Monday #4. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: 200 MP vs 12 MP

Table of Contents

  • Samsung Galaxy Ultra S23, marketing and cameras
  • Forecasts for the computer market
  • Volla Phone X23</ p>
    • Technical

Samsung Galaxy Ultra S23, marketing and cameras

To some extent, this note is a continuation of the story about my acquaintance with 200 MP cameras. I recommend taking a look, because there we are talking about 200 MP, 108 MP, 50 MP, 48 MP and 12 MP.

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I've been studying the Galaxy S23 Ultra for a day now and that's itI can not form my opinion about the smartphone. Let me explain with examples. Here I took the Galaxy S23 Ultra and took two photos in 12 MP (this is the default mode) and 50 MP (this is a type of enhanced quality mode). As well as one photo on the Galaxy Note 9, which has a camera of only 12 MP. All photos are taken from the same vantage point.

I will make a lyrical digression by saying that GalaxyThe Note 9 is my main smartphone, which I use to take all the photos for articles. I have a lot of complaints about this device, but I have always liked its quality of photography. It turns out a good photo, which is not a shame to insert into the article: accurate autofocus, adequate color reproduction, etc., and most importantly, there is no need to dance with a tambourine in the form of games with settings.


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And now I pick up a smartphone that came out4 years later is a long time for technology. For comparison, Galaxy Note 9 in the AnTuTu test knocks out less than 400 thousand points (more than 3 times less than the Galaxy S23 Ultra). And 200 MP for S23 Ultra, according to the logic of marketing numbers, is disproportionately larger than 12 MP for Note 9.

And so I open the photos I took on the computer to study and crop for the article. You can open 3 photos and enlarge them yourself, I just took a screenshot.

Looking at the screenshot above, we can say that 12 MPThe mode on the 2023 Galaxy S23 Ultra, for some reason, performs worse than a smartphone released in the summer of 2018. But on the other hand, the 50 MP mode seems to be not bad. And as a result, we get that the smartphone of 2023 in this case gives the same result as the device of 2018, only the file size is 2 times larger.

However, the photo is big.It is not limited to the smartphone in the center. There is also a box on the side. And here we see that for some unknown reason, the inscription in 50 MP resolution turns out to be muddy (as, in principle, the whole photo). And the 12 MP Ultra S23 mode is clearly too tight for photos, and there is so much noise.

And frankly, I can't explain thismagic. The S23 Ultra photomodule is better in all respects - more megapixels, laser autofocus, multi-directional PDAF (not dual pixel PDAF), sensor size 1/1.3″ (not 1/2.55″), and optical stabilization technology is more advanced. However, I feel like I'm being deceived. After all, as a consumer who paid more money for a new flagship smartphone than for the previous one, I don’t ask so much, I just want to get a photo, preferably, of course, of better quality, or, at worst, the same.

Of course, experts can explain to me thatto achieve the best quality, I have to dodge, twist, jump and press the release button with the little toe of my left foot. For TECHNOLOGIES are NEW and require special treatment! By the way, in case you're wondering, the real reason for the S23 Ultra's failure in this situation is a slight lack of light. To take good photos at all 200 MP, a smartphone needs much more high-quality light.

In my opinion, Samsung is clearly going the wrong way.It increases the number of megapixels, which then cannot properly process. At the same time, unfortunately, no one can put the company in its place. Despite the fact that Huawei, Honor, Vivo and Xiaomi are leading in the DXOMARK rating for many years, for Samsung it's like water off a duck's back. After all, Samsung is a brand. But all the rest are Chinese!

Of the pleasant moments about the mobile marketphotos, we can say that there are more and more smartphones that focus not on the number of megapixels, but on the size of the matrix. An example is the 1-inch sensor from Sony - IMX989 (Xiaomi 12s Ultra, vivo X90 Pro, vivo X90 Pro +, Xiaomi 13 Pro devices).

However, not all is well here either.You do know that a 1-inch sensor isn't actually 1-inch, right? And photos from the promo pages of smartphones (the screenshot below is taken from the Xiaomi 12S Ultra website) are only misleading.

The size of the so-called 1-inch sensorsis 9 by 12 mm, or 0.6 inches. If you want to read more, I recommend the material of Ken Rockwell. And there is a danger that, as in the case of megapixels, marketing will win and everything will be given out for 1-inch sensors. Indeed, by the way, a similar situation occurred with nanometers, which have little to do with reality. They only reflect improvements over the previous generation.

There is a feeling that technologies at the currentlevel have reached a certain limit that they cannot jump over, and the substitution of real achievements with marketing terms begins. On the one hand, it's sad. On the other hand, it means that we are on the verge of a qualitatively new transition.

I’ll make a separate article about the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, because with all the marketing tricks, the smartphone turned out to be worthy.

Forecasts for the computer market

Like the smartphone market, stalling with developmenttechnologies, the notebook market is also stagnating. Traditional processor and video card manufacturers are increasing transistor density, but increasing computing power by increasing power consumption. This point has already been repeatedly mentioned on the example of the 40th series of video cards from Nvidia, whose TDP in the desktop version is 450 W in the standard configuration and 600 W in the maximum.

However, it is clear that the future lies with the combinationenergy efficiency and productivity. And now two technologies, or architectures, are claiming this niche - ARM and RISC-V. We will talk about RISK-V in a separate article.

ARM processors have already won the hearts of millionsusers around the world. In many ways, these are users of Apple, which owns 90% of the market for ARM laptops (or computers, because there are no desktop ARM solutions yet). Unlike traditional PCs, ARM laptops offer the unimaginable: long battery life, and the ability to use the full power potential of a laptop without plugging it into an outlet. And at the same time, an ARM laptop should not be bulky, heavy, equipped with an overly powerful cooling system, like a Windows book of comparable performance.

At the moment, the development of ARM beeches is hampered by 2 points:

  • No offer. In fact, there is only Apple on the market, which carefully emphasizes that its MacBooks are the choice of professionals (scientists, creative professions, programmers).
  • Lack of support from Microsoft and a number ofkey players. As soon as Microsoft releases full-fledged Windows and Office for ARM (by full-fledged, I mean one that is not inferior to the version for classic processors), active user migration will immediately begin.

Counterpoint Research suggests that by 2025 ARM laptops will take 25% of the entire PC market.

Counterpoint shows quite moderatesubsequent growth. My opinion is that growth can be more active. Please note that now many smartphone manufacturers have started selling laptops under their own brand. So do Samsung, Huawei, Honor, Xiaomi and even realme with TECNO. For smartphone manufacturers, ARM laptops should be more familiar and easier to integrate into the ecosystem. At the same time, chipsets for such laptops will be produced by the same Qualcomm and MediaTek. Accordingly, it will be more convenient to bargain to get a volume discount.


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I like that open-source projects pop up on the market from time to time that try to throw off the Apple-Google yoke.


  • Screen: 6.1 inches, IPS LCD, 1560 x 720 resolution, 550 nits brightness, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • CPU: MediaTek Helio G99 8-core (6nm), GPU Arm Mali-G57 graphics
  • Memory: 6+128 GB, dedicated microSD slot
  • OS: Volla OS on AOSP or Ubuntu Touch
  • Dimensions: 160.9 x 80 x 12.2 mm, weight 270 g
  • Main camera: 48 MP (PDAF) + 8 MP (AF)
  • Front-camera: 16 MP
  • SIM: 2 Nano SIM
  • Battery: 5000mAh, 30W adapter, 15W wireless charging
  • Connection: 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, Type-C
  • Navigation: GPS/AGPS, GLONASS,
  • Sensors: fingerprint scanner, accelerometer, proximity, illumination, compass
  • Other: 3.5mm jack, Military-grade MIL-STD-810H + IP68

One of such projects is Volla Phone.What's the point? Two OS to choose from. One is Ubuntu Touch, the other is proprietary Volla OS based on pure Android (AOSP). In fact, this is a smartphone based on open-source software and offers to use the same applications. For example, Signal is offered as a messenger. App stores include F-Droid and Aurora.

And when the smartphone is turned on, the user does notyou will need to create an account, register in Google services. The smartphone's storage is encrypted by default, and the smartphone itself does not send any data anywhere, plus there is a built-in VPN.

The smartphone also offers a multi-boot system. That is, you can use two operating systems at the same time. You use Android, when you reboot you chose Ubuntu Touch and do all sorts of Linux things ...

The trouble with such projects is that they attractexclusively technology enthusiasts, as well as those who are afraid of surveillance. For example, you probably didn't know that before Volla Phone X23 there was Volla Phone 22. It is still on sale for 482 euros. By the way, I also completely forgot about him. Model X23 costs from 523 euros. Such is the trouble of modern users. We want to be protected from the eye of Big Brother, but only on the condition that it is super convenient and mainstream.