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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra's 45W fast charging is actually fast this time
Fast charging power and speeds are some of the most contentious topics in the smartphone industry. From overzealous marketing and worries about damaged battery longevity to handsets that simply charge too slowly, it seems like few brands actually get charging just right these days.
Samsung is no stranger to these problems. Despite advertising 45W wired charging power since its 2020’s flagships, it turned out to be a brief peak rather than a sustainable power level even as recently as last year. This meant we had to deal with handsets with mostly solid battery life but whose cells refill barely any faster than they did when charging at the older power levels. Previous models still took about an hour or longer to charge, which is hardly that fast in the context of the broader smartphone market.
With new handsets hitting the market, it’s time to test the Galaxy S23 Ultra charging speed and power to see if that situation has improved.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra charging speed test
For this charging test, we opted for Samsung’s official 45W SuperFast Charging 2.0 travel adapter (model: TA845) to achieve maximum power. That said, any compatible 45W USB Power Delivery PPS charger from our list of the best Samsung Galaxy S23 chargers will achieve the same results as below. For comparison, we also tested a selection of other models that support different power levels and protocols.
For clarity, we’re tracking the time from 1% until the phone claims to be at 100%, not the time until the phone completely stops charging (fast charging doesn’t play a part in the trickle charge period anyway). Here are the results.
- 45W USB Power Delivery PPS — 57 minutes
- 25W USB Power Delivery PPS — 73 minutes
- 18W Qualcomm Quick Charge / USB PD — 91 minutes
- 15W Samsung Adaptive Fast Charge — 110 minutes
- 10W Standard 5V USB — 125 minutes
Overall, the Galaxy S23 Ultra certainly isn’t slow to charge, at least with the most powerful adapter, but it’s still not exactly lightning fast either, especially when using older, less powerful chargers. For comparison, 2022’s Galaxy S22 Ultra fully charged in 62 minutes at 45W and 69 minutes at 25W, falling just on either side of our S23 results. In fact, many of the charging results are very close when you compare the Galaxy S23 Ultra to the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Depending on the charging standard, the S23 Ultra reaches full a few minutes faster than the S22 Ultra.
The key takeaway is that the Galaxy S23 is a little bit faster to charge than its predecessor, provided you pick the right charger. The improvement isn’t a huge margin, mere minutes. Still, it’s enough to warrant a closer look at exactly what has changed.
Why the Galaxy S23 Ultra charges faster than the Galaxy S22 Ultra
While full charge times aren’t vastly improved over last year’s model, a closer look at our charging cycle data reveals a noteworthy change in Samsung’s algorithm that’s good news for fast charging top-ups.
Compared to last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra, the S23 Ultra sustains closer to 45W of power for significantly longer, before dropping to 30W and then around 21W midway through charging. By comparison, the S22 Ultra only sustained 45W for a couple of minutes. We retested the phone with the latest OneUI 5 software to confirm the handset still offers the same performance as we noticed at launch. Sadly, that remains the case.
The result is slightly faster charging during lower battery levels, rather than vastly improved charging times overall. For example, the Galaxy S23 Ultra hits 25%, 50%, and 75% in 8, 17, and 29 minutes respectively. That’s faster than last year’s model, which took, 10, 21, and 34 minutes to hit the same levels. Again, it’s not a huge difference, but it does mean you’ll end up with a little more battery capacity when charging in a hurry.
Samsung has improved the Galaxy S23 Ultra's fast charging capabilities, with high power levels sustained for longer.
In a nutshell, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra spec sheet may look the same as its predecessor, but it offers improved sustained charging performance and, therefore, faster top-ups. Just another hidden, under-the-hood change that really helps to refine Samsung’s classic Galaxy formula in 2023.
Is Samsung’s 45W charging adapter worth buying?
If you’re looking for the best charger for your Galaxy S23 series smartphone, you’re probably wondering if Samsung’s 45W charging adapter makes sense. The answer depends on the exact phone in question. On the base Galaxy S23, for example, you won’t see any benefit moving up from the 25W charging adapter. However, you do shave a few minutes off charging time if you pair a 45W adapter with a Galaxy S23 Ultra or S23 Plus. It’s a small difference, but still a definite improvement over last year.
From a future-proofing standpoint, the 45W adapter makes sense as it can power more than just your smartphone. Samsung’s tablets, for example, charge at 45W as do many laptops and handhelds. These devices won’t receive enough power from a 25W charger.
Top Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra charging questions and answers
No, the Galaxy S23 Ultra does not come with a charger.