Samsung Galaxy S23: everything you need to know

Samsung Galaxy S23: everything you need to know

Samsung Galaxy S23: everything you need to know

With February nearly here, it’s time to turn our attention to what’s next for Samsung. The tech company is gearing up for its next Unpacked event on February 1, and the Galaxy S23 lineup is set to be the star of the show.

The Galaxy S22 the range includes some of our best phones from 2022. The base S22 impressed as a more affordable option, the S22Plus is a superb all-rounder while the almighty S22 Ultra blew us away with his stellar camera skills. We’ve even given CNET Plus and Ultra Editors’ Choice Awards.

If Samsung maintains the pattern it has followed for the past three generations, we can expect to see a Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus, and Galaxy S23 Ultra. We’ll likely know more on February 1, but here’s what we expect based on rumors, leaks, and previous product launches from Samsung. As for what we want to see from Galaxy S23 range, longer battery life and smarter camera features are at the top of my list.

Galaxy S23 release date

Samsung will likely announce the Galaxy S23 series at its next Unpacked event on February 1, which will take place in San Francisco. The announcement of the event follows previous leaks, including this report from Korean newspaper JoongAng Daily, suggesting an early February launch of the Galaxy S23. A January 6 Tweeter by prominent leaker Ice Universe also claimed to show a Galaxy Unpacked teaser image with a date of February 1.

Whether the phones will be available in stores to buy that month is another matter, as global supply chains are still struggling and there may be a longer than usual delay. But Samsung is already offering promotions to US customers who want to reserve a phone in advance. You’ll get $50 in Samsung credit if you sign up to reserve one device or $100 if you request to reserve two.

pixel-7-pro-s22-ultra-lanxon-promo-57-copy

The S22 Ultra has seen stiff competition this year, especially from Google’s Pixel 7 Pro.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Galaxy S23 models and sizes

We strongly expect Samsung to continue its strategy of launching multiple phone models, each with different specs and price points to appeal to a wide variety of people. Based on Samsung’s history, we’re confident we’ll see an entry-level Galaxy S23 model, an upgraded S23 Plus with a bigger screen, and the top-end S23 Ultra. It’s the Ultra that will pack the best tech, including extra cameras, the bigger screen, and almost certainly the S Pen stylus.

Samsung’s Unpacked event invite also includes what appear to be three projectors, which may be a subtle nod to three new incoming Galaxy models.

Samsung's invitation to Unpacked

Samsung’s next Unpacked event will take place on February 1. We expect to hear more about the Galaxy S23 lineup.

Samsung

Reputable leaker Ice Universe released a detailed look at the sizes of the three upcoming phones (via GSM Arena), which aligned them almost exactly with the current sizes of the S22 lineup. As such, we’re not expecting any noticeable differences in the screen sizes of any of the ranges compared to the predecessors.

It was 6.1 inches for the Galaxy S22, 6.6 inches for the S22 Plus, and 6.8 inches for the S22 Ultra.

Galaxy S23 Price

Assuming Samsung releases multiple models, the S23 lineup will come in three main price points. We don’t expect Samsung to deviate from last year’s pricing. For reference, the base S22 launched with a price tag of $800, while the Plus model started at $1,000, and the high-performance S22 Ultra debuted at $1,200 in the US last February.

The Galaxy S22 (left), Galaxy S22 Plus (middle), and Galaxy S22 Ultra (right)

The S22 range is available in three sizes and we expect the S23 range to be as well.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Galaxy S23 Cameras

The cameras seem to be one of the main areas of focus for the new series. This is probably especially true for the Ultra model, which is usually where Samsung’s biggest camera innovations are found.

We expected the S22 Ultra to include a huge 200-megapixel image sensor, given that Samsung launched two such image sensors and they can be found in other phones. We haven’t seen it on the S22 Ultra, but it seems likely that a 200-megapixel sensor will be one of the S23 Ultra’s main bragging rights. ice universe also predicts that the Galaxy S23 Ultra will have a 200-megapixel sensor. It remains to be seen whether it is the HP1 or HP3 sensor that the company already produces or a new variant designed specifically for the phone.

an android phone and an iphone both flash

In our tests, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera performed extremely well against the Pixel 7 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Samsung’s product pages for these sensors offer improved resolution (obviously), but also improved low-light photography by combining sets of smaller pixels into larger individual pixels that can capture more light. The S22 Ultra is already one of the best night camera phonesbeating the Pixel 7 Pro in our recent tests, so it’s exciting to hear a further explosion of its low-light prowess.

That massive resolution will also help the phone’s zoom skills, which are already impressive thanks to its 10x optical zoom lens. Recent Rumors from Ice Universe suggest that the lens range will remain the same across all phones, but that extra resolution should help make the zooms even sharper.

We may also see a slight change in the camera design, at least on the Galaxy S23 Plus and potentially the Galaxy S23. Rumors of famous leakers ice universe and Steve Hemmerstoffer suggest that newer devices could have circular cutouts for camera lenses that sit directly on the back of the device rather than on a camera module. The Galaxy S22 Ultra already has a camera like this, but Hemmerstoffer’s leak suggests this style could make its way to the Plus model as well.

Take a look at the photos of the Galaxy S22 Ultra alongside the Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 below to see what I mean.

Samsung S22 and S22 Plus and S22 Ultra compared

The Galaxy S22 Ultra (left), Galaxy S22 Plus (middle), and Galaxy S22 (right)

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Galaxy S23 battery, processor and other specs

The Galaxy S23 lineup will almost certainly use the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. In previous years, Samsung used its own Exynos chips for its European models. But a recent earnings call from Qualcomm suggested that Samsung would actually use Qualcomm’s silicon for every phone in the lineup.

As for other specs, we’re expecting a minimum of 8GB of RAM on base models, with 12GB available on the S23 Ultra. Storage should continue to start at 128GB, with higher capacity options available at higher prices. And no, we’re not expecting a return of the microSD card slot to expand storage. Sad face.

Recent Federal Communications Commission certifications show that the base S23 will have a 3,900mAh battery, a step up from the base S23’s 3,700mAh, while the S23 Plus will also get a battery boost to 4,700. mAh. There’s no official figure for the Ultra model yet, but again Ice Universe suggests it will have the same 5,000mAh cell size as the S22 Ultra.

We’ll likely know more as we progress through January and get closer to the expected February launch date. But if the rumors turn out to be true, the Galaxy S23 line will likely be a modest step up from the Galaxy S22 family.

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