- Advertisement -

This is going to be one long review. Even though it does look more or less the same as the Galaxy S22 Ultra, there are a lot of changes under the hood that I want to highlight. I discovered a lot more details and hidden features, and since we have also updated our review methodology, a lot more details were discovered. We’ll go through our usual 8 points – all timestamped below so you can jump to whichever section that tickles your fancy.

So, let’s begin with the review.


We’ll start off like usual – the design. It comes in a total of 4 different colors – Cream, Green, Lavender, and Phantom Black. The Lavender color is similar to what Samsung had in the past – whereby the Cream and Green colors are two of my favorites that I can’t really decide which one to get – so I got both of them instead.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Phantom Black is the same as what we had previously – and nothing beats the timelessness of black color.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

The Galaxy S23 Ultra looks very similar to the S22 Ultra, but there are a few differences. Overall dimension is actually bigger – slightly wider and taller and the geometry has also changed to a boxier design.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

The phone’s frame is now also squarer, resulting in a much more comfortable grip on the phone. This is especially true if you want to hold the phone like this or try to press the volume or power buttons.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

The S Pen is still placed at the bottom left side of the phone, by the way.

As a side effect of the boxier design, the display is also much flatter than before. In turn, it does improve the gesture navigation experience too.


Since we’re talking about the display, the Galaxy S23 Ultra still comes with a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display that goes up to a maximum resolution of 3088×1440 pixels.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

However, by default, the S23 Ultra is using 2316×1080 pixels. Remember to head into the settings menu to change this setting when you unbox it.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

The refresh rate ranges from 120Hz and goes all the way down to 10Hz – as shown in the Galaxy MaxHz app.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Truthfully speaking, I have high expectations for this display to be one of the best out there. And it clearly is. Using our colorimeter, we tested that this display can cover 99.99% of sRGB and 99.86% of DCI-P3 color gamuts. It also covers 89.39% of Adobe RGB too. The maximum Delta E number is 2.69 (nice) which is still considered okay. Anything below 3 is considered great.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Then – the maximum brightness after we turned on the “extra brightness” option and cranked it all the way up – is only still at 750 nits max average brightness. This is the same as the S22 Ultra and the Z Fold4 and also the Z Flip4 – and still remains the highest brightness among all smartphones that we’ve tested.

But remember – Samsung claimed that the S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra can go all the way up to 1750 nits of peak brightness. I am determined to find out the true maximum brightness of the display – but I was stuck. After some discussion with Mr. John, I immediately realized how I can do that – by playing a HDR video.

Thankfully, there are a lot weird videos on YouTube and I immediately found what I needed – a HDR video showing pure white color. Thanks, CANADA.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

When we crank up the phone’s brightness to the maximum and turn on extra brightness, we are able to get 1185 nits. However, I think there is a bug? If we turn off extra brightness, the phone can achieve 1242 nits brightness. That’s incredible.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Seriously, this is an insanely bright display and Samsung is still the undefeated king when it comes to bright displays with accurate colors.


Now, the cameras. This is where I’ll spend the majority of the time talking about the S23 Ultra. It has the same camera setup as the S22 Ultra from last year – but the only thing that changed in terms of hardware is the main camera. It’s using the new 200MP sensor. Is it good, though?

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

To have a look at all of the pictures and videos that were taken by the Galaxy S23 Ultra, watch our video at the top of this review.

And I’m sure you guys want to know more about the shutter lag. Well, here’s a quick test but I’ll have to explain something first. In darker environments, the shutter will take some more time as it needs to do some processing to make the picture look good. So, we’ll be comparing the shutter speed between the S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra using our studio lights. The result is – well, obviously a lot better on the S23 Ultra too.


Okay, let’s talk about the performance. For this new generation of the Galaxy S23 series, all of them are using Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 across all regions. However, from what I can find out, the reason why Samsung has this special “Snapdragon for Galaxy” logo is because they do have a mild overclock on both CPU and GPU. However, the overclock is so mild that I’ll consider it to be mostly negligible.

When we did our gaming test, what we found out is that the Galaxy S23 Ultra is able to perform very well in Genshin Impact at the highest graphical settings. I’m very impressed.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Samsung did tell us that the new S23 has a larger cooling system. While they didn’t specify which variant of the S23, it’s very safe to assume that the Ultra has it. Even after playing for 30 minutes, the temperature is kept at around 40°C and highest temperature is actually at the frame – around 42°C. Again, impressive as this is the first time the Samsung flagship smartphone has an uncompromised gaming experience.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

By the way, there is one feature that I’m sure that no one found out and Samsung never mentioned this. Did you know that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has the bypass battery feature? Let me draw it out for you. Usually, a phone is connected to the battery while gaming, we have to charge the battery while the battery is being depleted at the same time, hence generating more heat and also drastically deteriorating the battery’s health.

With bypass charging, you can just skip the battery entirely and play your game – hence healthier for your battery and also less heat overall.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Usually, this feature is only found in flagship gaming smartphones like the Black Shark and the ROG Phone – and I truly didn’t expect the S23 Ultra to have this feature.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra reviewBest of all – the S23 Ultra’s bypass charging feature supports all USB PD chargers, just like the ROG Phone series. So, you don’t need any proprietary charger bullcrap to use this feature. I just tried it with a 30W Ugreen charger that I have lying around.

Battery life

How is the battery life, then? Using our usual PCMark battery life test at 100 nits brightness and at 3088×1440 pixel resolution, the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 5,000mAh can last for about 13 hours.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Overall, not far off from the other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 smartphone that we recently unbox – and the review of that phone should also be published soon.

Charging test

The charging speed though, remains unchanged. It still takes in a maximum of 45W only and the situation has remained the same as last year. However, we used two chargers to test it. First, we used the Ugreen 100W charger like last year. This charger does have USB PD 3.0 with PPS support and the charging curve is indeed weird.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

It takes a little shy of 80 minutes to charge from 15% to completion and the temperature is less than 40°C all the time. What I did realize is that there is a clear dip in charging speed that results in a flatter slope, and the temperature immediately dropped when the charging speed slowed down.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Then, I took another 65W USB PD 3.0 PPS charger from another phone and it did have a completely different charging curve. It charged much faster – from 15% to completion in less than an hour and the temperature is always less than 40°C.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

But, the charging speed goes up and down frequently to control the phone’s temperature. When the charging speed slows down, so does the temperature. When the temperature does down, the charging speed ramps up again. It continued this behavior until it reached about 55% battery.

What perplexed me is that our wattmeter cable reports 28W for both chargers. However, from the data we’ve gathered, they obviously perform differently. I can’t confirm what’s happening.


In terms of the software, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is running the latest One UI 5.1 and it largely remains the same as the Z Fold4 or the Galaxy S22 Ultra at its recent update. I still love One UI for all the features that it has to offer – and Samsung also recently added more features to their accessories too.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

For example, in the Camera app, we can now record 360° audio when paired with the Galaxy Buds2 Pro. Good Lock is now available in more regions across the world – including Malaysia. I love Good Lock because it offers both utility and aesthetic customization.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Samsung Pay has now also been updated to Samsung Wallet for a lot more regions across the world – and Bixby Routines have graduated from the Labs subsection in the settings menu into its own dedicated option called Modes and Routines.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

I still love this feature so much as I can make apps like YouTube to automatically rotate to landscape mode when I launch that app or automatically set the media volume to high when Google Maps is opened. It’s just convenient.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

S Pen

There is yet another feature added to the S Pen via software. We can now write on the search bar instead of using the S Pen to type on the keyboard. Yay, I guess? I mean, it’s surely a handy feature to have but I personally don’t think this is significant. Samsung should’ve put more focus on the bypass charging feature instead of this.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Overall though, the S Pen remains the same – same function, same dimensions, same size, same weight, and still feels the same when writing on the screen so you can watch our previous review instead.


Alright, a few more things to mention – I have seen a lot of people arguing over the internet because they claim Samsung is using the new UFS 4.0 and LPDDR5x and whatnot – so, let’s do a quick test using the A1 SSD Bench app.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Clearly, it is faster than my Galaxy S22 Ultra – so I guess it is using UFS 4.0 with LPDDR5x?

To those to wonder how’s the speaker quality of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, this is for you. What I don’t like is the placement of the bottom speaker because my hand will always be blocking it when I’m gaming.

We also did a speaker test too – so watch the video at the top of this review.

Of course, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is using a USB 3.0 port at the bottom and it can also output HDMI output over USB-C so that we can use Samsung DeX.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

The Galaxy S23 Ultra also has double nano SIM card slots with no expandable storage and it is also still rated for IP68.

What’s the big deal with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra?

Okay, so what’s the summary? Just this one sentence – the Galaxy S23 Ultra is uncompromised on all fronts – cameras, display, battery life, and especially gaming – plus it has the S Pen and everything is encased in a beautiful design.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is an obvious improvement over the S22 Ultra even though they look similar. While the design is subjective – the performance upgrade is obviously leaps and bounds better than the S22 Ultra – partly thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, and also the new enlarged cooling system alongside the inclusion of the bypass charging feature. Seriously, Samsung – you need to highlight the bypass charging feature a lot more.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

For the price – well, I know some regions have the same price whereby some regions have a slight increase over the S22 Ultra. I’m not going to judge this phone by its price because it surely is expensive. However, if you want the best, uncompromised flagship smartphone that is also a hybrid gaming smartphone, then this is the one to get.

Where to buy? (Affiliate links)

Like our Facebook Page here at NasiLemakTech.com for more news and in-depth reviews! Also, join our Facebook Group for insightful information and memes!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel too!


  1. I was going to buy s23 ultra until I seen the one my son had I taught the picture quality was poor compared to my S8 note bought I 2017
    the reason I was going to change the phone was battery is not lasting all day

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.