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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: What’s Different?

How do the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus compare? We break it down.


The Samsung Galaxy S23 series is set to be one of the best Android handsets of 2023. Samsung unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S23 series in early February and it includes the Samsung Galaxy S23, Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Also, check out our review of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to find out why it is easily one of the best phones on the market right now.

We’ve already looked at how the Samsung Galaxy S23 compares to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus, so now let’s take a look at how the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra compare…

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: What’s Different?Pin

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: Specs

Let’s first take a look at the specs of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus:

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Specs

  • Display: 6.8-inch 3088 x 1440 (Edge Quad HD+)
  • Colors: Lavender, Cream, Phantom Black, Green, Lime, Red, Sky Blue, or Graphite
  • Storage: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
  • Front Camera: 12MP selfie camera
  • Rear Camera: 12MP ultra wide, 200MP wide, and dual 10MP telephoto
  • Battery: 5000 mAh. Up to 26 hours of video playback
  • CPU: Octa-Core Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • Connectivity: 5G
  • S Pen compatible? Yes

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus Specs

  • Display: 6.6-inch 2340 x 1080 (Flat FHD+)
  • Colors: Lavender, Cream, Phantom Black, Green, Lime, or Graphite
  • Storage: 256GB or 512GB
  • Front Camera: 12MP selfie camera
  • Rear Camera: 12MP ultra wide, 50MP wide, and 10MP telephoto
  • Battery: 4700 mAh. Up to 27 hours of video playback
  • CPU: Octa-Core Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • Connectivity: 5G
  • S Pen compatible? No

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: Design

While the builds aren’t that different, the design of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra does signal that the phone is more of an upgrade over the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus. The design of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus and the regular Samsung Galaxy S23 looks relatively the same – both have rounded corners.

But for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung took a different approach, giving the Ultra sharpened corners that sets it apart from the other two. The sheer size of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is also noticeable even against the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus. The Ultra has a 0.2-inch bigger display, and the body of the phone reflects that size increase.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra also comes in additional color options – ted and Sky Blue – which the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus lacks. Samsung also built S Pen support into the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, something both the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S23 lack – so if you want the S Pen (sold separately), you’ll need to buy the Ultra.

But besides that, the design of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is identical to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus in many ways. Both phones feature an Armor aluminum frame and both feature IP68 water resistance.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: Display

Besides S Pen support and the rear camera system (more on that below), the biggest difference between the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is the display. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra features a massive 6,8-inch 3088 x 1440 Edge Quad HD+ display. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus features a smaller (though still large) 6.6-inch 2340 x 1080 Flat FHD+ display. Bottom line: gamers are most likely to notice the difference between these two displays. But even non-gamers will appreciate the huge resolution increase in the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Other than resolution and size, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus displays are remarkably similar. Both feature peak brightness of 1750 nits, HDR of 1200 nits, and an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz. However, it should be noted that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is capable of going down to a 1Hz refresh rate while the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is limited to a low of 48Hz.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: CPU & Storage

It’s no surprise that Samsung has reserved the best storage offerings for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus comes in 256GB or 512GB options, as does the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. But the Ultra also comes in a 1TB option.

I know, who needs that much? Well, you may if you take a lot of photos with the Ultra (more on that below).

As for the CPU, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra actually has the same CPU as the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus. It’s the Octa-Core Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and it’s a mobile powerhouse. But just don’t expect the Ultra to have much more power than the Plus since they use the same chipset.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: Battery Life

This is where things get a bit interesting. The bigger the phone is the more space a manufacturer has to put in a larger battery. And the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra does have a larger battery at 5000 mAh. But the thing is, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus actually has longer battery life.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus has a 4700 mAh battery, which gives it up to 27 hours of video playback – one more than the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra gets. So why the difference? The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s increased screen resolution likely means it needs more power to run – even with the larger battery, thus the lower battery life.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: Camera

OK – the cameras. Let’s get the boring bit out of the way first. Both the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus have the same 12MP front selfie camera. But its the rear camera department where the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra shines.

While the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus has a triple lens rear camera system (12MP ultra wide, 50MP wide, and 10MP telephoto), the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has a quad lens rear camera system. Like the Plus, the Ultra has a 12MP ultra wide camera and a 10MP telephoto camera. But the Ultra adds an extra 10MP telephoto camera, too. This extra telephoto lens lets the Ultra have 10x optical zoom, whereas the Plus is limited to 3x optical zoom.

But it’s the wide-angle camera where the Ultra really outperforms. The wide-angle camera on the Ultra is a staggering 200MP, versus a mere 50MP on the Plus. But here’s the caveat – if you actually take photos on the Ultra at 200MP, you will quickly run out of storage space. That’s because a 200MP photo can take up to 40MB of space each. Just 50 200MP photos can suck up a full gigabyte of storage on your Ultra. Yeah, you’re going to need that 1TB option then.

But most people don’t need a 200MP camera on their phone – or even a 50MP camera. If you merely post your photos online and share them via text, it’s best to set your camera to max out at 12MP images as you’ll save a ton of storage space.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: Cost

OK – cost. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus costs $999.99 for the 256GB model and $1119.99 for the 512GB model.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra costs $1199.99 for the 256GB model, $1379.99 for the 512GB model, and $1619.99 for the 1TB model. It’s a beast of a price for a beast of a phone. And add on another $49.99 if you want the optional S Pen with the Ultra.

Michael Grothaus

Michael Grothaus is an American author and journalist with a flair for exploring the intersection of technology, creativity, and digital culture. With a background in film, journalism, and creative writing, he brings a unique perspective to the world of mobile technology. His work has been featured in renowned publications like Fast Company, The Guardian, and Engadget. At KnowYourMobile, Michael leverages his extensive knowledge to guide readers through the complexities of mobile devices, helping them make informed choices in the fast-paced tech landscape.

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