Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event has happened and, as expected, the Samsung Galaxy S23 range was revealed in full, with the S23 Ultra, S23 Plus and S23 the 2023 flagship headliners from the Korean company.
I've already delved into the year-on-year differences in my Galaxy S23 Ultra versus S22 Ultra and Galaxy S23 versus S22 features – spoiler alert, they're not very different at all – but the big question everyone was asking prior to the pre-orders going live was 'how much will the S23 Ultra cost?'.
The reason for that was simple enough: the rumour mill had said on repeat that, given the state of 2023 and inflationary rises happening everywhere, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra would cost a lot more than its S22 Ultra predecessor.
And, sure enough, that's the case: in the UK the S23 Ultra is priced at £100 more than the S22 Ultra was when it launched. That means the 'entry' S23 Ultra model, with its 256GB on-board storage, is priced at £1,249.
In Australia, it's a similar story, as the Galaxy S23 Ultra arrives with a AU$100 price increase over its predecessor, meaning the 256GB Galaxy S23 Ultra costs AU$1,949,
However, as I've mentioned already, the S23 Ultra isn't massively different to the S22 Ultra – aside from a main camera resolution bump, uprated processor, and other minor tweaks – so to slap an even higher price on it is surprising. But, as I say, it is 2023, the year of apparent recession doom (we'll be fine everybody, peace and love, etcetera).
As such I can't help but look at the earlier S22 Ultra's pricing right now either. As you can see from the real-time shopping widget above, that older handset's price has dropped to around £825 in the UK/AU$1,699 in Australia. That's over £400 less (only AU$250 less in Australia) and that puts it on comparable pricing level to the Google Pixel 7 Pro. That throws a cat among the pigeons when it comes to the battle for best Android phone, right?
However, I'm talking specifically about the Ultra model here, which has an almost 9% price rise over its predecessor. Further down the range pricing also changes: the Galaxy S23, for example, is now £849/AU$1,349, making it £50/AU$100 or around 6% more than the Galaxy S22's £799/AU$1,249 original asking price.
The Galaxy S23 Plus goes from the older S22 Plus' £949/AU$1,549 price to £1,049/AU$1,649. For the UK, this £100 rise is the worst of the lot, at near 11%, but for Australia, it is once again a AU$100 increase. The consolation in this instance, however, is the 'entry' Plus model now comes with double the storage, at 256GB.
So there we have it: the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is pricier than its predecessor. That's inflation for you. But what may surprise even more is just how much cheaper the 2022 models are by comparison, as you can see below (at the time of writing the S22 Plus is cheaper than the smaller S22, making it a no-brainer in my view), making those very similar devices potentially even more appealing.