Not quite taking pictures of the galaxy yet.
The first significant phone to launch this February (oh don’t worry, this month is going to get BUSY) is a flagship. The S23 series is highly anticipated even though the phone is just a rehashed Galaxy S22 with some bells and whistles, including a new 200MP ISOCELL camera that we discussed earlier.
There are three phones from the series. Its design was mostly retained from its predecessor. Namely, the regular and the plus with a curved edge, and the Ultra with S-Pen support and a pointed edge that highly resembles the Galaxy Note line (remember those?).
There will be a separate article for the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus. We’ll discuss the phone that actually matters first.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
The main highlight here is the cameras because what else can you say to a rehashed flagship. The primary camera on the Ultra has a whopping 200MP resolution with telephoto zooming capabilities (f/1.7, 23mm, 85° FOV, OIS, ISOCELL HP2). This camera is complemented by a 12MP ultrawide lens (f/2.2, 13mm, 120° FOV) and a 10MP telephoto (f/4.9, 230mm, OIS, 10x optical zoom, 100x space zoom). The phone also features a 12MP selfie camera that is thankfully not a copy of Apple’s Dynamic Island. (f/2.2, 25mm, 80° FOV, HDR10+ support).
Speaking of taking photos not-so-much in the galaxy, Samsung introduced a new mode called Astrophoto mode which allows for advanced Astrophotography. You could even adjust settings manually and the AI algorithm scans the stars for any constellations around, as well as planets. The phone tells you how long it takes to take a picture.
Meanwhile, there’s also the AstroHyperlapse mode which allows you to take hyperlapse videos far from the depths of space.
In comparison to the previous 108MP camera, this new 200MP sensor now has 3° wider angles which is twice more than its predecessor. The newly implemented Adaptive VDIS analyzes movements and recognize several different lighting conditions.
The camera also now takes four 50MP photos and merge them into one via process called “Pixel Binning”. Specifically, a 4-in-1 Quadpixel Binning process. We discussed it first in our ISOCELL HP2 article. In a nutshell, in comparison to the 108MP camera, you could now have the option to switch from 12MP Pixel Binning (100MP mode) or a 50MP Pixel binning (200MP mode) and the results look cleaner and sharper, perfect for night shots. The main downside is the larger space needed as photos can eat as large as 50MB in a single shot.
The phone can now take proper 8K video and hence the reason why Samsung ditched a 128GB storage option. Because the SD Card slot is absent, 128GB is not justifiable really especially if you take into account the space used for Android 13 and OneUI.
This is also the first time the series ditched the Exynos variant. Here, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 was used. The company has to rethink its decisions before attempting another flagship Exynos because it’s falling behind competitors. The phone comes with 12GB RAM and storage options between 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.
It has a typical 5000mAh battery with 45W fast charging. Samsung finally went out of its comfort zone by adding 20W more to its charging rate. The phone also comes with 10W Qi Wireless charging. We suppose the Galaxy S23 Ultra has reverse charging but Samsung did not mention that strangely.
The display here is a tall 6.8″ QHD+ (3080x1440px) Dynamic 2x AMOLED with varying refresh rates which tops out at 120Hz. It also has support for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. This display is the same one used for the S22 Ultra. It is protected using a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 which Corning said has better protection against drops while retaining the properties of the first-gen Victus.
Finally, the phone is extra protected with IP68 water/dust resistance so if you drop it in a pool, you don’t have to worry about the phone suddenly having a seizure. It has no headphone jack (honestly, which flagship phone apart from the ZenFone series has it?) but in return, makes way for stereo speakers, an optical fingerprint scanner, and Dolby Atmos.
The phone runs a fresh new version of OneUI 5 called ‘OneUI 5.1’ based on Android 13.
The phone costs Php 81,990 (very affordable) for the base 12/256 variant. Meanwhile, the highest tier, 12/1TB is available online only, and starts at Php 103,990. There are four colours available: Green, Phantom Black, Lavender, and Cream.
The phone is now available for pre-orders on select Samsung concept stores and dealers. It is expected to pop-up in stores for regular selling soon.
- 6.8″ QHD+ (3080x1440px) Dynamic AMOLED 2x, 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
- IP68 water/dust resistance
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4nm)
- 200MP (Primary), f/1.7, 23mm, 85°, OIS, Samsung ISOCELL HP2
- 12MP (Ultrawide), f/2.2, 13mm, 120° FOV
- 10MP (Telephoto), f/4.9, 230mm, OIS, 100x space zoom
- FRONT: 12MP, f/2.2, 25mm, 80° FOV
- OneUI 5.1 based on Android 13
- 5000mAh, 45W fast charging, 10W Qi Wireless charging
- USB-C, S-Pen Support, Stereo Speakers with Dolby Atmos, Optical In-display Fingerprint Scanner
- 5G Services, Wi-Fi 6/6e, Bluetooth 5.3, Qualcomm aptX, NFC, E-Sim support, Dual Nano-SIM slot
- Green, Phantom Black, Lavender, Cream
- 12/256: Php 81,990
- 12/512: Php 89,990
- 12/1TB (Online only): Php 103,990
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