Galaxy S23 Ultra review and more

This week Samsung launched the Galaxy S23 series and we published our full review. In other news, Android Auto continued its redesign, YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki resigned, and more.

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The Galaxy S23 Ultra is here – is it worth it?

As of this week, the Samsung Galaxy S23 series has officially launched, and our review of the Galaxy S23 Ultra is now live. In it, we dive into the performance, hardware, camera, and software of Samsung’s latest flagship, which marks a bigger change from its predecessor than most people might think.

The standout of the device was simply its battery life, which is truly incredible. In our testing over the past two weeks, the phone bordered on unkillable, surviving a full day with up to half the battery remaining. It’s among the best battery life of any phone we’ve tested in recent years. Another great aspect of the device is its performance, which is very fast in the core software, apps, and photo processing. The fact that Snapdragon chips will be used worldwide this time around is also a huge benefit for international buyers.

However, the Achilles heel of the Galaxy S23 Ultra is its camera. The 200-megapixel main camera is capable of taking truly stunning photos, and videos recorded in 4K are impressive. This main camera is also supported by three other sensors, including two telephoto cameras that take crisp shots that no other phone sold in the US market can match. Where the system falls short is the main camera’s shutter lag, which struggles with images of people and pets, and particularly images of children.

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Selling at a starting price of $1,199, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is easily one of the best phones you can buy today, but it does require you to weigh the pros and cons. If you can learn to love the inconsistent camera, it’s a winner in our book.

This week’s top stories

The Android Auto redesign continues its rollout

After the announcement in early January, Google continues to roll out “Coolwalk”, Android Auto’s dashboard redesign. After a month, the update is still not widely available, but it’s reaching more and more users. Google is also working on improvements to the redesign, such as reviving the integrated weather support.

In related news, the popular AAWireless adapter for adding wireless Android Auto to your car is finally back in stock on Amazon.

Gboard updates the toolbar

In an update rolling out this week, Google updated the toolbar for its Gboard keyboard on Android. The update allows users to make better use of the tools available on Gboard and customize those tools to suit their needs.


Samsung is rolling out its latest major update

The software that was introduced on Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series, One UI 5.1 is being widely used on older Samsung devices. The update is available for Galaxy S22, S21 and S20 series devices as well as for Galaxy Z Fold 4, Flip 4, Fold 3 and Flip 3. The update brings several new features, as we reported this week. Updates for Samsung smartwatches were also released this week to both fix bugs and support period tracking on the Galaxy Watch 5.

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YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki resigns

After nine years at the helm, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has resigned. Wojcicki has been a Google employee for 25 years and was the company’s 16th employee. Wojcicki said she is stepping down to focus on “family, health and personal projects.” Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan will take on the role of “the new head of YouTube.”

Oppo Find N2 Flip becomes official

After its brother launched in China late last year, Oppo has officially unveiled the Find N2 Flip globally. The device competes against Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 4 and will be a killer option based on our first impressions.

More headlines: What’s coming up this week?

The week of February 20th will not be busy. With Samsung and Oppo already unwrapping their first launches this year, all eyes will be on MWC 2023, which starts on February 27th. Honor, for example, will launch its foldable Magic Vs worldwide on that day.

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