Therange includes some of our top phones from 2022. The base S22 impressed as a more affordable option, the is a superb all-rounder while the all-powerful blew us away with its stellar camera skills. We even gave the Plus and Ultra CNET Editors’ Choice Awards.
But it’s time we turned our attention to the next generation: the Samsung Galaxy S23 range. CNET’s Lisa Eadicicco has, which includes improved battery life, fresh camera features and faster charging. But what do the leaks and rumors say?
Samsung’s next Galaxy S lineup is due to land soon and while credible rumors remain thin on the ground, we’ve put together our best predictions on what to expect.
Galaxy S23 release date
The last few generations of Samsung’s Galaxy S phones were launched towards the beginning of the year, with the S22 line debuting on Feb. 9, 2022, and going on sale later that month. Samsung has yet to confirm any details, including timing, for the S23 range. But we suspect it’ll stick to the same launch schedule, andsupport this timing.
The S22 Ultra has had some fierce competition this year, including from Google’s Pixel 7 Pro.
Whether the phones are available in stores to buy that month is another matter, as global supply chains are still struggling and it’s possible that there may be a longer delay than usual.
Multiple Galaxy S23 models
We firmly expect Samsung to continue its strategy of launching multiple phone models, each with different specs and prices to appeal to a wide variety of people. Based on Samsung’s history, we’re confident we’ll see an entry level Galaxy S23 model, a step-up S23 Plus with a larger screen and the top-end S23 Ultra. It’s the Ultra that will pack the best tech, including extra cameras, the biggest display and almost certainly the S Pen stylus.
Galaxy S23 price
Assuming Samsung launches multiple models, the S23 range will come at three main prices. We don’t expect Samsung to stray from last year’s prices. For reference, the base S22 launched with a price of $800, while the Plus model started at $1,000 and the high-performance S22 Ultra debuted at $1,200 in the US last February.
The S22 range came in three sizes and we expect the S23 lineup will too.
Size and display
Reputable leaker Ice Universe posted a detailed rundown of the sizes of the three upcoming phones (via GSM Arena), which put them almost exactly in line with the current sizes of the S22 lineup. As such, we don’t expect any notable differences in screen sizes of any of the range over the predecessors.
Those were 6.1 inches for the Galaxy S22, 6.6 inches for the S22 Plus and 6.8 inches for the S22 Ultra.
The cameras look like they might be one of the key areas of focus for the new series. That’s likely to be especially true for the Ultra model, which is usually where Samsung’s biggest camera innovations can be found.
We expected the S22 Ultra to include a whopping 200-megapixel image sensor, considering Samsung has launched two of these image sensors and they can be found. We didn’t see it on the S22 Ultra, but it seems likely that a 200-megapixel sensor will be one of the key bragging rights of the S23 Ultra. Ice Universe also predicts that the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s will have a 200-megapixel sensor. It remains to be seen whether it’s the HP1 or HP3 sensor the company already produces or a new variant built specifically for the phone.
In our tests, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera performed extremely well against both the Pixel 7 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro.
Samsung’s product pages for these sensors boast improved resolution (obviously), but also improved low-light photography by combining sets of smaller pixels into larger individual ones that can capture more light. The S22 Ultra is already one of the, beating out the Pixel 7 Pro in our recent tests, so a further burst to its low-light prowess is exciting to hear.
That massive resolution will also help with the phone’s zoom skills, which are already impressive thanks to its 10x optical zoom lens. Recent rumors from Ice Universe suggest that the lens lineup will remain the same across all phones, but that extra resolution should help make zoom shots even more pin-sharp.
Battery, processor and other specs
The Galaxy S23 range will almost certainly use the latest. In previous years, Samsung used its own Exynos chips for its European models. But a recent Qualcomm earnings call suggested that Samsung will in fact be using Qualcomm’s silicon for every phone in the range.
As for other specs, we expect a minimum of 8GB of RAM on the base models, with 12GB being available on the S23 Ultra. Storage is likely to continue to start at 128GB, with higher capacity options being available at higher prices. And no, we don’t expect a return of the microSD card slot to expand the storage. Sad face.
Recent Federal Communications Commission certifications show that the base S23 will have a 3,900-mAh battery, a step up from the 3,700 mAh of the base S23, while the S23 Plus will also get a battery boost to 4,700-mAh. There’s no official figure for the Ultra model yet, but again Ice Universe suggests that it will have the same 5,000-mAh cell size as the S22 Ultra.
We’ll likely know more as we progress through January and get toward that rumored Feb launch date. But if the rumors turn out to be accurate, the Galaxy S23 lineup will probably be a modest step up from the Galaxy S22 family.