There’s no doubt that the title of this article will ring true for a lot of users. With the launch of this year’s latest Galaxy S devices, we can pretty much expect that many smartphone enthusiasts will upgrade to the S23 handsets – folks coming from an older Samsung phone, a different Android brand perhaps, and maybe even a few iPhone owners curious to see what Samsung has to offer.
The arrival of Samsung’s latest batch of flagship devices once again shows us how much of an impact the South Korean company has on the smartphone market as a whole. It’s a pretty good example of how much hardware you can get at a premium price point, and it’s certainly exciting to see the Android market be driven forward with devices like these.
DEAL: Save up to $1000 on the Galaxy S23 Ultra!
As a Google Pixel fan, I’ve been using Google’s handset offerings as my main smartphones, ever since I got the Pixel 3a, all the way up to the Pixel 7 that I’m currently using. With that said, as great as the phone might be, there are some things that the Galaxy S23 Ultra excels in – and they might just be enough to turn the tide.
When it comes to smartphone performance, it should be said that benchmarks aren’t everything. The Pixel 7’s Tensor G2 chip is pretty much capable of running the games from the Play Store, even graphics-heavy titles such as Genshin Impact, GRID Autosport, and even XCOM 2. But there is some limit as to what the Tensor can achieve, especially considering that it’s a fairly modest upgrade from the first-generation Tensor.
In terms of mobile processing power, Samsung has packed Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip into the S23 series phones, ensuring that users get top-of-the-line performance. The 8 Gen 2 shows promising improvements. For one, it comes with Qualcomm’s “Snapdragon Elite Gaming” features, which includes real-time hardware-accelerated ray tracing for improved lighting and reflection effects in mobile games. The chip is also designed to be more power efficient, which should be ideal for prolonged gaming sessions.
There’s a very likely chance that Google will have surprises in store for its next Tensor chipset, but at the moment there’s no denying that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is top dog when it comes to all-around power.
Design and S-Pen
I’d like to think that another area where the S23 Ultra excels is with its design. As much as I love the design that Google has used for the Pixel 7 series with the clean camera bar and straightforward form factor, the S23 Ultra hits a sweet spot in terms of looks, especially with the finish on the rear panel, the slim bezels, and the angular styling that Samsung has maintained from the S22 Ultra.
Along with this design comes one big defining feature of the handset – the S-Pen. The built-in stylus which came over from the Galaxy note line continues to set apart the Galaxy S Ultra devices from the rest of the Android flagship space. As someone who owns a Tab S6 Lite for its stylus feature, the fact that one is built right into the S23 Ultra – and comes with its own set of specialized software functionality – is a game changer, and it’s something that I’ve occasionally imagined on the Pixel devices.
While it may not appeal to a lot of more casual users, the S-Pen is no doubt a great addition especially if you’re after a phone geared towards productivity. Digital art, note-taking, remote control features, and other such tasks are nicely handled by Samsung’s scribbly little add-on.
The “Ecosystem” Factor
One more advantage that comes along with investing in a Samsung device such as the S23 Ultra is the ecosystem that comes along with it. While one could argue that Google’s continued investment into building a device and brand ecosystem with its Pixel phones, earbuds, and watch is impressive, there are some points of consideration.
For one, while the Pixel Watch in itself comes with a nice set of hardware and software features, it’s admittedly a “young” product – and by comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch5 series has been built with improvements carrying over from its predecessors, for example. The fact that it also comes in different sizes, and even a Pro Model is a much-welcome element of variety that Google’s offering lacks, at least for the moment.
There’s also the whole matter with Google’s relative silence regarding any future Pixelbooks, whereas Samsung’s wide selection of chromebooks and high-end laptops offer users more options should they decide to invest into a non-Apple device set-up. It’s instances like these that showcase Samsung’s experience in designing first-party accessories and hardware that serve as great additions, working in harmony with its flagship handsets.
So Should We Switch Over?
With all that said, is all this enough to warrant a switch from Google’s top-end smartphone to Samsung’s latest premiere device? Well, that depends of course. If you’d like to try out the best of what the South Korean tech giant has to offer, then the S23 Ultra is a terrific starting point with its impressive chipset, standout design, and synchronicity with the rest of Samsung’s extensive hardware offering.
On the other hand, there’s of course no issue should you decide to stick with Google’s device lineup, after all the Pixel 7 series more or less represents Google’s ideal vision for Android software. At the end of the day though, a smartphone only serves us best as long as it meets our needs, regardless of whether or not it comes with blazing-fast specs and such. Right now though, there’s no denying that the S23 is a rather impressive smartphone, and if you do decide to take the plunge – well, we can’t blame you.
Thinking of getting the S23 Ultra? You can get it by clicking this link, which gets you a storage upgrade ($100 value) + $150 in Samsung Credit.