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Samsung’s first 200MP phone is here; pre-order extras and more

Samsung officially unveiled its first-ever 200MP camera smartphone, with exclusive pre-orders deals having gone live (since Thursday, February 1). Below are all the groundbreaking features we are most excited about, along with actual shipping date and pricing for South Africa.

Equipped with the customized 200MP main camera sensor, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra was unveiled amid much excitement during the globally streamed Galaxy Unpacked on Thursday.

Making the jump from 108MP in the S22 Ultra, the new Samsung flagship smartphone range also includes the S23+ and the S23.

The star of the show uses the recently minted pixel binning technology, which Samsung calls “adaptive sensor technology”.

This merges 16 pixels into one for the promise of better light gathering capability, though by default, images are still output as 12 megapixels. In reality, this becomes more useful if you’re going to be needing wall-size prints of your photos or like us, you depend on larger image pixels to stabilise resolution for publishing purposes – meaning you can shoot with the full 200 megapixels in a special mode.

Apart from the primary camera upgrade, the Ultra has the same camera system as last year’s; 12MP ultra-wide for wide-angle shots, 10MP sensor for 3x optical zoom, and 10MP sensor with 10x optical zoom.

However, it’s not only the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s most advanced main camera that has got Samsung beaming with excitement. For content creators and gamers alike looking for next-level performance, this could be the device they’ve been looking for.

Sporting an exquisite design that instantly stands out, with better looking camera rings than the S22 Ultra, the S23 Ultra comes with a mega 200MP main camera, alongside a 10-megapixel telephoto with 10x optical zoom.

The device is powered by the latest Snapdragon8 Gen 2 chipset (with Android 13 based One UI5). Essentially, Snap 8 Gen 2 brings what is known as Cognitive ISP, to enable real-time Semantic Segmentation to enhance an image. This enables a camera to recognise individual aspects within a frame, such as faces, hair, clothes and backgrounds – which the camera optimises separately.  This make it the first smartphone lineup to support such technology.

Not only this, Galaxy S23 Ultra’s mobile gaming in particular, gets an essential boost with the enhanced graphics processing unit (GPU), which is said to be faster by more than 40 percent than the S22. And so is the neutral processing unit (NPU), which is optimised to balance performance power for photography, videography and low-latency gaming among others. Better still, it makes it 49% faster in machine learning tasks. 

Coming to the ever so important battery life, thanks to loadshedding, critics worldwide are already raving about its stellar performance, which at 5,000mAh, it’s said to be so good it reportedly matches Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max models, which is more or less the gold standard in the mobile industry. According to Samsung it lasts more than 20 percent longer than its predecessor. The S23 and S23+ come with larger batteries than their predecessors at 3,900mAh and 4,700mAh respectively.

Size-wise, the S23+ has a 6.6 inch screen, while the Ultra has a 6.8-inch Quad HD screen – and both weigh 195 and 234 grams respectively. The entry device (S23) brings a 6.1 inch display with FHD+ resolution and maximum 256GB of storage, with a minimum of 128GB. of storage and 8GB of RAM.

Both the Galaxy S23 and S23+ come equipped the equally impressive 50MP rear camera, which is the same camera that Samsung used on the previous lineup, along with 12MP ultra-wide camera on both. They are paired with 10MP telephoto with 3X optical zoom.

Galaxy S23 Ultra has the same 12MP selfie resolution as the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+, along with the invariable 120Hz refresh rate.
Both the Galaxy S23 and S23+ come equipped the equally impressive 50MP main camera sensor.

Interestingly, the S23 Ultra has ditched the 40MP selfie which powered the Galaxy S22 Ultra which it’s been using since the 2020 S20 Ultra, this in favour of a new 12MP sensor. And though it may seem like a serious downgrade, Samsung insists it’ll improve image quality when also shooting in low light, which while it works when capturing selfies in daylight, it’s something the 40MP snapper previously struggled with, resulting in images having a lot of noise. Besides, more megapixels don’t necessarily mean better picture quality, so this drop in resolution shouldn’t be that much of a concern.

Galaxy S23 series; Pricing and availability

The Galaxy S23 series comes in four nature-inspired matte hues: phantom black, cream, green and lavender.

All the three models – Galaxy S23 Ultra, Galaxy S23+ and Galaxy S23 – will be available from February 24 countrywide and will be sold by carriers and retailers online and on

Those who pre-order the device ahead of the launch date will get an upgraded memory size of 512GB HMV, plus a Galaxy Tab S6 Lite Wi-Fi (SM-P613) when they purchase the 256GB. This offer is on until March 6. 

Looks-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has been dubbed the S22 Ultra with an extra layer of polish. The built-in S Pen is still here, gladly, and the price isn’t exaggerated either.

There’s also a R10 000 trade-in offer to customers looking to save a fair portion of the cost, provided the device they want to trade in is up to standard. This offer includes the discounted Samsung Care Plus offer once-off fee of R499 across Galaxy S23 Ultra, S23+ and S23. The cut-off date for this April 30.

The standard retail price for Galaxy S23 Ultra is R31 999, while the Galaxy S23 Plus sells for R23 999, and Galaxy S23 is R21 999.


Tankiso Komane
Tankiso Komane
A Tshwane University of Technology journalism graduate, Tankiso Komane has a vast experience in print & broadcast media business and has worked for some of the country’s biggest daily newspapers, including The Sowetan, The Citizen, The Times, and The New Age. Through her varied work as a journalist, notably as a copywriter for SABC1 (On-Air promotions) and as a publicist for Onyx Communications, she has developed an in-depth understanding of the nature of the media business and how to use it for the purpose of exposure. Her expertise in journalism across various disciplines, coupled with a good reputation, has laid the foundation of a new kind "trust in Journalism" as the media ecosystem continues to digitally evolve.
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