We’re here to compare two absolute flagship-grade smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Sony Xperia 1 V. The Galaxy S23 Ultra launched in February, while the Xperia 1 V arrived earlier this month. Both of these phones are focused on photography, but not only on that, of course. They have a lot to offer in general, even though they’re quite different, in so many ways.
These two phones offer completely different designs, considerably different internals, and even their UIs are different. Still, they’re both outstanding phones. If you still cannot decide which one to buy, we’ll try to help out with that. We’ll provide you with a bunch of information that will hopefully help you make the choice. We’ll kick things off by listing their specs, and will then move to compare the two phones across a number of other categories.
|Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra||Sony Xperia 1 V|
|Screen size||6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display (curved, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, LTPO, down to 1Hz, 1,750 nits peak brightness)||6.5-inch 4K OLED display (flat, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate)|
|Screen resolution||3080 x 1440||3840 x 1644|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2|
|RAM||8GB/12GB (LPDDR5X)||12GB (LPDDR5X)|
|Storage||256GB/512GB/1TB, non-expandable (UFS 4.0)||256GB/512GB, non-expandable (UFS 4.0)|
|Rear cameras||200MP (f/1.7 aperture, 24mm lens, 0.6um pixel size, multi-directional PDAF, Laser AF, OIS)
12MP (ultrawide, Dual Pixel AF, 120-degree FoV, f/2.2 aperture, 1.4um pixel size)
10MP (telephoto, Dual Pixel AF, OIS, f/2.4 aperture, 1.12um pixel size, 70mm lens, optical zoom 3x)
10MP (telephoto, Dual Pixel AF, OIS, f/4.9 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, 230mm lens, 10x optical zoom, 100x Space Zoom)
|48MP (f/1.9 aperture, 1.12um pixel size, OIS, Dual Pixel PDAF)
12MP (ultrawide, f/2.2 aperture, 16mm lens, Dual Pixel PDAF)
12MP (telephoto, f/2.3 85mm, f/2.8 125mm, Dual Pixel PDAF, 3.5x-5.2x continuous optical zoom, OIS)
|Front cameras||12MP (f/2.2 aperture, 26mm lens, Dual Pixel PDAF)||12MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.25um pixel size)|
|Battery||5,000mAh, non-removable, 45W wired charging, 15W Qi wireless charging, 4.5W Wireless PowerShare
Charger not included
|5,000mAh, non-removable, 30W wired charging, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging
Charger not included
|Dimensions||163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9mm||165 x 71 x 8.3mm|
|Weight||234 grams||187 grams|
|Connectivity||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C|
|Security||In-display fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)||Side-facing fingerprint scanner (optical)|
One UI 5.1
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Sony Xperia 1 V: Design
Both of these devices are made out of metal and glass (Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the back of both phones), but they’re not similar at all. The Galaxy S23 Ultra has completely flat top and bottom sides, while its left and right sides are extremely curved. The Xperia 1 V is flat on the sides (all around). The Xperia 1 V actually has a ribbed textured on the sides, for better grip, and it also has a dotted pattern on the glass on the back. All of that does help with the grip. This handset is considerably more grippy than the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Of course, its size also helps with the grip. The Xperia 1 V is a lot narrower than the Galaxy S23 Ultra, 71mm vs 78.1mm. It is a bit taller due to a different aspect ratio, and slightly thinner. Sony’s flagship is a lot lighter in comparison, at 187 grams, compared to 234 grams of the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Even their front and back sides are vastly different. The Galaxy S23 Ultra has a slightly curved display with a centered display camera hole. The Xperia 1 V doesn’t have a camera hole or notch, while it has a flat display, and its top and bottom bezels are a bit thicker.
On the back, the Galaxy S23 Ultra has five separate protrusions, four of which are for the phone’s cameras. The Xperia 1 V has three cameras on the back, but they’re all a part of the same camera island. Both smartphones are IP68 certified for water and dust resistance. They do feel entirely different in the hand, so if you can try holding them before you buy either one, that would be great, actually.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Sony Xperia 1 V: Display
There is a 6.8-inch QHD+ (3088 x 1440) Dynamic AMOLED 2X display included on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. That display has an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz, and it supports HDR10+ content. The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s panel goes up to 1,750 nits of peak brightness. This display has an aspect ratio of 19.3:9, it’s slightly curved, and it’s protected by the Gorilla Glass Victus 2.
The Sony Xperia 1 V, on the flip side, includes a 6.5-inch 4K (3840 x 1644) OLED display. This display is flat, and it has a 120Hz refresh rate, which is also adaptive. It does support HDR content, and has an aspect ratio of 21:9. This panel is also protected by the Gorilla Glass Victus 2, in case you were wondering.
Both of these displays are outstanding. They offer vivid colors, great viewing angles, and really good touch response. The blacks are deep, and both panels are immensely sharp. The Xperia 1 V’s 4K display goes up to that resolution only when you’re consuming 4K content, and quite frankly it may even be an overkill for this phone. The Galaxy S23 Ultra, on the other hand, has a brighter display to offer. You’ll be more than happy with either one of these two displays, as they’re both fantastic. In case you’re wondering, the Galaxy S23 Ultra does have a higher screen-to-body ratio.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Sony Xperia 1 V: Performance
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy fuels the Galaxy S23 Ultra, while the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is included inside the Xperia 1 V. The difference is in clock speeds, the ‘for Galaxy’ model has a higher clock speed. Truth be said, that’s not exactly an advantage you should be worrying about, they’re on the same level in that regard. Both phones include 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and UFS 4.0 flash storage.
You’ll be glad to know that both of these smartphones offer outstanding performance. They’re extremely snappy in basically every way. They can open apps really fast, they’re excellent for media consumption, image and video editing, and more. Even if you truly push them hard via demanding games, neither phone will fall, not even close to that. They offer outstanding performance.
One thing to note is that they do offer totally different UIs. Sony keeps things closer to stock Android, with the addition of some of its own apps. Samsung, on the other hand, has its well-known One UI skin on top of Android, and it’s different than stock Android, and packed with various features. It’s easily the most customizable Android UI out there. It all depends on what you prefer, as they’re on par performance-wise.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Sony Xperia 1 V: Battery
There is a 5,000mAh battery inside each of these two smartphones. The Galaxy S23 Ultra does offer a lot better battery life, however. Don’t get me wrong, the Xperia 1 V has really good battery life, but the Galaxy S23 Ultra goes above and beyond. Getting over 9-10 hours of screen-on-time on the Galaxy S23 Ultra is doable, very much so. In comparison, you should be able to cross the 7.5-8-hour screen-on-time on the Xperia 1 V, presuming you’re not a gamer.
Your mileage may vary considerably, of course. Each of us use different apps on our phones, and has different usage habits. On top of that, different signal strengths are in effect. One thing is for sure, however, both of these smartphones offer great battery life, and they’ll be more than enough for pretty much everyone. Even power users will likely be content with what both of them have to offer.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra supports 45W wired, 15W wireless, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging. The Sony Xperia 1 V offers support for 30W wired, and also wireless and reverse wireless charging. The Galaxy S23 Ultra does charge faster, but neither phone ships with a charger in the box. They also offer rather slow wireless charging.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Sony Xperia 1 V: Cameras
The Galaxy S23 Ultra features a 200-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera (120-degree FoV), a 10-megapixel telephoto camera (3x optical zoom), and a 10-megapixel periscope camera (10x optical zoom, 120x digital zoom). On the other hand, the Xperia 1 V comes with a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, and a 12-megapixel telephoto camera (3.5x-5.2x continuous optical zoom).
Both of these smartphones have outstanding camera setups and performance, but considerably different at the same time. The images from the Galaxy S23 Ultra tend to look more processed in comparison. Both smartphones do manage to capture a lot of detail, though, and offer outstanding results. If you like phones that brighten up things at night quite a bit, and make things less lifelike in the process, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is in that corner. The Xperia 1 V tries to keep things closer to life while offering great results during the night.
Neither phone is perfect in that regard, but both are outstanding. When it comes to a periscope camera, Samsung wins, but 3.5x shots from the Xperia 1 V are outstanding. Both devices have great ultrawide camera performance, and both do a great job of keeping things closer to the main camera (color temperature, amongst other things). The Xperia 1 V does have a completely different camera UI. In fact, it has three different camera apps, depending on whether you’re shooting photos, video, or cinema-style video. The Xperia 1 V even has a dedicated shutter button.
Both of these devices include stereo speakers. Those speakers sound really good in both cases, actually. The ones on the Galaxy S23 Ultra did seem slightly louder, but the difference is not even worth mentioning. Both sets provide detailed sound, with even a bit of bass thrown into the mix.
If you still use wired headphones, the Xperia 1 V is the phone for you. It has a 3.5mm headphone jack, unlike the Galaxy S23 Ultra. In fact, it’s one of the very few flagship phones that includes that port. If you prefer wireless audio, both smartphones offer Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity.