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Culture > Digital

Reviewing the New Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra After My Last Phone Was Stolen

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

*This is not a sponsored review*

Two weeks ago, as I was walking around central London, I reached down into my coat pocket and realized that my worst fear had come true—my phone was gone. I had heard from some friends that there was a rampant problem with pickpockets here, but I never thought I would ever encounter one myself. Needless to say, I immediately began to panic. Out of all the things I owned, in my mind, my phone was the worst thing that could have been stolen. I’ll be the first to admit that I had a borderline unhealthy attachment to my phone, a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra that I had just gotten last year and still hadn’t finished making the payments for. 

Growing up with Apple all my life, it was my first experience with Samsung and it was literally my favorite phone I’d ever owned. So, when I mournfully approached the Samsung store set on buying the exact same model, I was surprised to find myself walking out with the brand new Galaxy S23 Ultra instead. For a disclaimer: the release date for the Galaxy S23 Ultra wasn’t set until the 17th of February, but the store I went to was doing a pre-release with a deal that made the upgrade the same price as the Galaxy S22 Ultra anyway. Considering that my last phone was only the previous year’s model, there aren’t *too* many differences at a first glance. However, here are a few of my thoughts after using the Galaxy S23 Ultra for a little over a week now. 

General First Impressions.

I don’t have access to my Galaxy S22 Ultra anymore, so I’m not able to go super in-depth comparing the two models. However, at first glance, there aren’t any glaring differences between the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy S23 Ultra—and I’m not mad about that. Again, the release deal I got made the price of the Galaxy S23 Ultra basically the same as the price of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, so I wasn’t expecting any groundbreaking new designs. The Galaxy S23 Ultra still has the familiar square shape (I will never go back to phones with rounded corners again) and the curved sides, a feature that I’ve never minded but I’ve seen other people online not being a huge fan of. Although, it seems like Samsung noticed this critique, because the curve of the sides does look like it’s been reduced in this newer model.

The S23 also still includes the S Pen, another one of my favorite features from the Galaxy S22 Ultra. I never thought I would actually use a stylus on a phone as much as I do now, but when creating content for my social media platforms, the S Pen makes it easier to get more creative with my posts. Additionally, the customization aspect of the two phones is very similar, with the ability to change basically everything about the layout—from themes to widgets—putting the “customization” factors of every Apple phone to shame. 

New Features.

While I don’t think you can go wrong with either the Galaxy S22 Ultra or the Galaxy S23 Ultra, some new features make the Galaxy S23 Ultra a slightly better choice. For those who are extra technologically savvy, the Galaxy S23 Ultra has the more powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, and a 200MP main camera. For reference, the Galaxy S22 Ultra had a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200 chip, and 108MP main camera. The camera quality on the Galaxy S22 Ultra was what initially attracted me to switch over from an iPhone. To have an even better camera on the S23 Ultra was very appealing as I enjoy taking photos and posting on the go with barely any editing required. 

Overall Thoughts.

As I’ve mentioned, there are only subtle differences between the two phones. However, considering that the Galaxy S22 Ultra was already a fantastic phone to begin with, it’s understandable that they’ve mostly kept the same features for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Especially since I was already happy and familiar with my old phone, I’m glad the S23 Ultra still feels overall the same, but with slightly better performance enhancements. For those who are looking to switch over from an Apple product, it will definitely be a big adjustment, but either model of the Galaxy Ultra is a solid choice for those who enjoy content creation and the ability to customize their phone however they want.

Mackenzie is an article contributor for Her Campus at the University of Colorado Boulder. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics with a focus on Beauty, Fashion and Sex + Relationships. During the Spring 2023 semester, Mackenzie had the opportunity to further her public relations studies at the University of Westminster in London. Beyond Her Campus, she has experience writing for other publications including ROAM Boulder, CU Boulder's first life and style publication, and The ISA Journal, a blog dedicated to documenting students' experiences abroad. Additionally, Mackenzie has worked as a Seasonal Associate at Victoria's Secret, where she helped facilitate product releases within the fashion industry --- including the Victoria's Secret Icon Collection. In her free time, Mackenzie enjoys thrifting online, listening to her favorite Spotify playlists (each playlist has to have at least one Selena Gomez song, it's a rule!), and curating new content for her Instagram @mackenziehornik.