When it arrives, the Galaxy S23 will have some big shoes to fill, but we’re confident that Samsung can pull it off with its new flagship phones.
Among this year’s releases, the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus felt a lot more iterative than innovative — but the Galaxy S22 Ultra had no such problem, bringing the Galaxy Note back to life.
Rumors about the Galaxy S23 are just starting to pick up, but we wanted to share what’s out there plus what we want to see. So here’s what we’ve heard about the Galaxy S23 so far, plus our wishlist.
Whilst we wait for the next Samsung model, check out our Galaxy S23 vs iPhone 14 preview comparison to see how Samsung could stand out with its new flagship. Take a look at our Samsung coupons for discounts on current Samsung products.
Samsung Galaxy S23 latest news (updated November 1)
- The rumored January launch for the Galaxy S23 looks more likely thanks to this latest rumor.
- One leaker has said that the Galaxy S23 Ultra 200MP camera will be the biggest leap in photography in 5 years.
- We’ve heard about the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 200MP camera already, but now it seems it’ll have limited resolution options, but excellent night photography.
- The charging speed of the Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra may not change, but some of the design elements will.
- Leaked benchmarks of the Samsung Galaxy S23 are promising, and could see the standard Galaxy S23 beat the iPhone 14.
Samsung Galaxy S23 possible release date
The Galaxy S22 launched in February, so we’d expect a similar timeline for the Galaxy S23. The Galaxy S21 series came out in January 2021, but Samsung had to make room for the Galaxy S21 FE, so it likely pushed back the S22’s debut. Of course, there’s likely no Galaxy S22 FE in the works at Samsung, so that may not impact the S23 rollout plans.
If you want evidence that a February 2023 launch is in the cards, a battery for a phone matching the Galaxy S23 Plus’ description showed up for certification with a South Korean agency in early September. The timing matches the S22 rollout, which would seem to suggest a February 2023 launch is on track.
Only now we’ve heard that Samsung may be aiming for a mid-January release for the S23. Sources claim that this would prevent users from switching to non-Samsung smartphones immediately after the new year. This is supported by a shaky rumor that a Korean mobile carrier will open pre-orders for the Galaxy S in December.
Either way, the Galaxy S23 looks due for an early 2023 appearance. The phone release window is pretty predictable these days and Samsung doesn’t plan to change. However, the Galaxy S lineup may adopt the Galaxy S000’s design.
Samsung Galaxy S23 design
In terms of design, the Galaxy S23 lineup may adopt the Galaxy S22’s look, with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in particular looking very similar to its predecessor. According to Ice Universe, the phone will measure 6. 43 x 3. 07 x 0. 35 inches, which is a minor increase over the 6. 42 x 3. 06 x 0. 35 inches of the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
inches of the Galaxy S. Ultra.
Since this original rumor, Ice Universe has taken a closer look and thinks that the reason the phone is getting thicker is that Samsung could be increasing the bezel thickness of the Galaxy S23. The reason the bezel thickness could increase is still unknown. It could be an attempt to improve durability. We will keep an eye out for that as the launch of the phone nears.
Wondering what these rumors might mean for the S23 Ultra’s actual look? Leaked Galaxy S23 Ultra renders show off the potential design for the upcoming flagship. We see a black phone that bears a strong resemblance to the Galaxy S22 Ultra that came before it, although Ice Universe (opens in new tab) has commented that there could be some differences between these renders and the final product, including more prominent metal rings around the cameras.
But that’s likely to be the case for all the phones Samsung releases in early 2023, based on another leak from Ice Universe (opens in new tab), which contends that the Samsung Galaxy S23 series will feel very similar to the previous S22 series. From the dimensions of the phones to the screen size, they are almost identical to their predecessors. According to the leak, the Galaxy S23 will feature a 6.1-inch 1080×2340 display, the Galaxy S23 Plus has a 6.6-inch 1080×2340 display, and the S23 Ultra will have a 6.8-inch 1440×3088 screen. For comparison, this is exactly what the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra currently offer. The Ultra’s weight could be altered due to the addition of metal parts.
However, Ice Universe did identify the display as one of the only things that would be upgraded on the Galaxy S23 Ultra compared to the S22 Ultra.
Ice Universe identified the display as one of the only things that would be upgraded on the Galaxy S Ultra.
While the front of the phones may not change, the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus may look different when you flip them over. New renders based on leaks from OnLeaks show the phones with individually-embedded camera sensors, which mirrors the look of the S22 Ultra. Plus, newly leaked cases designed for all three Galaxy S23 models seem to back the renders up.
For color choices, it seems like we’ll have at least four on our hands. Those will apparently be beige, black, green and light pink, which will be available on all three models in the S23 family.
Samsung Galaxy S23 cameras
Several rumors have claimed the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will get a 200MP camera, which would be a notable increase over the 108MP camera on the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
This camera rumor has been gaining a lot of momentum in the recent past, however, another leak says it may not be the second-generation ISOCELL HP3 sensor Samsung goes for after all, but the older ISOCELL HP1.
But a more recent tip has the Galaxy S23 Ultra poised to get a 200MP camera in the form of an unreleased sensor from Samsung, later claimed to be the ISOCELL HP2, which will beat both the existing HP1 and HP3 200MP sensors that the company makes.
This could be good news for the next Samsung flagship phone. Samsung’s HP3 is a mid-range sensor and the HP1 is the larger and more refined sensor that is expected to debut on Motorola’s X30 Pro or the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra. Samsung may have another sensor in mind for its flagship.
If you’re curious as to what this sensor may be capable of, Samsung has shown off a video of the 200MP HP1 camera sensor in action by snapping a photo of a cat and then blowing up that image to fit a 28 x 22-meter canvas that was hung off the side of a building. Although it’s difficult to know if the image is real in person or on YouTube, it looked great. The details are crisp and clear with each cat hair clearly visible.
This is something even cameras on some of the best phones can struggle with due to their lower megapixel counts. Samsung’s video definitely suggests that a 200MP main camera could be the key to unlocking more out of its Galaxy phone photography.
One leak has spilled more details on the rumored 200MP camera on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and indicated the phone could take on the iPhone 14 Pro. Ice Universe has tweeted that it is “100% confirmed” that the phone will get a 200MP camera with 0.6mm sized pixels, along with a larger aperture of f/1.7 for capturing more light. This indicates an almost insignificant increase in camera sensor size from the S22 Ultra but it is apparently slightly bigger than the 48MP camera sensor that the iPhone 14 Pro sports.
Unfortunately, Ice Universe has since claimed that this camera will be able to take shots at 12.5MP and at its full 200MP resolution, but not 50MP. This resolution is available on other phones using the 200MP sensor, so it’s weird that Samsung’s apparently choosing not to enable this for its own phone. In better news, IU has since said that the S23 Ultra’s 200MP main camera could be much better at taking low-light photos than expected.
In fact Ice Universe claims that the Galaxy S23 Ultra 200MP camera will be the biggest leap in photography in 5 years. The high praise comes specifically for the night mode which can apparently “in an environment with almost no light, the S23 Ultra’s 5 seconds shooting is much better than the S22 Ultra’s 6 seconds, not only brighter, but also significantly improved in image quality”. Ice Universe claims to have seen the 200MP camera in action himself and says it is better than other 200MP cameras around.
Another rumor, from GalaxyClub, claims that the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus will both come with a 12MP front camera. That would mark the first time either model has had a selfie resolution upgrade since the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S10 in 2019.
It’s not clear what other upgrades might be involved, or if this rumor has any validity. Still, when the Galaxy S22 Ultra packs in a 40MP front camera, it’s about time Samsung added some shooting power to the two cheaper models.
As for the telephoto and ultrawide cameras, prepare for no changes. GalaxyClub’s sources say that the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus will use a 10MP telephoto camera, like the S22 and S22 Plus, and that the Galaxy S23 Ultra will also keep its 10MP 10x optical zoom camera too. This doesn’t mean that the zoom cameras won’t be modified in any way, but it is likely that the same resolution sensor will remain.
As for ultrawide, GalaxyClub again claims the S23 and S23 Plus will stay with 12MP sensors. There’s no news about the S23 Ultra’s ultrawide camera, although we’d expect it won’t change either.
Samsung Galaxy S23 chipset and performance
So far, we’ve only heard conflicting rumors about the Galaxy S23’s chipset. Initially, a tipster claimed Samsung would use a MediaTek chip in some Galaxy S23 units, though that’s since been refuted. Then it looked like Samsung would halt production of its own Exynos chips so that it could focus on a new Galaxy-only chipset ready for 2025. Qualcomm seemingly confirmed that it would exclusively provide Snapdragon silicon to the Galaxy S23 lineup over the summer.
You can understand why Samsung might want to look at ways to improve the Exynos chipset after including it in some past Galaxy S models. Typically, Samsung flagships powered by the Exynos system-on-chip lag behind the Snapdragon-powered models — that was certainly the case in our Galaxy S22 benchmark testing.
But leaker Ice Universe reports that there’s internal debate about whether to make the Galaxy S23 exclusively powered by Qualcomm. That could signal an Exynos comeback, with the Exynos 2300 used in some models.
That being said, we’ve seen claimed Samsung Galaxy S23 benchmarks, showing some impressive performance thus far. We don’t know the model the benchmarks could be referencing, but it looks like it may be the standard Galaxy S23.
The performance yielded is from a Snapdragon chipset, likely the rumored Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, show the Galaxy S23 delivering a single-core score of 1,524 and a multi-core score of 4,597 in the Geekbench 5 benchmark.
|iPhone 14 Pro||1,891||5,469|
Samsung Galaxy S23: Other rumors
In terms of battery, the Samsung S23 Ultra is tipped to get the same battery as the S22 Ultra (from multiple sources) and the S21 Ultra — which is a 5,000 mAh one. It is possible that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, which could be found in the phone, could save the day. This chip could boost power management and help in the long-term.
The base variant, the Galaxy S23 is tipped to get a slight battery increase. One report (opens in new tab) mentions that the phone could get a 5% battery capacity increase compared to the Galaxy S22. Meanwhile the S23 Plus may also get an increase, up to 4,700 mAh from the 4,500 mAh battery in the S22 Plus.
As for charging speed, the Galaxy S23 may sport the same 25W charging speed as the Galaxy S22, and the Galaxy S23 Plus and S23 Ultra the same 45W charging speed as their predecessors, according to leaker Ice Universe. According to Ice Universe leaker, Samsung is keeping charging in place as a way to distinguish between the base and pricier models.
The only other thing we’ve heard is that Samsung might refer to the Galaxy S23 internally as “Project Diamond.” Previously, it was thought that this codename referred to a third foldable. However, Ross Young, DSCC analyst, says that Samsung might refer to the Galaxy S1440(Image credit: Future)
Samsung Galaxy S23: What we want to see
There’s a long time for Samsung to finalize some Galaxy S23 details, so here’s what we’re hoping to see.
Better battery life
The battery life on all three Galaxy S22 models is, in a word, disappointing. Even the Galaxy S22 Ultra with its 5,000 mAh power pack couldn’t last as long as phones like the OnePlus 10 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max in the Tom’s Guide battery life test. The mid-range Galaxy A53 doesn’t have stellar battery life, either.
Samsung might be competing with the OnePlus 11 Pro that could also launch in 2023 and needs to up its game with battery life. Shrinking the power packs from the Galaxy S21 to the Galaxy S22 (3,700 mAh versus 4,000 mAh) and Galaxy S22 (4,500 mAh versus 4,800 mAh) was not a wise decision and obviously hurt both phones in testing.
It’s no secret by now that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip runs hot. It can cause throttling issues, especially when playing intense games. Samsung was also caught deliberately slowing down some apps in order to maintain system performance. While the move ultimately ended up as shady, or downright heinous for some, it proved one point: the Galaxy S22 needed better cooling.
The OnePlus 10 Pro features a new cooling system that makes the phone noticeably more comfortable after long gaming sessions than the Galaxy S22 Ultra in my experience. We’re not asking for something on the level of the best gaming phones, but the S22 can get really hot. We want to see the Galaxy S23 fix this.
Snapdragon or better Exynos
Look, we’re all for breaking Qualcomm’s near monopoly on Android phones in some parts of the world. Snapdragon chips are the strongest of all Android phones. Although Apple Silicon is still ahead in many ways, Samsung’s Exynos processors outperform Qualcomm in many other areas.
We all had high hopes for the flagship Exynos 2200 with its AMD-powered graphics, but the chip ultimately proved lackluster at best. Samsung must either figure out why Exynos chips are slower than Snapdragons or use Snapdragons everywhere.
One problem with telephoto lenses on smartphones is that you either use the full optical zoom or get stuck with digital that fills in the gaps. Rumors surrounding the Galaxy S22 Ultra suggested that Samsung was going to introduce continuous zoom, where the phone could go from 1x to 10x and all of the spots between smoothly.
We want to see Samsung introduce this on all three Galaxy S23 models, though we have a feeling the feature might be an Ultra exclusive if it ever materializes.
Better model differentiation
Let’s face it, the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus are pretty boring. They are very similar to their predecessors and lack many new features. Samsung clearly focused all its efforts on the most expensive Galaxy S. The largest change was in “nightography”, which allows for better low-light photos.
While understandable, we’d really like to see the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 get something that makes them more than iterative upgrades. Whether it’s a fresh design, stronger cameras, or display refresh rates that actually dip to 10Hz — since the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus did, in fact, feature a minimum of 48Hz instead of the 10Hz Samsung initially advertised.
We just don’t want the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus to bore us. The Galaxy S23 Ultra though should be anything but boring. Samsung executive Roh Tae-moon may have just told us that the Ultra will be returning for the S23 lineup and that it isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.