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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs S23 Ultra: Which should you get?

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is quite similar to its predecessor, but there are a few notable changes.
By

Published onMarch 9, 2024

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
MSRP: $1,199.00
Check price
Positives
Powerful, flexible camera setup
Great battery life with solid charging
Convenient S Pen
Excellent software update promise
Premium materials and display
Great performance
Negatives
Will be too large for some
Limited base RAM for the price
Expensive, especially for extra storage
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
MSRP: $1,199.99
Check price
Positives
Latest S Pen functionality
Stunning screen
Versatile cameras
Negatives
Only average battery life
Speakers could be louder
RAM reduced

Getting a previous-generation device is always a good idea if you want a high-end device and prefer to save some cash. Two of the most popular options you can look into are the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, both of which are still excellent devices, even in 2024. Of course, newer isn’t always better. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is very similar to its predecessor, especially regarding aesthetics. In this article, we look closer at the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra to find out what’s new, what’s the same, and whether the S23 Ultra is worth your hard-earned cash.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra: At a glance

Curious about what's different? Here's a quick summary of the expected differences between the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra:

  • The Galaxy S23 Ultra features a more powerful processor than the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
  • The Galaxy S23 Ultra gets an improved primary camera, allowing for even better picture quality than the S22 Ultra.
  • The Galaxy S23 Ultra was the first phone to use the newer Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which provides better drop protection.
  • The Galaxy S22 Ultra had variants with an Exynos chip, but the Galaxy S23 Ultra uses Snapdragon globally.
  • The Galaxy S22 Ultra had a 40MP selfie camera, but the S23 Ultra swapped it for a 12MP selfie camera found in the rest of the S23 family.

Keep reading to know more about the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs S23 Ultra and how they differ from each other.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra: Specs

Samsung Galaxy S23 UltraSamsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Display
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
6.8-inch Edge Dynamic AMOLED
QHD+ resolution (3,088 x 1,440)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (1Hz to 120Hz)
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
6.8-inch Edge Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
QHD+ resolution
120Hz refresh rate
Materials
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Armor Aluminum, Gorilla Glass Victus 2
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Armor Aluminum, Gorilla Glass Victus Plus
Processor
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
US: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Global: Exynos 2200
RAM
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
8GB/12GB
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
8GB/12GB
Storage
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
128GB
256GB
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
128GB
256GB
512GB
1TB
Battery and power
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
5,000mAh
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
5,000mAh
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging
Cameras
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Rear
12MP ultra-wide, 1.4µm, 120-degree field of view, 13mm, f/2.2
200MP Wide, f/1.7
10MP Telephoto, 10x Optical Zoom and
100x Space Zoom
10MP Telephoto, 3x Optical Zoom

Front
12MP selfie cam
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Rear
12MP ultra-wide, 1.4µm, 120-degree field of view, 13mm, f/2.2
108MP Wide, 0.8µm, 85-degree field of view, 23mm, f/2.2
10MP Telephoto, 10x Optical Zoom and
100x Space Zoom
10MP Telephoto, 3x Optical Zoom

Front
40MP selfie cam

Security
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor
Water-resistance
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
IP68
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
IP68
Connectivity
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC
USB-C
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC
USB-C
Software
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Android 13
One UI 5.1
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Android 12
One UI 4.1
Eligible for Android 13, 14, and 15
Dimensions and weight
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm
229g
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm
229g
Colors
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Phantom Black
Cream
Lavender
Green
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Phantom Black
Phantom White
Green
Burgundy

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra was and still is a beast, running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or an Exynos 2200, depending on the region. The base RAM configuration starts at 8GB of RAM and goes as high as 12GB of RAM. Internal storage starts at 128GB and goes as high as 1TB. You also have a 5,000mAh battery, 45W fast wired, and 15W wireless charging.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra has similar core specs, but there are a few notable changes. We’ve seen Exynos chips in select regions in the past, but that’s no longer the case. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra runs globally on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. As part of this new exclusive agreement, Samsung and Qualcomm gave us a slightly overclocked version of its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor exclusive to Samsung phones.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a beast, and so is the S23 Ultra.

The idea of an overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 sounds exciting, but the companies just overclocked the Cortex-X3 CPU from its 3.19GHz default to 3.36GHz and increased the GPU clock speed to 719MHz from 680MHz. This is enough to give Samsung a marketing point, but does it make a difference in real-world use? We tested the chipset during the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review, and found that the Galaxy S23 Ultra beats the competition of its time (OnePlus 11 and REDMAGIC 8 Pro) in peak speeds. These speeds drop quickly as the phone starts heating up. Regardless, the overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 version offers a more stable experience than the one in the OnePlus 11, which spikes and drops constantly. Of course, neither beat the REDMAGIC 8 Pro, which has an integrated active cooling system.

Looking at the rest of the specs, the Galaxy S23 Ultra lands with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM. Internal storage no longer starts at 128GB, though, with options of either 256GB for the 8GB of RAM model or 512GB or 1TB for those interested in the variant with 12GB of RAM. What does all this mean for performance? Well, there is a significant difference in benchmark results. Our tests show that very clearly. Ultimately, though, what matters is the experience. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is blazing fast. We experienced zero lag, stutters, or any issues. The device handled everything we threw at it beautifully. So did the Galaxy S22 Ultra, though. The difference is hard to tell by simply using the devices.

Nothing here is that different or novel. There’s the same wireless charging and the same IP68 water and dust resistance. The good news is that the Galaxy S23 Ultra might be at least a bit more durable, thanks to the addition of the new Gorilla Glass Victus 2. Like earlier Victus iterations, the Victus 2 can handle drops of two meters on a slightly softer surface like asphalt. But the real magic is its ability to survive drops of up to a meter on solid concrete. Corning claims rival solutions failed after drops of a half meter or less.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra homescreens
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Software is one area where the Galaxy S23 Ultra had a temporary advantage. It shipped with Android 13 and One UI 5.1, and was the first Samsung device line to receive Android 14. Samsung is one of the best Android device manufacturers regarding software support, which remains for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. You get four OS upgrades and five years of security updates, just like with the S22 Ultra. The big difference is the Galaxy S22 Ultra is already well into this cycle. We’re past two years since its February 2022 release.

Everything else remains uniform between the two phones, save for the camera and a few other bits, which we’ll discuss more in the sections below.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra: Size comparison

Find the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs S23 Ultra
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Can you tell the difference between the S23 Ultra vs S22 Ultra in the pictures above? Yeah, it isn’t easy. The Galaxy S23 Ultra takes everything we loved about its predecessor but refines it with subtle changes like smaller curves on the side that make for a slightly flatter display. Can you notice it? Not by much, honestly. Weight and size also remain consistent across both devices. The same goes for display size, refresh rates, and resolution.

The good news is that if you liked the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s design, you won’t have anything to complain about here. The bad news is that this design is starting to become too familiar, as Samsung has used the same general shape since the Galaxy Note 20.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra: Camera

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra colorways 4
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a powerful camera onboard, even if it’s a carryover from the Galaxy S21 Ultra. You have a 108MP primary camera (pixel-binned down to 12MP), a 12MP ultrawide lens, a 10MP 3x optical telephoto lens, and a 10MP 10x optical telephoto lens. Selfie fans were also graced with a solid 40MP selfie camera up front. The Galaxy S23 Ultra doesn’t dramatically switch things up but makes a few notable adjustments.

The primary shooter is the most significant change, and now features a 200MP sensor. Now, don’t expect it to take photos at 200MP. It certainly can, but those 200MP images won’t output the best results. Instead, letting the phone use pixel-binning technology to produce higher-quality 12.5MP images is better. Or you can switch to quad-binning and get 50MP images. There’s also improved Optical Image Stabilization, upgraded from 1.5 to 3 degrees. Besides the 200MP primary camera, don’t expect many changes. You get the same 10MP 10x periscope camera, a 10MP 3x telephoto camera, and a 12MP ultrawide lens.

All that said, the rear camera system on both devices is excellent, but there are some things in the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra that give it an edge. The primary camera performs amazingly, and the secondary ones are nearly as good. Hardware isn’t what we’re focusing on to pass judgment, though. The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor helps with the new AI-powered Cognitive ISP, which provides real-time semantic segmentation. It essentially recognizes elements in the photo in real-time, and then fine-tunes details before pressing the shutter button. We noticed improved detail and improved color accuracy across all cameras, likely due to these improvements. Most people might not notice a massive difference unless they compare images side to side and start pixel-peeping.

Oddly, the selfie camera is one area where we see an on-paper downgrade. All three Galaxy S23 models feature a 12MP front camera. This is actually a step up for the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus but sounds less impressive for the Galaxy S23 Ultra — the S22 Ultra had a 40MP selfie camera. Remember, there’s more to a good camera than just megapixels, so we wouldn’t necessarily say this is a step downward. Our S23 Ultra review mentions that the “40MP selfie shooter won’t be missed too much.” We also noted that the new 12MP alternative is “just as good, if not better.” This is because the 12MP camera has larger pixels that don’t have to be binned down. The colors and details were great, and edge detection was as good as it gets. Results were similar on the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra: Battery and charging

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra colorways 2
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has the same 5,000mAh battery size found in the S22 Ultra. There are also the same charging standards as well. You’ll get 45W wired charging, 15W wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging for powering devices like earbuds and smartwatches.

Battery life on the Galaxy S22 Ultra can be best described as average. In our tests, the Galaxy S22 Ultra could easily make it through a full day with as much as 25% left to spare. On days when we pushed it harder, the battery would be closer to 20% by day’s end. This is standard for an Android flagship, though we’ve seen better from Apple and several others.

While we weren’t expecting much of an upgrade in battery life with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, the newer device impressed us. We got two days of average-to-heavy use on a single charge. These results came from using 6-8 hours of screen-on time. This is primarily due to efficiency enhancements from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the variable refresh rate, and screen improvements.

If it makes any difference, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra also charges a bit faster. Though both devices support 45W wired charging, the newer handset could sustain top speeds for 10 minutes instead of the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s two minutes. This translates to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra charging from zero to 100% in under an hour. The S22 Ultra can do the same in just over an hour. Yeah, the difference is a few minutes in charging time, so there is nothing to write home about.

Where there is a bigger difference is in the difference between the 25W and 45W charging. While the Galaxy S22 Ultra charging tests showed little to no difference between the standards, the Galaxy S23 Ultra actually charges significantly faster when using 45W chargers than 25W ones. A 45W charger can get it from zero to 100% in 57 minutes, while a 25W charger will accomplish it in 73 minutes.

This means that it’s more important to get the right charger for your device this time. We’ve put together a list of the best Galaxy S23 chargers, if you need some help.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra: Price

  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (8GB/256GB): $1,199
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (12GB/512GB): $1,299
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (12GB/1TB): $1,619
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (8GB/128GB): $1,199
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (12GB/256GB): $1,299
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (12GB/512GB): $1,399
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (12GB/1TB): $1,599

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra retails for the same price as the S22 Ultra before it. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a year older, so prices are usually lower. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is often on sale for under $600, and it’s closer to $500 if you get it refurbished, or even cheaper if you find a used one.

Of course, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is also a previous-gen device now, as the Galaxy S24 Ultra is now the latest and greatest. You can usually find it for about $900-$1,000 brand new, or about $800 for a refurbished one.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra: Should you get the S23 Ultra?

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra S Pen on table
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra might not be a massive leap on paper, but it’s still a jump forward. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has a more powerful camera and processor, removes Exynos from the equation, and gives you double the storage for the same starting retail price. Not to mention, battery life has been improved significantly. If you are objectively looking for the best, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is an easy device to recommend.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is now the best phone Samsung has to offer.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra might be better if you’re on a budget. You get a similar design and similar specs, but you’ll likely end up saving hundreds. Similarly, if you own a Galaxy S22 Ultra, we’d stay put unless you can get one heck of a trade-in deal. The upgrades here just aren’t massive enough to trade in a phone with years of life ahead of it.

Samsung continues to offer some of the most impressive flagships in the Android world, and you can’t go wrong with either device. It ultimately comes down to your budget and how much you care about having the latest and greatest. Of course, you could also consider upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. Here is our full Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review, if you want to learn more about it. We also have a direct comparisons between the Galaxy S24 and both the S23 Ultra and the S22 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S23 UltraSamsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
AA Editor's Choice
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
New 200MP main camera • Beautiful display • S Pen functionality
MSRP: $1,199.00
The Ultra release of Samsung's 2023 flagship line
Powered by the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 as the smaller models in the series, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra offers larger storage capacities and a whopping 200MP camera. S Pen support and a 6.8-inch display make the Ultra ideal for note-takers on the go.
Samsung Galaxy S22 UltraSamsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
AA Editor's Choice
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Ultra-premium build quality • Gorgeous screen • Solid performance
MSRP: $1,199.99
The Note and S series merged in one device
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra pushes productivity, power, and photography to the utmost to satisfy the most demanding users out there. The phone combines outstanding performance, a stunning design, and the S Pen previously found on Galaxy Note handsets.

FAQs

Technically, yes. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is better than its direct predecessor. It has a newer, more powerful processor, improved battery life, and a higher-megapixel main camera. The base configuration costs the same, yet it offers 256GB of storage instead of 128GB. All that said, the difference in user experience will likely be close to unnoticeable.

Not really. The only benefit to getting the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is probably to save some money, as it is an older device and can be easily found at a discount.

The Galaxy S23 series is based on the Samsung galaxy S22 Ultra aesthetics. This means the Galaxy S23 Ultra looks nearly identical to its direct predecessor. Weight and size remain the same, too. The only real difference is that the newer device has smaller curves along the edges.

Just like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with an S Pen. It’s stored in the device’s body.

Samsung is giving Galaxy S23 Ultra users a promise of four Android updates and five years of security updates. That means The S23 Ultra will get up to Android 17 and security updates until 2028. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has the same update promise but is now nearly two years old.

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