Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs S23 Plus vs S23: what's the difference?
Battery size, cameras, RAM, storage and shape differ for each – pick the right one with this guide
Now that we’ve gotten a look at the official Samsung Galaxy S23 phones, it’s time to pick the best one for you. There’s plenty to consider when looking at the latest and greatest from the South Korean company, so we’ve put together a guide to make that process a little easier for you.
Whether you need a big ol’ Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra with stylus support or just something compact and powerful like the base model Galaxy S23, Samsung has a little something for every Android fan out there.
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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
📸 Samsung’s best phone camera
📝 Supports and includes the Galaxy S Pen
📦 Has the most available RAM (up to 12GB) and Storage (up to 1TB)
💸 Ideal if you want the best of the best and don’t mind paying for it
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has been the go-to for fans of the company’s now-defunct Galaxy Note line, thanks to its similar squared-off form factor, fantastic performance and support for the included color-matched Galaxy S Pen. It starts at $1,199 for the base 256GB model. This year, the Samsung Galaxy S23 colors are the same across the whole lineup: Phantom Black, Green, Cotton White and Lavender, removing any hard choices between looks and specs.
In 2023, the Galaxy S23 Ultra camera is a massive 200MP shooter with laser auto focus (LAF) and optical image stabilization (OIS) – I’d expect some incredibly detailed shots with this one. With it, Samsung says you can take astro hyperlapses – videos made by combining many shots over a period of time to show the movement of stars as the night wears on.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra screen size is the same 6.8 inches of 120Hz AMOLED display with 1,750 nits of peak brightness. Expect all-day performance from its 5,000mAh battery, but if you think that’s not enough, you can get a 45-watt charger from Samsung for some quick juice.
Many of the Galaxy S23 specs are shared across the line, like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra processor, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which enables 8K video recording at 30 frames per second, up from the 24fps max of last year’s phones. The biggest distinctions, then, are in the up-to-1TB storage size, up-to-12GB RAM and of course, the 200MP camera.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
👍 Same key specs as the S23 Ultra, minus S Pen support and 200MP camera
🔋 Bigger screen and battery than the base model S23
🤑 $200 cheaper than the Ultra
If the squared-off shoulders of the Galaxy S23 Ultra don’t work for you, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus design might be a better fit. Featuring rounded, iPhone-like corners. a flat screen and rounded aluminum sides, this phone will feel better in the pocket and, for some, in hand.
In many ways, the Galaxy S23 Plus is the Ultra for those who don’t want quite such a big phone, don’t want pen support or a beefy camera, but still want great specs and a Galaxy S23 with all-day battery life. Instead of a 200MP camera, it’s got a 50MP sensor with OIS – still a great camera – and the Space Zoom feature only goes up to 30X instead of the 100X of the Ultra.
The variable refresh 120Hz 6.6-inch Galaxy S23 Plus display gets up to 1,750 nits peak outdoor brightness, with a heftier battery to back it up than last year. It’s available with 256GB or 512GB storage with 8GB of RAM, and supports 45-watt fast-charging for the first time (last year’s model maxed at 25 watts). The Galaxy S23 Plus price starts at $999.
Samsung Galaxy S23
🖐️ Same powerful processor as the S23 Ultra in a compact form factor
💸 Most affordable Galaxy S phone in 2023
🔋 Improved battery capacity vs Galaxy S22
The Samsung Galaxy S23 is your best bet for compact, one-handed use in the S23 lineup. But don’t let its small size fool you. It still gets the same processor, wireless connectivity and 1,750-nit outdoor peak brightness as its bigger siblings, while the cameras are the same as the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus. Starting at $799, the Galaxy S23’s price makes it the most affordable Galaxy S23 phone in 2023.
Like the S23 Plus, the Galaxy S23’s design is iPhone-like, making it a nice choice for those who love Apple’s designs but are weary of its closed-off ecosystem or its mobile operating system. The Galaxy S23 screen size is different, of course, at 6.1 inches.
Under the hood, the S23 maxes out at 256GB of storage with 8GB RAM, and its battery sits at 3,900mAh – that’s less than the 4,335mAh of the Google Pixel 7, but it beats the iPhone 14 Pro’s 3,200mAh. Of course, capacity isn’t everything, so the comparison is moot until we get our hands on the phone.
The Galaxy S23 is best for small phone aficionados without heavy storage needs – now with fewer compromises than last year.