Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra are finally here.
While it doesn’t appear to be massively different from last year’s Galaxy S22 series, here’s a quick rundown on what’s new for this year’s Galaxy S23 series.
New Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
Similar to the Galaxy S22 series, the new Galaxy S23 lineup is also offered with a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip instead of Samsung’s own Exynos processor. While Qualcomm’s latest and greatest chip is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Samsung has teamed up with the chipmaker to introduce the “Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy” which is declared the fastest Snapdragon ever.
According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy gets a higher-clocked Qualcomm Kryo CPU core with up to 3.36GHz peak speeds. It also gets an “upgraded” Qualcomm Adreno GPU which is said to be significantly improved in both performance and power efficiency to enable hardware-accelerated ray tracing.
New 200MP camera for Galaxy S23 Ultra
Besides the processor, the next upgrade is the new 200MP f/1.7 main camera on the top-of-the-line Galaxy S23 Ultra. Using Samsung’s ISOCELL HP2 sensor, it boasts the highest megapixel count for a Samsung smartphone and it has a Tetra pixel binning technology to produce brighter 50MP and 12.5MP images.
The new 200MP camera promises to offer improved low-light “Nightopgraphy” with the inclusion of Super Quad Phase Detection (Super QPD) which uses all 200 million pixels for focusing. For those who take lots of videos with their phones, the S23 Ultra also boasts double optical image stabilisation (OIS) for a steadier recording of action scenes.
The rest of the camera setup remains pretty much unchanged from last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra. It still gets a 12MP ultra-wide angle camera and two additional 10MP cameras for telephoto (3X and 10X optical zoom). When pushed digitally, the Galaxy S23 Ultra also has 100x Space Zoom.
Meanwhile, the smaller S23 and S23+ feature a 50MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide-angle shooter and a 10MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom. All three models are getting a 12MP selfie camera which supports autofocus and Super HDR.
Brighter AMOLED screens and Vision Booster
The screen sizes across the Galaxy S23 series remain unchanged with the base S23 having a 6.1″ Full HD+ screen while the S23+ is slightly bigger at 6.6″. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S23 Ultra gets a 6.8″ QuadHD+ screen which is slightly curved at the edges. For better visibility under harsh sunlight, both the S23 and S23+ now support a higher maximum screen brightness of 1,750nits, which is similar to the Galaxy S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra.
The Galaxy S23 trio also supports a fluid 120Hz refresh rate with the S23 and S23+ having the capability to dynamically switch between 48-120Hz, while the S23 Ultra has a wider variance of 1-120Hz. Samsung has also introduced a new Vision Booster feature which optimises screen contrast for better outdoor visibility for the entire Galaxy S23 series.
Improved durability with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2
The Samsung Galaxy S23 series is also the first smartphone lineup to get Corning’s latest Gorilla Glass Victus 2. According to Corning, the new glass composition offers improved drop performance on rough surfaces such as concrete while preserving the scratch resistance of Gorilla Glass Victus. While this provides a greater degree of confidence in case of an accident, we would still recommend getting a case for better protection.
Enhanced S Pen features for S23 Ultra
The Ultra model for the Galaxy S series is now seen as the Galaxy Note replacement. The Galaxy S23 Ultra still retains a built-in S Pen but it seems that Samsung has not made any significant hardware changes. However, Samsung has revealed a new collaboration feature where you can use the stylus to simultaneously co-edit a document when it’s paired to Samsung Notes and Google Meet. This is an added feature on top of the Samsung Multi Control feature which lets you sync up your Galaxy smartphone with your Galaxy Tablet and computer.
Larger batteries for Galaxy S23 and S23+
Users of the Galaxy S23 and S23+ can expect improved battery life as Samsung has bumped up the capacity for both the S23 and S23+. The Galaxy S23 now gets a 3,900mAh battery (S22: 3,700mAh) which boasts video playback of up to 22 hours, while the S23+ gets a 4,700mAh battery (S22+: 4,500mAh) with up to 27 hours of video playback.
However, it is still worth highlighting that the Galaxy S21 series still has a bigger battery capacity with the base S21 having a 4,000mAh unit while the S21+ gets a 4,800mAh capacity. The current Galaxy S23 Ultra still retains the same 5,000mAh battery capacity as its predecessors.
Up to 45W fast charging via USB-C, no power adapter included
While most Chinese Android manufacturers are pushing beyond the 100W fast charging speeds, Samsung is still maintaining its 45W USB-PD USB-C charging for the Galaxy S23+ and S23 Ultra. Meanwhile, the base Galaxy S23 still maintains a lower 25W USB-PD charging speed.
As part of its move to go green, Samsung does not provide a charging brick in the box of the Galaxy S23 series. Besides the phone, all you’ll get is a SIM injector tool and a USB-C cable.
More recycled materials are used to produce each Galaxy S23
Samsung is doubling down on its sustainability ambition by increasing the usage of recycled materials. Besides using 100% recycled paper for its packaging, they have increased the presence of recycled materials in the Galaxy S23 series by doubling the number of internal components made from sustainable materials.
For example, the Gorilla Glass Victus 2 uses an average of 22% recycled content while recycled aluminium is used for the power button and volume rockers, as well as the SIM tray. The back glass and front case of the Galaxy S23 Ultra are using plastics that are sourced from discarded PET bottles.
To ensure prolonged use, Samsung is promising four generations of OS upgrades and five years of security updates for the Galaxy S23 series. Out of the box, these devices run on Android 13 with One UI 5.1.
Price and Pre-order
The entire Samsung Galaxy S23 series come in four colours – Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender. Pre-orders in Singapore begin on 2 February 2023, with their official release on 17 February 2023. Prices start at S$1,118 (Galaxy S23, 128GB), S$1,528 (Galaxy S23+, 256GB), and S$1,828 (Galaxy S23 Ultra, 256GB).
The Galaxy S23 series is available on the Samsung Online Store:
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