Don't wait for the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Just buy this phone instead

Do not look ahead to the Galaxy S24 Extremely. Simply purchase this cellphone as a substitute


Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely is 9 months outdated, and over the following few weeks, speak of its successor — the inevitable Galaxy S24 Extremely — will begin to collect tempo.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 12 months. I additionally wished to see if ready for the sequel as a substitute of shopping for it at present can be a clever resolution to make. Right here’s what I realized.

What makes the Galaxy S23 Extremely distinctive

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

Simply utilizing the Galaxy S23 Extremely wouldn’t be sufficient. I wished 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? Properly, 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 all the time struggled to get a lot use from the S Pen as I’m not an artist or a prolific note-taker, however it is among the S23 Extremely’s distinctive options. It’s additionally genuinely well-engineered and really exact, so I wished to discover a approach 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 upset ultimately, then holding out for the Galaxy S24 Extremely would in all probability really feel like the proper plan of action.

Writing with the S Pen

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

Sure, I actually am scribbling these phrases on the S23 Extremely’s display with the S Pen. Sadly my choices for writing something utilizing it are restricted, particularly as I wished 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 received 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 enhancing it will be much more time-consuming. To not confuse the conversion to textual content, it’s greatest to jot down only a few phrases at a time, and punctuation must be added utilizing the keyboard, whereas transferring between paragraphs and phrases can imply messing every thing up.

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

Writing quick notes is excellent — 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 laptop to jot down the remainder. Sorry about that, however I do produce other issues to do at present.

There’s no different cellphone on sale at present 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 an especially excessive stage. I don’t actually have trigger to make use of it fairly often, however after I do, I’m constantly impressed by what Samsung has managed to attain. It’s genuinely pen-like when writing on the display, proper right down to the scratchy accompanying sound impact, and despite the fact that it’s fairly skinny, I didn’t discover it uncomfortable to grip. It makes the S23 Extremely particular, and in the proper arms, it’s a actually huge profit.

Zoom in and edit

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

The S Pen isn’t the one function that singles the Galaxy S23 Extremely out as being distinctive available in the market. It’s nonetheless the one high smartphone to make use of a telephoto digicam able to a 10x optical zoom. That is way more up my road than the S Pen, and I all the time 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 approach, the S Pen separates the S23 Extremely from different telephones, so does the telephoto digicam. It received’t be for everybody on a regular basis, however once you do come to make use of it, it’s all the time very spectacular.

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

Value shopping for on the finish of 2023?

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

It received’t be that lengthy till we begin to hear extra concerning the Galaxy S24 Extremely, which is able to inevitably arrive in early 2024. However what if you would like a brand new cellphone now and are eyeing up the Galaxy S23 Extremely however are conscious it’ll get replaced early subsequent 12 months? Realizing when to attend for a brand new piece of {hardware} is all the time troublesome, and though it’s all the time considerably advisable to carry again and get the most recent product, I’m not satisfied it’s worthwhile to with the S23 Extremely.

It hasn’t “aged” at all around the previous 9 months. It’s nonetheless each bit as incredible because it was after I first reviewed it. Each time I’ve returned to the cellphone this 12 months, I’ve loved it a terrific deal, and this time is not any completely different. Aside from the sheer energy and talent — the processor and display are nonetheless one of the best you will get — distinctive options just like the S Pen and telephoto digicam make it actually particular and unmatched by different costly gadgets.

I selected the Galaxy Z Flip 5 over the Galaxy Z Fold 5 this 12 months and would suggest the Galaxy S23 Extremely over the Galaxy Z Fold 5 too. The large-screen foldable might have that preliminary wow issue, however the S23 Extremely represents the head of non-folding big-screen flagship telephones in 2023, whereas the Z Fold 5 has now received 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 unmatched and nonetheless an absolute suggestion, even with the S24 Extremely probably only some months away.

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