Samsung Galaxy S23 — all the rumors so far
The Galaxy S22 is still pretty fresh as far as the best Samsung phones go, so it shouldn’t surprise you that we don’t know much about the successor Samsung’s likely to release next year. When it does arrive, the Galaxy S23 will have some big shoes to fill, but we’re confident that Samsung can pull it off.
Among this year’s releases, the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus felt a lot more iterative than innovative — the Galaxy S22 Ultra had no such problem, single-handedly bringing the Galaxy Note back to life.
Rumors about the Galaxy S23 are pretty sparse right now, but we wanted to collect some of what we’d like to see in Samsung’s next flagship, especially the regular and Plus models. So here’s what we’ve heard about the Galaxy S23 so far, plus our wishlist.
Samsung Galaxy S23 possible release date
The Galaxy S22 launched in February, so we’d expect a similar timeline for the Galaxy S23. The Galaxy S21 series came out in January 2021, but Samsung had to make room for the Galaxy S21 FE, so it likely pushed back the S22’s debut.
For the Galaxy S23, that probably means an early 2023 appearance. Phone release windows are pretty predictable nowadays and we don’t expect Samsung to deviate from this, though the coronavirus pandemic and chip shortages have created some delayed phone launches in recent memory.
Samsung Galaxy S23 early rumors
A post from famed Samsung leaker Ice Universe on Twitter claims that the Galaxy S23 Ultra will have a whopping 200MP main camera — a holdover rumor from the early days of S22 speculation. This camera will supposedly be “optimized for several years.”
We’re not sure if that means Samsung plans to continually improve the camera over the years with software updates or if the Korean phone maker will improve the 200MP sensor following the S23 Ultra’s launch.
Samsung has optimized the 108MP sensor for three years, and the result is better year by year, which is better than replacing the sensor frequently. It is said that the S23 Ultra will adopt 200MP sensor from next year, and then it will be optimized for several years.December 25, 2021
This camera rumor has gained additional believability since a new report says Samsung’s working on a second-gen 200MP sensor, and will use it in the S23 if all goes to plan.
Furthermore, Samsung has shown off a vide of the 200MP ISOCELL HP1 camera sensor in action by snapping a photo of a cat and then blowing up that image to fit a 28 x 22-meter canvas that was hung off the side of a building. It’s hard to tell for sure in a YouTube video (opens in new tab) and not in person, but the image looked impressive. Details appear to be very crisp, with individual cat hairs picked out.
This is something even cameras on some of the best phones can struggle with due to their lower megapixel counts. Samsung’s video definitely suggests that a 200MP main camera could be the key to unlocking more out of its Galaxy phone photography.
So far, we’ve only heard conflicting rumors about the Galaxy S23’s chipset. A couple of weeks ago, a tipster claimed that Samsung would use a MediaTek chip in some Galaxy S23 units. This sparked alarm in some people, myself included. Even though we’ve heard that the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 is a surprisingly good chip, we have our doubts given MediaTek’s shaky history.
But after that rumor hit the news, another tipster rebuked it. Yogesh Brar has a decent track record and he said there would be no MediaTek partnership for the Galaxy S23 or Galaxy S22 FE in the future.
We’ve since heard talk of Samsung stopping production of Exynos chips for two years in order to make a new Galaxy-only chipset ready for 2025. This would fit with Samsung looking for alternative chipsets, even those from MediaTek rather than current partner Qualcomm.
Obviously, none of these are 100% confirmation, but Samsung might still be interested in improving its Exynos brand. We’d welcome this, considering that the Exynos 2200 failed to meet our expectations, lagging behind the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in our Galaxy S22 Plus benchmark tests.
We hear Samsung’s Project Diamond is the S23…Doesn’t look like a 3rd foldable device this year. But now we know what S23 is called internally…March 24, 2022
The only other thing we’ve heard is that Samsung might refer to the Galaxy S23 internally as “Project Diamond.” Previously, some thought this codename instead referred to a third foldable, but that’s apparently not the case, according to DSCC analyst Ross Young.
Samsung Galaxy S23: What we want to see
There’s a long time for Samsung to finalize some Galaxy S23 details, so here’s what we’re hoping to see.
Better battery life
The battery life on all three Galaxy S22 models is, in a word, disappointing. Even the Galaxy S22 Ultra with its 5,000 mAh power pack couldn’t last as long as phones like the OnePlus 10 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max in the Tom’s Guide battery life test. The mid-range Galaxy A53 doesn’t have stellar battery life, either.
Samsung needs to up its game with battery life. Shrinking the power packs from the Galaxy S21 to the Galaxy S22 (3,700 mAh versus 4,000 mAh) and Galaxy S22 (4,500 mAh versus 4,800 mAh) was not a wise decision and obviously hurt both phones in testing.
It’s no secret by now that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip runs hot. This causes it to hit throttling problems, especially in intense games. Samsung also got caught intentionally throttling some apps to preserve system performance. While the move ultimately ended up as shady, or downright heinous for some, it proved one point: the Galaxy S22 needed better cooling.
The OnePlus 10 Pro features a new cooling system that makes the phone noticeably more comfortable after long gaming sessions than the Galaxy S22 Ultra in my experience. We’re not asking for something on the level of the best gaming phones, but the S22 can get really hot. We want to see the Galaxy S23 fix this.
Snapdragon or better Exynos
Look, we’re all for breaking Qualcomm’s near monopoly on Android phones in some parts of the world. The strongest performers out of all of the best Android phones use Snapdragon chips. While Apple Silicon is still miles ahead in some ways, Samsung’s Exynos processors are inferior to Qualcomm in many others.
We all had high hopes for the flagship Exynos 2200 with its AMD-powered graphics, but the chip ultimately proved lackluster at best. Samsung either needs to figure out why Exynos chips lag behind Snapdragons, or it needs to give up and use Snapdragons everywhere.
One problem with telephoto lenses on smartphones is that you either use the full optical zoom or get stuck with digital that fills in the gaps. Rumors surrounding the Galaxy S22 Ultra suggested that Samsung was going to introduce continuous zoom, where the phone could go from 1x to 10x and all of the spots between smoothly.
We want to see Samsung introduce this on all three Galaxy S23 models, though we have a feeling the feature might an Ultra exclusive if it ever materializes.
Better model differentiation
Let’s face it, the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus are pretty boring. They look just like their predecessors, without many new features. The biggest change involved improved “nightography” for low-light photos, but all of Samsung’s efforts clearly went into the most expensive Galaxy.
While understandable, we’d really like to see the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 get something that makes them more than iterative upgrades. Whether it’s a fresh design, stronger cameras, or display refresh rates that actually dip to 10Hz — since the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus did, in fact, feature a minimum of 48Hz instead of the 10Hz Samsung initially advertised.
We just don’t want the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus to bore us.