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iPhone 14 Pro vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: This Ex-Android Lover Has Thoughts

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This story is a part of Samsung Event, CNET’s assortment of stories, suggestions and recommendation round Samsung’s hottest merchandise.

Five months in the past, I went from being a die-hard Samsung Galaxy fan to a sellout iPhone proprietor. Since then, I’ve totally tailored to the world of Apple and have been basking within the perks of options like AirDrop and iMessage (largely to the delight of my buddies, who have been sick of my inexperienced texts). But I nonetheless have a tender spot for Galaxy telephones, and when Samsung unveiled the S23 lineup in February, I used to be wanting to see how the top-of-the-line S23 Ultra would evaluate to my iPhone 14 Pro. So I obtained my fingers on one and commenced utilizing the telephones facet by facet to check every little thing from the cameras to battery life to total design — and to see whether or not I’d have any regrets about switching to the “dark side.” Here’s what I discovered.The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s show vs. Apple’s Super Retina screenFirst issues first: I’ve an iPhone 14 Pro, and never a Pro Max, so the Ultra’s large display screen positively stands out compared. I by no means really feel like I would like a much bigger display screen than what I get on my 14 Pro, but it surely positively would not damage to have that bigger show when I’m watching a YouTube video or streaming a present — or spending an excessive amount of time on TikTok. The trade-off to having that bigger display screen is attempting to suit it in my pocket and having to hold one thing a bit bulkier. Still, it is a fairly glossy cellphone for all that actual property.  The show high quality on each telephones is stellar, and I do not see a lot of a high quality distinction between the 2. Right out of the field, the S23 Ultra has a pleasant vibrant show, which you’ll be able to obtain on the iPhone by turning off True Tone (a characteristic that adjusts the colour and depth of your show relying in your setting). If the brightness on the Ultra is an excessive amount of, you’ll be able to inversely mimic the consequences of True Tone by going into Display settings and both toggling on Eye consolation protect or going to Screen mode and choosing Natural. You also can play with the White steadiness scale. Images on the iPhone look barely sharper, however colours pop a bit extra on the S23 Ultra. Overall, although, there’s actually not a lot of a distinction between the telephones.The keyboard on the Galaxy S23 Ultra (proper) locations numbers above letters, so you do not have to hop between the 2.
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There’s one side to having an iPhone that I have never fairly made peace with but, and it is the keyboard. I’m glad Apple added Slide to Type with iOS 13 a number of years in the past, adopted by haptic suggestions on the keyboard with iOS 16 (lastly), as a result of these are options I liked on Android. But I nonetheless get pissed off that I’ve to modify between numbers and letters when I’m typing on the iPhone. Meanwhile, on the Galaxy, the numbers sit simply above the letters, so you’ll be able to choose them extra rapidly, the best way you’d on a laptop computer keyboard. You can obtain completely different keyboards on the iPhone like Gboard, but it surely’s not the identical. I’ll admit that is a minor grievance, however I do suppose the consumer expertise would profit from Apple taking a web page from Android’s e-book — you recognize, like they’ve achieved many occasions earlier than. Moving on….

The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s battery life is subsequent stageI’ve had my iPhone for a number of months now and fortunately have not seen any noticeable drops in battery life but. My cellphone nonetheless lasts a full day of heavy use, however I at all times must cost on the finish of the day.The Ultra’s battery is subsequent stage. I can go a full day of use and nonetheless have some juice left over. That’s not shocking, given the S23 Ultra has a 5,000-mAh battery. Apple would not share battery capability for its telephones, however says the 14 Pro has as much as 23 hours of video playback. An iFixit teardown discovered the iPhone 14 Pro has a 3,200-mAh battery. The battery that retains going.
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Even although the Ultra has a much bigger battery, Apple is definitely capable of crank out extra effectivity from its batteries because of iOS and its personal A-series chips. Meanwhile, Android has to work with a wide range of gadgets working completely different processors, so it turns into extra necessary to have that larger battery.Specs and logistics apart, I’m amazed by the Ultra’s battery life, as was CNET’s cell reporter Lisa Eadicicco when she reviewed the Ultra.The S23 Ultra’s 200-megapixel cameraCamera high quality is a very powerful side of any cellphone for me. I take a variety of footage and movies for work and social media, together with for my very area of interest tea account on Instagram. The digital camera on the Galaxy telephones saved me within the Samsung household for a decade, so I used to be keen to check the S23 Ultra’s cameras to the iPhone 14 Pro’s. What I observed immediately is how far more saturated images on the Ultra are. In most instances, that saturation provides a pleasant coloration enhance to photographs and makes them stand out extra. Pictures of my colourful teacups look much more vibrant on the Ultra. Sometimes, that saturation is usually a bit overwhelming and makes images look unnatural, as if there is a filter on them. But different occasions, it makes colours and topics stand out, in a great way.The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 200-megapixel sensor brings out particulars and coloration on this ornamental teacup.
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The 200-megapixel sensor on the Ultra punches up coloration and element much more. An image I took of an ornamental teacup emphasizes the intricate floral design and gold trim and one other picture of a Klay Thompson mural reveals vivid blues and yellows. Not all moments are made for a 200-megapixel sensor, although. In one other picture taken open air, the sensor eliminated a number of too many highlights, so it was tougher to see element and make sense of what is going on on. Overall, I respect the softness and brightness of images on the Ultra. Shadows on the iPhone are sometimes a bit too harsh and provides some photographs a darker overtone. An picture of the sky on the Ultra will look good and vibrant, whereas on the iPhone, there may be distracting shadows beneath clouds. The Ultra’s softness and brightness additionally make for extra flattering selfies. You can modify the iPhone’s digital camera settings and mess around with issues like distinction, tone and coloration temperature, and even mimic pictures types on the Galaxy (and vice versa), however I do want the iPhone simply robotically adjusted for issues like shadows a little bit higher. The digital camera characteristic that shocked me most was Portrait mode. I consider Portrait mode on the iPhone because the gold normal. The topic is often in excellent focus, the background is easily blurred and the colours are extra pure trying. But I observed there’s one thing the Ultra did higher than my iPhone. I took an image of my good friend whereas she had sun shades on high of her head, and the iPhone struggled to maintain the bridge and sides of the glasses in focus, whereas the Ultra did not. It’s that small element that reveals how far Portrait mode has come on Galaxy telephones. I nonetheless favor the look of iPhone portraits due to the decrease saturation, and you may catch a bit extra element within the background, which is sweet.  The image on the left was taken with Portrait mode on the iPhone 14 Pro, whereas the one on the best was taken with the Galaxy S23 Ultra. If you look intently, you will good the iPhone blurs the bridge and sides of the glasses, whereas the Ultra would not.
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Does the Galaxy S23 Ultra beat the iPhone at video?Given the recognition of TikTok and Instagram Reels proper now, video is a big focus for each Apple and Samsung — and in addition necessary for people like me who take a variety of movies. Since switching to the iPhone, I’ve seen an uptick within the high quality of my movies. The colours are extra pure and the photographs sharper. Cinematic mode makes topics pop and lends a extra skilled look to my content material. Samsung has its personal Cinematic mode equal, known as Portrait video. It additionally does an ideal job of blurring the background, however objects and other people look rather less outlined than they do on iPhone.  One space the place the Ultra is a transparent winner is with video stabilization. Even strolling down the steps, the footage is extremely easy, as when you’re utilizing a gimbal. With the iPhone, you’ll be able to nonetheless sense every step being taken, and there is much more motion. The S23 Ultra’s design vs. iPhone 14 Pro Let’s be trustworthy: the iPhone’s digital camera bumps are ridiculous. The Ultra is a breath of recent air as a result of the cameras do not stick out as a lot, so it wobbles much less while you set it down. The S Pen on the Ultra is a enjoyable additional, although I by no means discovered myself reaching for it. There’s not a lot I wish to write by hand, and I can simply faucet the display screen for just about all capabilities. Still, I’m glad the legacy of the retired Galaxy Note sequence lives on. The S Pen returns on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
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The in-screen fingerprint reader was a favourite characteristic of mine on my Galaxy telephones, and it is good to have that possibility once more whereas utilizing the Ultra. I missed it after I first switched to the iPhone, however Face ID is strong sufficient that I rapidly obtained over it. Unlocking each telephones has been seamless.The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s worth is identical because the iPhoneThe S23 Ultra is $1,200 for 256 GB of storage and is priced equally to the iPhone 14 Pro Max with the identical quantity of storage. The smaller iPhone 14 Pro is $1,100 for 256GB. Whether you are a Galaxy fan or an iPhone lover, $1,200 is rather a lot. But on this case, you get what you pay for.Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. iPhone 14 Pro remaining ideas Those digital camera bumps on the iPhone 14 Pro really feel a little bit extreme.
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It’s been enjoyable to revisit a world I’ve deserted and evaluate the iPhone I’ve now to the one I may’ve had if I’d stayed within the Galaxy household. While there are points to the S23 Ultra that I respect, like brighter and extra colourful photographs, higher video stabilization and unimaginable battery life, there are benefits to having an iPhone that transcend specs that’ll seemingly maintain me within the Apple ecosystem for some time. Features like Airdrop and iMessage have made the consumer expertise extra seamless. And I do not know if I may hand over the iPhone’s video high quality for the rest.  Still, I do know that if I wish to take an image that makes individuals’s jaws drop, I’ll seemingly attain for the S23 Ultra. Then I’ll await the look of shock after I inform them it wasn’t taken with an iPhone.Check out the video above to see extra of my expertise attempting out these two telephones, together with some side-by-side examples of images and movies taken on every. 
Galaxy S23 Ultra: Take a Closer Look at Samsung’s Giant New Phone

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