The expected launch date for the Samsung Galaxy S23 draws ever closer, and we're eager to see what the successor to the Samsung Galaxy S22 is going to bring with it. By early 2023, the Galaxy S23 family of phones should be official.
We're now starting to get a steady stream of rumours around what the Galaxy S23 will be like – and those rumours including talk of a massive new rear camera system that could seriously up Samsung's photography game.
What follows is everything we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy S23, as well as our own predictions for the new handset, plus what we really want to see from the next-gen flagship series.
We're going to keep updating this in the run-up to the Galaxy S23 launch, as new rumours and fresh information come to light.
Samsung Galaxy S23: Release date & price
It's looking highly likely that Samsung will announce the new Galaxy S23 smartphones at one of its Unpacked launch events – most probably in February 2023, as that would be a year after the Galaxy S22 officially showed up.
Nothing has been confirmed around the Galaxy S23 release date, despite a lot of speculation, and it's possible that it could show up in January. Samsung won't want the iPhone 14 to dominate the headlines for too long, after all.
Whatever the date ends up being, we can expect to see pre-orders for the S23 open shortly after the reveal, and for the handsets to go on sale towards the end of February – assuming Samsung sticks to the same schedule as 2022.
As for the price, again there's nothing solid in terms of advance information. What we can tell you is that the standard Galaxy S22 phone went on sale for a starting price of £769 / $799, so expect something in a similar sort of range.
Bear in mind, that's just for the standard model. The S22 Plus originally went on sale for £949 / $999, while the S22 Ultra starting price was £1,149 / $1,199. These aren't going to be particularly cheap phones.
Samsung Galaxy S23: Models
We don’t know for sure how many members of the Galaxy S23 family there will be, but we can make an informed guess based on how Samsung usually treats its flagship handset.
As such, we’re expecting three variants of Galaxy S23: the S23, the S23 Plus, and the S23 Ultra. In previous years, we would then expect an FE or Fan Edition version of the phone, with more modest specs at a more affordable price. Considering that there was no Galaxy S22 FE though, the arrival of a Galaxy S23 FE seems unlikely.
As per one of the most reliable tipsters in the business, the S23 models will match their S22 predecessors pretty closely in terms of dimensions. Don't expect much to change in terms of the three models on offer.
Samsung Galaxy S23: Design
As we mentioned above, it looks as though the design of the Galaxy S23 series is going stick very closely to the design of the Galaxy S22 series. That means we're in line for a 6.1-inch Galaxy S23, a 6.6-inch Galaxy S23 Plus, and a 6.8-inch Galaxy S23 Ultra.
None of this is confirmed yet of course, but according to those in the know, there will only be very slight changes in design – a little curve here, a small milimetre extension there. The new phones will be a touch wider and higher than their predecessors, and that's about it.
It's time to test your imagination. The biggest difference of the S23 Ultra is that the curvature of the fuselage has changed. It looks like this from the top. Can you imagine it? pic.twitter.com/2BNRbxd6laAugust 25, 2022
Right now, it's not clear if the Galaxy S23 series will also stick closely to the Galaxy S22 series in terms of colours. In 2022 we got black, white, pink gold, green, graphite, sky blue, violet, cream, red, and purple as colour options, and we would expect at least a little bit of variation in 2023.
Case leaks are always a good indication of the design direction that a phone might be going in, and the people in the know have obliged (opens in new tab) with Galaxy S23 case images. Based on these photos, it looks as though we're in store for phones with straighter sides and cleaner camera modules than the S22 series.
We've been treated to some concept videos of the S23 and S23 Plus phones, courtesy of graphic design artist 4RMD (opens in new tab): these clips are based off the leaks and rumours we've seen so far, and we think they might be pretty close to what Samsung actually unveils in 2023.
There's a revamped camera design on show here, as well as a thin and curved chassis, and some specs predictions are included too for good measure. White, black, blue, pink gold and violet are mentioned as colours.
The S23 Ultra is expected to keep a similar design as its predecessor, plus stylus support – like the S22 Ultra before it. However, it's again likely that you're going to need to buy a separate case in order to house the pointing utensil. If you're after serious innovation in the design department, you might have to go for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 or the Galaxy Z Flip 4 instead.
Samsung Galaxy S23: Specs
It now looks as though all models of the Galaxy S23 in all regions will come carrying a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, specifically the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 as announced in mid-November 2022.
Samsung is apparently experiencing difficulties getting the Exynos CPU variant up to par, so will be going with Qualcomm chips for the time being – normally some units in some regions get a Samsung Exynos processor, as was the case with the Samsung Galaxy S22.
At the same time it's worth bearing in mind that the Galaxy S22 series was also rumoured to be using Snapdragon and only Snapdragon processors, and in the end that didn't come to pass.
It sounds as though 128GB or 256GB will be the storage options for the standard Galaxy S23 model, with 8GB of RAM included – we'll have to wait and see how that might translate to the more expensive models, but from those leaked specs it doesn't seem as though a whole lot is going to change. The Galaxy S23 phones are said to be behind the iPhone 14 in terms of raw performance, although with how much Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 can deliver, I'm not convinced that'll be the case in the real world.
As for the all-important battery capacity, most indications are that the capacities are going to stay roughly the same as last year – though with optimisations, Samsung might be able to eke out a bit more battery life. While we've seen batteries for the Galaxy S23 pass through regulators, so far the capacities haven't been confirmed.
Samsung Galaxy S23: Cameras
One major rumour to surface is that Samsung is fitting at least one of its S23 phones with a massive 200-megapixel sensor as part of its rear camera system. That would point to a major jump in photo and video quality.
At the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit more information came to light about the Samsung ISOCELL HP3 sensor, which has been tuned to function at its best with Qualcomm's platform, strongly suggesting this will be the first (or one of the first) to feature the massive sensor. We suspect this sensor will only be available on the flagship Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Such a large resolution would be a big step up from the 108-megapixel capability of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, and is considerably larger than the 48-megapixel main sensor fitted to the back of the iPhone 14 Pro.
The selfie cameras on the front of the Galaxy S23 series are apparently in line for an upgrade as well – a jump from 10MP to 12MP has been talked about (opens in new tab).
Samsung Galaxy S23: Other details
It's almost certain that the Galaxy S23 phones are going to come running Android 13: Google's latest mobile operating system will be several months old at that point, and Samsung is usually pretty good at keeping its handsets up to date. It's one of Google's closest partners when it comes to Android.
One other tidbit of information we have so far is that the S23 is known internally as Project Diamond. This was at first believed to be a new folding smartphone, but on 24 March supply chain analyst Ross Young said on Twitter the name now refers to the Galaxy S23. He added on Twitter that he doesn’t think the S23 will have a different design to the S22.
Other upgrades that we're expecting when the new flagship phone launches are a waterfall display with curved edges on at least one of the models, and upgraded UFS 4.0 internal storage that should mean the phones are even speedier in operation.
Samsung Galaxy S23: The features we want
While we wait for more rumours to surface, here’s a quick look at what we want to see from the new Galaxy S23 smartphone family. As always, we're quite demanding when it comes to what we're expecting from manufacturers – it's always worth aiming high.
Design: We’d love to see a fresh new design from Samsung, as the last couple of generations of Galaxy S handsets have changed very little. But, given what the rumour mill has said about the S23 so far, we're not holding our breath. Instead, given the huge new camera sensor tipped for the phone, we expect Samsung will install a redesigned rear camera module and draw attention to the S23's photography capabilities.
Colours: A new range of colours would also be welcome, and there has already been some chatter that Samsung might shake things up in this department. A new choice of hues actually makes more difference than you might think.
Battery: As ever, improved battery life is high on our wishlist and we would happily see Samsung make the S23 handsets slightly thicker than their S22 predecessors to accommodate this. We think it was a mistake for Samsung to reduce battery capacities when replacing the S21 with the S22, and hope this is rectified with the next model. Improved cooling could also help here and, again, we wouldn’t mind if this meant a fractionally thicker handset as a result.
Interface: Something else we want is for Samsung to speed up its One UI interface. In an ideal world we’d like a Galaxy S23 with stock Android, but since that’s very unlikely to happen, we would instead like Samsung to optimise its UI, clear out the performance bottlenecks, and make the phone feel as slick and responsive as a flagship should.