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Daily Authority: 📱 Galaxy S23 Ultra reviewed

Nintendo's raunchy Game Boy Advance SP marketing also features today.
By
February 15, 2023
samsung galaxy s23 ultra home screen and s pen
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

🌅 Good morning! I’m flying off to Spain next week for MWC 2023, so it’ll be great to meet up with colleagues I haven’t seen since before Covid (or those I haven’t met at all). Anyway, the highlights in today’s newsletter include our S23 Ultra review, Nintendo’s edgy marketing, and more.

Our Galaxy S23 Ultra review is live

samsung galaxy s23 ultra cameras
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

We recently published our Galaxy S23 Ultra review, written by AA colleague Ryan Haines. And he reckons that the new phone “continues to set the gold standard for a do-it-all flagship, no matter the price.”

A more refined proposition

  • It looks like the Galaxy S23 Ultra is more of an evolution over the S22 Ultra on paper.
  • This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as Samsung can fix where it went wrong.
  • And Samsung has indeed made plenty of improvements, according to Ryan.
  • Starting with the design, he praised the flatter edges and dialed-back waterfall curves.
  • The phone impressed with battery life too, “just about” getting two days of use and six to eight hours of screen time.
  • The phone has the same 45W charging speed but takes less than an hour to charge. We’ve got an S23 Ultra charging analysis if you’d like to know more.
  • Ryan also said he noticed no lag or slowdown, and seldom noticed heating outside of long gaming sessions.
  • This isn’t a surprise as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy brings a speed boost and TSMC manufacturing.
  • The 200MP is the big new upgrade, and our reviewer thought it delivered excellent results.
  • Samsung also refined the zoom cameras, with Ryan praising these images too.

Where the Ultra needs to improve

  • The S23 Ultra isn’t without its flaws, though.
  • Ryan noted that the phone will be too large for some, much like previous Ultras.
  • He also lamented the fact that you only got 8GB of RAM in the base model when rivals offer at least 12GB.
  • Finally, he criticized the price, particularly for more storage.
  • The phone still costs $1,199 in the US, but the rest of the world sees a major price hike.

Should you buy the S23 Ultra?

  • That really comes down to your budget and requirements, right?
  • It’s worth considering if you want a phone with everything but the kitchen sink and don’t mind a hefty price.
  • This proposition is tougher outside the US though, thanks to the aforementioned price hike.
  • Then again, how many phones, regardless of market, have a 200MP camera and a 10x camera?
  • Ryan also lists a few alternatives like the Pixel 7 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro series.
  • Users outside the US might also want to wait for phones like the Xiaomi 13 Pro and Oppo Find X6 Pro.
  • Don’t want to spend $1,200 or more? Then that’s what the S23/S23 Plus is for, along with the Pixel 7 and OnePlus 11.
  • Either way, my rule of thumb for upgrades is if you’ve got the previous generation phone, you can skip the next-gen model.
  • But it definitely looks like the S23 Ultra is the phone the S22 Ultra should’ve been.

Roundup

🔧 Google has fixed a major Google Photos bug on the iOS app: The app was crashing after the latest iOS update (Android Authority).

📞 Privacy Sandbox beta is rolling out to select phones now: Here’s what to expect (Android Authority).

💪 Geekbench 6 is here: What you need to know about the next-gen benchmark app (Android Authority).

💰 The Galaxy S23 series is off to an encouraging start: Record-breaking pre-sales figures in Korea, while initial Indian pre-orders are better than last year (Android Authority).

🎮 Does Xbox Game Pass really cannibalize a publisher’s sales?: Microsoft has made conflicting claims on the matter (Polygon).

Wednesday Weirdness

Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP magazine ad
Eurogamer/Nintendo

Nintendo is well-known for its historical family-friendly nature, but Eurogamer has taken a trip back in time to mark 20 years of the Game Boy Advance SP. And the revised handheld saw some rather “edgy” advertising upon release.

“The second best thing to do in the dark,” reads a magazine ad for the Nintendo handheld at the time (seen above), complete with a couple in bed. Of course, this was the first Game Boy to sport a built-in backlight, so you could actually play in the dark.

The ad also notes that the Game Boy Advance SP was “for men.” Nintendo even produced a Tribal edition GBA SP at the time with tribal tattoo-like patterns. It’s almost like they were courting everyone’s sketchy older cousin who bragged about starting fights in bars.

Have a great day!
Hadlee Simons, Editor