Samsung Galaxy rings in the Android flagship new year once again as Samsung's trio of Galaxy S23 phones was announced at Galaxy Unpacked today. The Galaxy S23, S23 Plus, and S23 Ultra look like a big happy family again with the two smaller siblings now redesigned to match the Ultra.
We've got all the latest details on the phones below, but if you are looking for hands-on impressions, we've got those too. Our Galaxy S23 hands-on looks at both the S23 and S23 Plus, while the Galaxy S23 Ultra hands-on tackles the king of the S23 lineup alone.
With that out of the way, here's everything you need to know about the Galaxy 23 phones.
Samsung Galaxy S23 release date
All three Galaxy S23 models will be shipping on February 17, but if you pre-order a Galaxy S23 now you are going to be eligible for a variety of discounts and free upgrade offers, so take a look at those deals from Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S23 price
Samsung held steady on its pricing again this year. The Galaxy S23 starts at $799, stepping up to $999 for the S23 Plus, and finally $1,199 for the S23 Ultra. Notably the S23 Plus and S23 Ultra now start with 256GB of storage, up from 128GB, so in that sense, you're getting a bit of a discount.
Samsung Galaxy S23 specs
Thanks to a huge leak, we have a full spec sheet of both the Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus. Here's every number, dimension and color finish you need to know:
|Galaxy S23||Galaxy S23 Plus||Galaxy S23 Ultra|
|Display||6.1-inch FHD AMOLED||6.6-inch FHD AMOLED||6.8-inch WQHD+ AMOLED|
|Refresh rate||48 - 120Hz adaptive||48 - 120Hz adaptive||1Hz - 120Hz adaptative|
|Rear cameras||50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto||50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto||200MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto, 10MP 10x telephoto|
|Front camera||12MP selfie||12MP selfie||12MP selfie|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2|
|RAM||8GB||8GB||8 or 12GB|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB||256GB, 512GB||256GB, 512GB, or 1TB|
|Battery||3,900 mAh||4,700 mAh||5,000 mAh|
|Charging||25W wired/10W wireless||45W wired/10W wireless||45W wired/10W wireless|
|Size||2.8 x 5.8 x 0.3 inches||3.1 x 6.4 x 0.35 inches||3.1 x 6.4 x 0.35 inches|
|Weight||5.8 ounces||6.8 ounces||8.25oz|
|Colors||Black, Cream, Green, Lavender||Black, Cream, Green, Lavender||Black, Cream, Green, Lavender|
Samsung Galaxy S23 cameras
The Galaxy S23 Ultra cameras are the most significant upgrade with the primary 200MP Adaptive Pixel sensor setting a new high watermark for the series. Boasting an f/1.7 aperture and supported by improved optical image stabilization and more advanced AI the S23 Ultra may once again challenge for the title of the best phone camera. The rest of the rear array on the S23 Ultra sticks to last year's specs, which shockingly has gone largely unchallenged by its competitors. This includes a 12MP ultra-wide at f/2.2, a 10MP 3x optical telephoto at f/2.4, and a 10MP 10x optical telephoto at f/4.9. The front-facing camera was the only other change and it actually drops from 40MP to 12MP but retains the same f/2.2 aperture.
The Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus didn't bother to change anything about the camera setup. You have a 50MP primary at f/1.8, a 12MP ultra-wide at f/2.2, a 10MP 3x telephoto at f/2.4 and finally a 12MP front-facing camera at f/2.2. It remains a strong camera lineup at this price range, but a bit disappointing to see now movement on the hardware.
We'll have to wait and see if computational photography enhancements in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor give the somewhat stagnant hardware a boost.
Samsung Galaxy S23 design
Just as all the rumors suggested, Samsung has unified around the industrial look of the Galaxy S22 Ultra with its exposed rear camera array. I appreciate the refined minimalist look, but the fact that it basically forces you into using a case makes it a less-than-ideal design to me.
I won't argue that it's a pretty phone to photograph, but it feels less practical when it comes to actually using it. We'll see if I still feel that way after carrying them for a week or two.
If you would opt to go case free the phones all feature Gorilla Glass Victus 2 front and back to keep them safe and IP68 water and dust resistance.
Samsung Galaxy S23 performance and battery life
The Galaxy S23 models all feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Qualcomm claims the new chip will offer 35% better performance and perhaps more importantly up to a 40% improvement in efficiency, which could mean a significant boost to battery life this year.
As for the batteries themselves, the Galaxy S23 Ultra features a 5,000mAh battery, which mirrors the last two generations of the Ultra. The smaller models both got a slight upgrade with the S23 Plus moving to 4700mAh and the S23 to 3900mAh, a 200mAh boost for each one.
Samsung Galaxy S23 outlook
While there are some legitimately intriguing hardware upgrades on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, it's mainly the power of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and the software enhancements from Samsung that we want to see in action.
We'll be putting the Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy S23 Plus through their paces alongside the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy S22 to see whether even with relatively minor hardware changes there's a significant year-over-year upgrade based almost on the new chipset alone.
If you own any Galaxy S22 variant you are safe to hold off on upgrading for at least another year based on what we've seen so far, but stay tuned for our in-depth reviews and we'll give you a closer look at what to expect from the Galaxy S23 lineup if you are ready to upgrade.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.