The Galaxy S23 Ultra is only a week away from its official unveiling. All the information leaked so far has painted a positive picture. Samsung has upgraded almost every aspect of its next flagship for 2023, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra is an attractive proposition for Samsung flagship customers, especially those who live in markets with exceptional trade-in values.
We have already listed many reasons why the Galaxy S23 Ultra could be an interesting upgrade for Galaxy S20 Ultra customers. But what about Galaxy S21 Ultra users? Should they consider the Galaxy S23 Ultra as their next flagship phone? Let’s answer that by looking at all the improvements the 2023 flagship has made over the 2021 model, and the things you could lose by upgrading to the newer phone.
Better and brighter display with 1-120Hz refresh rate
The Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy S23 Ultra both have 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X displays with similar resolutions. However, the 2023 model increases peak brightness from 1,500 nits to 1,750 nits, and reports indicate that Samsung has honed color accuracy to a higher level, especially for low-light usage conditions.
Moreover, Galaxy S23 Ultra supports refresh rate between 1Hz and 120Hz while Galaxy S21 Ultra panel can only go down to 48Hz. This means Galaxy S23 Ultra panel is more user-friendly for battery life, which may make up for the higher brightness.
Overall, the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s display is brighter and technologically superior.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra fully embraces the S Pen
Although the Galaxy S21 Ultra was the first S-series flagship to adopt S Pen support, the phone does not have a built-in case for this iconic input device. You could say the 2021 model is the latest pure Galaxy S Ultra flagship, and you could consider that a plus.
Still, if you have an interest in the S Pen, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a worthy upgrade from the Galaxy S21 Ultra on the S Pen case alone. The 2023 model fully integrates the S Pen and offers better pen technology with lower latency. You no longer need to buy an S Pen case for your device, and the accessory will always be at your fingertips.
Improved build quality and new design
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But even if you prefer the bulky camera body of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, there’s something to be said for the design consistency of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
The 2023 flagship has a squarer footprint and a much more minimalist camera setup without the traditional “bump”. It looks more up-to-date than the 2021 model, and the thicker metal frame makes the phone sturdier.
Besides its updated aesthetics, the Galaxy S23 Ultra also uses better construction materials, such as a stronger aluminum frame with better scratch and drop resistance, as well as Gorilla Glass Victus 2 instead of screen protection. Glass Victus screen. The former should offer better drop protection on hard surfaces such as concrete pavement. In essence, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is more suitable for use without a protective case than the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Snapdragon SoC everywhere and more base storage (possibly faster)
For the first time, Samsung will no longer split the flagship market between Exynos and Qualcomm chipsets. The Galaxy S23 Ultra ships with a 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 worldwide, which means support should be better, and you’ll be able to experience Qualcomm’s best SoC yet, even if you buy the Galaxy S23 Ultra in a so-called “Exynos market”. .”
And needless to say, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is a more powerful solution than either the Snapdragon 888 or the Exynos 2100 SoCs. Additionally, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is said to use an exclusive version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which features higher clocks for better performance. better performance.
Additionally, the Galaxy S23 Ultra offers more storage as standard. The base model has 256GB of storage, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra has 128GB or more. On the other hand, you get 8GB of RAM with the Galaxy S23 Ultra instead of 12GB of RAM for the base model, but you can comfortably compensate by using RAM Plus as the phone offers more storage.
Finally, if the rumors are true, the Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with faster UFS 4.0 storage instead of UFS 3.1, which should speed up file transfers and improve RAM Plus virtual memory performance.
Better cameras with a 200MP main sensor
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is Samsung’s first smartphone to feature a 200 MP main camera. The new ISOCELL HP2 offers many improvements, especially in terms of low-light performance and autofocus.
Telephoto lenses are also better, although they offer the same zoom capabilities. AI processing has been improved and magnified shots should look much better on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
A possible downgrade could be the 12MP selfie sensor, down from the S21 Ultra’s 40MP unit. However, the 12MP sensor appears to be brand new, which could mean it takes advantage of new technologies to create better selfies with more accurate colors.
If you’re looking for a camera upgrade from the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the S23 Ultra is definitely one.
Faster battery charging (wired)
One of the more unusual choices Samsung made for the Galaxy S21 Ultra was to drop charging speeds to 25W. Thankfully, the Galaxy S23 Ultra has better specs. Even though both phones have 5,000mAh batteries, the Galaxy S23 Ultra offers 45W super-fast charging.
However, Samsung also made an unusual choice for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Although the 2023 model offers faster wired charging than the 2021 flagship, it appears to have 10W wireless charging instead of the 15W wireless capabilities of the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
So you win some, lose some. But if you’re looking for faster wired charging, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is the answer.
Newer 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 ship the Galaxy S23 Ultra with the new One UI 5.1 firmware.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra might get One UI 5.1 eventually, but the 2023 model will be a step ahead. More importantly, even though both phones are eligible for Samsung’s four-year Android OS enhanced upgrade policy, support for the 2021 model will stop at Android 15. On the other hand, the Galaxy S23 Ultra will receive Android 17 closer to the end of this decade. .
Reasons not to upgrade from the Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Galaxy S23 Ultra undoubtedly offers plenty of upgrades over the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but what’s the downside? Are there any reasons you should consider not upgrading to the 2023 model aside from the money you would have to spend?
Well, as mentioned earlier, you may lose 5W of wireless charging speed, up to 10W, if you upgrade to the Galaxy S23 Ultra. If you care about wireless charging, that might be a problem.
You also lose 4GB of RAM for the base model, although you do get more (and possibly faster) storage. Still, if you enjoy more apps running in the background and don’t want to use RAM Plus, you might get a lesser experience on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
On the software side, it is true that the Galaxy S23 Ultra will benefit from longer support, but the Galaxy S21 Ultra is not left out. Two major OS updates are still planned for the future, so it’s not like you’ll miss out on upcoming One UI releases if you decide to keep using the Galaxy S21 Ultra for a few more years.
And finally, a relatively smaller user base might want to know that the Galaxy S23 Ultra doesn’t have an FM radio. This feature was already market-dependent and only available for the Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S21 Ultra (no FM for Exynos). But now the Galaxy S23 Ultra is likely to drop FM radio support everywhere.
If you consider the Galaxy S23 Ultra a worthy upgrade, keep an eye out for Unpacked 2023. The event takes place on February 1, and the new flagship should be available for pre-order for around two weeks before shipping to early adopters. buyers. Until February 1, you can reserve the phone online and earn $50 in Samsung credit.
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