February is the month in which, traditionally in recent years, Samsung has presented its new high-end for the rest of the year. Yes, in August we used to have the Notes (eatened by the Galaxy Ultra) and now we have the foldables in the summer, but it is clear that the ones that come to compete against the best of the best every year are the Galaxy S.
And, like in recent years, we have had an S23, an S23+ (somewhat bigger than the standard, but the same in practically everything else) and the S23 Ultra model (the one that they said has “eaten” the Note).
We have already been able to test the Galaxy S23 Ultra and I have brought you my first impressions after an hour with the terminal, and although this year I will not be the one to analyze it (that responsibility falls on my partner Rubén), I have to say that… seen the S22 Ultra, seen the S23 Ultra. And no, this is not bad.
Basically, and summarizing a lot, the S23 Ultra is like the previous one, but with a more solid camera system, more megapixels in the main camera, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 instead of the Exynos, new software things, a slight redesign of the screen and few other details.
Really, most of these details do not attract attention, but they contribute to making the mobile better than the previous generation. And, of course, that has made more than one raise their eyebrows because “the S23 Ultra is the same as the S22 Ultra”. And yes, but… no.
As I say, there are certain details that make the experience better and, if we are picky, we have a better stabilization system, a screen with an improved tone adjustment system, a front camera that drops in megapixels, but gains in focus technology, improvements in RAW mode to take advantage of the cameras, new software modes like astrophotography and double exposure, and like that, a few more details.
But of course, at first glance, the mobile is “identical” and, furthermore, if you have the previous one, I consider that it is not worth it, not even remotely, that you go to this new version unless you want the latest processor on the market (and, even then, I would not make the leap). And, of course, that has led to criticism from some users who expected a revolution.
There is a saying that is (more or less, I don’t remember well) “The difficult I do soon, the impossible takes a little longer” And, basically, that applies to the generational leap that many users request annually. The S22 Ultra was a mobile that might not be the best in some sections, but it had the best available at the time of its launch.
The screen is still one of the best on the marketthe design is differentiating and very, very premium, the cameras are terribly solvent with one of the best telephoto systems, a very good speaker system and, except for the performance due to the wrong choice of SoC, otherwise it was the best of the anus.
And it stayed that way until the last day of 2022 so… why one month and soon after we want a revolution? Regardless of the very difficult time we are experiencing (different international conflicts plus a semiconductor crisis that is improving, but that many companies are still dragging), it is not possible to reinvent the wheel every year. Neither on mobile phones nor in any sector, wow.
Do you really think there are better screens just a year later? Better speakers? A much better periscope camera? Or can more battery be squeezed into that design? It is clear that the 45 W load is a drag, but, apart from that and changing the processor (which they have done and I am very happy), what else could be improved from the S22 Ultra that has not been improved in the current generation?
I think we all need to be clear that we are in a period where cutting-edge technology is not advancing enough year after year to require a revolution in higher-end devices.
This is something that can be demanded of technologies that are “growing”, such as Apple Silicon processors for their laptops -how marvelous is the Mac Mini M2 with M2 Pro, really-, but in the rest, I think the smartest thing to do is they are cycles of 2 or even 3 years.
I even think that in the folding ones we will also see annual evolution due to increased competition because brands that had stagnated due to their market dominance -Samsung- will have to get their latest technologies out of the closet to compete against new players and, therefore, we will see progress in these devices.
When you renew a TOP range from one year to the next, you don’t have too many improvements, but when you leave one or two generations in between, you can enjoy a device that, objectively, is a bigger and more notable leap compared to the one you already have in your pocket. .
Having this clear, Where I do think you have to be demanding is in the mid-range, where manufacturers have better screens, processors and elements at their disposal because they are “inherited” from the premium range, but since a few months have passed since the launch of these TOP terminals, the price is cheaper for companies and, therefore, , the device is somewhat cheaper. It doesn’t have the most premium features, but they are definitely interesting.
That is where you have to ask for new things, in a medium and high range that in 2022 was stagnant and that seems to follow the same path in 2023, but it is not a premium range that literally cannot assemble better components from one year to the next.