Samsung has launched its year in technology with an impressive debut — the Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra all made their expected appearances at the first Unpacked of the season. And, as expected, everything’s just a shade bigger and/or faster than it was last year.
It’s also apparent that there’s a proper leaky spigot inside Samsung. The full spec for the S23 Ultra, give or take a few fine details, was known thanks to a Chinese regulator as far back as December 2022. Still, rather than dwell on what was or wasn’t predicted, it’s time to move on to what is.
The three amigos
Samsung’s Galaxy S23 lineup comprises three smartphones. Just like last year, the stock S23, the Plus, and the Ultra are separated by their available features. Also just like last year, this includes three different screen sizes. The base phone packs a 6.1in FHD+ AMOLED panel, the Plus features a 6.6in FHD+ screen. Climbing to the S23 Ultra means scaling up to a 6.8in QHD+ Super AMOLED. It’s all very lovely but we’ve also seen it all before in the Galaxy S22 series.
That Samsung Qualcomm rumour? Yeah, that turned out to be true. As a result, Samsung’s flagships will be a shade faster than anyone else using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (until someone gives Qualcomm more money). In terms of performance, all three smartphones should be speedy but the pricier models will outperform the standard S23. Because what’s the point of the Ultra if the baby phone is just as fast? Apple learned that lesson last year too.
Telling the Galaxy S23 apart
There are some serious differences in place here but it’s mostly the rear cameras that make each phone stand out. The base S23 sports three rear sensors (50MP, 12MP, and 10MP) and a 3,900mAh battery. The S23 Plus goes with the same camera setup but offers users a 4,700mAh battery. Finally, the Galaxy S23 Ultra offers up a 200MP main camera sensor, a 12MP secondary, and dual 10MP cameras to round off its photography skills. Oh, yes, and the S Pen still lives inside it.
We’ll obviously be testing these just as soon as we can get our hands on them but Samsung’s already got local pricing and availability handy. If you want the regular S23, expect to pay at least R22,000. The Plus? That starts at R24,000. And the Galaxy S23 Ultra will wound your wallet to the tune of R32,000.
But Samsung’s trying to take a little of the sting out of the price. Anyone who pre-orders one of the company’s 256GB handsets ahead of the 24 February launch will find themselves upgraded to a 512GB model at no extra cost. Plus there are some pre-order incentives heading your way too. More on that later.