Should You Upgrade to the Galaxy S23 Ultra? It Depends



It is no simple process to resolve whether or not it is time to improve your telephone. That is very true when you’re eyeballing a telephone as costly because the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely, which begins at $1,200 with no low cost.

The reply largely will depend on which telephone you personal, the age and situation of it and your finances. There isn’t any single method that applies to everybody, however taking these components under consideration will help you with the choice. In case your telephone is simply too previous to obtain new Android platform upgrades, that is additionally a superb signal that you must take into account upgrading. (However earlier than you do, see if it can save you some cash by way of a trade-in deal.) 

Galaxy S23 Extremely vs. Galaxy S22 Extremely

Samsung S22 Ultra

It is value holding onto your Galaxy S22 Extremely for some time longer earlier than upgrading.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

With the Galaxy S23 Extremely, Samsung improved the areas that its Extremely telephones are recognized for: digicam high quality and efficiency. The Galaxy S23 Extremely is Samsung’s first telephone able to taking pictures pictures at a 200-megapixel decision. The whole Galaxy S23 lineup additionally runs on a brand new processor that is been particularly optimized for Samsung’s Galaxy units. 

Nonetheless, in my testing, Samsung’s behind-the-scenes enhancements to the way in which the digicam captures colour and dynamic vary felt extra impactful than the upper decision. The bottom stage Galaxy S23 Extremely additionally has twice as a lot storage in contrast with the Galaxy S22 Extremely, which may very well be useful for storing all these pictures.


Watch this: Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely Assessment: Excessive High quality Digicam For A Excessive Worth

That stated, it is value holding onto your Galaxy S22 Extremely for some time longer earlier than upgrading. Although the Galaxy S23 Extremely’s enhancements are appreciated, they will be far more noticeable when upgrading from a telephone that is a number of years previous. 

The Galaxy S23 Extremely and S22 Extremely nonetheless have loads in frequent. Each telephones have a big 6.8-inch display screen, an included S Pen stylus, higher low mild pictures in contrast with earlier generations, a multi-lens digicam system that may zoom as much as 100x digitally and a 5,000 mAh battery. You may get the identical total expertise on each telephones, however with refinements to digicam high quality and processing energy on the Galaxy S23 Extremely. 

Samsung additionally offers newer telephones with 4 generations of Android updates and 5 years of safety updates, which means the Galaxy S22 Extremely will really feel related for the subsequent few years. 

The underside line: When you have the Galaxy S22 Extremely, do not improve simply but. There’s nonetheless loads of life left in that telephone. 

Galaxy S23 Extremely vs. Galaxy S21 Extremely

S21 Ultra vs. Note 20 Ultra

Maintain onto your S21 Extremely so long as doable to justify the cash you spent on it within the first place. 

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The Galaxy S21 Extremely and S22 Extremely share many similarities, with the most important variations being the S22 Extremely’s included S Pen, newer processor and improved low mild pictures efficiency. Due to this, the identical recommendation holds true: In case your Galaxy S21 Extremely is in fine condition, do not improve but. 

Images is probably going an enormous precedence when you’re within the Extremely lineup. The Galaxy S23 Extremely brings a number of enhancements on this regard, akin to the brand new 200-megapixel sensor, higher dynamic vary and improved low mild efficiency. 

However these adjustments aren’t vital sufficient to justify springing for a brand new machine simply but, until you possibly can principally get it totally free by way of a trade-in deal. Even then, I would encourage you to carry onto your S21 Extremely for so long as doable to justify the cash you spent on it within the first place. 

The Galaxy S23 Extremely’s 200-megapixel digicam is barely actually noticeable once you zoom in on the pixel stage, or when you intend to print giant copies of your pictures. And when you actually need the S Pen, you possibly can at all times purchase it individually as an alternative of upgrading your complete telephone.

Since Samsung helps 4 generations of Android software program updates on the Galaxy S21 lineup, you may additionally proceed to get new variations of Android by way of Android 15. 

The underside line: In case your Galaxy S21 Extremely is in fine condition, maintain onto it for a short while longer. You may nonetheless get a major digicam sensor with a better decision than most telephones, in addition to the flexibility to zoom as much as 100x digitally. You may miss a few of Samsung’s newer enhancements to low mild pictures and dynamic vary, however the Galaxy S21 Extremely nonetheless has a really succesful digicam. 

Galaxy S23 Extremely vs. Galaxy S20 Extremely

Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra on a pink and blue background

Improve from the Galaxy S20 Extremely? It relies upon.

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The Galaxy S20 Extremely falls into that grey space the place it may very well be value upgrading, however it will depend on the situation of your machine. When you bought the Galaxy S20 Extremely at launch, your telephone is now greater than 3 years previous. Meaning efficiency and battery life may be beginning to degrade. 

Upgrades to the Galaxy S23 Extremely’s cameras, battery life and energy are probably noticeable to justify an improve, however you are additionally tremendous to hold onto your Galaxy S20 Extremely for one more yr when you’re proud of it. Simply do not forget that the Galaxy S20 Extremely is barely eligible for 3 generations of Android platform updates, which means it is reaching the top of its run because it launched with Android 10. (That stated, the telephone nonetheless receives month-to-month safety updates). 

Each the Galaxy S20 Extremely and S23 Extremely have devoted lenses for taking pictures broad, ultrawide and zoomed-in pictures. However there are some notable variations with regards to the specs of these cameras. As beforehand talked about, the Galaxy S23 Extremely can shoot pictures at as much as a 200-megapixel decision, whereas the Galaxy S20 Extremely shoots as much as a 108-megapixel decision — just like the Galaxy S21 Extremely and S22 Extremely. 

However there are some adjustments with regards to the telephoto lenses, too. The Galaxy S23 Extremely has two 10-megapixel telephoto cameras in contrast with the Galaxy S20 Extremely’s 48-megapixel telephoto lens. Since having two zoom lenses means the S23 Extremely would not must crop as a lot to realize a zoom, you must see crisper outcomes when zooming at 3x and 10x. 

Samsung has additionally improved optical picture stabilization over time, which means the S23 Extremely must be higher at taking regular photographs whereas zooming. Again in 2020, some customers additionally reported points with the Galaxy S20 Extremely’s autofocusing, although Samsung later launched a software program repair. Nonetheless, it is secure to say you possibly can count on a digicam improve when you change to the S23 Extremely. 

In any other case, you may be getting many routine upgrades with the S23 Extremely, akin to a sooner new processor, a refreshed design that extra intently resembles the Galaxy Word and the included S Pen stylus. Newer Samsung telephones just like the S23 Extremely even have extremely wideband assist, which ought to make it simpler to share recordsdata with different Samsung telephones and use your telephone as a digital automobile key. 

Nevertheless it’s value remembering that you’re going to be giving up the S20 Extremely’s micro SD card slot when you improve, which means you possibly can’t add extra storage. You may additionally lose the flexibility to make use of Samsung Pay on older cost terminals that do not assist tapping to pay.

The underside line: When you have a Galaxy S20 Extremely, the adjustments within the Galaxy S23 are noticeable sufficient to justify an improve. However the Galaxy S20 Extremely can also be current sufficient to make it value holding onto for now when you’re nonetheless proud of it. 

Galaxy S23 Extremely vs. Galaxy S10 5G

Samsung's Galaxy S10 5G on a striped background

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G is now about 4 years previous.

Angela Lang/CNET

The Galaxy S10 5G was Samsung’s top-of-the-line telephone from 2019, which means it is now roughly 4 years previous. And in these 4 years, Samsung has made many enhancements that definitely justify an improve. Given the Galaxy S10 5G’s age, it additionally now not receives Android platform updates since Samsung assured solely three generations of updates. 

As is typical for Samsung’s high-end telephones, one of many greatest advantages you may get from upgrading is cameras. Along with the most important beneficial properties in decision, low mild efficiency, stabilization and dynamic vary, you may additionally get a a lot nearer zoom on the Galaxy S23 Extremely. The Galaxy S10 5G helps solely a 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom, which is a far cry from the Galaxy S23 Extremely’s 10x optical zoom and 100x digital zoom.

Digicam apart, you may get a considerably newer processor that ought to end in sooner efficiency and higher energy effectivity, an even bigger battery, the S Pen and a barely bigger display screen. All advised, there’s loads to be gained from upgrading — nearly every little thing will really feel new.

The underside line: Sure, you must improve  you probably have a Galaxy S10 5G. The whole lot from the software program to the cameras and efficiency will get an enormous increase. 

General, it is value upgrading to the Galaxy S23 Extremely you probably have a Samsung telephone that is not less than 3 years previous. Check out the desk under to get a better take a look at how the Galaxy S23 Extremely compares with its predecessors. 

Galaxy S23 specs. vs. older Samsung telephones

Galaxy S23 Extremely Galaxy S22 Extremely Galaxy S21 Extremely Galaxy S20 Extremely Galaxy S10 5G
Show measurement, decision 6.8-inch AMOLED; 3,088×1,440 pixels; 120Hz adaptive refresh fee 6.8″ AMOLED; 1,440×3,088 pixels 6.8″ AMOLED; 3,200×1,440 pixels 6.9″ AMOLED; 3,200×1,440 pixels 6.7″ AMOLED; 3,040×1,440 pixels
Pixel density 500 pixels per inch 500 pixels per inch 515 pixels per inch 511 pixels per inch 505 pixels per inch
Dimensions (millimeters) 78×163.3×8.9mm 77.9×163.3×8.9mm 75.6×165.1×8.9mm 76×166.9×8.8mm 162.6×77.1×7.94mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 8.25 oz; 234 g 8.07 oz; 229 g 8.07 oz; 229 g 7.76 oz; 220 g 6.98 oz; 198 g
Cell software program (shipped at launch) Android 13 Android 12 Android 11 Android 10 Android 9
Digicam 200-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 10-megapixel (telephoto) 10-megapixel (telephoto) 108-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 10-megapixel (3x telephoto) 10-megapixel (10x telephoto) 108-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (3x telephoto), 10-megapixel (10x telephoto) 108-megapixel (wide-angle), 48-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), time-of-flight digicam 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto), 3D depth (HQVGA)
Entrance-facing digicam 12-megapixel 40-megapixel 40-megapixel 40-megapixel 10-megapixel, 3D depth (HQVGA)
Video seize 8K 8K, 4K 8K, 4K 8K, 4K 4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
RAM/storage 8GB + 256GB; 12GB + 256GB; 12GB + 512GB; 12GB + 1TB 8GB + 128GB ; 12GB + 256GB; 12GB+512GB; 12GB+ 1TB 16GB + 512GB; 12GB + 256GB; 12GB + 128GB 12GB + 128GB; 12GB + 256GB; 16GB + 512GB 8GB + 256GB; 8GB + 512GB
Expandable storage None None None As much as 1TB None
Battery 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 4,500 mAh
Fingerprint sensor In-display In-display In-display In-display In-display
Headphone jack None No No No Sure
Particular options 5G (mmw/Sub6), IP68 score, wi-fi PowerShare to cost different units, built-in S Pen, 100x Area Zoom, 10x Optical Zoom, UWB for locating different units 5G (mmw/Sub6), bundled S Pen, IP68 score, 120Hz show, UWB, Wi-fi Energy Share, 100x Area Zoom (digital), 10x optical zoom, 45W charging assist (offered individually) 5G (mmw/Sub6), S Pen assist (not included), IP68 score, 120Hz show, UWB, Wi-fi Energy Share, 100x Area Zoom (digital), 10x optical zoom 5G (mmw/Sub6); 120Hz refresh fee; 100X zoom (digital); Wi-fi PowerShare; IP68 score 5G (mmw/Sub6); Wi-fi PowerShare; 3D depth cameras (not for face unlock); IP68 score