Samsung launched the Galaxy S23 series in India, and the new devices are now up for pre-order. There is a lot to like here, with Samsung making subtle changes to the design, introducing the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform with better battery life, and a standout 200MP lens on the Galaxy S23 Ultra along with a host of minor tweaks.
Clearly, Samsung is positioning these devices as the best Android phones, and with last year's Galaxy S22 series selling particularly well in India — in no part thanks to the switch to Qualcomm hardware — the South Korean manufacturer is keen to continue that momentum.
That said, while the Galaxy S23, S23+, and the S23 Ultra launched for the same price as their predecessors in the U.S., that isn't the same for the Indian versions. We're looking at a modest increase of 3% for the standard Galaxy S23 over the S22, 7% for the Galaxy S23+ over the S22+. and 13% for the S23 Ultra over what the S22 Ultra debuted for last year.
Here's the full breakdown of what the Galaxy S23 series costs in India:
- Galaxy S23 (8GB/128GB): ₹74,999
- Galaxy S23 (8GB/256GB): ₹79,999
- Galaxy S23+ (8GB/256GB): ₹94,999
- Galaxy S23+ (8GB/512GB): ₹1,04,999
- Galaxy S23 Ultra (12GB/256GB): ₹1,24,999
- Galaxy S23 Ultra (12GB/512GB): ₹1,34,999
- Galaxy S23 Ultra (12GB/1TB): ₹1,54,999
For context, this is what the Galaxy S22 series debuted at last year:
- Galaxy S22 (8GB/128GB): ₹72,999
- Galaxy S22 (8GB/256GB): ₹76,999
- Galaxy S22+ (8GB/128GB): ₹84,999
- Galaxy S22+ (8GB/256GB): ₹88,999
- Galaxy S22 Ultra (12GB/256GB): ₹1,09,999
- Galaxy S22 Ultra (12GB/512GB): ₹1,18,999
I don't have any issues with the standard Galaxy S23, as it costs just ₹2,000 more than last year's model — that's totally fine when you consider the hardware changes and the increased battery.
The Galaxy S23+ isn't quite as good a value as its predecessor, coming in at a premium of ₹6,000. There's no 128GB version on offer this time, and while that's a good thing, Samsung really should have offered the phone for under ₹90,000 — as it stands, it risks being cannibalized by the Galaxy Z Flip 4.
On that note, the S23 Ultra costs ₹15,000 more than its predecessor for the same storage configuration. Obviously, the device is the only one in the portfolio to get a 200MP camera, and Samsung is clearly going after iPhone users here.
That 200MP camera on the S23 Ultra will need to be noticeably better than the 108MP module on the S22 Ultra to warrant the premium, and I doubt that will be the case — the S22 Ultra set the bar very high last year.
So if you're interested in buying the S23 Ultra, know that you'll have to shell out a lot more than last year. I'll await judgement until I actually use the phone alongside the S22 Ultra and see how the camera holds up in real-world use, but the good news is that Samsung will continue to sell the S22 Ultra through 2023, and that device could prove to be a big seller for the brand this year.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.