When it comes to the best Android phones, Samsung have been at the top long enough to be considered a mainstay. Their flagship range – most recently consisting of the Samsung Galaxy S22, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra – is arguably the most recognisable Android handset on the market, and has been for years.
That sort of status doesn't come without good reason. For years, the Samsung Galaxy range was innovative and pushed the boundary of what could be expected from a smartphone. I remember being in awe when the S3 could be charged wirelessly back in 2012, for example.
More recently, though, that consistent innovation has dwindled. Don't get me wrong, Galaxy phones are still solid and dependable devices. They just don't break new ground like they once did.
At the same time, a wealth of other manufacturers have begun to really push the envelope in terms of what is possible. We've seen the Google Pixel 7 Pro utilise AI and machine learning techniques to drastically improve the quality of zoomed in images.
Then there's the Vivo X90 Pro+, which has one of the best cameras ever seen on a phone, with a one-inch sensor and some magic from Zeiss to help the colour balance. The results are genuinely stunning.
Even more budget-friendly phones are pushing the boat out. Last year, I wrote about the Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition, which utilises 210W charging to take your battery from 0-100% in just nine minutes.
Time and time again, smaller manufacturers are improving on the formula without attaining the commercial success that such innovation deserves. That's, in part, down to the consumer. People associate the Samsung brand with their historical success, and stick with what they know.
In the past, that wasn't so much of an issue. Regardless of how little had changed, the Samsung offering was genuinely still one of the best choices available. But that may not be the case this year. There is so much more quality available on the market now, so there is every possibility that the Samsung Galaxy S23 doesn't even break the top three.
If Samsung are going to pushed to change tact and return to the innovative company they used to be, consumers need to react. Blind acceptance is no longer enough, and could have detrimental effects in the wider industry – after all, if innovation isn't the commercially viable option, why would anyone bother with it?
The Samsung Galaxy S23 range is slated to launch in early February, so expect to see confirmed details soon.