Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus vs Galaxy S23 Ultra

2
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase from the links on this page.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus vs Galaxy S23 Ultra: all differences
Samsung has placed a larger battery in the Galaxy S23+ and the same exclusive Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 version with overclocked cores that is powering the Galaxy S23 Ultra, so we know the question on a buyer's mind may very well be whether the 10x periscope zoom of the Ultra and its higher main camera resolution are worth the $200 or so price difference. Oh, and the S Pen, case closed!

Preorder the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra at $830 off with extra credit!

With the extra credit from the exclusive offer here on top of the $100 Samsung preorder bonus and a free storage bump, the 512GB S23 Ultra can be yours for just $550 with a trade-in! Plus, you get exclusive Red, Blue, and other colors only at Samsung!
$549 99
$1379 99
Pre-order at Samsung

With our Galaxy S23 Plus preorder discount the 512GB tier is priced at $500!

Samsung offers a free Galaxy S23+ 256-to-512GB storage upgrade and the exclusive offer below stacks additional credit on top of the instant $100 preorder credit to arrive at up to $620 savings with a trade-in!
$499 99
$1119 99
Pre-order at Samsung

Grab the Galaxy S23 for just $350 with additional preorder bonus and free storage bump!

The same bonus credit from the exclusive offer here, gratis storage tiers, and up to $350 trade-in start the Galaxy S23 price at just $350! That includes a $100 store credit for accessories and Samsung-exclusive colors like Lime or Graphite you can only get at its store!
$349 99
$859 99
Pre-order at Samsung

Get the 512GB Galaxy S23 Ultra for $880 off at Best Buy!

Best Buy has a great Galaxy S23 Ultra preorder deal running until 2/16 with up to an $880 discount. You get up to $600 with a trade, a $100 Best Buy gift card, and a free 512GB storage upgrade worth a Benjamin!
$419 99
$1299 99
Pre-order at BestBuy

Preorder the 512GB Galaxy S23+ for $220 at Best Buy!

The same Best Buy Galaxy S23+ preorder deal with up to $880 bonus goes to the middle S23+ child as well with a $680 trade and $200 in storage bump and a Best Buy gift card.
$219 99
$1099 99
Pre-order at BestBuy

BestBuy offers the 256GB Galaxy S23 for free!

At Best Buy, a free Galaxy S23 storage upgrade deal during the preorder period, a $100 gift card, and $600 in trades bring the price down to free!
We kid, but that is why we are embarking on this Galaxy S23 Ultra comparison with the Galaxy S23 Plus, so that it is easier to decide which one to get given that both sport nearly identical designs and HDR10+ certified displays with 120Hz refresh rate, besides the very comparable display diagonals and battery sizes. Let's dive into the design and feature differences differences of the two expensive members of the Galaxy S23 family!

Main Galaxy S23 Plus vs Galaxy S23 Ultra differences


  • The S23 Ultra has wider zoom range and superior main and selfie cameras
  • The S23 Ultra has brighter, better LTPO display with higher 1440p resolution and wider refresh rate range
  • The S23 Ultra has a built in S Pen stylus
  • The S23 Ultra has versions with 12GB RAM vs 8GB for the S23+

Jump to:

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra


View full specs
Samsung Galaxy S23+

Samsung Galaxy S23+


View full specs

Read more:

Galaxy S23 Plus vs Galaxy S23 Ultra design and displays


With the S23 and S23+, Samsung unified the Galaxy S line design language to look like the high-end Ultra, isolating the camera lenses in separate enclaves at the back of the phone, instead of flushing them with an elevated camera island surface like on the S22 and the S22+. This way, no matter which handset you pick, this more elegant design approach is an immediate tell that this is a device in Samsung's flagship 2023 line of phones. 

Needless to say, this also means that you can't reuse your old cases on the new crop, but given the new Galaxy S23 colors set, one wouldn't want to anyway, as they come with official cases in the respective freshened hue set - Green, Lavender, Phantom Black, and Cream, not to mention the exclusive Red, Blue, Lime, or Graphite you only get if you order at Samsung, even the carrier models.

The Verizon Galaxy S23 Ultra comes at $920 off with bonus credit!

The extra S23 Ultra bonus from the link here on top of Samsung’s store credit brings the Galaxy S23 Ultra starting price on Verizon to just $399.99 with a trade. And a 5G plan!
$399 99 /mo
$1299 99
Pre-order at Verizon

T-Mobile prices the Galaxy S23 Ultra from $200 with a trade!

Get the T-Mobile S23 Ultra via Samsung and you can grab extra bonus with our link here on top of the free storage upgrade and extra Samsung store credit. When signing for the Magenta MAX plan and trading an eligible device, T-Mobile will knock another $1000 off the S23 Ultra price!
$199 99 /mo
$1299 99
Pre-order at T-Mobile

An AT&T S23 Ultra deal knocks it down to $200 with extra bonus!

Those on AT&T can grab the flagship Galaxy S23 Ultra from Samsung with a plan and a trade for just $200. That’s with the extra bonus from the link below, a $70 Samsung store credit towards accessories, and a free storage bump to at least 512GB!
$199 99 /mo
$1299 99
Pre-order at AT&T

]

As can be easily seen in our PhoneArena size comparison, the dimensions of both phones are slightly altered when compared to their predecessors, but the S23+ is still much lighter, slightly narrower, and much shorter than the S23 Ultra, making it the phone of choice for those worried about the gargantuan size of the Ultra and yet still clamoring for a big-screen Samsung phone.

Samsung Galaxy S23
Dimensions

5.76 x 2.79 x 0.3 inches

146.3 x 70.9 x 7.6mm

Weight

5.93 oz (168 g)

Samsung Galaxy S23+
Dimensions

6.21 x 3 x 0.3 inches

157.8x76.2x7.6mm

Weight

6.91 oz (196 g)

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Dimensions

6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 inches

163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9 mm

Weight

8.25 oz (234 g)

Samsung Galaxy S22+
Dimensions

6.2 x 2.98 x 0.3 inches

157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm

Weight

6.91 oz (196 g)

Samsung Galaxy S23
Dimensions

5.76 x 2.79 x 0.3 inches

146.3 x 70.9 x 7.6mm

Weight

5.93 oz (168 g)

Samsung Galaxy S23+
Dimensions

6.21 x 3 x 0.3 inches

157.8x76.2x7.6mm

Weight

6.91 oz (196 g)

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Dimensions

6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 inches

163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9 mm

Weight

8.25 oz (234 g)

Samsung Galaxy S22+
Dimensions

6.2 x 2.98 x 0.3 inches

157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm

Weight

6.91 oz (196 g)

Compare these and other phones using our Size Comparison tool.


Speaking of the display, here is where the 6.8-incher on the Galaxy S23 Ultra shines when compared to the 6.6-inch screen of the S23+, as it offers a panel with the latest LTPO OLED screen technology that allows for much more granular dynamic refresh rate that can go down to 1Hz even when displaying static images, saving on precious battery life in the process. 

The S23+ display, in comparison, can offer a more narrow 48Hz-120Hz dynamic refresh rate range, though its lower 1080p resolution is likely to offset the battery consumption advantage of the Ultra's screen better than any adjustable refresh rate differences. Samsung kept the 1750 nits maximum brightness of the Ultra's panel, too, rather than go for 2000+ nits, and this time the S23+ screen is rated for the same brightness in peak lighting conditions, taking an extra toll on the battery under direct sunlight.


In any case, both screens are very well calibrated, and Samsung offers HDR10+ certification on the panels. Still, the higher resolution of the Galaxy S23 Ultra display as well as its frugal LTPO technology, are shaping it up to win against the S23+ panel whose battery draw advantage because of the lower pixel count is offset by the use of the older LTPS technology entirely.

Galaxy S23 Plus vs Galaxy S23 Ultra performance


With the Galaxy S23 series, Samsung finally decided to equip all regional variants of the phones with a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, instead of shoehorning an Exynos chip in some as it concluded that it can't match Qualcomm's latest X70 5G modem. By opting to not go for an Exynos chip, Samsung has shown that it listens to its customers, but it hasn't exactly settled for an off-the-shelf solution.

The Galaxy S23+ and Galaxy S23 Ultra are powered by a custom Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset that Samsung may have produced in its own foundries, unlike the "regular" one clocked at 3.2GHz which is made by TSMC. The Samsung-exclusive S23 processor is called Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy and sports overclocked ARM-Cortex X3 prime core running at 3.36 GHz.

Geekbench 5 Single Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S23+ 1542
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 1583
Geekbench 5 Multi Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S23+ 5062
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 4937
3DMark Extreme (High) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S23+ 3857
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 3828
3DMark Extreme (Low) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S23+ 2191
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 1951

As you can see from the Geekbench database scores, the phones have rather comparable benchmark results, with a slight tendency of the S23+ to beat the S23 Ultra when all are taken into account as an average. That's rather explicable, given that it has a smaller display with lower resolution so the graphics subsystem has to push less pixels in standardized tests. Still, when sized up to mobile chipset stalwarts like the fastest Apple A16 one, the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy performs only 10-20% slower in synthetic benchmarks and that's because the A16 participates with the full 3.46GHz might of its prime core. 

Overall, a great choice of chipset for the Galaxy S23+ and S23 Ultra that won't leave you underpowered in any situation, not only in running the One UI 5.1 overlay on top of Android 13. Moreover, it has proven its gaming chops as cooler and more stable than even Apple's mighty A-series in the latest iPhone 14 line.


The only ho-hum part is the 8GB RAM in the base S23+ and Ultra versions, which is rather surprising given their $1000 and $1200 price points, respectively. This year, however, Samsung doubled their storage to soothe the specs-for-money pain, and introduced a 512GB tier for the S23+, so in that regards it is much closer to its higher-end sibling. The S23 Ultra, however, still has the advantage of a 12GB RAM offer to go with the higher storage tiers, not to mention an exclusive 1TB model while the S23+ stays on the 8GB RAM hill no matter what.

Galaxy S23 Plus vs Galaxy S23 Ultra cameras


There is a clear winner in that section, and it is the Galaxy S23 Ultra, whose new 200MP Samsung ISOCELL HP2 sensor is not only of much higher resolution than the main 50MP camera on the S23+, but comes with Samsung's latest and greatest photo technologies. For instance, it offers Quad Phase Detection for vastly improved autofocus compared to the Dual PD on the S23+. 

Moreover, the sensor uses advanced pixel-binning technology called Tetra2pixel. This allows it to change pixel sizes depending on the amount of light in the environment. Under low-light conditions, the sensor captures 50MP images at 1.2μm (4:1 pixel binning) or 12.5MP images at 2.4μm (16:1 pixel binning).


Indeed, the camera samples from the 200MP Galaxy S23 Ultra, are much sharper and more detailed than before, plus the night shots and the crop zoom are evidently superior to what the S22 Ultra is able to muster in the same situation, let alone the S23+, but we are taking samples with both the S23+ and S23 Ultra cameras now to do a proper comparison.

When we add the 10x periscope zoom and the new front-facing camera on the S23 Ultra with larger sensor, and its custom Ultra Stabilization OIS technology, the S23+ falls far behind in terms of overall camera capabilities, and that might be worth the price difference alone.

Galaxy S23 Plus vs Galaxy S23 Ultra battery life and charging speeds


The Galaxy S23+ got a cool bump in battery capacity compared to its predecessor - 4,700 mAh vs 4,500 mAh before - and has the same 45W wired and 15W wireless charging speeds as the Galaxy S23 Ultra with its larger 5,000 mAh battery pack.

Given that both phones are powered by the 3.36 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy, the slight battery capacity difference would offset any power draw advantages that the S23+ might have due to its smaller display with lower resolution.

Moreover, the S23 Ultra actually has better battery life than the S23+ given its more frugal LTPO display technology and the wider dynamic refresh rate range, as Samsung cites 20% battery life increase for the S23 Ultra compared to the S22 Ultra.

hours Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
18h 57 min
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
13h 17 min
Samsung Galaxy S23+
16h 37 min
Samsung Galaxy S22+
15h 16 min
Samsung Galaxy S23
15h 21 min
Samsung Galaxy S22
12h 23 min

Galaxy S23 Plus vs Galaxy S23 Ultra specs


Here are the Galaxy S23 series specs we can expect from Samsung to announce in early February:


Keeping most of the hardware but the chipset the same has allowed Samsung to launch the Galaxy S23+ at the same price, even if it doubled its base storage, because otherwise $999 for the same LTPS display would have been overkill. Nevertheless, this tag could still skew the decision in favor of the S23 Ultra, which may have been Samsung's goal all along as it has the least amount of units forecast for the sales of the middle child.

Summary and verdict


Samsung has actually closed the Galaxy S23+ specs gap with the S23 Ultra compared to the differences between their predecessors, as it has doubled the base S23+ storage. Still, for all intents and purposes, the S23 Ultra offers way more for the mere $200 price difference to warrant saving two Benjamins and going for the S23+.

Not only does the S23 Ultra offer the most powerful zoom on a modern phone, but also the most advanced 200MP sensor, leaving every Android or iPhone behind, including the Galaxy S23+. The ultimate photographic flexibility is augmented by its extra input method thanks to the built-in S Pen, while the brighter LTPO OLED display has much more flexible dynamic refresh rate. 

When we add the higher memory counts, that $200 price difference compared to the S23+ starts to seem increasingly negligible given all the preorder discounts and trade-in bonuses Samsung is giving for its best and brightest 2023 phones so far.

The Verizon Galaxy S23 Ultra comes at $920 off with bonus credit!

The extra S23 Ultra bonus from the link here on top of Samsung’s store credit brings the Galaxy S23 Ultra starting price on Verizon to just $399.99 with a trade. And a 5G plan!
$399 99 /mo
$1299 99
Pre-order at Verizon

T-Mobile prices the Galaxy S23 Ultra from $200 with a trade!

Get the T-Mobile S23 Ultra via Samsung and you can grab extra bonus with our link here on top of the free storage upgrade and extra Samsung store credit. When signing for the Magenta MAX plan and trading an eligible device, T-Mobile will knock another $1000 off the S23 Ultra price!
$199 99 /mo
$1299 99
Pre-order at T-Mobile

An AT&T S23 Ultra deal knocks it down to $200 with extra bonus!

Those on AT&T can grab the flagship Galaxy S23 Ultra from Samsung with a plan and a trade for just $200. That’s with the extra bonus from the link below, a $70 Samsung store credit towards accessories, and a free storage bump to at least 512GB!
$199 99 /mo
$1299 99
Pre-order at AT&T
Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless