What you need to know
- Samsung officially unveiled the new Galaxy S23 series, including the S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra.
- The Galaxy S23 and S23+ boast streamlined designs, larger batteries, and bright displays.
- The Galaxy S23 Ultra nearly doubles its camera resolution to 200MP and can capture brighter images with pixel binning.
- The phones are available for preorder and will hit shelves on February 17. Retail starts at $799.99.
Samsung has introduced the new Galaxy S23 series, which the company says marks a "new era of Samsung Galaxy’s ultimate premium phone experience." Thanks to a new exclusive chipset, improved cameras, and more, the Galaxy S23 series may very well be the phones to beat in 2023.
Visually, the Galaxy S23 and S23+ see the most changes, with their design made to better match that of the Galaxy S23 Ultra (which looks nearly identical to the S22 Ultra). This means the camera island has been replaced with three individually protruding camera sensors while the rest of the phones remain flat. Overall, it should make for a cleaner look, that is, if you can avoid getting dust between the lenses, a common problem with the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
The flat displays remain largely the same as their predecessors at 6.1 and 6.6 inches, FHD+, and dynamic 120Hz refresh rates. However, Samsung has upped the brightness on the smallest model, which can now match the 1750nits of the S23+ and S23 Ultra.
Internally, things get a little interesting. At the helm of this experience is the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, a chipset designed specifically for the Galaxy S23 series and will power the phones globally. It's clocked higher than the standard Snapsdragon 8 Gen 2 powering the new flagship Android phones of 2023, which means you can squeeze more performance out of it.
Both the S23 and S23+ come with 8GB of RAM and only two storage options; 128 or 256GB for the former, 256 and 512GB for the latter. Fortunately, Samsung learned the error of its ways and upped the battery capacity of both, with the S23 clocking in at 3,900mAh and the S23+ at 4,700mAh. Given the lack of stamina on the Galaxy S22, this should come in handy. Unfortunately, charging remains the same at 25W and 45W, respectively.
As far as cameras go, we still have the 50MP triple camera setup on both, combined with a 12MP ultrawide lens and 10MP telephoto camera with 3x zoom. The front camera, however, gets upgraded to 12MP, which helps enable faster autofocus and "Super HDR" selfies. It can also shoot video in 4K60fps, which can help keep your content consistent across lenses.
However, the biggest camera upgrade comes to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which sports Samsung's new 200MP ISOCELL HP2 sensor. Samsung touts its phenomenal "Nightography" capabilities thanks to the ability to gather more light when combining pixels. Thanks to pixel binning, the Galaxy S23 Ultra can combine four pixels for a 50MP image or 16 pixels for a 12.5MP image. Thanks to AI processing and enhanced optical image stabilization (OIS), images and video should result in less noise, particularly in low-light situations.
The 100x Space Zoom is also present, but with nearly double the resolution, we expect results may be much improved over previous generations.
And for those who like to capture 8K video, the new sensor can do so at 30fps.
The S23 Ultra has a 6.8-inch QHD+ display with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. Samsung has also reduced the curve of the display, which should appease those of us that don't care much for the curved display trend. For internals, there's a variant with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, or you can opt for the 12GB version with 512GB or 1TB of storage. The same 5,000mAh battery remains, along with 45W charging.
All three phones also have larger vapor chamber cooling, which should hopefully result in less overheating and throttling, something that plagued the phones last year. They are also protected by the new Gorilla Glass Victus 2, so drops on concrete should be a little less scary (although we still recommend checking out some Galaxy S23 cases and screen protectors).
The Galaxy S23 series starts at $799 for the base model, $999 for the S23+, and $1199 for the Ultra. Each model comes in Phantom Black, Cream, green, and Lavender colorways, or you can order Samsung-exclusive colors such as Lime, Graphite, Sky Blue, and red.
Preorder begins today, and the phones will hit shelves on February 17.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23+ both gain new designs and bigger batteries. The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy also gives the phones better performance than the other players on the market. These will be the phones to beat in 2023.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the ultimate camera phone thanks to its new 200MP sensor. It lets you get more detail, improved low-light photos, and better 8K video. Plus, the built-in S Pen helps you stay productive and the new Snapdragon chip will give you all the performance you need.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.