The smartphone year traditionally begins with new devices from Samsung – and so will 2023. The manufacturer presented the S23 model series and primarily demands money or patience from interested parties.

For years, Samsung has been one of the first smartphone manufacturers to present new devices for the coming year. 2023 will be no different, February will start with the presentation of the S23 model series. As usual, it consists of three versions: S23, S23 Plus and S23 Ultra.

Solid product maintenance – and a farewell

At first glance, many things remain the same. The models are again divided into three different sizes, starting with the Galaxy S23 with a screen diagonal of 6.1 inches. The S23 Plus is already significantly larger at 6.6 inches, with the Ultra model Samsung sticks with a huge 6.8 inches.

While Samsung has hardly changed the design of the S23 Ultra, there is a welcome change in the S23 and S23 Plus compared to last year: the camera block that surrounded the three lenses in the predecessor has been deleted without replacement. The three cameras protrude slightly from the housing without a border. Samsung wants to increase the recognition value of the devices. Only the designers know why the intention is to print the logo so subtly.

The devices appear this year in four colors as standard. All models are available in black, cream, green or lavender. Other colors are only available if you buy the smartphones directly from Samsung. Samsung also had the environment in mind when developing the S23, increasing the number of components made from recycled raw materials from six to twelve. No question: it’s a drop in the bucket, but it’s a commendable gesture.

As far as the hardware is concerned, buyers can look forward to maximum speed: Samsung relies on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for the entire model series. If Samsung has succeeded in cooling the new chip effectively, the S23 should be one of the fastest Android devices smartphones, especially since the addition “for Galaxy” in the processor name indicates a slightly tuned model with a higher clock.

Exciting: The development of its own processors apparently did not work for Samsung at first, the controversial Exynos, which set the pace in the S22, is history again for the top smartphones. Rumor has it that Samsung will try again in two years to produce its own high-end chips at the level of Qualcomm and Apple. Until then, the S-Class will use the latest that suppliers have on offer.

Most models have 8 gigabytes of RAM, only the two most expensive Ultra models have 12 gigabytes.

When it comes to the battery, Samsung is only growing a little this year, the S23 Ultra even stays at the 5000 milliampere hours (mAh) that the predecessor already offered. The S23 and S23 Plus each increase by 200 mAh, so they offer 3900 and 4700 mAh respectively.

Again, it’s all about the camera

With all S23 models, Samsung promises high-quality selfies and installs a 12-megapixel snap on the front. For the S23 and the S23 Plus, this is an improvement of 2 megapixels, while the Ultra model loses 28 megapixels – apparently Samsung has admitted that as many megapixels as possible are not always the solution, but that other components also matter.

On the back, the separation between Ultra and the normal models becomes clear. S23 and S23 Plus get three cameras. The main camera works with 50 megapixels each, the ultra wide-angle camera with 12 MP and the telephoto lens with triple optical zoom with 10 MP.

The S23 Ultra offers four cameras, only the first telephoto lens and the ultra wide-angle camera share the device with the cheaper models. The main camera, on the other hand, works with 200 megapixels and a large sensor, and the second telephoto lens offers a tenfold optical zoom. Samsung emphasizes that great results can be achieved with the new camera, especially at night. With the “Astro Hyperlapse” function, the device should even be able to visibly capture stars.

The first reports confirm the outstanding performance of the camera quartet, a test will show whether we can confirm this.

Pure luxury

The times of cheap top smartphones are over – parts, logistics and energy are too expensive. However, Samsung doesn’t seem to want to cushion the additional costs itself and is adding at least 100 euros to all models compared to the previous year. This results in the following prices for the respective basic equipment:

With the S23, Samsung is thus in almost the same price range as the iPhone 14 (Pro). With one difference: Samsung has not yet managed to maintain the high starting prices for new devices for a particularly long time. According to “Idealo”, a price reduction of up to 20 percent can be expected after around three months.

There is a bonus for those who order one of the devices during the pre-order phase. This puts the high list price into perspective. In Germany, anyone who orders by February 17, 2023 will receive twice the storage capacity at no extra charge. If you buy the device with the most storage space, the price drops to the level of the next cheaper model.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 will be available in stores on February 17, and the company is now allowing pre-orders.

There are also new laptops

As part of the S23 launch, Samsung also presented three new laptops: Galaxy Book 3 Pro, Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 and Galaxy Book 3 Ultra. These are very light to extremely powerful notebooks. In addition to an Intel CPU of the latest generation, the Ultra model also uses very powerful graphics chips from Nvidia, either a GTX 4050 or 4070. The model with the addition 360 can be folded down and use as a tablet.

Also read:

Spoiled for choice: Warentest compares 18 mobile computers, all are “good” – but there are big differences

Folding giants in the test: foldable smartphones are really that useful in everyday life

Google Pixel 7 Pro review: The gold standard is back