The official unveiling of the Galaxy S23 Ultra is only a week away. All of the leaked information so far paints a positive picture. Samsung has upgraded almost every aspect of its upcoming 2023 flagship, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra is an exciting proposition for Samsung flagship customers, especially those living in markets with great trade-in value.
We have already listed many reasons why the Galaxy S23 Ultra could be a worthy upgrade for Galaxy S20 Ultra customers. But what about Galaxy S21 Ultra users? Should you consider the Galaxy S23 Ultra as your next flagship phone? Let’s answer that by looking at all the improvements the 2023 flagship offers over the 2021 model, and what you might lose by switching to a newer phone.
Better and Brighter Displays with 1-120Hz Refresh Rates
Both the Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy S23 Ultra feature a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a similar resolution. However, the 2023 model does increase peak brightness from 1,500 nits to 1,750 nits, and reports suggest that Samsung has fine-tuned color accuracy to an excellent level, especially in low-light usage conditions.
Additionally, the Galaxy S23 Ultra supports refresh rates between 1Hz and 120Hz, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s panel can only go as low as 48Hz. This means the Galaxy S23 Ultra panel is friendlier to battery life and can compensate for higher brightness.
All in all, the Galaxy S23 Ultra display is brighter and more technologically advanced.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra fully accepts the S Pen.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the first S-series flagship to feature S Pen support, but it doesn’t have a built-in holster for this iconic input device. The 2021 model can be said to be the last pure Galaxy S Ultra flagship, and you can also view it as a plus.
Still, if you’re interested in the S Pen, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a worthy upgrade over the Galaxy S21 Ultra for the S Pen holster alone. The 2023 model fully embeds the S Pen and offers better stylus technology with lower latency. You no longer have to buy an S Pen case for your device, and your accessories are always within reach.
Better build quality and new design
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But even if you prefer the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s bulky camera housing, there’s something to be said for the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s design consistency.
The 2023 flagship has a more square footprint and a much more minimalist camera setup without the traditional “hump”. It looks more trendy than the 2021 model, and the thicker metal frame makes it look stronger.
Besides the updated aesthetics, the Galaxy S23 Ultra uses better construction materials like a stronger aluminum frame with improved scratch and drop resistance along with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 instead of Glass Victus display protection. The former should provide better protection in case of a fall on a hard surface such as concrete pavement. Essentially, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is better suited for use without a protective case than the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The ubiquitous Snapdragon SoC and more (perhaps faster) primary storage
For the first time, Samsung is no longer splitting the flagship market between Exynos and Qualcomm chipsets. The Galaxy S23 Ultra ships with a 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 worldwide, so the support should be better, and even if you buy the Galaxy S23 Ultra from the so-called “Exynos market,” you’ll get Qualcomm’s best SoC. .”
Needless to say, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is a more powerful solution than the Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 SoCs. Additionally, the Galaxy S23 Ultra reportedly uses a proprietary version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that boasts higher frequencies for better performance.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra also comes standard with more storage space. The base model has 256GB of storage, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra has more than 128GB. Conversely, you can get 8GB of RAM for the Galaxy S23 Ultra as opposed to 12GB for the base model, but you can comfortably compensate with the RAM Plus as the phone offers more storage.
Lastly, if the rumors are true, the Galaxy S23 Ultra will ship with faster UFS 4.0 storage instead of UFS 3.1, which will speed up file transfers and help with the performance of the RAM Plus virtual memory.
A better camera with a 200MP primary sensor
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is Samsung’s first smartphone to boast a 200MP primary camera. The new ISOCELL HP2 offers many improvements, especially in terms of low-light performance and autofocus.
It offers the same zoom capabilities, but the telephoto camera is also better. AI processing has been improved and enlarged photos will look even better on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
One possible downgrade could be the 12MP selfie sensor down from the S21 Ultra’s 40MP unit. However, the 12MP sensor appears to be all-new, which could mean taking advantage of the latest tech to make better selfies with more accurate colors.
If you’re looking for a camera upgrade on your Galaxy S21 Ultra, the S23 Ultra definitely deserves one.
Faster battery charging (wired)
One of the more unusual choices Samsung made for the Galaxy S21 Ultra was lowering the charging rate to 25W. Thankfully, the Galaxy S23 Ultra has better specs. Both phones have 5,000mAh batteries, but the Galaxy S23 Ultra features 45W super fast charging.
However, Samsung also made an unusual choice for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The 2023 model boasts faster wired charging than the 2021 flagship, but it appears to have a 10W wireless charging capability instead of the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 15W wireless capability.
So some win and some lose. But if you’re looking for faster wired charging, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is for you.
Latest software and support up to Android 17
Although the Galaxy S21 Ultra was recently upgraded to Android 13 and One UI 5.0, Samsung will be shipping the Galaxy S23 Ultra with the latest One UI 5.1 firmware.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra may get One UI 5.1 eventually, but the 2023 model will have a head start. More importantly, both phones fall under Samsung’s improved 4-year Android OS upgrade policy, but support for the 2021 models will drop at Android 15. .
Why not upgrade from Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Galaxy S23 Ultra undoubtedly offers many upgrades over the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but what about the downsides? Are there any reasons to consider not upgrading to a 2023 model other than what you’ll have to spend?
Well, as mentioned earlier, switching to the Galaxy S23 Ultra can drop wireless charging speeds by 5W, up to 10W. If you’re interested in wireless charging, this could be your problem.
You also lose 4GB of RAM for the base model, but you get more (faster) storage. Still, if you value more apps running in the background and don’t want to use RAM Plus, you’ll get a lesser experience from the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
On the software side, it is true that the galaxy s23 ultra is supported longer, but the galaxy s21 ultra is not touched. There are two major OS upgrades planned for the future, so if you decide to stick with the Galaxy S21 Ultra for a few more years, it’s not like you’re missing out on the next few One UI versions.
Finally, a relatively small user base may want to know that the Galaxy S23 Ultra does not have an FM radio. The feature is already market-specific and only available on the Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S21 Ultra (no FM for Exynos). But now, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is likely ditching FM radio support everywhere.
If you think the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a worthwhile upgrade, keep an eye out for the Unpacked 2023. The event is set to take place on February 1st, and the new flagships should be available for pre-order for about two weeks before shipping to early buyers. You can book a call online and earn $50 Samsung Credit by February 1st.
SamsungGalaxy S23 Ultra
SamsungGalaxy S21 Ultra