Samsung has unveiled its new flagship mobile models in the Galaxy series. These are the models that, together with Apple models, are the best-selling in Norway year after year.
As expected, the naming is “last year’s model name + one,” so welcome to the S23 lineup.
- Galaxy S23 Ultra – 6.8 inches
- Galaxy S23 + – 6.6 inches
- Galaxy S23 – 6.1 inches
As always, most of it has been known for a long time, though the company made some extra efforts to prevent news from spreading before it was officially revealed.
While only size and battery separate the S23 from the 23+, this year’s Ultra model is also what was once called a Note. That means a built-in stylus, a larger screen, and a more advanced camera.
This year’s novelties are, with one exception, minor upgrades to last year’s models. The Ultra has a slightly different rounding at the edges, including rounded screen edges. The regular S23 models lost their “camera hump” at the back and got a slightly larger battery. Android 13 is in the works. The glass has become a little stronger.
The screens are practically identical. They pioneered the market, supporting 1-120Hz dynamic refresh rate.
First of all, faster
Where significant changes have been made to the processor. While last year’s models in Europe had a processor developed by Samsung, this year Samsung is back to betting exclusively on Qualcomm’s top model. Specifically, we are talking about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which was announced just before Christmas.
There are some mystical connections from Samsung in this area, but they have a specially modified version of the chipset with slightly higher performance, but no Wifi7 support.
In short, there is 30-40 percent more performance and less power consumption compared to its predecessor. For casual web browsing and Candy Crush, that doesn’t mean much, but it certainly does mean something for more advanced mobile games (now with “ray tracing” support), not least for processing more complex stuff.
Everything is called AI these days, but there’s no doubt that more computing power means something when analyzing speech and processing massive amounts of information to create perfect images.
Perhaps the most interesting novelty can only be found in the Ultra model. It has received a new photo slide for its 200MP main camera. The optics also let in more light, as the aperture has been improved from f1.8 to f1.7.
If you activate full resolution, you will be left with an image with a resolution of 16320 x 12240 pixels, files that usually take 22-30MB apiece in jpeg format. RAW photography is limited to 50 megapixels.
This upgrade takes place without any major changes in the physical size of the image chip.
It’s been many years since the camera industry called off the “megapixel race” because more pixels on a chip of physically equivalent size just don’t have advantages. There will probably be more noise.
Samsung knows this too. So despite taking photos at a full 200MP resolution possibleStill, the standard is to only save 12MP photos. Instead, information from many, many pixels is used by mobile phone image processing to create the best possible image.
It’s still impressive to open up a full 200MP image, and see how insanely much information is actually stored.
The fact that more light is let in, and that information gathered from more image points which are in turn processed by a more powerful processor, should ensure better low-light images.
Regular S23 models keep the same cameras on the back. No changes have been made to the wide-angle and zoom cameras either.
However, all new models get a new selfie camera. Last year’s Ultra model had a 40MP version, while the other models were 10MP. Now everyone has a new 12-megapixel version, with better autofocus.
Support and future price
Cell phones have gotten so good in recent years that they are becoming less and less necessary to upgrade so often. This leads to more and more people holding onto their cell phones for longer. The normal ownership period for mobile phones in Norway has increased from about two to three years.
In addition, there is now a significant market for used cell phones.
Samsung states that this year’s models will receive four Android upgrades and are guaranteed five years of security updates.
Indicative prices for the S23 Ultra start at NOK 15,990 for the version with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It is also available in versions with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB or 1 TB of storage.
The standard S23 starts at NOK 10,990, while its big brother, the S23+, costs an additional NOK 3,000.
Also read: Test: Google Pixel 7 Pro
This is somewhat higher than, for example, the Google Pixel, which has now positioned itself in this segment, but the prices are initially a little better than they seem. Samsung is offering a launch offer where you get a model with more storage if you buy the smallest version.
The three models come in four different colors. Neither model comes with a charger in the box.
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