This year’s first Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event was held in San Francisco’s Masonic Auditorium in front of an audience. It was the first Samsung event held in person in three years.
It started at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT on Wednesday, February 1, with some exciting news.
Samsung’s updated lineup is led by the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which has a slightly changed design, a 200-megapixel primary camera sensor, and more storage for the same price as last year. It costs $1,199.99, the same as last year, but it comes with 256MB more storage.
In years, Samsung is making the most significant change to the camera on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The new top-of-the-line phone has a camera with 200 megapixels, which is about twice as many pixels as the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The phone was shown off for the first time on Wednesday at Samsung’s Unpacked event. It starts at $1,200 (£1,249, AU$1,949). It will be available on February 17, and you can order it right now.
Samsung’s latest attempt to get people to upgrade is the Galaxy S23 line, which includes the $1,000 Galaxy S23 Plus and the $800 Galaxy S23. The Galaxy S23 line also includes the $1,000 Galaxy S23 Plus. Samsung just announced a new image sensor with the exact resolution as the 200-megapixel camera on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, so it’s not a big surprise that the Galaxy S23 Ultra also has a 200-megapixel camera.Samsung is going after photographers who want a big screen and a great camera with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra has standard updates like a new processor, new colors, more storage space for the base model, and more parts made from recycled materials.
The 200-megapixel camera on the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a significant improvement. The most considerable camera improvement Samsung has made in years, since the last three generations of Galaxy S Ultra phones, starting with the Galaxy S20 Ultra in 2020, have had main cameras with 108 megapixels.
But the number of megapixels doesn’t tell you everything. Image quality is also affected by the camera’s sensor size, speed, and the algorithms used to process images, so we’ll have to test the phone to see if this is a huge step forward.
These algorithms are a big part of why the camera on the Galaxy S23 Ultra is better. The head of Samsung’s visual solutions team, Joshua Cho, said that AI plays a more significant role in everything from the camera’s night mode to how it captures high dynamic range.
By default, the Galaxy S23 Ultra takes photos with a resolution of 12 megapixels. It combines four 4×4-pixel squares into one larger pixel, called “pixel binning.” This, along with the fact that each pixel works better, lets the sensor pick up more light, which could be helpful when shooting in dark places. You can also shoot at the full 200-megapixel resolution, which Samsung says is excellent for people who want to make big prints of their photos. You can also take pictures with a 50-megapixel solution if you want something in between. You could also shoot at the sensor’s full resolution on older Galaxy S Ultra phones, but if you did that, you’d have to deal with very large file sizes.
All the new Galaxy S23 phones have front-facing cameras with a 12-megapixel sensor, which is better than the 10-megapixel sensor on the S22 and S22 Plus but less than the 40-megapixel sensor on the S22 Ultra. Instead, Samsung says that the selfie camera uses artificial intelligence to recognize objects better to improve images based on what they are. That means it should be better at telling people apart based on their backgrounds.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra has the same zooming features as its predecessor. It can zoom in with an optical zoom of 3x or 10x and a digital zoom of up to 100x. Like the S22 Ultra, the S23 Ultra does this with the help of two 10-megapixel telephoto cameras. Even though night mode was a big deal for the Galaxy S22 line, Samsung says that the Galaxy S23 Ultra can take photos in the dark even better than before, with even more brightness.
All of the models have a small change to how they record video. For example, the S23 family can shoot at 8K resolution at 30 frames per second. That’s faster than the S22 Ultra, which could only record at 24 fps at the exact resolution. Adobe says that for broadcasting live footage, 30fps is usually better than 24fps, which makes sense given that Samsung is trying to appeal to social media influencers, streamers, and Gen Z shoppers. You will also be able to record 1080p video at 120fps instead of 60fps, making slow-motion shots look better.
Samsung also says that its optical image stabilization has gotten twice as good. I found that the iPhone 14 Pro’s Action Mode worked better during my testing than Samsung’s Super Steady mode. I’d like to see how much of a difference that makes. Samsung says that the S23 Ultra can also take videos from a wider angle.
However, Samsung may not have added any new shooting modes to the Galaxy S23 line. Since the S23 Ultra emphasizes camera quality, I’d like to see new tools and features that better use the new hardware.
But Samsung’s external camera apps, Expert Raw and Camera Assistant are doing something interesting. After you’ve downloaded these apps for the first time, the different camera settings will be built into the app that came with your phone. That could make it easier for photographers who want more editing options to change the look and feel of their photos without having to switch between apps.
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