The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is assumed to be the top model of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 range, and the rumors we’ve heard so far seem to confirm this.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra offered a huge upgrade compared to previous Galaxy S Ultra phones, by combining the camera array of previous models with the built-in stylus of the Galaxy Note series. The Galaxy S23 Ultra seems like it’ll be building on this in a few ways, most notably with a main camera somehow stuffed with a rumored 200 megapixels and the traditional yearly chipset update for more performance and power efficiency.
There’s still several months to go until the new Samsung flagship phone takes to the stage, but below we’ve collected all the rumors (and one official statement) about the Galaxy S23 Ultra so far.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra latest news (Updated 9/29)
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra possible release date and price
To get the basics out of the way first, we know that the Galaxy S Ultra model will return, as stated by Samsung boss T.M. Roh when talking about the end of the Galaxy Note series. Now the only question is when it’ll appear.
The smart guess would be January or February, the two months that Samsung’s unveiled its new Galaxy S phones each year for the past several years. Since we’ve already seen a new Samsung model receive certification in Korea, it seems like Samsung’s keeping to that timing.
It may be sooner than that though, as market sources think Samsung will move its launch date forward a few weeks to mid-January. This would hopefully stop users from buying new phones from other brands like Apple or Google, so Samsung’s thinking apparently goes.
As for the cost of this Ultra phone, we’d anticipate it’ll cost at least $1,200 again, as the current S22 Ultra does. We’d be happy to see a price drop though, especially since its closest rival, the iPhone 14 Pro Max, starts a little cheaper at $1,100.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra design and display
If the Galaxy S23 Ultra is changing as little as the rumors say, then we’ll likely see a near-identical design to the Galaxy S22 Ultra, with squared-off corners, a curved display and individually-embedded cameras on the back. That would also mean another embedded S Pen for your doodling needs, one of the most unique features of the S22 Ultra.
That’s not to say there are no possible changes. We’ve heard that the S23 Ultra may be slightly longer and wider than the S22 Ultra, although only by hundredths of millimeters, so you’re unlikely to notice.
Also, leaker Ice Universe has claimed that there will be a new display for the S23 Ultra. While it would be hard to improve on the super-bright, 6.8-inch QHD AMOLED panel and its fully variable LTPO 120Hz refresh rate, perhaps Samsung has an even brighter, or a more efficient, display ready to swap in as a welcome update.
Also, it’s possible that this model will also suffer from the thicker bezels (but no display size increase) rumored for the S23 regular.This could perhaps explain the slight body size increase, although since the normal S23 and S23 Plus have flat displays rather than curved ones, maybe it won’t apply to the Ultra.
But now the first leaked renders have appeared. OnLeaks working with SmartPrix put out a 360-degree video of the Galaxy S23 Ultra in black. Based on leaked CAD designs, the renders don’t look all that much different from the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
From all appearances, the Galaxy S23 Ultra will have some slightly more square edges than the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It looks like Samsung might keep the tried-and-true Galaxy Note-like design.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra cameras
We should still see four cameras on the back of the S23 Ultra, except with one major change. There will allegedly be a 200MP main camera, even higher-res than the already high-res 108MP main camera on the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
What’s not rumored to change are the telephoto cameras, which will both have 10MP sensors like before according to one source, and presumably have the same 3x and 10x optical magnification, too.
Topping that off, we’d expect to see a 40MP selfie camera once again, embedded in the top center of the display. While only one of five total cameras seem to be getting a major upgrade, hopefully Samsung will have some new software enhancements or camera modes to show off at the launch that will help the S23 series claim a spot on our best camera phones page.
Galaxy S23 Ultra performance and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Samsung usually powers its Galaxy S phones with Qualcomm chips in the U.S., but its own Exynos chips elsewhere in the world. That would mean we’ll see what’s assumed to be called the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and Exynos 2300 at the heart of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
The rumors can’t seem to decide on what’s happening though. Some have said we’ll see this mix of chips continue for the time being, while others have said Qualcomm will be suppling Snapdragon chips for S23 models all around the world.
We hope for the second scenario because Snapdragon Galaxy S phones have tended to offer superior performance to their Exynos-powered siblings, but chances are Samsung won’t want to give up on using its own silicon where it can.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: battery and charging
To power the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung is supposedly using the same 5,000 mAh battery as we saw in the Galaxy S22 Ultra. While some extra capacity would have been nice, this size of battery is par for the course when it comes to large Android phones, so let’s just hope Samsung can squeeze a bit more battery life out of the S23 Ultra. While the S22 Ultra had a decent result on our custom battery test, the iPhone 14 Pro Max lasted longer.
The rumors have forecast no charging speed change, at least for the standard S23. That will translate to at least 25W charging for the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and likely up to 45W if you buy the appropriate charger. The 45W charger was able to power up the S22 Ultra to 67% in half an hour, which is again good but not outstanding compared to the 65W and higher charging standards used by rivals like OnePlus.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: outlook
The Galaxy S23 series as a whole looks like a year of refinement rather than major developments, but the Galaxy S23 Ultra appears to be getting a bit more than its smaller brethren. We’re particularly interested in the rumored 200MP camera and how it could shake up the photo quality of Samsung’s most photography-focused phone, but we’ll also be curious as to how the new chipset will perform and impact things like battery life.
If Samsung’s serious about taking on the iPhone 14 Pro and other flagship smartphones, it needs to wring out every drop of performance and efficiency from the Galaxy S23 Ultra, while also making sure it justifies the Ultra premium. Stay tuned for more Galaxy S23 rumors and leaks as we get closer to launch.