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« One sees clearly only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eyes “. This moving and beautiful replica of the fox in the little Princeby Antoine de Saint-Exupéry perfectly resonates with the general feeling that the newly formalized Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra can leave when held in the hand. Yes, in this smartphone, the most important things are hidden from view, and therefore we need to take a closer look to spot them.

For all practical purposes, let’s specify that it is not an emotional sequence that awaits you, for that, reread the little Prince. So she puts away the violins and the handkerchiefs. Before we can see the Galaxy S23 Ultra with the heart, we will first have to look at the heart of the first contender for the title of best smartphone of 2023. You will quickly understand it. 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 is a fact assumed by the brand, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is not intended to seduce people who have fallen in love with an S22 Ultra, or even an S21 Ultra. The first targets of this device are those who have been using the same smartphone for a few years and who now want to change it to enjoy the crème de la crème. In this, the new phone does not pretend to be radically different from its predecessor. It even occupies almost all of its aesthetics.

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

All ? Not ! A tiny detail adds its grain of sand to give a touch of originality to this Galaxy S23 Ultra. In fact, the screen is less curved on the sides. Not a flat slab though, high-end beauty canons have a hard tooth. It probably won’t change your viewing experience. On the other hand, there is a direct consequence on the grip of the device. The edges of the smartphone are much flatter. Not as much as on an iPhone 14, but still, it feels.

For the moment, I admit that I am still quite unable to say whether or not I prefer this new sensation in contact with my palm. However, I can already say that I did not find it unpleasant and the evolution is still subtle enough not to be prohibitive. Note also that this reinforces the deliberately raw and industrial look of the S23 Ultra which is in contrast to the cuter side of the S23 and S23+. We also have angles that are still as square as ever, looking almost even steeper with the slight tweak this year.

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

The cameras on the rear keep the same layout as on the 2022 predecessor and all the cameras seem to have been integrated independently of each other. Samsung explains that it received a lot of positive feedback last year regarding this design and therefore wanted to reiterate this good formula. We’ll only notice 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.

For the rest, it is not surprising: it is a great smartphone determined to be the heir to the latest Note range. Have dimensions of 78.1 x 163.4 x 8.9 mm and a weight of 234 grams. He doesn’t play in the featherweight category, keep that in mind before any purchase. The screen is still magnificent, could it be otherwise with the AMOLED with Samsung sauce? It features a large 6.8-inch diagonal, an adaptive refresh rate ranging from 1Hz to 120Hz, and a promised 1750nits peak brightness so you never have to squint in the sun. Note also that by default the definition is set to Full HD+ to save battery life, but QHD+ remains at your disposal if you want to turn it on.

Source: Frandroid

The S Pen is there and is always stored in the bottom right edge. Note that the S23 Ultra’s stylus changes shape slightly, so don’t try to insert the S22 Ultra. It wouldn’t happen. Finally, this is a solid smartphone with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and back, while the frame is made of reinforced aluminum. Regarding the repairability index, it shows the fine score of 8.2/10.

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

Frustration grew year after year in the European ranks of Galaxy S users: why the hell did Samsung insist on integrating Exynos chips into its models sold in the Old Continent when the rest of the world was entitled to more power? To put out the embers, the brand paradoxically invoked a dragon. To a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

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

It’s the latest all-powerful SoC from Qualcomm and it’s clearly here to rock. Cela will be translated by plus of power brute — nous avons déjà pu testar un smartphone equipé d’un Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 — et cela fera notamment du bien aux performances sur les jeux 3D qui avaient vraiment mis à mal le S22 Ultra et son Exynos 2200 . It is not all. We have good reason to expect improvements in terms of heat 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 worked closely with it to design an optimized Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for the S23. The brand suggests this should have an impact on photo processing, but we bet it will also result in a fluidity found in everyday experience.

In short, obviously we are looking forward to it, but here we are before an improvement that is currently invisible to the eye while we have not yet been able to start the tests to see with our hearts. still a little patience little Prince.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra200 megapixels: waiting for the final version

UItra practical wide angle. Clean optical zoom x3. Delicious 10x optical zoom. All this, we will necessarily have the right to do so with this Galaxy S23 Ultra. This generation, however, comes to spray this well-known, but highly appreciated formula, with a 200-megapixel main photographic sensor designed in-house.

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 a 108 Mpx mode? Difficult to perceive with the naked eye and therefore more in-depth tests will be necessary again. So dear little PrinceYou will also have to settle, at first, with non-exhaustive feedback.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra // Source: Frandroid

So keep in mind that the 200 Mpx mode gets its little effect: when you take a photo with it and then zoom in on the shot, you get to pick up small details with great precision. This should be useful when you want to crop the image to keep only part of it. This should be more practical than the 100x digital magnification that the S23 Ultra can achieve and which should still be a gimmick.

Be warned though, I did notice significant latency time (several seconds) every time a photo was taken at 200 megapixels. Samsung spokespersons wanted to be reassuring, explaining that we still did not have the firmware version intended for sale in our hands. Users should be entitled to a shorter processing time, but this seems unlikely to go away entirely.

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

To avoid this inconvenience -and the very heavy weight of 200 Mpx shots-, you can also opt for the intermediate mode at 50 megapixels. The main camera also benefits from optical stabilization that is twice as effective: 3 degrees of stabilization compared to 1.5 on the previous generation. Useful for videos.

Beyond that, we’re looking forward to testing the improved autofocus on every photo sensor, including the front. Also, for selfies, we went 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 high definition does not rhyme with better photographic quality.

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

The “false problem” of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

We can switch quite quickly to the 5000 mAh battery and charging supported up to 45 W. The One UI 5.1 interface under Android 13 is also not surprising. However, it is pleased with its promise of four major updates and five years of security patches Sereno .

5G is there, as is Wi-Fi 6E. And with all this information, we turned the tables on the owner a bit. The biggest turmoil, namely the switch to Snapdragon, is taking place under the hood of the beast. In addition, the changes made compared to the previous model are very subtle… some would say insufficient. However, it is a “fake problema caller at Samsung answers.

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

He argues that comparisons between models from one generation to another is an exercise easily amenable to technology enthusiasts, but not to the general public who switch smartphones on average every three years. In this context, the gain in quality is more palpable. If we’re obviously aware of his marketing rhetoric, we take advantage of this speech to underscore the obvious: switching smartphones every year is clearly not behavior to be encouraged.

Therefore, we will recommend this excellent looking Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to people who have a phone that coughs a bit after the weight of years. You can then tame him like the fox of thelittle Prince. If you have a recent device, it’s much less relevant. Especially since the price is far from being accessible to all budgets.

Samsung Galaxy S23 UltraPrice and release date of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra launches on February 17, 2023. There are three configurations for three prices:

  • 1,419 euros for the model with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage;
  • 1,599 euros for the 12/512 GB version;
  • 1839 euros for the one with 12 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage.

where to buy the

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra at the best price?

From February 1 to 16, the pre-order offer allows you to take advantage of a bonus of 150 euros when you recover your old phone (in addition to its residual value) and double the storage of your smartphone at no additional cost. Example: for the reservation of a 256 GB S23 Ultra, you will receive the 512 GB one.

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