Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Review: High Quality Camera For A High Price
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Review: High Quality Camera For A High Price
11:21

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Review: High Quality Camera For A High Price

Phones
Speaker 1: This is the Galaxy S 23 Ultra, the most expensive new phone in Samsung's Galaxy S 23 lineup. It launches on February 17th and starts at $1,200. I've been using this phone for a few days and the biggest thing I can say about it so far is that it's a lot in just about every single way from the new 200 megapixel camera to the giant screen, and of course that high price. But that's not necessarily a bad [00:00:30] thing because this phone is supposed to be a lot. That's why it's called the Ultra. It's for people who want something that's a bit more than what the average smartphone can provide. Speaker 1: I've been using this for a few days and there's a few things that jumped out to me so far that I've liked and disliked. First of all, I've been really impressed with the new camera. It's not a huge leap over the S 22 Ultra, but you can definitely tell the difference when you're looking at photos side by side. I also noticed [00:01:00] that the performance is a bit faster than the S 22 Ultra now that it has that new Qualcomm Snapdragon eight Gen two processor. And then the battery life also seems promising so far. And also, don't forget, you get four generations of Android OS updates, but this phone, so it shouldn't feel out of date anytime soon. Now on the flip side, I was really hoping to see faster charging from this device. You still only get 45 watt charging, so uh, and again, you also need the right compatible adapter [00:01:30] for that. So I was really hoping to see Samsung make some improvements there because we've seen a lot of its competitors kind of surpass the 45 watt mark at this point. And in addition to that, that $1,200 price point is still pretty high. And again, even though the new camera is really great and we've seen some improvements, I still feel like the iPhone 14 pro beats it in a few scenarios, which we'll dive into in a bit. First of all, let's jump right into that new camera because that's probably what you're most curious about. Speaker 1: [00:02:00] If you watched Samsung's unpacked presentation, you know that the company is making a really big deal about the video capabilities on this phone. So not only did it increase the frame rate when you're recording an eight K to 30 frames per second instead of just 24, but it's also made a lot of changes behind the scenes to things like dynamic range and color and low light processing. So I thought, what better way to test out the new video capabilities than to record my review on [00:02:30] this phone? So right now we are shooting this part of the review of my standup on the Galaxy S 23 Ultra. We're not recording it at eight k, we're recording it at 4K at 30 frames per second. But let us know how it looks in the comments aside from video recording. The other big thing we're seeing on the S 23 Ultra is the new 200 megapixel camera. Speaker 1: That's the biggest difference from last year, at least on paper. The S 22 Ultra had a 108 megapixel main camera. And [00:03:00] I have to say, photos taken with a 200 megapixel resolution did look really sharp and colorful and there's plenty of detail, but the biggest thing that stood out to me about this camera isn't necessarily the higher resolution, but all of the other improvements that Samsung has also made. I mentioned things like color tone, skin tones, dynamic range, those improvements also carry over to still photography as well. And those are the things that really mattered to me the most as I was taking photos [00:03:30] with this phone with the 200 megapixel resolution, while it's a great thing to have, you can really only notice it when you're looking at photos on a very large screen, blowing them up, maybe printing them out. Those are the kinds of scenarios that you really wanna use that 200 megapixel camera for. Speaker 1: So taking a look at some of the photo samples, you can really tell that there's a bit more dynamic range. If you look at the shadows, you can see they're a little bit more defined on the Galaxy S 23 [00:04:00] Ultra versus the Galaxy S 22 Ultra. And this photo of a bunch of sweets in a bakery displayed window is also one of my favorite photos that shows how the camera is different. Yes, the lighting looks a little bit yellowy, but just look at the strawberries in that top row. They're much more sharp and crisp and colorful and just, they just look more appetizing. And I think it's a better overall photo. Now compared to the iPhone 14 Pro and the Pixel seven Pro Samsung's colors do look a bit exaggerated. [00:04:30] This is something that Samsung has kind of been known for and they have improved their color accuracy a lot over the years. Speaker 1: But I do think that if you're taking photos with the iPhone or the Pixel, you're gonna get a bit more of that natural look. And whether that's a good thing or a bad thing really depends on your preferences. So here's another example. Here's a photo that I took of my husband in that very same bakery where we saw the strawberries earlier and he liked the S 23 Ultras photo better than the S 22 Ultras because [00:05:00] the skin tone's a bit better. You could see more, uh, of the color of his beard and his eyes. All of those things are a bit more prominent. But overall, he did like the iPhone 14 prose photo better just because it is a bit more accurate. But there's one area where Samsung really excels in the camera, in my opinion, and that's low light photography. Samsung does a really great job here of capturing detail and brightness. Speaker 1: And this photo of my cat Buddy, which I somehow [00:05:30] managed to get him to stay still for, is a really good example of that. So looking at this photo, you can see there's a good amount of detail in his fur. And overall, you know, there was pretty much no light at all in this room. I had all of my lights turned off, I had the shades drawn. So this was a very, very dark scenario and it did a great job. Now looking at the iPhone 14 pros photo by comparison, you could certainly argue that this is a better picture. It's definitely brighter. But when I looked both of these photos side by side on a big monitor, [00:06:00] I did notice a bit more detail in Samsung's photo. And overall, the photo that the S 23 Ultra took is still better than the S 22 Ultras. Speaker 1: That photo was a little too soft, and the Pixel Seven Pros photo also looked a bit blue compared to the S 23 ultras. And that's just one example. I took a few other photos in low light and the S 23 Ultra did pretty well in all of them, and that especially goes for selfies. By the way, I took this photo in a really dark theater with red lighting that [00:06:30] really wasn't flattering. And the S 23 Ultra managed to do a pretty good job at capturing details in my face. It did a much better job than the Pixel seven Pro, the iPhone 14 Pro and the Galaxy S 22 Ultra in this regard. And that's important because Samsung has really been making a big deal about the new selfie camera. On these phones, there's a 12 megapixel resolution, which is lower than the 40 megapixel resolution on the S 22 Ultra. Speaker 1: But Samsung says it's made some behind the [00:07:00] scenes improvements that should make it better at capturing more detail. It specifically mentions object segmentation, which basically means that this camera should be better at separating me from the background and even separating really fine details like strands of hair and facial features. Overall, this phone does take good selfies, but I didn't really think it was that much better than the S 22 Ultra, to be honest. I also thought the iPhone 14 PRO did a better job of blending the right [00:07:30] amount of detail and color and accuracy. The Galaxy S 23 Ultra did a good job, but it also made some features look a bit exaggerated. Again, especially colorful things like my hair, for example, looked a bit brighter and more red than it usually is. While the iPhone 14 pro really captured that shade of magenta that my hair usually looks like in real life. And I think it just did a better job of capturing that overall. Speaker 1: The Galaxy S 23 Ultra [00:08:00] also has the same zooming capabilities as the S 22 Ultra. That means you can zoom at up to 100 times if you're zooming digitally or up to 10 times if you're zooming optically. The 100 times magnification is a bit much. But I do think the 10 times magnification is really useful, especially if you take a lot of photos at concerts, events, sporting events and things like that. And speaking of the camera, another improvement Samsung made this year has to do with stabilization. This should be better at taking videos [00:08:30] that are more stable and steady compared to the S 22 Ultra. So just as a reminder, we are shooting this review right now on the S 23 ultra. And not only are we using the S 23 Ultra, but we're also shooting this handheld. So let us know how steady this footage looks in the comments. Speaker 1: But now I wanna talk about performance because Samsung did something a little bit different this year. So this phone runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon eight Gen two processor, but Samsung optimized it for the Galaxy S 23 lineup specifically. So this means that it, it's [00:09:00] a different chip than what you'll get in the one plus 11 and it should offer a bit more performance and a bit more battery life as well. And so far, the results that I'm seeing are pretty promising in benchmark tests. The Galaxy S 23 Ultra does outperform the Galaxy S 22 Ultra and the Pixel seven Pro. And it also exports 4K video a bit faster than those phones as well, which might be useful if you're using this phone for a lot of video projects. But that said, the iPhone 14 pro still performed a bit faster [00:09:30] when I was exporting video. Speaker 1: And it did also beat the S 23 Ultra and one Benchmark test, which you can check out in our full review. And otherwise, in day-to-day use, this felt pretty snappy and smooth. I used this phone a lot for playing games and browsing social media and doing day-to-day things, but I also plugged it into my monitor to use it as a mobile workstation. And it actually held up just fine. There was no lag, no stuttering, no overheating, none of that stuff. So this seems like a, a pretty powerful phone based on what we're seeing so far. Speaker 1: [00:10:00] So overall, I've been pretty impressed with the Galaxy S 23 Ultra. It really seems like Samsung achieved what it set out to do with this phone, which was to really make a premium phone for people who wanna shoot video and maybe use their phone in some professional circumstances. Like if you're a photographer, a video editor. Again, we shot this entire uh, review except for the shots of the phone of course, because we couldn't do that with the phone itself. But we shot most of this review on the S 23 [00:10:30] ultras. So you know, this phone really is meant for people who want more than the average phone if, if you just want a reliable Android phone for taking good photos that has a reasonably sized screen, you probably don't need to splurge on the S 23 Ultra. You can go for something like the Pixel seven Pro, which is a bit cheaper at $900 and still has really good camera performance. And then don't forget, there's also the S 23 and S 23 plus. We have not tested those phones yet, but I'm really curious [00:11:00] to see if some of these improvements we saw in the S 23 Ultra, aside from the 200 megapixel sensor, really carry over to those phones as well. There you have it. This has been our review of the S 23 Ultra Shot on the S 23 Ultra. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you next time.

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