Galaxy S23 introduction
The Samsung Galaxy S23 is on the right track – if it follows in the footsteps of the S22, we can expect it within 4 months. And you know what it’s like – a hot device gets information poured left and right about it, with details about the camera, hardware and design becoming increasingly clear in the months leading up to release.
What’s new on the device
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with 10% to 20% improved performance
- New design, a la S22 Ultra
- Some camera improvements
- Slightly increased battery
Table of Contents:
Unboxing the Galaxy S23
The current standard is to get a thin box that only has the phone and data cord in it. Some thin leaflets and of course a SIM eject tool too. We expect something similar with the Galaxy S23 in February. No headphones, no charger.
Galaxy S23 specifications
Samsung’s next flagship
According to leaks, reports and rumours, here’s what we have so far:
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will likely be present on all Galaxy S23 models – recent leaks say there will be no Exynos version, which is good. We’re not going to get into a Snapdragon vs Exynos debate here, but the two processors offer slightly different performance and – more importantly – different camera post-processing. So having the same model available to everyone avoids a lot of the confusion we’ve become accustomed to.
Galaxy S23 models
We’re looking at the base Galaxy S23 here, but the family will feature three devices – the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+ and Galaxy S23 Ultra, with the last being the absolute beast… as is usual.
Typically, the non-Plus is the smallest member of the series. With a compact form and the lowest cost, one could argue that the Galaxy S23 is the true flagship as it’s expected to be the most mainstream-friendly phone.
Galaxy S23 Theme & Colors
Not so many colors at launch, maybe exclusive to Samsung
We expect a fresh new redesign – the S23 series will look much more unified. Rather than the base Galaxy S23 and S23+ having one shape, the Ultra has a very different one.
Of course, we’re not expecting a curved screen on the cheapest Galaxy S – that’s another win for many who’ve grown a bit weary of waterfall displays.
Galaxy S23 display
Samsung is at the forefront of its AMOLED game. Bright, vibrant, sharp and beautiful screens that the company has perfected over the last decade. We’re dying to see the Galaxy S23 sport the same high-quality screen, which can be set to either saturated and aggressive colors or tame realistic colors.
It’s reportedly 6.1-inches diagonal, likely with an aspect ratio of around 19.5:9. The reported resolution is 1080 x 2340, which would give us a PPI ratio of 422. That’s pretty spicy – not crazy spicy, but certainly more than “good enough”. You won’t see individual pixels on this screen, and if you do, you could be a superhero.
Samsung has had Always On for around 6 years, but we’re curious if the Galaxy S23 will update the feature to match the new iPhone 14 Pro’s all-lit Always On screen.
And of course we’re expecting nothing less than an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor tucked under the display – these were shaky in the Galaxy S10 days but have evolved into reasonably fast and reliable ones.
Galaxy S22 camera
Your upgrade is in a different castle
All the leaks and reports point to one painful thing – not much new about the Galaxy S22 camera.
Well, sure, we could get some improvements on the software side and in the handling of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s post-processing. Other than that, we’re hearing the same 50MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide, and 10MP telephoto combo.
Galaxy S23 performance and benchmarks
Second generation of ultimate power
We don’t know much about real-world performance yet, but a leaked benchmark result gives us hope that the Gen 2 will deliver a nice 10% to 20% performance boost over the Gen 1.
Alleged S23 Ultra benchmark score
Galaxy S23 OS / Android version
The latest Android build out there is Android 13, and we expect the Galaxy S23 to launch with it. But you know the deal – Samsung likes to do its own stuff, so its Android phones have the lavish One UI reskin – the latest being One UI 5.
Well, when the Galaxy S23 launches, that could evolve into One UI 5.5 or something like that, but we expect the baseline of features to remain as we know them – simple split-screen shortcuts, edge areas, from which You can access the site for multitasking and full integration into the Samsung ecosystem with SmartThings Hub.
At least that’s how we interpret Samsung’s words, let’s break it down just to be sure:
- The Galaxy S23 will launch with Android 13 in early 2023
- Update 1 – Android 14 Late 2023
- Update 2 – Android 15 Late 2024
- Update 3 – Android 16 Late 2025
- Update 4 – Android 17 Late 2026
- The Galaxy S23 will reach the end of the 4-year promise in early 2027
- The Galaxy S23 will stop receiving security updates in early 2028
Galaxy S23 battery
A small boost in capacity
OK, rumor has it we’re going to increase the battery capacity by 200mAh – up to 3,900mAh. There are two ways this could go – the extra 200mAh could be there to offset the demands of a more powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, no difference in the end. Or it could work with the power efficiency in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and deliver better battery life.
Galaxy S23 audio quality and feel
Ever since Samsung acquired AKG, it has slowly and steadily improved the sound of its mobile devices. The Galaxy S23 will certainly have a bottom driver, amplified earpiece stereo setup – as we’re used to. And we expect it to sound decent, but we’d love it if it blew our minds.
Nevertheless, they work with the limited size of a compact smartphone, so the chances are slim.
However, the feel of the flagship Galaxy series is superb and we expect nothing less from the Galaxy S23.
Galaxy S23 competitors
Obviously, the iPhone 14 will be a drag that will threaten the success of the Galaxy S23. It does have flaws though – Apple will only give you a 60Hz screen and two cameras with the base iPhone 14.
The Galaxy S23 will come out with a 120Hz screen and a whole trio of cameras to please portrait and zoom fans.
But what’s on the Android side? Well, Google’s latest Pixel 7 duo is very enticing. The base Pixel 7 retails for $600 and is an absolute steal. And even the Pixel 7 Pro will be only marginally more expensive than the Galaxy S23 – $100 more and you get a larger screen and the premium Google Assistant experience.
But Samsung has been in the game for a while and has built a robust ecosystem around its phones. DeX, SmartThings, the Galaxy Watches and Galaxy Buds, and the Galaxy SmartTags – you have many reasons to choose a Samsung and keep it at the heart of your IoT life.
Galaxy S23 Summary and Final Verdict
It seems there will be plenty of good reasons to upgrade to a Galaxy S23 if you’re coming from an older model – like an S20. If you have newer models, it seems like the Galaxy S23 isn’t going to bring many upgrades, and yes – that’s about right.
But in general we expect the Galaxy S23 to be another workhorse with a fairly compact form factor, good cameras and reliable performance.