First impressions of the Galaxy S23 Ultra: zooming in on its 200 megapixel sensor
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is getting its biggest photo update in years. High-end smartphones now have 200 megapixel photo sensor, which is about twice that of its predecessor, the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It made its debut at the Samsung Unpacked event on Wednesday, with prices starting at 1419€. It is available for pre-order until February 16th.
The Galaxy S23 lineup, which also includes the Galaxy S23 Plus in 1219€ and the Galaxy S23 at 959€, is Samsung’s latest attempt to encourage people to upgrade at a time when the smartphone industry is struggling. The addition of a 200 megapixel sensor to the Galaxy S23 Ultra is not surprising considering that Samsung announced its new image sensor last month.
But it does show that the company sees the camera as the most important part of a phone – and one we’re expected to pay a premium for. With the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung is clearly targeting photographers who want a big screen and good camera equipment. We’ll have to wait until we test the phone to see if it lives up to its promises.
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Otherwise, including the Galaxy S23 Ultra traditional update such as a new processor, new colors, additional storage space for the base model and more parts made from recycled materials.
New Galaxy S23 Ultra camera
Galaxy S23 Ultra camera equipment. Bobby Oliver/CNET
On paper, the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 200-megapixel camera seems like a big step up. This is Samsung’s biggest move in this area in years, considering that the last three generations of Galaxy S Ultra phones have featured 108-megapixel main sensors, since the Galaxy S20 Ultra in 2020.
But megapixels alone don’t tell the whole story. Sensor size, speed and image processing algorithms also affect the image quality of the camera, so we had to put the smartphone to the test before deciding if this was truly a monumental improvement.
This algorithm plays an important role in the Galaxy S23 Ultra camera upgrade. Joshua Cho, head of Samsung’s visual solutions team, says AI has a say in everything from night mode to how the camera captures high dynamic range.
“As soon as you press the camera button, the artificial intelligence starts”said Cho in an interview with CNET.com ahead of Samsung’s Unpacked event.
Galaxy S23 Ultra takes a photo 12 megapixels by default, combine 16 megapixels to form a giant megapixel. This allows the sensor to collect more light, which can be useful when shooting in dark environments. You also have the option to take 200 megapixel photos, which Samsung says is ideal for people who want to get large prints of their photos or do cropping. If you want something in between, you can take 50 megapixel photos.
The front camera of all the Galaxy S23 is contrived upgraded 12 megapixel sensor. The S22 and S22 Plus rely on a 10 megapixel camera and the S22 Ultra, on a 40 megapixel module. Samsung says the front camera uses AI to improve object identification to optimize images rather than prioritizing definition. This means it has to be better at distinguishing people from their backgrounds more accurately.
Galaxy S23 Ultra in Lavender. Bobby Oliver/CNET
The Galaxy S23 Ultra inherits the same zoom capabilities as its predecessor, offers 3x or 10x optical zoom and up to 100x digital zoom. Like the S22 Ultra, the S23 Ultra uses two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses to achieve this. Even though the night mode is a highlight of the Galaxy S22 lineup, Samsung claims it has further improved the way the Galaxy S23 Ultra can take photos in the dark.
Video recording gets a slight range change, with support for the S23 family 30 frames per second when shooting in 8K. This is an improvement over the 24fps of the S22 Ultra. According to Adobe, 30fps is generally preferable to 24fps for streaming live footage, which makes sense considering Samsung’s efforts to appeal to social media influencers, streamers, and generation Z consumers. Also, shooting 1080p video at 120 frames per second is also possible from 60 frames per second. seconds, which should improve the quality of slow motion.
Samsung also shows that the angle of correction of its optical image stabilization is doubled. We want to know what’s the difference.
However, it doesn’t look like Samsung is adding any new shooting modes to the Galaxy S23 lineup. Since the S23 Ultra emphasizes camera quality, we’re hoping to see some new tools and features that can make better use of this new piece of hardware.
But Samsung did something interesting with its external camera app, Raw Expert and Camera Assistant. After downloading the app for the first time, the additional camera settings that this app provides will be integrated directly into the native camera app. This can make it easier for photographers who want more control to customize the look of their photos without having to switch between apps.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra has a new chip and a familiar design
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is green. Bobby Oliver/CNET
Samsung’s new smartphone is processor powered Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 from Qualcomm that has been optimized for the new Galaxy S23 lineup, which Samsung says will result in faster performance. We’ll have to test the phone to see if it lives up to those expectations.
But if so, it could help set the Ultra apart from other phones featuring Qualcomm’s new chip, like the OnePlus 11 5G. The satellite connectivity option is missing from Samsung’s new line of smartphones, after Apple added the ability to contact emergency services via satellite to its iPhone 14 lineup. Qualcomm also announced a similar feature, which will roll out later this year.
Like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung’s new Ultra phone feature The battery has a capacity of 5000mAh and includes the S Pen. This smartphone is available with a storage capacity of 256GB, 512GB or 1TB.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra doesn’t look all that different from last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra. It has the same design but comes in new color options: black, beige, green and lavender. Samsung also claims to have increased the use of recycled materials in the design of the Galaxy S23 Ultra by using marine-sourced plastic in the phone’s external components for the first time.
The screen is always measuring 6.8 inches like last year’s model, making it one of the biggest phones you can buy. (The Google Pixel 7 Pro and Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max each have a 6.7-inch display.) The phones are also protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2, a new glass version from Corning that the company says offers better resistance to drops on surfaces like concrete. The display also features an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz to enable smoother scrolling and animations.
Samsung launched the Galaxy S23 line as it became increasingly difficult to convince smartphone owners to update their devices. Economic challenges have slowed smartphone shipments throughout 2022, according to estimates from The International Data Corporation, Canalys and Counterpoint Research.
However, in his report, Peter Richardson from Counterpoint Research, described the high-end smartphone segment “more resistant” than the entry-level and mid-range mobile market. Perhaps customers are more likely to invest in a more expensive phone in the hopes of not having to update it as often. Samsung is present in all three markets, however Galaxy S23 Ultra for €1,419 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 for €1,799 encapsulate the giant’s vision on what the high-end terminal should be.
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