We’re still a few months away from the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Ultra, but these new phones will arrive in early 2023, ushering in the year of the new Android smartphones. We’re expecting some exciting design changes, bigger and better cameras, and more.
Thankfully, Samsung sticks to a fairly consistent release schedule and usually releases the same models, so we have a pretty good idea of everything that’s on the way and when. This post focuses on the big, bad, high-end Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
And while we don’t know everything about Samsung’s next ultra phone, countless leaks and rumors have already surfaced. So here is a quick recap of all the Galaxy S23 Ultra news and rumors so far.
Important details: release date and prices
First things first, we would like to talk about a possible release date of the Galaxy S23 series. Samsung usually launches its flagship in March every year. The Galaxy S10, S20 and Galaxy S22 series 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 we’ll be back in February with an announcement of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, immediate pre-orders and a Release date between February 16 and March 10, 2023.
However, due to continued chip shortages and global supply bottlenecks, we could see a slightly different release schedule for 2023. For what it’s worth, the new Galaxy Z Flip 4 arrived right on schedule, which bodes well for the upcoming Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+ and Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Another unknown is the expected price. Again, Samsung often follows a relatively similar strategy, which leads us to believe it’ll be on par with previous years. For example, the Galaxy S22 originally cost $799, while the high-end Galaxy S22 Ultra cost $1,199.
Expect the flagship Galaxy S23 Ultra to cost around $1,199 again. However, don’t be surprised if we see a slight price increase, especially if Apple does the same with the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The design: A familiar affair
After three years of reusing almost the same design in terms of overall look, especially with the massive stack of cameras on the rear, you’ll want to look to Samsung for some minor tweaks. More specifically, the S21 Ultra and S22 Ultra had almost the same camera layout; Only the latter model has done away with the frame around each lens.
We don’t think Samsung will stray much from its trusted design, but now that the “Ultra” line has inherited the S Pen, it’ll likely have an even larger screen than a couple of generations ago and keep the square design. Off design of the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Samsung will likely stick with the same big and gorgeous 6.8-inch Quad HD screen on the new Ultra in 2023. The biggest changes in terms of “design” will surely take place on the inside and in the camera arrangement on the back.
However, there’s a slim 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 redesign.
Spec Talk: The latest and greatest
As Samsung’s latest and greatest flagship smartphone, you can expect upgrades. This is the brand’s biggest and best phone, so nothing will hold it back. Pack a big screen, crazy cameras, the best performance, and plenty of storage and RAM.
Perhaps the most obvious is the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, which will debut on November 15th. Samsung typically offers a Snapdragon processor in the United States and many regions, and then uses its own Exynos chipset for select markets. However, several reliable sources suggest that it will only be Qualcomm in 2023.
1. Qualcomm is likely to be the sole processor supplier for Samsung Galaxy S23 (vs. 70% shipping share for S22) thanks to TSMC 4nm’s next flagship 5G chip SM8550.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) July 8, 2022
Popular analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that Samsung would use Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon chip exclusively for the new Galaxy S23, meaning no region will get another Exynos model.
We’ve also heard it will pack the same 5,000mAh battery as the S22 Ultra, which isn’t bad, but not great. The new Galaxy S23 Ultra should have a similar screen, similar battery life, a relatively familiar design, and be all about the cameras and Android 13 software (with One UI 5). Here’s a loose list of possible (but rumored) specs.
- advertisement: 6.8 inch Quad-HD AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate, slightly curved
- processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
- operating system: Android 13 (One UI 5)
- storage: 256GB, 512GB or 1TB
- R.A.M.: 8GB, 12GB or 16GB
- reversing cameras: 200MP (wide angle), 12MP (ultra wide angle) 10MP (3x telephoto), 10MP periscope
- selfie camera: 40MP
- battery: 5000mAh
- loading speed: 45W wired, 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wireless
- fingerprint sensor: Ultrasound in the display
- Networking: mmWave 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, GPS
- headphone jack: Nope
- Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+, Armor aluminum frame
- More: S Pen stylus
Again, the list you see above is simply our estimates based on leaks, rumors and what Samsung has offered on previous Ultra phones. We’re hoping Samsung adds a larger battery, and most fans would love improved fast-charging tech.
The key changes are the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, an insane 200MP camera, and hopes Samsung will drop the 128GB model and offer at least 256GB. We’re expecting spec upgrades for the S Pen, too, if that’s something you care about.
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 massive new 200MP camera that many are expecting 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 improvement is the 200-megapixel primary sensor. Samsung could keep the exact same 10MP zoom lens (10x optical and 100x periscopic) and potentially improve the ultra-wide camera.
The S23 Ultra 200MP Sensor is an unreleased HP2, almost 100% sure.
— Ice Universe (@UniverseIce) August 2, 2022
On several occasions, the famous Samsung leakster Ice Universe has mentioned Samsung’s brand new 200MP ISOCELL HP2 camera. At this point, he’s “almost 100% sure” it will be in the Galaxy S23 Ultra. What does that mean? Well, it’s hard to say. The 100-megapixel camera in the current generation of phones is pretty excellent, but it does have some banding issues, and the first generation had issues with autofocus and around the edges of shots.
For what it’s worth, the Galaxy S22 Ultra doesn’t constantly take full 100MP photos unless you enable it in the settings. Instead, the images are reduced to a more manageable and detailed megapixel size. We could see Samsung do the same with that epic new 200MP sensor, but we’ll have to wait and see.
The new 200-megapixel sensor is already being tested in Motorola’s latest X30 Pro, and a variant of this new Samsung ISOCELL camera is likely to take up a lot of space on the back of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, delivering all sorts of impressive camera performances.
And while we all know that higher megapixel count doesn’t always mean better, Samsung’s new 200MP ISOCELL sensor packs some interesting new technologies. According to Samsung, this is the first image sensor to use Dual Pixel Pro technology for focusing in all directions, not to mention a new ChameleonCell pixel binning system that can adapt to any situation or lighting.
As such, we expect the pixel bin won’t always drop to 12MP unless necessary, meaning the camera will tweak things on the fly to produce the best results. We’re not sure what all this means, but it sounds exciting.
Should you wait?
The million dollar question. Should you wait for the Galaxy S23 Ultra? Well, that depends on what phone you’re currently using, what you need, and your budget. This is a big, slick, 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 several years behind at this point. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a solid option, Google’s Pixel 7 Pro is just around the corner and we mustn’t forget September’s new iPhones.
Honestly, Apple users tend to stick with the iPhone and Samsung owners do the same. If you’ve owned multiple generations of Samsung Galaxy flagships, get the S22 Ultra or wait for the all-new Galaxy S23 Ultra early next year.
Until we know more about Samsung’s plans, we can’t say if it’s worth the wait, but it’s a pretty safe bet.
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As the release date inevitably approaches, we’ll get a better picture of what to expect. From the ultra high price, release details, this wild new camera and more.
We will update this article as new information becomes available. Subscribe to our free daily newsletter to stay up to date on all things Galaxy S23.
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