iPhones, the Galaxy S23 series seems like a the choice for people with Galaxy S20 flagships, or older.
In fact, you might be one of those people with a Galaxy S21, Galaxy S22 or another recent phone that’s not necessarily made by Samsung. In that case, assuming you haven’t just won the lottery (in which case, congratulations; let’s be friends!), I’d wholeheartedly suggest you put your hard-earned money away, for now…
Rumor and logic have it that the Galaxy S24 series of phones will bring fresh new designs, and even some hardware upgrades that could turn out to be more appealing than what the S23 phones will give you now. It’s expected that Samsung will upgrade the Galaxy S24 Ultra with a brand new zooming system, farther-reaching and more advanced than the one in the S22 and S23 Ultra…
But, but, but!Do wait for our Galaxy S23 Ultra review, which will give you a better perspective on whether Samsung’s 2023 premium flagship is worth your attention. Perhaps I’m underestimating the new 200MP camera, which will blow everyone away, while the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor will fly like… a dragon!
Once the puns get to that level – that’s when I know to wrap things up… So, that’s a wrap!