Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs — everything you need to know

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra green in hand with other colors in background: Black, Cream and Lavender
(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs that just got announced make it look like a seriously powerful phone, and that it's thoroughly deserving of its spot at the top of the Galaxy S23 pile.

Thought much of the Galaxy S23 Ultra's characteristics are shared by either the outgoing Galaxy S22 Ultra, or the cheaper Galaxy S23 models, its blend of power and state-of-the-art features will make it one of the most impressive phones on the market once it goes on sale. The only remaining question is if these specs add up to a good phone, but we'll let you know the answer after we've done some more testing post-Galaxy Unpacked.

For now though, here's the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs, and some explanation if you're uncertain what any of these numbers and names will mean for your smartphone usage.

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs: the basics

Here are the essential specs for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Scroll on for more detailed information and breakdowns of what they mean. 

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Galaxy S23 Ultra
Display6.8-inch QHD AMOLED
Refresh rate 1 - 120Hz adaptive
Rear cameras200MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto, 10MP 10x telephoto
Front camera12MP selfie
ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 2
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Battery5,000 mAh
Charging45W wired/10W wireless
Water/dust resistanceIP68
Size163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9mm (6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 inches)
Weight233g (8.25 ounces)
ColorsPhantom Black, Cream, Green and Lavender

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs: design

galaxy s23 ultra press image showing woman using s pen photo features

(Image credit: Samsung)
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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
Size163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9mm (6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 inches)
Weight233g (8.25 ounces)
Water/dust resistanceIP68
ColorsPhantom Black, Cream, Green and Lavender
MaterialsGorilla Glass Victus 2 (front/back), Armor Aluminum (sides)

According to its official measurements, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a little skinnier but also a touch heavier than the Galaxy S22 Ultra that precedes it. The changes are only minimal, so are unlikely to impact your buying decision.

Like Samsung's other flagship phones, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is IP68 dust/water resistance rated, the gold standard for smartphones. There's no better guarantee your phone will keep water drops or dust particles away from its sensitive components unless you go for a specific ultra-durable phone.

To protect the phone from scratches and drop damage, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is clad in Gorilla Glass Victus 2, tougher than the Gorilla Glass Victus Plus used by the Galaxy S232 Ultra. The S23 Ultra also uses an Armor Aluminum frame like the S22 Ultra to protect the edges from harm.

Lastly, it's there are four color options for the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which are the same as the options for the S23 and S23 Plus too: Phantom Black, Cream, Green and Lavender. You could get black, white or green on the Galaxy S22 Ultra last year (although likely slightly different hues compared to the S23 Ultra), but the new purple option replaces the S22 Ultra's burgundy option.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs: display

galaxy s23 ultra official render showing the display

(Image credit: Samsung)
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Display size and type6.8-inch, AMOLED with curved edges
ResolutionQHD, 3088 x 1440
Refresh rate1 - 120Hz adaptive
Max brightness1,750 nits

There are no big changes to the Galaxy S23 Ultra's display compared to last year. It's still a large display with curved left and right edges (although flatter overall), a QHD resolution and an adaptive refresh rate that can slide anywhere between 1Hz and 120Hz to balance both smooth and efficient screen performance.

The maximum display brightness of 1,750 nits is the same as Samsung claimed for the Galaxy S22 Ultra last year. However, the S22 Ultra couldn't quite crack 1,000 nits of maximum brightness in our testing, so hopefully the S23 Ultra can get closer to Samsung's promised brightness, if not match up to it. After all, brighter displays mean it's easier to read your phone even if it's really sunny outside.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs: cameras

galaxy s23 ultra press image showing camera ui

(Image credit: Samsung)
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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
Main camera200MP, f/1.7, 1/1.3 inches, 0.6µm pixels
Ultrawide camera12MP, f/2.2, 1/2.55 inches, 1.4µm pixels
Telephoto camera #110MP, 3x optical zoom, f/2.4, 1/3.52 inches, 1.12µm pixels
Telephoto camera #210MP, 10x optical zoom, f/4.9, 1/3.52 inches, 1.12µm pixels
Selfie camera12MP, f/2.2, TBC inches, TBC pixels
Video recording8K at 30fps, 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, 720p at 960fps

Samsung added a 200MP main camera to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which is significantly higher resolution than the Galaxy S22 Ultra's 108MP camera, and basically every other main camera on a smartphone you can buy right now.

While we won't know exactly what it's capable of until we test it, it looks at first flush to be a versatile sensor, capable of capturing maximum detail at 200MP, better light and color at a pixel-binned 12.5MP, and a mix of the two at 50MP.

The other new camera is a 12MP front-facing camera, a lower resolution than last year's 40MP front camera. This sounds like a downgrade, but we're impressed with its shots so far, so hopefully it's actually a boost to the Galaxy S23 Ultra's selfie game.

The rest of the Galaxy S23 Ultra's sensors, the 12MP ultrawide camera, the 10MP 3x telephoto and 10MP 10x telephoto, are effectively (if not) the same as the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Samsung has improved its Nightography low-light mode, enhanced things like autofocus and OIS (optical image stabilization) and added new features like Astro Hyperlapse too, which its previous phones couldn't manage.

For video, we got a bump the Galaxy S23 Ultra's frame rate at its maximum 8K resolution, from 24fps as the Galaxy S22 Ultra manages to 30fps. 4K resolution and below keep their existing refresh rates, including slo-mo options for 1080p and 720p.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs: chipset and memory

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ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy (Octa-core)
Chipset cores and frequency1 x Cortex-X3 (3.36GHz), 2 x Cortex-A715 (2.8 GHz), 2 x Cortex-A710 (2.8 GHz) & 3 x Cortex-A510 (2.0 GHz)
GPUAdreno 740
RAM (type)8GB/12GB (LPDDR5)
Storage (type)256GB, 512GB, 1TB (UFS 4.0)

Samsung is going all-in on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for the Galaxy S23 Ultra, rather than splitting models between Snapdragon and Exynos chips like it has in previous years. 

The important change to look out for is that the chip is specifically a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy. This mouthful of a name translates to Samsung getting a custom, higher-performance version of the new chip that would in theory outperform other phones using the same silicon. You can see this in the rumored 3.36GHz speed for the most powerful Cortex-X3 core, which is a bit faster than the standard 3.2GHz speed of that core on a regular Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip.

For memory and storage, there are no changes from the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The basic Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, but you can spec up to 12GB RAM and 1TB of storage if you pay enough. 

The RAM and storage uses the LPDDR5 and UFS 4.0 standard. That's not quite the latest in RAM standards (that would be LPDDR5X), but UFS 4.0 is as up-to-date as you can get for flash storage. We may see phones launched later in the year outpace the Galaxy S23 Ultra for RAM speed, but in day-to-day use though, the S23 Ultra should feel nice and fast.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs: battery and charging

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Battery capacity5,000 mAh
Wired charging speed45W
Wireless charging speed10W

Just like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Galaxy S23 Ultra gets a 5,000 mAh battery, and supports up to 45W wired charging and 10W wireless charging.

We'll have our fingers crossed that with its new chipset and other refinements, the Galaxy S23 Ultra can manage a higher battery life score. The Galaxy S22 Ultra didn't score well in our battery life test, particularly when in fully adaptive mode.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs: software and special features

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SoftwareAndroid 13 with One UI 5.1
Special featuresBuilt-in S Pen stylus

Samsung debuted its new One UI 5.1 software, based on Android 13, on the Galaxy S23 series. You should also get four years of software updates on any Galaxy S23, including the Galaxy S23 Ultra, keeping you up to date with new software features for some time to come.

The most unique thing about the Galaxy S23 Ultra, even considering its other class-leading features, is its included S Pen stylus, something it inherited from the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Few other phones come with styluses these days, so anyone who likes making hand-written notes or drawings is best sticking with Samsung.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.