Samsung Galaxy S23 is official, with special-edition Qualcomm chip
The S23 series. Everything has a similar camera design this year.
The Ultra model still has an S-Pen.
Plus and Basic models have rounded corners.
The base S23 looks identical to the Plus model.
It’s a new year, and that means it’s time for a new flagship from Samsung. The Galaxy S23 series is official, with a tweaked design for cheaper models and a big SoC change for international users. As always, there are three models: the 6.1-inch Galaxy S23, the 6.6-inch S23 Plus, and the 6.8-inch S23 Ultra.
With the release of the S23, Samsung is kicking off some internal drama, with Samsung’s “DX Division” Galaxy phone dismissing Samsung LSI – the division that produces the Exynos chips – for not being good enough. In the past, the Galaxy S series has opted for two vendors for its SoC, where some regions get Qualcomm Snapdragon chips (usually the US, China, Japan, and Latin America) and others get Qualcomm Snapdragon chips. Samsung Exynos (Europe, India, among others). ). Exynos chip performance is generally not up to Qualcomm’s (second place) standard, and Exynos customers who find themselves stuck with a purely inferior phone are understandably disappointed. The Exynos chips have angered Samsung fans enough to start petitions demanding that Qualcomm’s superior model be released in their markets.
This year, Samsung is listening and will pass Qualcomm all the way, all the time. Exynos chips have been banned from low-end devices, which is a crazy turn of events after Samsung LSI scored an AMD collaboration last year and two years ago, perhaps out of desperation, began naming the Exynos chips after the Galaxy S phones, along with the Exynos. 2100 launched in the S21 and the Exynos 2200 launch in the S22. The Exynos division is still supplying chips to various mid-range Samsung phones, and an orphan Exynos 2300 chip is still floating around and could end up in a tablet or a scaled-down version of the S23.
Enlarge / Qualcomm’s special Samsung chip has a special logo.
The star of the show is a newer and faster Qualcomm chip, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Samsung has branded a higher version of the chip from Qualcomm, officially called “Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy”. Besides the long name, it has a slightly higher clock frequency: 3.36 GHz as opposed to the normal 3.2 GHz. On the non-Galaxy version, Qualcomm promises a 35% faster CPU and a 25% faster GPU, both with 40-45% higher efficiency. It is a 4nm chip, with one Arm Cortex X3 processor, two Cortex-A715 processors, two Cortex-A710 processors and three Cortex A510R1 processors. It’s kind of a weird CPU layout, but Qualcomm has reworked Arm’s recommended layout a bit to keep 32-bit support going for another year. It’s the first Qualcomm chip to support the royalty-free AV1 codec, and it can also support Wi-Fi 7, but Samsung hasn’t added that to any of the models.
The base model of the S23 receives reduced parts. The main differences are 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage, a lack of ultra-wideband (UWB) support, and 25W charging on the base model, while the more expensive S23 Plus and Ultra have a 256 base. GB of much faster UFS 4.0 storage and 45W Wired Charge. These load numbers aren’t anything out of the ordinary, which is a shame. Everything has a base of 8 GB of RAM, 15 W wireless charging, IP68 water resistance and an 8 MP front camera. The Ultra model has higher tiers of up to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.
The base S23 model costs $800 and packs a 3900mAh battery. The Plus model costs $1,000 with a 4,700 mAh battery and the Ultra costs $1,200 with a 5,000 mAh battery. Those prices haven’t budged in the US, but price leaks indicate the phones cost around $100 more internationally. The two lower models have 200mAh more battery capacity than the S22.
The biggest visible change in the lineup is to the S23 and S23 Plus. Last year, the two cheaper S22s had a wraparound corner camera block, while this year they look more like the Galaxy S23 Ultra with individual camera lenses. The corner block never had much design justification, but with the individual camera lens, Samsung landed on an honestly sleek minimal design. A subtle change on the S23 Ultra is that, according to 9to5Google, Samsung has flattened the screen by 30% and the work area is now almost completely flat. Samsung has finally admitted that curved screens are a bad idea and serve no purpose.
The Ultra model looks identical to last year – it’s much squarer than the two cheaper phones, and those taller corners make room for a pop-up S-Pen. Besides the bigger screen, the Ultra’s hallmark is an improved camera loadout, and this year the main sensor is a whopping 200 MP.
The phones are up for pre-order today and will hit all major carriers and electronics stores on February 17.
Listing image by Samsung