Samsung has introduced its S23 flagship series at a global event in San Francisco, a physical one this time. At the same time, at the Opera House in Bangalore, the Indian tech media has been given its first look at what are 2023’s defining smartphones for the Android world - and indeed setting the standard for how top-tier phones should be able to perform. These devices come at a time when the global smartphone market is shrinking and economic travails plague many countries. Interestingly, the premium smartphones (above $600) segment is doing somewhat better, according to Counterpoint Research which shows growth to be 21% for 2022E and 23% for 2023E.
As before, the series brings three phones: the large 6.8-inch screened S23 Ultra, the in-between 6.6-inch S23+, and the relatively compact S23, which with its 6.1-inch screen, a size-rarity among Android phones. The design of these phones is not radically different from the previous few generations and many would argue that it doesn’t need to be. The colours for this series include a beautiful shade of olive green, a matte finish textured white and a light lilac.
Of the three phones, the Ultra still follows the squared-off straight-lined boxy form factor of the Galaxy Note, which it is, at heart. The S23 Ultra is the device that comes equipped with the built-in S-Pen, the most advanced digital pen available. But its highlight is the 200MP camera based on an ISOCELL HP2 sensor. From the back of the device, one can see that the Ultra is the one that has the most happening around the cameras. The cameras on the Galaxy S23 Ultra are intended specifically to allow for better photography under different lighting conditions without loss of details. Astro-photography is also a new capability on a Galaxy phone. A brief look at the phone did show a good deal of detail and clarity in the images.
The Ultra comes with 8GB or 12GB RAM and from 256GB to 1TB of storage. The battery is a 5,000mAh with 45W fast charging.
The S23+ and S23 phones look more like each other and have more rounded edges. Again, immediately obvious is that there is a scaled down camera set up on these two phones as they don’t share the same sensor as Ultra’s.
What the three smartphones do share is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. How customised this platform is for Samsung’s new phones is not clear. There are other smartphones that use this chip, but there are apparently some tweaks for the new Galaxy series. It appears there will be no devices, such as previously seen in India and some other countries, with the Exynos chip. The 8 Gen 2 power all the S23 phones and will improve photography, including ‘nightography’ and focus speed as well as improve battery life. It is also meant to galvanise high-end gaming and graphics. Samsung has a vapour cooling system to handle any generation of heat, but how well this is implemented will only be evident after detailed reviews are in.
The S23+ and S23 are also powered by the 8 Gen 2. The Galaxy S23 comes in three variants – 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, and 8GB RAM and 512GB storage. The S23+ is in two variants – 8GB RAM with 256GB storage and 8GB RAM with 512GB storage. Both these smartphones have a triple rear camera setup with 50MP primary, 12MP ultra-wide and a 10 MP telephoto lens.
Videos on the Galaxy S23 series get more cinematic with Super HDR, enhanced noise control algorithm and 2X wider OIS for smoother and sharper output during the night.
The Galaxy S23 comes with a 3900mAh battery, and the S23+ with a 4700mAh battery with support for fast charging and fast wireless charging.
The new S series is the first to feature Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, claiming stronger durability long-term. There has been strong focus on using sustainable materials for both the devices and their packaging. The phones are all IP68 water resistant.
The S series runs Android 13 with Samsung’s OneUI5.1. Performance seems speedy on first impressions, but that is unsurprising on a powerful new phone.
Pre-booking for Galaxy S23 series starts from February 2 across all leading online and offline retail stores. Consumers can also pre-book on Samsung Live at https://www.samsung.com/in/live-offers/ starting on February 2, 2023. Here are the India prices:
Galaxy S23 Ultra will be available in four attractive colours- Red, Graphite, Lime, and Sky Blue on Samsung.com.
Samsung has announced that the Galaxy S23 smartphones sold in India will be manufactured at the company's Noida factory. Samsung already fulfils a majority of the domestic demand in India through local manufacturing at the Noida factory.
Samsung inaugurated the world’s largest mobile factory in Noida in 2018, with the idea of contributing to India becoming a global manufacturing hub. This factory was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The value of impactful technology is measured, not just by what it enables for people today, but also how it contributes to a better future,” said TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile eXperience Business at Samsung Electronics. “The entire Galaxy S23 series is the new standard-bearer of trustworthy premium smartphone experiences. We’re on a mission to redefine peak performance by bringing together powerful, lasting innovations and sustainability."