Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: Which Smartphone Should You Buy?

Jacob King By Jacob King - April 14th, 2023
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Looking to upgrade to one of the Samsung Galaxy S23 smartphones? With the Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra establishing themselves as the top flagships from Samsung this year, it’s understandable that you might be torn between the two devices. That leaves the question, should you buy a Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus or the Galaxy S23 Ultra? In this comparison, we will delve into the differences between these two top S23 models, to help you decide which one is best for you.

Design and Display 

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus and S23 Ultra feature sleek, elegant designs with durable glass backs and armour aluminum frames. Both models boast large, stunning displays, with the S23 Plus housing a 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 2340 x 1080 resolution, while the S23 Ultra shows off a slightly larger 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 3088 x 1440 resolution. Both support a 120Hz refresh rate. While larger screens certainly have their benefits, if you’re someone who enjoys using your phone with one hand, you might find the S23 Ultra too large to do so comfortably, particularly if you have small to average sized hands. If you’re predominantly using your phone for business use or gaming, however, you might find that the benefits of a larger screen trump this.

Both models offer vibrant colours and impressive brightness levels - reaching 1750 nits of peak brightness - ensuring vivid visuals and fantastic viewing experiences, even in bright sunlight. The S23 Ultra, however, has slightly slimmer bezels and a higher screen-to-body ratio, offering a more immersive experience. This, along with an adaptive refresh rate of 1~120Hz, has the S23 Ultra optimised for gaming.

Performance and Storage

Both the Galaxy S23 Plus and S23 Ultra feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Chipset which offers incredible performance and energy efficiency. This means both phones are equally capable of easily tackling intensive apps and games, and will take on multitasking with ease.

Regarding storage, both phones have a base model of 128GB internal storage with varying options of 256GB, 512GB, and even 1TB on the S23 Ultra. RAM capacity starts at 8GB on the S23 Plus, while the S23 Ultra starts at 12GB, providing greater multitasking capabilities. An expandable microSD card slot in both devices offers flexibility to increase storage.


Samsung smartphones are known for their remarkable camera systems, and the Galaxy S23 Plus and S23 Ultra are no exceptions. The S23 Plus features a triple-camera setup on the rear, consisting of a 50MP main, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 10MP telephoto lens. The S23 Ultra also boasts a triple-camera setup, but with a massive 200MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra wide, and a 10MP telephoto lens. Additionally, it offers optical zoom at 3x and 10x and digital zoom up to 100x. Both also feature a 12MP selfie camera on the front. 

If the camera system is your top priority and you want only the best, then the Galaxy S23 Ultra is the winner here. With that being said, a 200MP main sensor may be overkill for the average person and the S23 Plus is equally capable of taking incredible photos and videos, albeit at a quarter of the resolution. 

Battery Life and Charging

Battery life is one of the critical factors when choosing a smartphone, especially for heavy users. Both smartphones offer a significant jump from the base model which features a 3,900mAh battery. The Galaxy S23 Plus comes with a 4,500mAh battery while the S23 Ultra boats a whopping 5,000mAh battery. These larger batteries will ensure that your phone will power you throughout your entire day - crucial for business users and those on the go! Both smartphones offer fast-charging capabilities and fast wireless charging; and the S23 Ultra also offers reverse wireless charging, which allows you to charge other Qi-compatible devices by placing them on the back of the phone. 

Software and Additional Features

Both the Galaxy S23 Plus and the S23 Ultra run on Samsung's One UI 5.1 based on Android 13, containing all the goodies that come with Samsung’s latest software. Additionally, both phones support 5G connectivity and include an in-display fingerprint sensor, stereo speakers, and the latest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth technology. The S23 Ultra also includes S Pen support, making it a perfect choice for those who will use their device for note-taking, drawing, or editing. 

Price and Conclusion

As you’d expect, the Galaxy S23 Ultra carries a higher price tag due to its more advanced camera setup, larger display, larger battery, and S Pen support. That being said, this doesn’t mean that the Galaxy S23 Plus isn’t a great choice, as it still offers impressive performance, display quality, and camera capabilities at a more affordable price point. The decision between the S23 Plus and S23 Ultra will ultimately depend on your needs and preferences. 

From an overall standpoint, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus offers fantastic performance, display quality, and camera capabilities, making it an excellent option for most users. Nevertheless, if a larger display and battery, enhanced camera setup, and S Pen support are essential, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra emerges as the clear choice for those with a higher budget. Both devices promise top-notch performance and incredible user experiences regardless.

Begin browsing Samsung's full range of smartphones below or head over to the Samsung brand store.

Written By

Jacob King

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