Samsung unveils Galaxy S23 lineup with exclusive chipset and bigger batteries, S23 Ultra debuts new 200-megapixel sensor
Surprisingly, pricing stays the same in the USBy Tudor Cibean 11 comments
Highly anticipated: At its Unpacked 2023 event, Samsung unveiled its new lineup of non-foldable flagship phones. The Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra look almost identical to their predecessors but come with new chipsets and incremental improvements to the cameras and battery life.
Samsung finally decided to stop shipping their flagship lineup with (often inferior) Exynos SoCs in some regions, such as Europe. All Galaxy S23-series phones will come with an exclusive version of Qualcomm's flagship chipset, dubbed the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. This will have slightly higher maximum clock speeds for the Prime CPU core and the GPU, making it similar to past years' Plus variant.
Also read: Samsung looking to impact the PC market with sleek third-gen Galaxy Book laptops
Screen sizes are identical to last year, meaning the vanilla Galaxy S23 will again be one of the few compact phones on the market with flagship-tier specs. It features a 6.1-inch 1,080p AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and an improved 1,750 nits peak brightness. The battery also gets a slight bump up to 3,900mAh, while wired charging is still limited to 25W.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy S23+ has a larger 6.6-inch AMOLED screen with the same refresh rate and brightness. It also comes with a slightly bigger 4,700mAh battery, which can charge at up to 45W.
Both of these phones share the same camera system with a 50-megapixel primary sensor that can record video at 8K@30fps, joined by a 12-megapixel ultrawide and a 10-megapixel 3x telephoto. On the front, there's a new 12-megapixel selfie camera with autofocus and support for HDR video at 60fps.
Moving on to Samsung's non-foldable flagship for the year, the S23 Ultra features a massive 6.8-inch 1,440p AMOLED display with S-Pen support and a variable refresh rate between 1-120Hz. Powering it all is a 5,000mAh battery with 45W charging support.
The main upgrade compared to its predecessor is the primary rear camera. It comes with a new 200-megapixel Isocell HP2 sensor that can merge up to 16 pixels into one, improving light-gathering capabilities and giving you a more-manageable 12.5-megapixel final image. The rest of the camera setup consists of a 12-megapixel-ultrawide and two 10-megapixel telephotos -- one with 3x optical zoom and another with 10x. On the front, there's the same 12-megapixel sensor found on the smaller models.
All three phones will ship with Android 13 and One UI 5.1 out of the box. Samsung claims that the devices will get four years of Android updates and five years of security enhancements. It's worth noting that this is even better than Google's Pixel update policy, although the South Korean brand's software updates likely won't be as punctual.
Samsung's Galaxy S23 lineup will start shipping on February 17, but you can already preorder them today. The Galaxy S23 starts at $799 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Opting for the base-model Galaxy S23+ will get you 8 GB RAM and 256GB of storage for $999. Finally, the top-tier Galaxy S23 Ultra starts at $1,199 for the same configuration. The company also announced a new lineup of Galaxy notebooks at today's event.