As February approaches, it’s time to turn our attention to Samsung. The tech company is gearing up for its next Unpacked event on February 1, and the Galaxy S23 series is expected to be the star of the show.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 lineup includes some of our top phones for 2022. The base S22 impressed as a more affordable option, the S22 Plus was a great all-around phone, and the all-around S22 Ultra blew us away with its stellar camera capabilities. We’ve even given out Plus and Ultra CNET Editors’ Choice awards.
If Samsung maintains the pattern of the past three generations, we can expect the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus, and Galaxy S23 Ultra. We’ll likely know more on February 1, but based on rumors, leaks, and previous product announcements, here’s what we can expect from Samsung. What we want from the Galaxy S23 series, longer battery life and smarter camera features are at the top of my list.
Galaxy S23 release date
Samsung may announce the Galaxy S23 series at its next Unpacked event on February 1, which will be held in San Francisco. The event announcement follows previous leaks, including this report from Korean newspaper JoongAng Daily, which suggested the Galaxy S23 would launch in early February. A January 6 tweet from well-known leaker Ice Universe also claimed to show a Galaxy Unpacked teaser image dated February 1.
Whether the phones will hit store shelves this month is another question, as global supply chains are still struggling and delays could be longer than usual. But Samsung is already running a promotion for U.S. customers who want to pre-order the phone. Sign up to get a $50 Samsung credit for pre-ordering one device, or a $100 credit if you want to pre-order two devices.
Galaxy S23 Camera
The biggest hardware upgrade brought by the Galaxy S23 series is expected to be a new 200MP main camera sensor. Samsung’s introduction of the ISOCELL HP3 200MP camera sensor may inject more water into these rumor mills, but in reality Samsung may be using a custom ISOCELL sensor with 0.60 micron pixels.
Samsung’s recently announced ISOCELL HPX sensor sounds like it might also be a prime candidate, but with a smaller pixel size and overall size. With Tetra Pixel technology, the camera sensor maintains a 0.56-micron pixel size in bright sunlight, allowing it to capture 200MP images. In low-light situations, the pixel size is 1.12 microns, allowing users to take 50MP photos, and the same pixel binning magic happens with the 50MP mechanism on the S23 Ultra, just with a larger virtual binning pixel.
In very dim environments, 16 pixels are combined into one to capture 12.5 MP images. Samsung says the system allows users to take sharp photos no matter how bright the light is, though that’s been the mantra since the first 108MP device.
In fact, another camera-related hint may have been invented in response to Apple’s Action Mode, following reports that the Galaxy S23 Ultra will have unique camera features like “ultra-steady” functionality. The 200-megapixel custom sensor, which may debut in a Galaxy S-series phone with the S23 Ultra, will also be able to significantly improve low-light shots. Samsung’s flagship phones already offer an excellent night mode in the camera app, so further low-light improvements may come from hardware upgrades rather than image processing algorithms.
Galaxy S23 models and sizes
We firmly believe that Samsung will continue its strategy of launching multiple phones, each with different specifications and price points to appeal to a variety of people. Based on Samsung’s history, we’re confident we’ll see an entry-level Galaxy S23, an updated S23 Plus with a larger screen, and a high-end S23 Ultra. The Ultra packs the best tech, including an extra camera, the largest display, and almost certainly an S Pen stylus.
Samsung’s Unpacked event invite also appears to have three spotlights, which could be a subtle nod to the three new Galaxy models.
Well-known leaker Ice Universe has published a detailed list (via GSM Arena) of the sizes of three upcoming phones that almost exactly match the current sizes of the S22 series. As such, we don’t expect any significant difference in the screen size of the series compared to its predecessor.
Galaxy S22 is 6.1 inches, S22 Plus is 6.6 inches, S22 Ultra is 6.8 inches
Galaxy S23 Ultra camera samples
As for tangentially proving the rumored improved low-light photography, the first camera samples of the alleged Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 200MP camera versus the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 108MP camera have emerged from the interior of the Chinese tech – the blogosphere pops up, if the mode is true On the other hand, the S23 Ultra is sharper and more detailed than the S22 Ultra in the same situation.