Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Which is Best?

Samsung has launched its newest flagship phone lineup, anchored by the Galaxy S23 Ultra. With an impressive spec sheet and cutting-edge features, the S23 Ultra builds on last year‘s excellent Galaxy S22 Ultra model. But with only subtle changes in areas like design and pricing, should existing S22 Ultra owners upgrade? Or is the S23 Ultra a more futureproof purchase for new Samsung phone shoppers? This Galaxy S23 Ultra vs S22 Ultra comparison breaks down the key similarities and differences to help you decide.

Galaxy S23 Ultra and S22 Ultra Overview

First, let‘s provide a brief overview of each high-end model before diving deeper into how they compare:

Galaxy S23 Ultra – Released February 2023, the S23 Ultra has a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. It‘s powered by a new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip optimized for Galaxy devices, available with 8GB or 12GB RAM paired with 256GB up to 1TB internal storage. The rear camera system has been upgraded to a mammoth 200MP main sensor supplemented by 12MP ultrawide and dual 10MP telephoto cameras. It has the same 5,000 mAh battery as the S22 Ultra and supports 45W wired charging. The S23 Ultra launched running Android 13 with Samsung‘s custom One UI 5.1 interface.

Galaxy S22 Ultra – Hitting the market in February 2022, the S22 Ultra sports the same 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display also with a 120Hz maximum refresh rate. It used last year‘s top-tier Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and offered either 8GB or 12GB RAM, paired with 128GB up to 1TB storage options. Its quadruple rear camera setup was headlined by a 108MP wide camera plus 12MP ultrawide and dual 10MP telephotos. With a 5,000mAh battery and 45W charging, it came equipped with Android 12 and One UI 4.1 at launch.

Now let‘s delve deeper into how these impressive flagships match up across critical categories like design, performance, camera tech, software, battery life, and value. We‘ll spotlight key similarities and differences to determine whether the S23 Ultra makes worthwhile upgrades over its predecessor.

Design and Display

Visually, the Galaxy S23 Ultra and S22 Ultra look nearly identical at a casual glance. They share the same 6.8-inch curved Dynamic AMOLED display with Quad HD+ 3200 x 1440 pixel resolution. Both screens can also adapt their refresh rate up to 120Hz for smooth scrolling and animations.

However, upon closer inspection you may notice some minor dimensional changes – the S23 Ultra is ever so slightly narrower at 3.07 in (78 mm) across versus 3.1 in (79 mm) on the S22 Ultra. This makes the newer model a hair more pocket-friendly, though the overall footprint remains imposing for a smartphone.

Samsung touts more durable Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection on the S23 series, adding scratch resistance over the Victus+ glass of last year‘s lineup. The S23 Ultra also utilizes recycled aluminum and plastics in an effort to make its devices more sustainable.

Otherwise the two premium Galaxy phones share an identical overall design language defined by the prominent camera housing inherited from the Note line. Their curved displays slope symmetrically to meet metal edges and aluminum rear panels for an industrial look.

While not a revolutionary change, the S23 Ultra does make incremental improvements in durability while minimizing size. Combined with subtle color changes like the new Lime and Graphite options, Samsung aficionados may appreciate these design tweaks. But returning S22 Ultra fans will feel right at home with the very familiar form.

Performance and Battery Life

One key internal hardware change gives the Galaxy S23 Ultra a performance boost – its upgraded Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor optimized specifically for Galaxy devices. Manufactured using a 4nm process, this chipset focuses on efficiency as well as speed.

The S22 Ultra already delivered excellent performance thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform powering last year‘s top Android phones. But reviewers found the 8 Gen 1 ran rather hot when pushed. By contrast, Samsung and Qualcomm worked hand-in-hand adapting the 8 Gen 2 for the unique demands of Galaxy phones.

Real-world benchmarks confirm the S23 series posts better scores in processing and graphics crunching abilities versus the S22 family. In terms of battery efficiency, the 8 Gen 2 also consumes around 30% less power by some estimates.

That benefits the all-important battery life consumers demand from leading smartphones nowadays. Both the S23 Ultra and S22 Ultra boast sizeable 5,000 mAh batteries, which deliver long runtimes even under heavy use. Support for 45W wired charging means you can top up either handset quickly when their batteries eventually run low.

But thanks to the frugal nature of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 tailored for Galaxy devices, the S23 Ultra is estimated to last 15% to 30% longer than its predecessor on a single charge. So instead of reaching for your charger nightly or every other evening, you may only need to juice up the S23 Ultra every 2-3 days with careful use. That‘s a handy gain that busy users will appreciate.


One of the most publicized changes on the Galaxy S23 Ultra over older models lies in its radically modified camera system, headlined by a jaw-dropping 200MP main sensor. This gives Samsung bragging rights to offering the highest resolution camera currently found on any mainstream smartphone.

Combined with improved optical stabilization and Samsung‘s advanced image processing, the huge sensor can capture stunning levels of detail. In 12MP default mode, it uses pixel binning technology to combine up to 16 pixels into one for drastically enhanced low light shots with less noise. You can even shoot natively at the full 200MP resolution then heavily crop into shots later while preserving image quality.

The S22 Ultra itself produced excellent photos and 8K video already with its 108MP primary camera. But the S23 Ultra should offer unmatched dynamic range and intricate detail. Even the front selfie camera sees a boost to a wider f/2.2 aperture over the f/2.2 on the preceding model.

Joining the high-res main camera on both phones is the same set of auxiliary sensors: a 12MP ultrawide camera plus dual 10MP telephotos with 3x and 10x optical zoom potential. This versatile array of different focal lengths gives you photographic flexibility. Few camera changes here as Samsung rightly focused development efforts on further improving that showpiece 200MP unit.


As the newer release, the Galaxy S23 Ultra launches running the latest Android 13 OS married to Samsung‘s custom One UI 5.1 software overlay. By comparison, last year‘s S22 Ultra shipped with the now previous generation Android 12 platform unified with One UI 4.1.

However, seasoned Galaxy phone owners know Samsung issues regular Android updates to its flagship models for years post-release. So existing Galaxy S22 Ultra handsets can actually upgrade to Android 13 and One UI 5.1 now if desired. But the newer software does come at the cost of decreased battery efficiency based on real-world findings.

More importantly, buying the S23 Ultra means you‘ll enjoy extended future support via additional Android version updates from Samsung and access to new One UI features. Given the huge sums flagship phones command, most consumers want to stretch their investment over 3-5 years if possible before replacing aging models. So starting with the newest Android 13 gives the S23 Ultra an advantage for longevity and added value.

Verdict – Galaxy S23 Ultra vs S22 Ultra

We‘ve covered numerous nitty-gritty tech details pitting the Galaxy S23 Ultra versus the S22 Ultra. At this point, you might still be wondering which phone reigns supreme in this Samsung showdown. Let‘s simplify with some concise pros and cons of each 2023 and 2022 flagship model:

Galaxy S23 Ultra Pros:

  • Latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor optimized for performance and efficiency
  • Cutting-edge 200MP main camera offers incredible detail and low light quality
  • Gorilla Glass Victus 2 improves scratch protection over S22 Ultra
  • Ships with newest Android 13 and One UI 5.1 out of box
  • Estimated 30% better battery life over typical usage cycles

Galaxy S23 Ultra Cons:

  • Very similar design and display makes S22 Ultra still appealing
  • High $1,199 starting price unchanged from S22 Ultra launch cost

Galaxy S22 Ultra Pros:

  • Proven Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 still delivers speedy performance
  • Same screen and premium build quality as newer S23 Ultra
  • Now disponibleknefriendly $949 price point (256GB model)
  • Sharp 108MP camera takes fantastic photos and 8K video

Galaxy S22 Ultra Cons:

  • Upgraded to Android 13/One UI 5.1 results in worse battery efficiency
  • Not futureproof for software support longevity
  • Fewer color options as Samsung shifts focus to S23 series

Overall, while not revelatory, the Galaxy S23 Ultra brings worthwhile refinements like the more power efficient processor, show-stopping camera tech, and enhanced scratch protection. It feels slightly more polished as Samsung‘s newest flagship phone release.

However, last year‘s excellent S22 Ultra still shines brightly itself. If you already own the S22 Ultra, upgrading makes minimal sense unless you absolutely must have that 200MP camera or demand the latest silicon right away. With respectable discounts now, the S22 Ultra gives you extremely close performance at hundreds less.

Yet for new buyers without existing loyalty to either phone, I‘d give the Galaxy S23 Ultra the narrow win. Yes it has a steeper $1,199 MSRP, but carriers frequently subsidize pricing with plan promotions or trade-in offers. Given their nearly identical MSRPs at launch, the S23 Ultra brings better futureproofing. With support for Android 14, 15 and likely 16 down the road, it should satisfy even demanding users for years. Unless you find a bargain S22 Ultra under $800, grabbing Samsung‘s newest flagship is advisable for most shoppers.


Below I answer some commonly asked questions regarding the Galaxy S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra comparison:

Q: Is the Galaxy S23 Ultra a big upgrade over the S22 Ultra?

A: The changes definitely feel more incremental on the S23 Ultra rather than revolutionary. Casual observers would struggle to tell the S22 and S23 Ultra apart. But under the hood upgrades like the more advanced Snapdragon platform, radically improved camera, and Gorilla Glass protection do make the S23 Ultra a superior phone overall. Just not different enough to warrant upgrading yearly perhaps.

Q: How much better are the cameras on the Galaxy S23 Ultra versus S22 Ultra?

A: Switching to the beefy 200MP sensor makes the S23 Ultra the new camera phone king at least on paper. How much better real world performance proves remains to be seen from full reviews. But 200MP does give Samsung bragging rights to offering the highest resolution camera yet on a mainstream phone – perfect for photographers or creative types wanting maximum detail.

Q: Is the Galaxy S23 Ultra worth buying over the S22 Ultra?

A: If purchasing brand new right now, yes I believe the S23 Ultra justifies its virtually identical $1,199 launch price given changes under the surface. You benefit from better futureproofing thanks to arriving preloaded with Android 13 and longer guaranteed software support too. The camera, performance and battery life advantages do make it a slightly more compelling purchase for new buyers over the now discounted S22 Ultra.

Q: Does the Galaxy S23 Ultra feel too big compared to other phones?

A: There‘s no doubt the S23 Ultra belongs in the plus-sized phone category thanks to its spacious 6.8-inch screen and substantial weight. If you have smaller hands or pockets, it may prove unwieldy to handle. But its curved display edges and slim proportions do help reduce the visual bulk. Unless you strongly prefer compact devices, its impressive dimensions seem a fair tradeoff for functionality.

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