April 17, 2024
A person holding the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely is 9 months previous, and over the following few weeks, speak of its successor — the inevitable Galaxy S24 Extremely — will begin to collect tempo.

I went again to the S23 Extremely to see if it was nonetheless as thrilling because it was in February this yr. I additionally needed to see if ready for the sequel as an alternative of shopping for it at this time can be a sensible choice to make. Right here’s what I discovered.

What makes the Galaxy S23 Extremely distinctive

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra's screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

Simply utilizing the Galaxy S23 Extremely wouldn’t be sufficient. I needed to remind myself what made it particular. What if I stated I had written the opening paragraphs on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely, all utilizing the S Pen stylus? Nicely, I did, and though it took some time and wasn’t very intuitive for a begin, it did remind me simply how good the know-how behind Samsung’s stylus actually is.

I’ve at all times struggled to get a lot use from the S Pen as I’m not an artist or a prolific note-taker, however it is likely one of the S23 Extremely’s distinctive options. It’s additionally genuinely well-engineered and really exact, so I needed to discover a manner it will match into my life when revisiting the Galaxy S23 Extremely 9 months into its life.

Not solely that, however I’ll discover any excuse to make use of the Galaxy S23 Extremely’s digicam once more, particularly because it additionally has a novel function: the 10x optical zoom. If I used each these options and didn’t really feel a lot for them, or every dissatisfied not directly, then holding out for the Galaxy S24 Extremely would in all probability really feel like the appropriate plan of action.

Writing with the S Pen

A person using the S Pen stylus on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

Sure, I actually am scribbling these phrases on the S23 Extremely’s display screen with the S Pen. Sadly my choices for writing something utilizing it are restricted, particularly as I needed to make use of the S Pen’s handwriting-to-text function. It doesn’t work in Google Docs, so I had to make use of Samsung Notes. It turned out to really be actually correct as soon as I bought used to it, however it’s fairly sluggish going.

Writing a thousand phrases solely utilizing the S Pen and Notes would take for much longer than it will utilizing a keyboard, and modifying it will be much more time-consuming. To not confuse the conversion to textual content, it’s greatest to jot down just some phrases at a time, and punctuation needs to be added utilizing the keyboard, whereas shifting between paragraphs and phrases can imply messing every part up.

Using the S Pen to write a note on the Galaxy S23 Ultra's lock screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

Writing quick notes is great — it was astonishingly correct at changing even my worst scribbles into the right textual content — however not a lot for longer missives. It’s at this level I’m going to modify to my trusty pc to jot down the remainder. Sorry about that, however I do produce other issues to do at this time.

There’s no different cellphone on sale at this time of the Galaxy S23 Extremely’s caliber with a stylus that’s built-in into the physique, and the S Pen units the benchmark for efficiency at a particularly excessive stage. I don’t actually have trigger to make use of it fairly often, however once I do, I’m constantly impressed by what Samsung has managed to attain. It’s genuinely pen-like when writing on the display screen, proper right down to the scratchy accompanying sound impact, and though it’s fairly skinny, I didn’t discover it uncomfortable to grip. It makes the S23 Extremely particular, and in the appropriate fingers, it’s a actually massive profit.

Zoom in and edit

The Galaxy S23 Ultra's camera lenses.
Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

The S Pen isn’t the one function that singles the Galaxy S23 Extremely out as being distinctive out there. It’s nonetheless the one prime smartphone to make use of a telephoto digicam able to a 10x optical zoom. That is much more up my road than the S Pen, and I at all times get loads of use out of the Galaxy S23 Extremely’s versatile telephoto digicam.

Over the time I’ve been utilizing the S23 Extremely once more, I’ve been placing the digicam up towards the Apple iPhone 15 Professional Max. Although the Professional Max has a 2x and 5x optical zoom function, it’s nowhere close to as completed because the Galaxy S23 Extremely’s zoom and lacks the identical stage of element and sharpness. In the identical manner, the S Pen separates the S23 Extremely from different telephones, so does the telephoto digicam. It gained’t be for everybody on a regular basis, however once you do come to make use of it, it’s at all times very spectacular.

It’s not simply taking pictures that’s enjoyable with the Galaxy S23 Extremely — it’s modifying them, too. Whereas Google’s pushing the usage of AI with Magic Editor to vary the look of your pictures, I feel the Lightroom for Samsung app is the higher selection. It’s nicely well worth the subscription, as you may generate extra real looking, better-looking pictures that fit your style and never simply depart every part right down to luck and the AI. The 2 pictures above are a before-and-after view of what’s doable in Lightroom, even for an novice like me with solely a basic understanding of the app’s capability.

Price shopping for on the finish of 2023?

The back of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

It gained’t be that lengthy till we begin to hear extra in regards to the Galaxy S24 Extremely, which is able to inevitably arrive in early 2024. However what if you need a brand new cellphone now and are eyeing up the Galaxy S23 Extremely however are conscious it’ll get replaced early subsequent yr? Figuring out when to attend for a brand new piece of {hardware} is at all times tough, and though it’s at all times considerably advisable to carry again and get the newest product, I’m not satisfied you might want to with the S23 Extremely.

It hasn’t “aged” at all around the previous 9 months. It’s nonetheless each bit as improbable because it was once I first reviewed it. Each time I’ve returned to the cellphone this yr, I’ve loved it an excellent deal, and this time is not any totally different. Aside from the sheer energy and skill — the processor and display screen are nonetheless one of the best you may get — distinctive options just like the S Pen and telephoto digicam make it really particular and unmatched by different costly units.

I selected the Galaxy Z Flip 5 over the Galaxy Z Fold 5 this yr and would suggest the Galaxy S23 Extremely over the Galaxy Z Fold 5 too. The massive-screen foldable could have that preliminary wow issue, however the S23 Extremely represents the top of non-folding big-screen flagship telephones in 2023, whereas the Z Fold 5 has now bought a pair of real rivals within the Google Pixel Fold and the OnePlus Open. Utilizing the Galaxy S23 Extremely once more has jogged my memory why it’s nonetheless unequalled and nonetheless an absolute suggestion, even with the S24 Extremely probably only some months away.

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