Galaxy S23 vs. S23 Plus vs. S23 Ultra: Comparing Samsung’s Newest Phones
This story is part of Samsung Event, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Samsung’s most popular products.
Samsung kicked off 2023’s first round of flagship phone announcements with its new Galaxy S23 family. The South Korean company’s latest high-end lineup consists of the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus and the top-specced Galaxy S23 Ultra. The three phones were announced at the Samsung Unpacked event in San Francisco, alongside the Galaxy Book 3.
Starting prices for the phones, at least in the US, remains the same as last year, with the base Galaxy S23 starting at $800 (£849, AU$1,349), bumping up to $1,000 (£1,049, AU$1,649) for the Galaxy S23 Plus and maxing out at $1,200 (£1,249, AU$1,949) for the Galaxy 23 Ultra. Samsung is reportedly increasing prices in parts of Europe and Australia, among other countries. Once prices outside the US are available, we’ll update this story.
All three devices have a similar glass and aluminum build. They use the same processor (the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2), have the same display adaptive refresh rate (up to 120Hz) and 12-megapixel selfie camera. The three phones support ultrawideband, a radio technology that helps power features such as using digital car keys and lost item tracking.
The S23 is the smallest of the three, weighing 168 grams (5.93 ounces) with a 6.1-inch AMOLED display. The S23 Plus has a 6.6-inch screen and the S23 Ultra has a 6.8-inch display. They weigh 195 grams (6.88 ounces) and 234 grams (8.25 ounces) respectively.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra has a four-camera module, with a 200-megapixel main camera, two 10-megapixel telephoto cameras and a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens. According to Samsung’s product pages, these sensors have improved resolution (obviously), but also improve the phone’s low-light photography by combining sets of smaller pixels into larger individual ones that can capture more light.
The S23 and S23 Plus have identical triple-camera setups on the rear. Both include a telephoto lens, which should be helpful for capturing faraway subjects. You can learn more about the camera specs in our chart below.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s new Note-like features set it apart from both the rest of the S23 lineup and other premium phones made by competitors such as Apple and Xiaomi. It’s the second time a Galaxy S Ultra phone has come with a stylus included in the box. There’s also a slot for storing it on the phone — just like Samsung’s all-but-discontinued Note series. S Pen fans who bought the Galaxy S21 Ultra had to pay for the stylus separately and find a specific phone case that could store it.
For more information on the similarities and differences between the Samsung Galaxy S23 lineup, look at our specs chart below.
Samsung Galaxy S23 lineup specs compared
|Galaxy S23||Galaxy S23 Plus||Galaxy S23 Ultra|
|Display size, tech, resolution, refresh rate, brightness||6.1-inch AMOLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate; 1,750 nits||6.6-inch AMOLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate; 1,750 nits||6.8-inch AMOLED 3,088×1,440 pixels; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate; Edge Screen; 1,750 nits|
|Pixel density||425 pixels per inch||393 pixels per inch||500 pixels per inch|
|Dimensions (inches)||2.79 x 5.76 x 0.3 in||3 x 6.21 x 0.3 in||3.07 x 6.43 x 0.35 in|
|Dimensions (millimeters)||70.9 x 146.3 x 7.6 mm||76.2 x 157.7 x 7.6 mm||78 x 163.3 x 8.9 mm|
|Weight (ounces, grams)||168 g (5.93 oz)||196 g (6.91 oz)||234 g (8.25 oz)|
|Mobile software||Android 13||Android 13||Android 13|
|Camera||50-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (telephoto)||50-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (telephoto)||200-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 10-megapixel (telephoto) 10-megapixel (telephoto)|
|Video capture||8K at 30 fps||8K at 30 fps||8K at 30 fps|
|Processor||Galaxy-optimized Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||Galaxy-optimized Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||Galaxy-optimized Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2|
|RAM/storage||8GB RAM + 128GB; 8GB RAM + 256GB||8GB + 256GB; 8GB + 512GB||12GB + 256GB; 12GB + 512GB; 12GB + 1TB|
|Battery/charging speeds||3,900 mAh (25W wired charging)||4,700 mAh (45W wired charging)||5,000 mAh (45W wired charger)|
|Special features||5G (mmw/Sub6), IP68 rating, faster wired charging, wireless PowerShare to charge other devices||5G (mmw/Sub6), IP68 rating, faster wired charging, wireless PowerShare to charge other devices, UWB for finding other devices||5G (mmw/Sub6), IP68 rating, faster wired charging, wireless PowerShare to charge other devices, integrated S-Pen, 200x Space Zoom, 10x Optical Zoom, UWB for finding other devices|
|US price off-contract||$800 (8GB/128GB)||$1,000 (8GB/256GB)||$1,200 (12GB/256GB)|
|UK price||£849 (8GB/128GB)||£1,049 (8GB/256GB)||£1,249 (12GB/256GB)|
|Australia price||AU$1,349 (8GB/128GB)||AU$1,649 (8GB/256GB)||AU$1,949 (12GB/256GB)|