Is the Galaxy S23 worth the wait?
It has been nearly a year since Samsung announced the Galaxy S22 series, and the Samsung Galaxy S23 is now just around the corner — with Unpacked set for February 1. We’d recommend waiting for the Galaxy S23 since it’s just a month away, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should buy it. Shortly after launch, you’re going to see significant discounts hit the Galaxy S22, so if money is a factor you might just want to wait until February.
The bigger question now isn’t if you should wait until Samsung launch’s its new flagship. More importantly, is the Galaxy S23 is a big enough upgrade that you’ll willing to pay more for it? That’s what we aim to find out in this quick Samsung Galaxy S23 vs 22 comparison.
Samsung has not confirmed the name of its next Galaxy S device. However, we have every reason to believe it will be the Samsung Galaxy S23, based on the company’s history and some fairly reliable early leaks. Check out our Galaxy S23 hub for everything we know so far.
Update, January 2023: This article was originally published on October 30, 2022. We have since expanded it to include more information on the Galaxy S23 series, including an “at a glance” section that makes it easier to see what’s new with the Galaxy S23 series.
Galaxy S23 vs S22: What’s the difference at a glance?
Although the Galaxy S23’s specs and features aren’t officially known, we already have a pretty good idea of the core upgrades between the Galaxy S23 vs S22. Here are the rumored upgrades to the S23 series that we know about so far:
- Galaxy S23 design gets an overhaul: The Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus are rumored to have slightly upgraded designs that include separate camera housings for all three lenses and a slightly more angular body. The Ultra is said to maintain the same look as last year.
- Qualcomm’s latest, and Exynos gets downplayed: The Galaxy S23 series is expected to adopt the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 globally. This should mean the end of Exynos as the only option in some markets, though it’s still possible an Exynos variant could exist.
- Galaxy S23 camera upgrade: The Galaxy S23 Ultra is rumored to be upgrading to a 200MP shooter from the 108MP camera on the S22 Ultra, though the rest of the lenses are expected to say the same. The S23 and S23 Plus camera specs are also expected to stay the same.
- Galaxy S23 battery life set to improve: The Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus reportedly will see 200mAh upgrades bringing them to 3,900mAh and 4,700mAh, respectively. Galaxy S23 Ultra remains the same as the S22 Ultra at 5,000mAh.
- Galaxy S23 might get ‘light mode’: Rumor suggests the Galaxy S23 will get a battery saving mode called Light Mode, which optimizes thermals and battery life to save energy. This feature already exists on devices like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
- Satellite connectivity: Satellite connectivity is a big thing right now. Therefore, it’s not too surprising there’s a rumor that Samsung is working on satellite communication functionality for the Galaxy S23 series that is said to support low-quality images and text.
- Android 13 with One UI 5.1: The Galaxy S23 is expected to ship with Android 13 and One 5.1. This is a minor upgrade over the Galaxy S22, which currently can update to Android 13 with One 5.0. That said, Samsung tends to upgrade its phones pretty fast so the S22 series will catch up in this area fast.
Why you should buy the Galaxy S22 over the S23
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Although the Galaxy S22 series came out nearly a year ago, they are still terrific phones. The Galaxy S22 Ultra, in particular, has the best camera system of any Samsung phone ever, and one of the best overall cameras in the world of smartphones. The Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus are no slouches either when it comes to cameras. Both offer the same high-end wide/ultrawide/telephoto system, headlined by a sweet 50MP primary sensor.
Likewise, in Samsung’s biggest markets, all three phones feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is starting to age slightly compared to the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Nevertheless, this is a powerful chipset, even if it is a bit more power-hungry than we’d like it to be. Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 powers the phones in other markets, which is also quite capable. Adding to that processing capability is the inclusion of at least 8GB of RAM to help with multitasking. In the case of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, that can jump up to 12GB, depending on the model.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 series is expected to be formally unveiled on February 1, 2023.
Being that the Galaxy S22 series is still Samsung’s active flagship, they were the first phones to receive the update to One UI 5, based on Android 13. This is just the first of four Android upgrades coming to these phones, meaning they will continue to see new versions of Android all the way through 2026. Even then, they’ll continue to get patches and security updates through 2027, making them good investments for the long haul.
The Galaxy S22 series is still very much capable of keeping up with newer and upcoming flagships even if you won’t see the Galaxy S23 family’s upgrades to the processor, battery life, camera, or new extras like satellite connectivity. Still, if you can live without these upgrades, you’ll end up saving quite a bit when the Samsung Galaxy S23 finally arrives in February. While the Galaxy S22 series retails starting at $799, you can currently find the base model S22 for as little as $650 and there are carrier deals that will get that price even lower. Once the Galaxy S23 hits you’ll see even steeper sales prices, as well as great prices in the pre-owned space with services like Swappa or eBay.
Why you should wait and buy the Samsung Galaxy S23
While the Galaxy S22 series are still great phones, the Galaxy S23 series is poised to be a step up in several areas. First, the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus will likely see a significant design overhaul. This will be the first time Samsung’s switched up the formula since 2021, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S22 series looked very similar (with the exception of the Ultra).
Notably, leaked renders suggest the phones could adopt the look of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, with the rear camera module broken up into three “islands” for each lens. If having the newest look is important to you, waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S23 family might be worth it.
As mentioned above, the Galaxy S23 phones should all have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 under the hood. There’s even a rumor that there might be a faster, high-clocked variant coming for the Galaxy S23 series. Regardless, this processor will almost certainly be more powerful and less power-hungry than its predecessor. If speed is of the utmost importance to you, it might be worth waiting to buy the Galaxy S23. Also, do note that we expect almost all phones in this series — if not every single one — to have the Snapdragon processor. Rumors suggest Samsung will skip its own Exynos processor for next year’s flagship phones. This could also be an important factor in your decision-making if you live in an area where Exynos is your only choice at the moment.
Leaks suggest the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus could adopt some of the design elements of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S23 Ultra will probably look a lot like the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Another big upgrade we expect to see in 2023 is an increase in battery capacities for the vanilla and Plus models. Rumors suggest we could see a 200mAh boost for the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus, resulting in 3,900mAh cell and 4,700mAh cells, respectively. Combined with the new processor, this could result in significantly better battery life for both phones. The Galaxy S23 Ultra, however, is expected to have the same 5,000mAh battery as its predecessor.
The camera on the Galaxy S23 series will reportedly swap out the 108MP main shooter in the S22 Ultra for a 200MP camera. It’s worth mentioning the current main camera is technically 108MP but it shoots in 12MP using pixel binning technology for a better image, so we’d imagine something similar with this new camera as well. Interestingly, the Galaxy S23 Ultra might be getting a bump down to a 12MP selfie camera, which is a big drop from the 40MP shooter found inside the S22 Ultra. This same selfie camera is also expected to arrive in the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus. Ironically, that’s an upgrade for these two phones as they currently have 10MP selfie cameras.
The Galaxy S23 series is expected to get a 200MP main shooter, though Pixel Binning will likely remain in play here.
Although we don’t have many other concrete rumors on the rest of the specs, we expect that much of the rest will remain the same. That means FHD+ 120Hz displays on the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus, and a 1440p display with a 120Hz refresh rate on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. It’s also safe to say that all models will start with at least 8GB of RAM, at least 128GB of internal storage, and wired charging speeds of at least 45W.
If you are worried the Samsung Galaxy S23 series will retail for more than its predecessor did, we have no reason to believe that’s true. Apple is still selling its latest iPhones at the same price as years prior, and Google’s latest Pixel phones are at the same prices as they were in 2021. We have a strong feeling you can expect the same $799/$999/$1,199 pricing for the Galaxy S23, S23 Plus, and S23 Ultra, respectively.
Samsung hasn’t raised pricing for its phones in a few years now. It’s very likely the company will leave pricing the same next year, but there’s no guarantee.
Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Galaxy S23: Which should you buy?
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
If you absolutely need a phone right now and can’t wait until February, buying a Galaxy S22 phone is a no-brainer. Sure it’ll get even cheaper once February arrives, but it’s still going to cost you less than the retail price of the Galaxy S23 series. If you are on a tight budget and don’t mind waiting, I’d hold out until the Galaxy S23 arrives and then pick up the Galaxy S22 series at a potentially even deeper discount than you can get today.
Is it better to buy a Galaxy S22 or wait for a Galaxy S23?
For those who just want a good phone, which model should you get? It really comes down to how much you care about those upgrades. These new Galaxy phones will be more powerful, likely have a new look, probably have bigger batteries and better overall battery life, and are very likely to land at the same prices as the Galaxy S22 family retailed for. Those are all very good reasons to stick it out and buy the newest model, but if the upgrades don’t appeal to you the Galaxy S22 will give you a lot of the same functionality, and yet you’ll save some extra cash.
Six months later review: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra revisited
What do you think? Answer our poll above to let us know where you fall in this debate! Already decided the Galaxy S23 is for you? You can reserve a Galaxy S23 right now through Samsung and you’ll receive a $50 Samsung Credit for one device, or $100 credit for two. Keep in mind this is a non-commitment offer, meaning you can always cancel your reservation at launch.
Samsung Galaxy S22
Impressive camera setup
Unrivaled software support
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Powerful camera package
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Ultra-premium build quality