Samsung unveiled its latest set of smartphones with the Galaxy S23 series, but the one that will get the most attention is the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

The reason why — assuming Samsung is right — is the phone should be able to really take things up a notch when it comes to photos and video. If you’re a content creator, the company definitely has you in mind. So much so, in fact, that the keynote in San Francisco included snippets of an interview and short film called Behold that director Ridley Scott shot with the Ultra. Korean director Na Hong-Jin also weighed in by shooting footage with the phone for his own project called Faith.

Night photos, or “Nightography” as Samsung calls it, could give you excellent results at night or low-light with little effort. That includes portrait shots, which will be “smarter” by way of knowing the difference between, say, your hair and clothes to render the image properly.

Part of what’s driving that is the 200-megapixel image sensor. Now, megapixels alone don’t make a camera good or bad, but Samsung says the software for both photos and video should represent a marked improvement in the results you get. Not to get too technical, but pixel binning means the phone can take 16 pixels and merge them down to one large pixel. The larger the pixel, the more light it gathers. Hence, better nighttime photos.

You can shoot at the full resolution when you want to capture a lot of detail and crop in later. You can also shoot at 50-megapixels in RAW using the Expert RAW mode. That mode is now baked into the camera app — no need to download it separately from the Galaxy Store. Within it are two newer modes called Astrophotography and Multiple Exposure. If you want to literally shoot for the stars with the phone, you’ll need to be in a really dark spot with no light pollution to get the best results. Multiple Exposure is kind of wacky in that you can take multiple shots and layer them on top of each other for creative effect.

For video, you can now shoot 8K footage at 30fps, which is cool, though the bigger deal might be shooting in 4K on both the rear and front cameras. Pro Video takes things further to let you decide how you want to compose the scene you’re shooting. Colour reproduction will make things look vibrant without overly saturating them. Scott and Hong-Jin both talked about this, noting that they were surprised at how much versatility they could get from the phone in varying conditions. We’ll have to see how the average Joe does without a film crew, though.

Most of these features apply to the Ultra and not the other two phones, the Galaxy S23+ and Galaxy S23. While they get improved software and the same front camera the Ultra has, they can’t shoot at the same resolutions, as they use a smaller 50-megapixel sensor.

One cool thing that stood out to me for all these devices is a feature called Maintenance Mode. Basically, if you bring the phone into a shop to repair it, you can lock down all your apps and messages so that no one sees anything you have on there. That way, you don’t have to wipe the phone of all data first before sending it in.

Screen sizes stay the same for all three phones (from their predecessors), and they share a lot of the same components. The Ultra will come with the S Pen, whereas the other two aren’t compatible with the pen at all.

You can pre-order any of the phones now and they’ll be available starting on February 17. Colour options include phantom black, green, cream and lavender. Pricing breaks down like this:

Galaxy S23 Ultra

  • 256GB: $1,649.99
  • 512GB: $1,889.99

Galaxy S23+

  • 256GB: $1,399.99
  • 512GB: $1,559.99

Galaxy S23

  • 128GB: $1,099.99
  • 256GB: $1,179.99