Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra arrives early at retail store — here's your first live look

Image of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in four colors in a leaked retail image
(Image credit: KM Cell Store via Facebook)

The Samsung Galaxy S23 series is set to launch in less than ten days on February 1 at the Galaxy Unpacked event. But going by all the leaks and rumors spilling the beans on what to expect from the phones, including a large chunk of the specs, there is not much left to the imagination.

Now one retail shop in Nicaragua has posted what seems to be real-world images of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the S23 Plus.

It looks like Samsung has shipped out some units to retailers like KM Cell Store (opens in new tab) who seem to have leaked pictures of the S23 Ultra. Twitter user Alvin (opens in new tab) has also tweeted a picture of the S23 Plus that are apparently from the same retailer. 

The packaging looks slightly off-brand in these images and it could very well be dummy units. Although the images show the design to be very similar to previous leaks of the phones, it is hard to determine the authenticity of the leak. Leaker Ice Universe who usually calls out fake leaks has not said anything about this so far, which could mean that this could in fact be the first real-world look at the Galaxy S23 units.

The leaked images show the S23 Ultra model in all four rumored colors — Phantom Black, Botanic Green, Cotton Flower, and Misty Lilac. Recent Samsung Galaxy S23 renders showed the phone in the same colors but the Misty Lilac, which was rumored to be the light pink color, looks slightly different and brighter in these images. So far the renders have indicated a slightly washed out look for this color.  

Image of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in a pink color along with the S Pen in front of other S23 Ultra retail boxes

(Image credit: Slashleaks)

The brighter pink in the retail image of the S23 Ultra is more like marketing images that recently leaked of the S23 series. Interestingly, the S23 Plus image on the other hand, shows the pink color to be much lighter and is similar to the previous renders.

It's not just leaked images of the phones and their packaging, but also a hands-on look at the probable S23 Ultra that has surfaced from this leak. 

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The hands-on video posted by Twitter user Alvin (opens in new tab) shows the S23 Ultra from all angles. We can see the S Pen built-in to the phone along with large camera sensors on the back.  In previously leaked renders we had seen that the camera bump on the back would be more flush with the body of the phone, but in this hands-on video that doesn't seem to be the case, it protrudes a bit, a lot like the S22 Ultra.

The phone itself looks sleek in the hand with a premium matte finish in a dark green color. 

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Overall, the design of the leaked S23 Ultra is in line with all the other leaks we have seen in the past. The sides look flat and it is a lot like the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The camera sensors are much bigger than the S22 Ultra, which is again something we had heard of before. 

The S23 Ultra could get a huge megapixel upgrade this year with a 200MP camera that uses the new ISOCELL HP2 camera sensor for its main lens. The 1/1.3-inch sensor is a little larger than the one in the S22 Ultra and it should be better at capturing more light, resulting in improved low-light images. This could land the S23 Ultra on our list of the best camera phones

The leaked hands-on video doubles down on the rumor of the 200MP camera and shows the camera mode on the phone. In addition, it also shows that the camera is capable of 8K at 30 fps video recording in the video mode.

Other than the 200MP lens, the S23 Ultra should also feature a 12MP ultrawide camera and a pair of 10MP telephoto lenses — one capable of a 3x optical zoom and the other supporting a 10x zoom. 

Like its predecessor, the S23 Ultra is also tipped to come with 100X space zoom. Another leaked hands-on video (opens in new tab) shows the zoom capability of the apparent S23 Ultra model. The video is not very clear, but it does look impressive in what could be early camera results of the S23 Ultra.

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The phone is also expected to get a custom Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, along with a 5,000 mAh battery and storage going up to 1TB. 

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus has more rounded corners in its design, which we also see in the leaked retail image. This model, like its predecessor, could have a 6.7-inch display along with a larger battery than the base S23 phone, which is tipped to be 4,700 mAh. These could be the main differences between the S23 model and the S23 Plus, other than the cost.

We also have a fair idea of the price of the models. While initial rumors suggested a price hike for the S23 series, more recent ones shot that down saying there won’t be a price increase this time and that the phones could be launched at the same price as the S22 series last year. This means we could see the S23 Ultra priced at $1,199, the S23 Plus at $999 and the S23 at $799. 

Samsung will lift the curtains on the Galaxy S23 series on February 1. Stay tuned to our Galaxy S23 hub and Galaxy S23 Ultra hub for all the latest news and leaks until then.

Sanjana Prakash
News Editor

Sanjana loves all things tech. From the latest phones, to quirky gadgets and the best deals, she's in sync with it all. Based in Atlanta, she is the news editor at Tom's Guide. Previously, she produced India's top technology show for NDTV and has been a tech news reporter on TV. Outside work, you can find her on a tennis court or sipping her favorite latte in instagrammable coffee shops in the city. Her work has appeared on NDTV Gadgets 360 and CNBC.