Samsung fans who want a premium phone should consider the Galaxy S23 as it’s a hot handset. But if you already own the 2022 release, is the S23 Ultra worth the upgrade? This Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra head-to-head highlights the differences between the two lookalikes and might help you pick the best Samsung Galaxy phone.
Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Galaxy S22 Ultra||Galaxy S23 Ultra|
|Display||Dynamic AMOLED 2X||Dynamic AMOLED 2X|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2|
|RAM||8GB, 12GB||8GB, 12GB|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB||256GB, 512GB, 1TB|
|Primary camera setup||108MP, 12MP, 10MP, 10MP||200MP, 12MP, 10MP, 10MP|
|Operating system||Android 12||Android 13|
|Overall dimensions||3.07” x 6.43” x 0.35”||3.00” x 6.43” x 0.35”|
|Weight||8 ounces||8.25 ounces|
|Starting price||$1,199.99 (new)||$1,199.99|
Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: What’s the Difference?
At a glance, the new Galaxy S23 Ultra and the S22 Ultra look alike. Design differences are subtle, and only hardcore fans can tell which is which straight off the bat. However, even if not visible to the naked eye, the S23 Ultra brings critical upgrades. You can expect a more powerful CPU customized for Samsung phones and an improved camera setup. There are also some differences in RAM and storage options. Despite the improvements, there is no real price difference between the models. This makes the S23 Ultra your best choice if you want a new smartphone.
However, the Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with excellent features. The CPU might not be as powerful, but you can pick from various storage options. The camera setup is also exceptional in its own right. If you already have this handset, an upgrade might not be worth it.
Comparing the Samsung S23 Ultra to the S22 Ultra is a bit like comparing their predecessors, S8 and S9. Design differences are subtle and can go unnoticed. S23 looks similar to the S22 Ultra, but there are some differences you should know.
For one, the new S23 Ultra features a larger camera array on the back, courtesy of the 200MP camera found in this setup. However, the array has the same layout in both phones, and the differences in size are negligible.
Another difference is the edge design. The S22 Ultra features curved, almost round edges. This profile makes it easier to access the edge panel, should you want to use it. You can enable the edge panel on the S23 Ultra, too. However, the squarer edges make using it a bit more challenging – especially when the protective cover is on. That said, the less severe curve is an improvement.
Screen-wise, both Galaxy handsets feature 6.8-inch screens, even though the S23 Ultra is a tad narrower. Despite this, the S23 Ultra is the heavier phone by 0.25 an ounce. S23 Ultra uses Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the display and rear, an upgrade to its predecessor. This scratch-resistant glass provides better protection against drops. Using recycled materials in the S23 Ultra is a nice touch that appeals to environmentally conscious folks.
- 200MP Camera with Night Mode
- Ultrafast mobile processor
- Capture smooth videos
- 256 GB Storage, built-in S Pen
- Unlocked for all carriers
While the S23 Ultra and S22 Ultra feature almost identical designs, you can tell which is which by looking at the color. Samsung offers its S23 Ultra in four standard hues: Phantom Black, Lavender, Cream, and Green. Aside from these options, a range of exclusive colors includes Lime, Red, Graphite, and Sky Blue. However, you can only get these colors by ordering the phone directly from the Samsung website.
S22 Ultra also comes in Phantom Black, the only standard hue that matches the S23. Green is present too, but where the S23 is a more olive, military green, Samsung’s 2022 release is a more botanical green. Other standard colors for the S22 include Phantom White, which is whiter than the off-white found in the S23, and Burgundy.
Initially, Samsung also offered exclusive colors for the S22 Ultra, which matched those of the S23 for the most part. You could get the S22 Ultra in Red, Graphite, and Light Blue. However, these colors appear gone as the brand prepares to discontinue last year’s lineup.
CPU and Performance
Another difference between the Galaxy S23 Ultra and S22 Ultra is their chipset. Both phones have Qualcomm processors, but the S23 Ultra features a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform optimized for Galaxy. The S22 has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 that provides a good but not exceptional speed clock.
S23 Ultra is faster, as it processes heavy demands with little to no latency while boasting an improved battery life. Beyond the CPU, the S23 Ultra features Samsung’s One UI 5.1, the brand’s newest software based on Android 13. This upgrade is not a drastic change compared to the S22 Ultra’s One UI 5, but it does come with an improved setup process, new DeX functionalities, camera app refinements, and updated widgets.
The S22 Ultra is based on Android 12 and One UI 5, but Samsung offers upgrades to the newest Android and One UI versions. However, these come at a cost, which is diminished battery life. To put things into perspective, you can expect about two full days of runtime per charge from the S23 Ultra under regular use. Under the same conditions, you’ll have to charge your S22 Ultra daily.
Talking about batteries, both handsets feature 5,000mAh batteries and 45W fast charging with the correct adapter. Neither phone has a charger, but you’ll get the USB-C cable in the box.
Memory and Internal Storage
Memory and storage space is essential when buying a new phone, especially since the latest Samsung flagships no longer offer external storage. Both smartphones feature either 8GB or 12GB of RAM, depending on the model. As for internal space, the S22 Ultra comes with more choices.
Options range from 8GB/128GB of internal memory to 12GB/1TB of internal memory – albeit the latter is now hard to come by. The S23 Ultra is only offered in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB options. The 1TB variant, originally exclusive to Samsung Store, is now available at selected vendors.
When choosing the right storage space, remember that a chunk is already occupied by the system files, regardless of the phone you’re picking. In the S23 Ultra, that chunk is almost 37.90GB. In the S22 Ultra, system files take up about 27.16 GB.
Camera Setup and Image Quality
The camera setup also sets these two Samsung phones apart. S23 Ultra has a 200MP main camera that promises to capture incredible details. You can crop the images during post-processing without worrying about losing quality at this size. But the bigger camera is not the only improvement.
Another highlight is that S22 Ultra lacks the adaptive pixel sensor that can merge up to 16 pixels into a larger pixel. This results in brighter and detail-rich photos, especially in lower light conditions. The night photography mode is also improved, and Astrophotography comes as standard.
The selfie camera is slightly downgraded, which goes from 40MP in the S22 Ultra to only 12MP in the S23 Ultra. However, better AI and compelling portrait modes deliver better portraits overall. The same happens in the S23 Ultra vs. S21 Ultra, considering the S21 features the same camera setup as the S22. Video quality is also superior, with a max of 8K/30fps. The S22’s max video quality is limited to 8K/24fps.
- Shoot stunning 8K videos effortlessly
- Capture images at 108MP resolution
- Ultra adaptive screen optimizes color, brightness
- Fast-charging, long-lasting battery
- Factory unlocked device
- 512GB, 8K camera & video
- Phantom Black
The Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy S22 Ultra are similar in many ways, and the user experience isn’t dramatically improved on the latter. However, the S23 Ultra is faster and has improved functions than its predecessor. Considering the loss of battery life after upgrading the S22 Ultra to Android 13 and One UI 5.1, the new handset provides a more fluid user experience.
Samsung released its S22 Ultra in February 2022, and the S23 Ultra followed a year later, in February 2023. Shockingly, though, the two are similarly priced. Currently, the S23 Ultra, unlocked, starts at $1,199.99 for the 256GB variant. You can expect to pay the same for the S22 Ultra 128GB, albeit the 256GB and 512GB are slightly cheaper, with prices ranging from $949.99 to $999.99.
Differences become steeper if you go for the larger versions of the S23 Ultra. The 512GB costs around $1,379.99, while the 1TB can set you back $1,619.99. You can find good deals from carriers if you don’t mind your phone being locked.
Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: 5 Must-Known Facts
- The Galaxy S23 Ultra is Samsung’s new flagship, released in February 2023.
- Samsung S22 Ultra came out in February 2022 and is nearly identical to the S23 Ultra visually.
- The 200MP main camera is the biggest improvement on the S23 Ultra compared to the S22 Ultra.
- Anotessentialtant upgrade between the two phones is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset customized for Galaxy on the S23. This CPU improves speed and increases the battery life.
- The Galaxy S23 Ultra is an Android 13 native, but the S22 Ultra can be upgraded to the same OS.
Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Which One Should You Buy?
The Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy S22 Ultra are similar in many ways. If you already have the latter, upgrading is not worth it. However, if you have an older handset or want to buy your first Samsung phone, the S23 Ultra is the better choice.
Differences in hardware and camera setup will make the S23 a superior phone to its predecessor. The S23 Ultra will also receive more system and security upgrades than the S22 Ultra, which is already one year old. Considering the negligible price difference between the two, the newest flagship is your best option.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Gabo_Arts/Shutterstock.com.