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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs S23 Ultra: How much of an upgrade is the S23 Ultra?

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is quite similar to its predecessor, but there are a few notable changes.
By
February 1, 2023
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
By Samsung
9
Check price
Positives
Latest S Pen functionality
Stunning screen
Versatile cameras
Negatives
Only average battery life
Speakers could be louder
RAM reduced
The Bottom Line.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the fusion between the Galaxy S Ultra and the Galaxy Note Ultra's best specificities to satisfy all the requirements for power users.The most powerful phone from Samsung offers an extensively-supported software packed with the latest features. While it's somewhat lacking in soul, that doesn't take away from the technical marvel that is the Galaxy S22 Ultra.Read full review...
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
By Samsung
Check price
Positives
New 200MP main camera
Beautiful display
S Pen functionality
Negatives
Same battery size as the S22 Ultra
The Bottom 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.Read full review...

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a powerhouse of a smartphone, but it’s no longer the latest and greatest from Samsung. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is finally here, bringing several improvements under the hood. Of course, newer isn’t always better. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is very similar to its predecessor, especially when it comes to aesthetics.  In this article, we take a closer look 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 new here? 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 a new main camera which should allow for even better picture quality than the S22 Ultra.
  • The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the first phone to use the new Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which provides even better drop protection.
  • The Galaxy S22 Ultra had variants with an Exynos chip, but the Galaxy S23 Ultra will use Snapdragon globally.
  • The Galaxy S22 Ultra had a 40MP selfie camera, but the S23 Ultra is actually swapping it for a 12MP selfie camera that will also be used 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 started at 8GB of RAM and went as high as 12GB of RAM. Internal storage started at 128GB and went as high as 1TB of storage. You also got a 5,000mAh battery, 45W fast wired charging, and 15W wireless charging.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra has a very similar set of core specs, but there are a few notable changes. In the past, we’ve seen Exynos chips in select regions, but that’s no longer the case. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor globally. As part of this new exclusive agreement, Samsung and Qualcomm are giving us a slightly overclocked version of its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor exclusive to Samsung phones (for now at least).

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

The idea of an overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 sounds exciting, but from what we’ve learned the companies just overclocked the Cortex-X3 CPU from its 3.19GHz default to 3.36GHz and an increased GPU clock speed to 719MHz from 680MHz. This is enough to give Samsung an awesome marketing point, but it will likely make very little difference in real-world use. Looking at the rest of the specs, the Galaxy S23 Ultra will again come 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 your choice between 512GB or 1TB for those interested in the Galaxy S23 Ultra model with 12GB of RAM.

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. Just 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 will have a clear temporary advantage, shipping with Android 13 and One UI 5.1. I say temporary because Samsung is quick at updating its older models and so it won’t be long until the S22 Ultra catches up. As for what’s new here, we expect the latest version to offer quite a few improvements including using video as a lock screen wallpaper, improved customization features, and even a new widget system that allows you to drag and drop to save space. There’s more beyond this, but you get the idea; One UI 5.1 offers more improvements than its modest version number might suggest.

Samsung is one of the best Android device manufacturers when it comes to software support, and that 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 a year into this cycle.

Everything else remains pretty 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’s pretty difficult. 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 actually 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 this design is starting to grow a bit too familiar, as Samsung has been using 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 had a pretty powerful camera onboard, even if it was a carryover from the Galaxy S21 Ultra. You had a 108MP main 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 pretty solid 40MP selfie camera up front. It looks like the Galaxy S23 Ultra won’t be dramatically switching things up, but it will be making a few notable adjustments.

The biggest change here is the main shooter, which will jump to a 200MP camera. Now don’t expect it to take photos at 200MP. Instead, the phone will use pixel binning technology to produce high-quality 16MP images. There’s also improved Optical Image Stabilization, upgraded from 1.5 to 3 degrees. Other than the 200MP main camera, don’t expect a lot of changes. You get the same 10MP 10x periscope camera, a 10MP 3x telephoto camera, and a 12MP ultrawide lens.

Oddly, one area where we see an on-paper downgrade is the selfie camera. All three Galaxy S23 models will have 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. Just keep in mind there’s more to a good camera than just megapixels, so I wouldn’t necessarily say this will be a noticeable step downward. It might be more of a sidegrade than anything. We’ll be sure to take a closer look at how the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s selfie cam compares to the S22 Ultra in the coming weeks.

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 as 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 Galaxy S22 Ultra review, we found we 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 pretty standard for an Android flagship, though we’ve seen better from Apple and several others.

Until we get hands-on time with it, we can’t say what the Galaxy S23 Ultra battery life will be like exactly. You should expect at least as good results as the S22 Ultra, but a more efficient SoC and other hardware tweaks could allow for at least slightly better performance. We’ll be testing this in more detail in the weeks to come.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 Ultra: Price

  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (8GB/256GB): $1,199
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (12GB/512GB): TBC
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (12GB/1TB): TBC
  • 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. That said, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a year old now, so discounts aren’t uncommon. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is often on sale for as little as $1,000. You can find it even cheaper second-hand or refurbished from places like Swappa or eBay. Expect the pricing of the Galaxy S22 Ultra to fall even more as the Galaxy S23 Ultra starts arriving to new owners.

Keep in mind the Galaxy S23 Ultra actually starts at the same price while giving you double the storage space. That’s something you’ll have to factor in if you are considering picking up the Galaxy S22 Ultra on sale. Ultimately the Galaxy S23 Ultra is priced very competitively, just the S22 Ultra has a slight edge due to its age.

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. 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.

If you’re on a budget, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra might be the better value. 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 that still has 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.

$799.99 at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S23
Samsung Galaxy S23
Compact size
Brighter screen
Larger battery
$999.99 at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
Large AMOLED display
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 power
Bigger battery
$1,199.99 at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
New 200MP main camera
Beautiful display
S Pen functionality