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Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: Which offers better value?

In Samsung’s latest line-up of phones, the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Ultra sit at opposite ends of the spectrum but which one is worth picking up?

During its latest Unpacked Event, Samsung unveiled the 2023 refresh for its Galaxy smartphones in the form of the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra. With so many leaks and rumours abound in the run-up to this unveiling, there aren’t too many surprises to speak of but if this is the year you’re looking to upgrade then you might be wondering which phone is actually worth picking up.

The Galaxy S23 and S23 Ultra have very different price points and unique propositions to go with them, so if you’re wondering which one is worth handing over your hard-earned cash for then keep reading on to see all the major differences between these two Samsung handsets.


Easily the biggest factor that separates the S23 from the S23 Ultra is the cost involved. Here’s what you can expect to pay for both handsets:

Galaxy S23 Ultra:

  • 256GB, £1249 
  • 512GB, £1399 
  • 1TB, £1599 

Galaxy S23:

  • 128GB, £849 
  • 256GB, £899 

There’s a whopping £400 difference between the starting price of both phones, which is a huge cost to consider. What it comes down to is whether or not you personally feel that you’ll get enough use out of the extra features on the S23 Ultra to warrant the added expense.

They’re running on the same chipset

One neat area of consistency is the processing power of these two phones. Unlike the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro which feature different internal chipsets, the Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy S23 make use of the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy SoC.

What this means is that it’s very unlikely you’ll see any differences between the S23 and the Ultra in terms of how they deal with everyday tasks like running multiple apps, gaming and a spot of streaming. If performance is your key interest and you’re tied to a budget then the standard S23 might be the better option here.

The camera module on the Galaxy S23 Ultra
It might not look different, but there’s a 200MP camera there

S23 Ultra decimates in photography

There are a few areas where the S23 Ultra excels above the S23 but none are quite so apparent as in the camera department. For starters, the Ultra has four rear-facing cameras while the S23 only has three, but the Ultra’s main sensor can shoot up to a whopping 200MP.

That 200MP sensor represents a massive leap from last year’s tech and compared to the 50MP equivalent on the S23, you can expect the Ultra to pump out far more detailed shots. Simply put, if you plan on using your handset for content creation above everything else, then the added expense may be worth it for what the S23 Ultra’s cameras are capable of.

The S23 Ultra still has the S Pen

While the ‘Ultra’ series has become known for being a powerhouse in the world of smartphone photography, the real cherry on top for the S23 Ultra is the inclusion of Samsung’s S Pen within the chassis of the phone itself.

Taking over the role once held by the Samsung Galaxy Note range, the S23 Ultra can work as a digital notepad or sketchbook, depending on your mood. Without any S Pen functionality to speak of, the standard Galaxy S23 is severely lacking in this department, but it is a feature that’s popular amongst a niche audience so while it is fantastic to use, it’s worth considering whether or not you’ll make the most of it.

The S23 is far more portable

Even though the S23 Ultra has all the bells and whistles that you might expect from its price point, the regular S23 does have an ace up its sleeve in being a powerful yet portable device. With a 6.1-inch AMOLED display and a weight of only 168g, the S23 is far more pocketable for the average consumer who doesn’t like to be bogged down by a larger smartphone.

The S23 Ultra on the other hand carries a lot more weight due to its feature set, totalling in at 234g. The larger 6.8-inch display, while gorgeous to look at, does feel substantial in the hand and could easily decimate some smaller-sized pockets.

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