The Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Ultra are still a few months away, but these new phones will arrive in early 2023 and kick off the year of new Android smartphones. We expect some interesting design changes, bigger and better cameras and more.
Fortunately, Samsung sticks to a fairly consistent release schedule and usually releases the same models, so we have a pretty good idea of everything and when. This post will focus on the big, bad, high-end Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
And while we don’t know everything about Samsung’s next Ultra phone, there have already been countless leaks and rumors. So here’s a quick rundown of all the Galaxy S23 Ultra news and rumors so far.
Important details: Release date and price
First, we want to talk about the potential release date of the Galaxy S23 series. Samsung usually releases its flagship phone around March every year. The Galaxy S10, S20 and Galaxy S22 series have all arrived in mid-February or the first week of March.
The Galaxy S21 series was announced in January with a release date a few weeks later. Do you see a trend? With that in mind, it’s safe to say that in February we can expect the Galaxy S23 Ultra announcement, immediate pre-orders and release date between February 16 and March 10, 2023.
However, due to ongoing chip shortages and global supply constraints, we could see a slightly different release schedule in 2023. The new Galaxy Z Flip 4 has arrived right on schedule, which bodes well for the upcoming Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+ and Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Another unknown is the expected price tag. Again, Samsung often follows a relatively similar strategy, which leads us to believe that it will match previous years. For example, the Galaxy S22 initially sold for $799, while the top-of-the-line Galaxy S22 Ultra was $1,199.
Expect the flagship Galaxy S23 Ultra to cost around $1,199 again. That said, don’t be surprised if we see a slight price increase, especially if Apple does the same on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Design: Familiar matter
After three years of rehashing pretty much the same design when it comes to the overall look, especially with the massive stack of cameras on the back, look for Samsung to make minor tweaks. More specifically, the S21 Ultra and S22 Ultra had almost the same camera layout; only the second model removed the bezel around each lens.
We don’t think Samsung will deviate too much from its tried and true design, but now that the “Ultra” series has inherited the S-Pen, it will likely have an even bigger screen than a few generations ago and keep the square off design of the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Samsung is likely to stick with the same big and gorgeous 6.8-inch Quad-HD screen for the new Ultra in 2023. The biggest changes in terms of “design” will certainly be inside and with the camera setup on the back.
However, there’s a small chance we’ll finally see an under-display selfie camera with the Ultra, smaller bezels, or something else to differentiate it from previous models. Expect evolution and refinement, not a complete overhaul.
As Samsung’s latest and greatest flagship smartphone, you can expect upgrades. This is the brand’s biggest and best phone, so it doesn’t hold anything back. Big screen, crazy cameras, best performance and lots of storage and RAM.
Perhaps the most obvious of these is the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that will debut November 15. Samsung typically offers the Snapdragon processor in the United States and many regions, then uses its own Exynos chipset for select markets. However, several reliable sources suggest that in 2023 it will be Qualcomm.
1. Qualcomm is likely to be the sole processor supplier for the Samsung Galaxy S23 (versus a 70% supply share for the S22) thanks to TSMC’s next flagship 5G chip, the SM8550 4nm.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) July 8, 2022
Popular analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that Samsung will use Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon chip exclusively on the new Galaxy S23, meaning no region will get a different Exynos model.
We’ve also heard it will feature the same 5,000mAh battery as the S22 Ultra, which isn’t bad, but not great either. The new Galaxy S23 Ultra should have a similar screen, battery life, a relatively familiar design, and should feature Android 13 (with One UI 5) cameras and software. Here’s a loose list of potential (but rumored) specs.
- Display: 6.8-inch Quad-HD AMOLED, 120 Hz refresh rate, slightly curved
- Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
- Operating system: Android 13 (One UI 5)
- Storage space: 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB
- FRAME: 8 GB, 12 GB or 16 GB
- Rear cameras: 200 MP (wide-angle), 12 MP (ultrawide) 10 MP (3x telephoto lens), 10 MP periscope
- Selfie camera: 40MP
- batteryCapacity: 5000 mAh
- Charging speed: 45W wired, 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wireless
- Fingerprint sensor: Ultrasonic display
- networking: mmWave 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, GPS
- Headphone jack: No
- Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+, Armor Aluminum frame
- More: S-Pen stylus
Again, the list you see above is simply our guesses based on leaks, rumors, and what Samsung has offered on previous Ultra phones all mixed together. We hope Samsung adds a bigger battery and most fans would welcome improved fast charging technology.
The most notable changes are the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, an insane 200MP camera and the hope that Samsung will ditch the 128GB model and offer at least 256GB. We also expect improvements to the S-Pen specs, if you’re into that sort of thing.
All cameras: bigger and better
The image above is nothing more than a fan-made render, but it’s certainly pretty and shows off the huge new 200-megapixel camera that many expect to debut in the Galaxy S23 Ultra. And while that sounds exciting, it’s not all good news.
Most leaks suggest that Samsung will still ship the same quad-camera setup as in previous years, but the only major upgrade is the 200MP primary sensor. Samsung could keep the exact same 10MP (10x optical and 100x periscope) zoom lens and perhaps improve the ultra-wide camera.
S23 Ultra 200MP sensor is unreleased HP2, almost 100% sure.
— Universe Ice (@UniverseIce) August 2, 2022
On several occasions, the famous Samsung Ice Universe has mentioned Samsung’s brand new 200MP ISOCELL HP2 camera. At this point, he is “almost 100% certain” that it will be in the Galaxy S23 Ultra. So what does that mean? Well, it’s hard to say. The 100MP camera in the current crop of phones is pretty excellent, but it has some banding issues, and the first generation struggled with autofocus and around the edges of images.
For what it’s worth, the Galaxy S22 Ultra doesn’t take 100MP photos all the time unless you enable it in the settings. Instead, it groups images into more manageable and detailed megapixels. We could see Samsung do the same with this impressive new 200MP sensor, but we’ll have to wait and see.
The new 200MP sensor is already being tested in Motorola’s latest X30 Pro, and the Samsung ISOCELL variant of this new camera is likely to take up a lot of space on the back of the Galaxy S23 Ultra and provide all kinds of impressive camera capabilities.
And while we all know that more megapixels don’t always mean better, Samsung’s new 200MP ISOCELL sensor has some interesting new technology inside. According to Samsung, this is the first image sensor to use Dual Pixel Pro technology with all focus directions, not to mention the new ChameleonCell pixel-binning system that can adapt to any situation or lighting.
That said, we’re assuming it won’t always drop the Pixel-bin to 12MP unless necessary, meaning the camera will adjust things on the fly for the best results. We’re not sure what this all means, but it sounds exciting.
Should you wait?
The million dollar question. Should you wait for the Galaxy S23 Ultra? That depends on what phone you’re currently using, what you need, and what your budget is. This is a big, fancy and expensive phone with all the latest bells and whistles. If you want the latest and greatest and can wait until March, this is the phone for you.
If you’re still using an older Galaxy S10+, Pixel 4 XL, or even a Galaxy S20 phone, you’re a few years behind at this point. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a solid choice from Google The Pixel 7 Pro is just around the corner, and we can’t forget about the new iPhones in September.
Frankly, Apple users tend to stick with the iPhone, and Samsung owners do the same. If you’ve owned several generations of Samsung Galaxy flagships, get the S22 Ultra or wait for the brand new Galaxy S23 Ultra early next year.
Until we know more about Samsung’s plans, we can’t say whether it’s worth the wait, but it’s a pretty safe bet.
As the release date inevitably approaches, we’ll get a better picture of what to expect. Unleash the details, wild new camera and more from the ultra-high price tag.
We will update this article as new information becomes available. Don’t forget to join our free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on Galaxy S23.