Release date, rumors, specs, price, feature wishlist
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Update: December 20, 2022 (2:29 PM ET): We have updated the Samsung Galaxy S23 hub with leaked images of Galaxy S23 dummy units and information about the S23’s accessories.
Original article: Samsung continues to be the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer. A huge reason for its astonishing success is the popularity of its Galaxy S line. Over the years, the Galaxy S line has become synonymous with Android, being some of the most well-known and most revered devices in the market. In 2023, we expect that to continue with the Samsung Galaxy S23 series.
What could Samsung have in store for the Galaxy S23 line? There are a lot of unknown details as of right now, but we can make plenty of assumptions based on what Samsung has done in the past. Meanwhile, we also can make a wishlist of features we hope Samsung brings around for the Galaxy S23 phones. Continue on for what we know and what we hope to see!
Will there be a Samsung Galaxy S23 series?
The Galaxy S line is Samsung’s most popular premium smartphone series. It is inevitable that the company would launch a new entry in the series, just as it has done every year since 2010.
History lesson: The Samsung Galaxy S series
Of course, Samsung has thrown curveballs in the past in relation to the names of the phones. For instance, we skipped from the Galaxy S10 series to the Galaxy S20 series. However, Samsung did this mainly to align the name of the phone with the year in which it was released. Therefore, it’s nearly certain the new Galaxy S line would be known as the Samsung Galaxy S23 series.
However, Samsung has neither confirmed nor denied that a Galaxy S23 phone will launch.
When will the Samsung Galaxy S23 release date be?
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
- Galaxy S10 series — February 20, 2019
- Galaxy S20 series — February 11, 2020
- Galaxy S21 series — January 14, 2021
- Galaxy S22 series — February 9, 2022
Historically, Samsung has launched Galaxy S phones within the first three months of the year. In recent years, Samsung has launched them in February, with only the Galaxy S21 series as an exception. This was likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It stands to reason that Samsung would launch the Galaxy S23 series in February 2023. However, don’t rule out a January or even March launch. Samsung has launched the phones in those months in the past. There’s also no telling how the ongoing global chip shortage could change the company’s plans.
Korean outlet ETNews also asserted on September 28 that Samsung is considering an earlier release than the Galaxy S22 series. So a January launch could be in the cards.
What features and specs will the Samsung Galaxy S23 series have?
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
The Magnify function is super useful for those who can’t see well.
Here’s what we can gather from the rumors at present.
One of the biggest-ever shifts for the Galaxy S line happened in 2022. That’s when Samsung remodeled the Galaxy S22 Ultra to make it look and function more like a Galaxy Note phone. This included it being a boxy design with an S Pen slot.
However, the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus remained largely the same when compared to the previous models. This year, it looks like Samsung could do the opposite by changing the looks of the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus while leaving the Galaxy S23 Ultra mostly the same.
We got our first apparent look at the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus on September 27 when Steve ‘Onleaks’ Hemmerstoffer posted renders. Check out the base S23 renders below.
The Plus model is set to follow the base S23 by offering separate rear camera cutouts too instead of a single housing for all three sensors. Check out the apparent S23 Plus renders below.
Hemmerstoffer would go on to post apparent Galaxy S23 Ultra renders on September 28. The images show a phone that looks very similar to the S22 Ultra, complete with an S Pen slot. You can view the renders below.
In addition to these renders, images of S23 dummy units were found in the wild. The unsourced images appear to support the what we’ve seen from the renders.
Based on the photos, the Galaxy S23 and the S23 Plus may have slightly different designs compared to their predecessors. It seems both phones could have a more angular body this time around. Whereas the S23 Ultra appears to maintain the same form factor as last year.
Specs and features
Samsung Galaxy S phones are almost always the first globally available devices with the latest flagship silicon from Qualcomm. We don’t expect 2023 to be any different in this regard. As such, you can expect all three Samsung Galaxy S23 phones to have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 inside. That would certainly be for devices in North America, Korea, and India, while other countries might get the unannounced Exynos 2300.
However, Samsung and Qualcomm announced a deal that will see Galaxy S23 phones powered by Snapdragon chips “globally.” The announcement didn’t outright say that all S23 phones would be powered by Snapdragon hardware. So it stands to reason that we could still see an Exynos variant launching in some capacity. According to a report from SamMobile, it’s also possible that the Galaxy S23 could get a faster, higher-clocked version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip.
Samsung also very rarely downgrades specs across the years. We expect the Galaxy S23 Ultra to have similar or better specs across the board when compared to the Galaxy S22 Ultra. That would mean at least 8GB of RAM, at least 128GB of internal storage, a 1440p display with at least a 120Hz refresh rate, a battery capacity of at least 5,000mAh, and a wired charging speed of at least 45W. It would also mean a similar quad-sensor rear camera with two telephoto lenses and the main sensor to meet or exceed 108MP in quality.
Moving to the photography side of things, Samsung apparently confirmed with camera partners that it will bring a 200MP camera sensor to the Galaxy S23 Ultra. A leak that seemingly exposed the Ultra’s camera specs further supports this information. According to the leak, it looks like the 200MP camera could be joined by a 10MP 10x periscope camera, a 10MP 3x telephoto camera, and a 12MP ultrawide lens. Last but not least, the camera might use an ISOCELL HP2 which would give the phone better nighttime performance for both videos and photos.
At the end of the day, the camera setup seems to be mostly identical to the S22, outside of the 200MP shooter. Something that may be different, however, is a downgraded selfie camera for the S23 Ultra. There is a 40MP selfie shooter in the S22 Ultra, but a leak that emerged in December claims that the sensor could be bumped down to 12MP. However, the same leak suggests that this selfie camera may also be used in the S23 and S23 Plus, which would be a bump up from the current 10MP.
According to tipster Ricciolo, Samsung could also bring an “Ultra Stabilization” feature to the Ultra. The new optical image stabilization (OIS) feature could help the S23 compete against Apple’s Action Mode.
It sounds like a 200MP camera could be on the table for the S23 Ultra, but don’t expect many other camera hardware upgrades.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus should carry a lot of specs over from the Galaxy S22 series. That would mean at least 8GB of RAM, at least 128GB of internal storage, and displays with 120Hz refresh rates.
A tipster recently asserted that the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus will have 6.1-inch and 6.6-inch screen sizes, respectively. Unfortunately, if you were hoping for a return to QHD+ resolutions, the tipster claims that both phones will have FHD+ screens (2,340 x 1,080).
One of the biggest overall criticisms of the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus was battery life. Therefore, it would make a lot of sense for Samsung to increase the battery capacity of both models in 2023. Fortunately, Galaxy Club reports that the S23 Plus could receive a capacity bump to 4,700mAh. The outlet adds that the S23 Ultra will retain a 5,000mAh battery.
Something else that could also help the battery life of the Galaxy S23 series is Samsung’s “Light” mode. This feature has appeared on Samsung’s latest foldables, toning down performance in favor of optimizing battery life and thermals. Rumors suggest that the Galaxy S23 series could be getting this feature next.
As for charging? Well, a certification listing points to 25W charging for the base S23, in line with the standard S22. The aforementioned FCC listing also points to reverse wireless charging making a predictable return.
Currently, Samsung is in the process of releasing its version of Android 13 — One UI 5 — to its collection of phones, so it would be expected that the S23 would launch with One UI 5 as well. However, a leak found in November by SamMobile revealed that Samsung may actually be working on a newer version of One UI for the S23 that would see it running on One UI 5.1 instead.
Another major rumor emerged out of Korea in November 2022, asserting that Samsung is working on satellite communication functionality for the Galaxy S23 series. The company is apparently working to offer text and low-quality image transmission over satellite.
A leak from prolific leaker Evan Blass revealed an extensive list of accessories that the Galaxy S23 family could be getting. According to the leak, the vanilla S23 could have:
- Two transparent cases
- A leather case in Black, Camel, and Green
- A rugged case in Black
- A silicone grip case in Black or White
- A Smart View Wallet case in Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender.
As for the Galaxy S23 Plus, the phone could have similar options to the base model. However, the S23 Plus could have more variety with its silicone case offering Cream, Green, Lavender, Navy, and Orange, in addition to Black and White. At the same time, the leak appears to suggest that the S23 Plus may not get a Smart View Wallet case.
Last but not least, the Galaxy S23 Ultra could reportedly get:
- A transparent case
- A leather case in Black, Camel, and Green
- A rugged case in Black
- A silicone case in Cream, Green, Lavender, Navy, and Orange.
The leak also revealed that the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s S Pen may come in four colors including Cream, Green, Lavender, and Phantom Black.
What will the Samsung Galaxy S23 prices be?
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
- Galaxy S10 — $899
- Galaxy S20 — $999
- Galaxy S21 — $799
- Galaxy S22 — $799
- Galaxy S10 Plus — $999
- Galaxy S20 Plus — $1,199
- Galaxy S21 Plus — $999
- Galaxy S22 Plus — $999
- Galaxy S20 Ultra — $1,399
- Galaxy S21 Ultra — $1,199
- Galaxy S22 Ultra — $1,199
In 2021, Samsung made the right move and significantly lowered the prices of the Galaxy S21 series compared to the Galaxy S20 family. In 2022, Samsung again made the right move by offering the Galaxy S22 series at the same prices as the Galaxy S21 family.
Hopefully, Samsung carries this strategy through to 2023. If it does, the Samsung Galaxy S23 prices would be $799, $999, and $1,199 for the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus, and Galaxy S23 Ultra, respectively. The fact that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 carried over 2021 prices adds more credibility to this idea.
It’s very possible the Galaxy S23 phones could cost the same as the Galaxy S22 phones.
If Samsung does change the prices, it seems very unlikely it would reduce them at this point. Judging by prices for Samsung’s lower-end Galaxy A series, the company can’t really go much lower with the Galaxy S line without cheapening the brand. However, there is still a little room there, so it wouldn’t be out of the question for Samsung to drop the Galaxy S23 prices by a small amount — say $50 or so. It’s far more likely, though, that Samsung would increase the prices if it doesn’t leave them the same.
Regardless, until we hear differently, we’re going to assume Samsung won’t be changing Galaxy S pricing in 2023.
Samsung Galaxy S23 series: What we want to see
The Galaxy S23 series will likely end up being some of the best phones of 2023. Even if Samsung changes little from the Galaxy S22 family, they’ll probably be terrific. However, the phones could always be better. Below, we have a wishlist of a few things we hope Samsung does change in 2023 when compared to the 2022 models.
Bigger batteries, especially for Galaxy S23
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Samsung inexplicably reduced the sizes of the batteries inside the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus. Obviously, this resulted in weaker battery life for both phones when compared to their Galaxy S21 counterparts. The results weren’t as drastic on the Plus model, but the vanilla S22 definitely suffered. We’re not sure why Samsung expected any other outcome.
See also: Here are the Android phones with the best battery life
In 2023, we hope Samsung rectifies this mistake. The Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus need to have batteries that are at least the same size as the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus. That would be 4,000mAh and 4,800 mAh respectively. If the company can go bigger, that would be even better. Even the Galaxy S22 Ultra doesn’t have the very best battery longevity, despite retaining the same cell as its direct predecessor, so perhaps there’s some room for software optimization here too.
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
Outside of battery life problems, our second-biggest complaint related to the Galaxy S22 series was speaker quality. On all models — even the Galaxy S22 Ultra — the speakers left a little to be desired considering the pedigree of the Galaxy S name. They weren’t bad by any means, but they lacked punch across the board. Let’s hope Samsung invests a bit more money into higher-quality speakers in 2023.
Check out: The best Samsung phones
More storage options (or the return of a microSD card slot)
If you decide to grab a Galaxy S22 Ultra, you have the option of a 128, 256, or 512GB model. You can even go all the way up to 1TB. That’s nice and all, but what if you want a Galaxy S22 or Galaxy S22 Plus? Unfortunately, you’re stuck with either 128GB or 256GB of internal storage.
Depending on your needs, that might not be enough. We’d love to see 512GB and 1TB options for the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus.
Of course, we’d also love to see the return of the microSD card slot, which would pretty much solve all storage problems for everyone. We’re not holding our breath on that one, though.
An update promise to finally match Apple’s
Luke Pollack / Android Authority
Samsung’s update promise is the absolute best in the world of Android. For its flagship phones — and even some of its mid-rangers — Samsung offers four Android upgrades and five years of security patches. Even Google itself can’t match that.
However, this is just one upgrade short of what Apple offers iPhones. It would be terrific to see Samsung finally match Apple and offer five years of full support, including five Android upgrades.
This would not only be a boon for Samsung users, but also the entire Android ecosystem. If Samsung matches Apple, other Android OEMs would, inevitably, need to follow suit. It might take a while, but it would happen. What better way to start the trend than with the Samsung Galaxy S23 series?
See also: Every Samsung device eligible for four major Android updates
That’s everything we want to see from the Samsung Galaxy S23 series. Which features do you hope for most? Be sure to vote in our poll below.
What do you want most from the Galaxy S23 series?