Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Unpacked – what to expect
Samsung’s first Unpacked event for 2023 is almost upon us, and despite the countless leaks that have taken away most of our curiosity, it is still one of the most important events of the year. So let’s summarize all the leaks to get a better idea of what to expect.
Galaxy S23 series
We’ll see the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra alongside the S23 and S23+ and probably some new laptops. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll see new tablets, and extremely unlikely for any smartwatch and headphone announcements.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra continues the design of its predecessor, but it comes in some new colors, like Cotton Flower (the pale yellow) and Botanic Green (a different shade of green than last year).
The Ultra will still have a built-in S Pen, a 6.8-inch top-of-the-line display, a 5,000mAh battery with 45W charging and a four-camera setup on the back.
Among the major changes is the new chipset, which is a higher clocked variant of the SD 8 Gen 2, called the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. Samsung is said to ship its new flagship phones exclusively with Qualcomm’s chip, which is a 4nm device built on TSMC’s latest power-saving process. It must both ensure the best possible performance and manage to squeeze more endurance from the 5,000mAh battery.
The other big change will be the main camera – a newly announced 200MP ISOCELL HP2 sensor. It will provide different output resolutions depending on your needs – 16-to-1 for 2.4μm pixels at 12.5MP or 4-to-1 for 1.2μm pixels at 50MP. It will also enable 8K video recording.
Among other things, the new sensor allows for improved images in night mode and better portrait video.
The other two cameras on the back will retain the 3x and 10x specs of their predecessors, even down to the sensors, but Samsung will surely make some incremental improvements to image quality. The ultra-wide camera will still be a 12MP autofocus, but will get a new imaging camera behind the lens. The Galaxy S23 Ultra will also be capable of Space Zoom 100X and Moon Shot.
Finally, there’s a new selfie camera, but all we know is that it won’t be a high-resolution sensor like the 40MP in the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Speculative rumors have suggested that Samsung will bring emergency satellite connectivity to the Galaxy S23 series, but that seems unlikely at this point.
The other two phones will be even more incremental in their changes over their predecessors. The Galaxy S23 and S23+ will retain their 6.1-inch and 6.6-inch resolutions, but will get a 200mAh boost to their battery capacities of 3,900mAh and 4,700mAh each. The Plus model will have faster 45W charging compared to just 25W on the vanilla S23.
The S23 and S23+ also get access to the faster Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset. The back panel will again be glass (probably Corning of some sort) and the pair will come in a new Mystic Lilac color option.
Samsung is expected to start accepting orders for the Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra from February 1. If you live in the USA, the prices will be unchanged from last year. The Galaxy S23 Ultra starts at $1,200, the S23+ at $1,000, and the S23 at $800. However, European buyers will have to accept a price increase. The Galaxy S23 starts at €100 more than its predecessor, while the S23+ will be €150 more – that’s for the corresponding base configurations.
The base Galaxy S23 Ultra will be €150 more expensive than the base Galaxy S22 Ultra, but there are differences in the configurations – the new phone’s base model is 8/256GB, while the old one started at 8/128GB.
Galaxy Book3 series
The other big announcement at the Unpacked 2023 event will be the Galaxy Book3 series of laptops. They will consist of the Galaxy Book3 360, Galaxy Book3 Pro, Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 and the top-of-the-line Book3 Ultra.
All three models will have 2880x1800px (16:10) Super AMOLED touchscreen displays, backlit keyboards, Intel’s 13th generation processors that allow for two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity. The laptops will also have a USB-A port, an HDMI port, an audio jack and a microSD slot.
Size-wise, the Galaxy Book3 360 is 14-inch, the Galaxy Book3 Pro has both 14-inch and 16-inch variants, while the Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 is 16-inch. All models will have a choice between Core i5-1340P and Core i7-1360P and will have 16GB LPDDR5 RAM and up to 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSDs. Unsurprisingly, all models will launch Windows 11 with Samsung’s Galaxy ecosystem additions like Multi Control, Quick Share, Private Share and Galaxy Notes.
The 14-inch models will have 63WH batteries, while the 16-inch models will have 76WH batteries – all models come with 65W USB-C PD charging out of the box.
The Galaxy Book3 360 will have a 14-inch screen with support for an S Pen. The Galaxy Book3 Pro probably won’t support an S Pen, while the Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 will.
Galaxy Book3 360, Galaxy Book3 Pro and Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 laptops
That just leaves the Galaxy Book3 Ultra, which is expected to have a more robust configuration with a 45W Core i9-13900H, Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU, up to 32GB RAM and up to 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD. It gets a 76WH battery with 136W charging (due to the power-hungry GPU).
We’ll of course be covering the Samsung Unpacked event, so be sure to stick around on February 1st. The stream starts at 18:00 GMT.