If the heat wasn't already being turned up on the incoming Samsung Galaxy S23 smartphone, then it sure is now, with a big specs leak showing just how powerful the rival OnePlus 11 Pro Android phone is going to be.
As reported by 91mobiles (opens in new tab), the OnePlus 11 Pro, which is due for release early in 2023 just like the Samsung Galaxy S23, is going to come loaded with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, a 120Hz AMOLED 6.7-inch display, up to 16GB of RAM, a 5,000 mAh battery, 256GB of storage space and a triple rear camera system with main 50 MP snapper, as well as 48 MP ultra-wide and 32 MP zoom.
On paper, that is a very powerful all-round new Android handset, albeit one that is clearly an evolution of the OnePlus 10 Pro, which was released earlier this year.
What should be most worrying for Samsung, though, is not that the OnePlus 11 Pro looks like it is going to be an upgrade on the OnePlus 10 Pro, but that OnePlus appears to be really gunning for the South Korean maker in terms of camera system, which traditionally is where Samsung's S-series flagships have dominated.
For a long time the biggest weakness of OnePlus phone was its good but not great camera systems, but now it looks like the OnePlus 11 Pro is going to come as a bona fide picture taking triple threat, with a 50 MP main, 48 MP ultra-wide and 32MP zoom camera on offer.
That zoom camera in particular is a massive upgrade over the OnePlus 10 Pro, too, with that handset only offering an 8 MP zoom sensor compared to the OnePlus 11 Pro's reported 32 MP unit. And the fact that camera masters Hasselblad are reported to be behind the OnePlus 11 Pro's camera system, too, adds even more potency to the phone as a major Galaxy S-series threat.
The T3 take: Is the Galaxy S-series magic starting to wane?
I've written previously that Samsung seems to be shifting its flagship, premium technology to its best foldable phones, and away from its single-screen Galaxy S-series devices, and looking at the small spec bump upgrades speculated to be coming to the Galaxy S23, that really does seem to be the case.
I mean, from my point of view, the only genuinely exciting thing that is rumored to be coming to the Galaxy S23 range is the Galaxy S23 Ultra's new 200 MP main camera sensor. But even that, according to a new leak, looks like it is going to be beaten to the punch. Everything else I've read hasn't got my pulse racing.
And that's something that seems to be being felt across the industry, too, with even Samsung's own leakster-in-chief, Ice universe, now regularly calling out (opens in new tab) how Samsung's S-series phones are not as dominant and innovative as they once were and how rival handsets are now beating them.
And with rival devices from Android phone makers like Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo, and Vivo offering similar or better specced single-screen handsets, I do wonder if the magic of the Galaxy S-series is starting to wane.
If Samsung can successfully pivot Android phone users onto its Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 foldable phones, which is a strategy it definitely does seem to be implementing, then so be it – the days of the Galaxy S range being the showcase phone launch of each year for the South Korean maker will naturally come to a close.
But it does feel a bit unknown right now just how quickly that transition can happen, even though Samsung has reported big foldable phone sales over the last year. And, while that transition is happening, will the Galaxy S range continue to be as popular to Android phone users as before if rivals, such as the OnePlus 11 Pro, offer better or more exciting hardware packages? Only time will tell.