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Best Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Alternative [2023 Guide]

Here’s a quick overview of the some of the best Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra alternatives you can buy right now…



The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a killer phone, arguably one of the best Android phones on the market right now, so this post isn’t designed to slight it in any way – we’re huge fans of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

But there are plenty of alternatives to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra that are either A) just as good, B) better in other ways, and C) cheaper to buy, so if any of those things stand out to you, read on for a quick overview of the best Galaxy S23 Ultra alternatives right now.

Best Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Alternative

Editor's Pick
  • 5.0
  • Pros:
    • New Always-On display
    • Dynamic Island replaces the Face ID notch
    • New triple-lens Pro camera system (48MP Main, 12MP Ultra Wide, and 12MP Telephoto)
    • 4K HDR Cinematic mode at 30fps
    • Photonic engine
    • Faster 5G
    • Satellite connectivity for SOS messages
    • Crash Detection service
Cheaper, Better For Updates
  • 4.6
  • Pros:
    • Big & Bold Design
    • Excellent Software + Support
    • New Price ($699) Makes It Better Value
    • Very Decent Camera
    • 100W Fast Charging
Best For Camera Performance
  • 4.5
  • Pros:
    • Big, Bright Display w/ 120Hz Refresh Rate
    • Fast Performance
    • Amazing Camera w/ 48MP Telephoto Lens
    • Masses of Power
    • Great Battery Life
Editor's Pick
5.0
Pros:
  • New Always-On display
  • Dynamic Island replaces the Face ID notch
  • New triple-lens Pro camera system (48MP Main, 12MP Ultra Wide, and 12MP Telephoto)
  • 4K HDR Cinematic mode at 30fps
  • Photonic engine
  • Faster 5G
  • Satellite connectivity for SOS messages
  • Crash Detection service
Cheaper, Better For Updates
4.6
Pros:
  • Big & Bold Design
  • Excellent Software + Support
  • New Price ($699) Makes It Better Value
  • Very Decent Camera
  • 100W Fast Charging
Best For Camera Performance
4.5
Pros:
  • Big, Bright Display w/ 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • Fast Performance
  • Amazing Camera w/ 48MP Telephoto Lens
  • Masses of Power
  • Great Battery Life

iPhone 14 Pro Max

iphone 14 pro max dealsPin

If you’re considering an alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, look no further than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Apple’s latest flagship has received a significant design overhaul and boasts numerous innovative features, making it a worthy competitor in the high-end smartphone market.

Key Features and Highlights:

  • Dynamic Island: This pill-shaped cutout replaces the notch, creating a unique utility bar at the top of the iPhone’s screen. It can morph to display information, controls, or symbols, depending on what you’re doing on the phone.
  • Always-On Display: The iPhone 14 Pro Max introduces an always-on display that shows lock screen elements even when not in use. It intelligently senses when the phone is face-down, in a pocket or purse, and shuts off to save battery power.
  • Impressive Camera Upgrades: The main rear camera boasts a 48MP sensor, while the ultra-wide and telephoto lenses see better apertures compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The Photonic engine delivers brighter photos and improved low-light shots, while Action Mode stabilizes action-packed videos.
  • A16 Bionic Chipset: Though the performance improvements may seem incremental, the A16 Bionic chipset offers a 17% bump in processing power and a 50% increase in GPU bandwidth, making it ideal for gaming and heavy-duty tasks.
  • Emergency SOS and Crash Detection: The iPhone 14 Pro Max features satellite connectivity for emergency SOS messages and crash detection that can automatically alert emergency services in case of an accident.

In conclusion, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is an excellent alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, especially for those looking for a premium device with a unique design, impressive camera capabilities, and innovative features


OnePlus 11

Is The OnePlus 11 GoodPin

The OnePlus 11 marks a return to a more value-focused approach, starting at $699. It offers impressive specs and a beautiful design, making it an attractive option among Android flagships. However, some features have been sacrificed to achieve this price point.

Key Features:

  • Display: 6.55-inch AMOLED, 1080 x 2400 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8GB / 12GB
  • Storage: 128GB / 256GB
  • Rear Camera: 50MP primary, 16MP ultra-wide, 2MP depth
  • Front Camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 5000mAh with 80W fast charge
  • Benchmark Scores: AnTuTu (v9): 1140661, GeekBench (v5.1): 4899

The OnePlus 11 is slim and lightweight, with a 6.55-inch AMOLED display and a 120Hz refresh rate. It offers facial recognition and an in-display fingerprint scanner for biometric security.

While the OnePlus 11’s camera is an improvement over the OnePlus 10 Pro, it falls short compared to the iPhone 14, Pixel 7, and Galaxy S23. The camera quality is primarily held back by software optimization.

The 5000mAh battery provides a full day of usage, but the standout feature is the 80W fast charging (100W outside the US), which can add 18 hours of battery life in just 10 minutes which wipes the floor with the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s charging speeds.

Oh, and the OnePlus 11 will get four years’ worth of Android updates. Not too shabby, right?


Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Pro Camera SpecsPin

The Google Pixel 7 Pro, Google’s 2022 flagship device, is making waves with its enhanced imaging capabilities, making it a solid alternative to the Galaxy S23 Ultra is you’re big on camera performance and capabilities.

The star of the show is undoubtedly its camera, sporting a new 48MP telephoto lens alongside the 50MP main and 12MP ultra-wide lenses, forming a truly compelling package.

Pixel 7 Pro Camera Specs:

  • Primary: 50MP sensor with OIS, PDAF, and Laser-AF
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP sensor with PDAF
  • Telephoto: 48MP sensor with OIS and PDAF
  • Video: 4K at 30/60fps, 1080p at 30/60fps

The Pixel 7 Pro’s zoom capabilities shine with a near-continuous zoom range from 0.5x to 30x, thanks to the new Super Res Zoom algorithm. This smart software uses machine learning to capture multiple frames and create more detailed, noise-free images when zoomed in.

Pixel 7 Pro’s zoom techniques include:

  • 2x Cropping into 50MP primary sensor, enhanced by HDR+ algorithm
  • Beyond 2x: ML fusion combining data from main sensor and telephoto lens
  • Up to 5x Optical zoom and pixel binning for improved low-light performance and dynamic range
  • Beyond 5x to 10x Software-led zoom with machine learning algorithms
  • 20x to 30x: Super Res Zoom algorithm combined with Tensor G2 CPU’s new ML upscaling component

Compared to the Pixel 6 Pro, the Pixel 7 Pro has made significant improvements, primarily software-driven, such as the fusion algorithm that refines texture rendering in zoomed-in shots. This algorithm uses information from the telephoto and main cameras to create smoother, more natural-looking images at any zoom length.

The Pixel 7 Pro also boasts a new macro mode that activates automatically when getting close to a subject, utilizing the ultra-wide lens for great results in various lighting conditions. If desired, users can disable the automatic loading of macro mode with a simple on-screen tap.


Notable Mentions

  • Samsung Galaxy A53 5G – the Galaxy A53 5G is basically a Galaxy S23 Lite phone. It has many of the Galaxy S23’s features and design queues but it lacks some of its more advanced features and specifications. Get the full picture inside our Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review.
  • Pixel 7 – the Pixel 7 is an inexpensive, beautifully designed phone that runs exceptional software and it comes with an unbeatable price tag. If you’re a fan of value for money, outstanding camera performance, and you don’t like waiting for Android updates, the Pixel 7 is well worth a look.
  • Nothing Phone 1 – the Nothing Phone 1 has plenty of design flare and lots of features that make it stand out from the pack. Priced extremely aggressively, this mid-range/budget Android phone punches well outside its weight class and is great option for the budget conscious in 2023. Check out our full Nothing Phone 1 review for more details.

Editor’s Choice: How/Why We Picked These Phones

iPhone 14 Pro Max PricePin

If you’re after a phone that can match – and in some respects, surpass – the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, our #1 pick right now would be the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

It is a powerhouse of a phone that packs in one of the best camera modules on the market. Its chipset is extremely potent, offering up more performance than anyone could humanly use, and it will get iOS updates for well into the early-2030s.

The battery life is stellar, Dynamic Island is brilliant, and the phone is a joy to own and use. Yes, it is pricey, but it is Apple’s flagship and when you unbox one and use it, you’ll know exactly where all that extra cash went – it is essentially flawless.

If the thought of moving from Android to iPhone gives you the chills, the next best option from a performance perspective would be the OnePlus 11. It will get Android updates for four years, one more than the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and it packs in masses of power – just as much as the S23 Ultra.

The only area where the OnePlus 11 loses ground, save for its lack of wireless charging and IP rating, is its camera – it’s just not as good as the Pixel 7 Pro or the S23 Ultra’s.

But the OnePlus 11 is cheaper than the S23 Ultra, so if you’re looking for a better value option and you’re not fussed about having the best camera on the market (the OnePlus 11’s is still very good, buy the way), then the OnePlus 11 is a brilliant option.

The Pixel 7 Pro lacks the power and performance of the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the OnePlus 11, but it more than makes up for this with its AI smarts and its outstanding camera performance which, all things being equal, is more or less as good as what you get on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, so for shutter bugs the Pixel 7 Pro is an excellent alternative.

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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