The first Unpacked of the year, and the first in-person launch since 2020, has been held in San Francisco, where the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Series has been announced.

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Series

Once again, Samsung has kicked off the annual race for the best flagship phone with the February launch of its latest Galaxy S series, the S23.

The series comprises the entry-level S23, the larger S23+ and its flagship device, the S23 Ultra. If you were hoping for a big step up in design and specs, you’d be disappointed, as finding the difference between this series and last year’s S22 line-up is like splitting hairs.

Design-wise, there is only one noticeable difference, and that is around the rear cameras on the S23 and S23+. Both models lose the metal plate from the S22 versions and instead go for a cleaner ‘lens only’ style that the S22 Ultra had.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Series specifications.  {Tech} for Travel.  https://techfortravel.co.uk
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With that said, the new S23 Ultra will be one of, if not the best, smartphones in 2023, and all three will be powered by the new Snapdragon® 8 Gen 2 Mobile platform along with Android 13.

Overview //Samsung Galaxy S23 & S23+

The basic S23 and S23+ will come in six colours, replacing last year’s Violet with a Lavender option. There’s still no S-Pen support, even on the larger 6.6″ Flat FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED of the S23+. The S23 screen measures in at 6.1″; both are identical to their S22 siblings.

Whilst the main primary camera may look slightly better without the metal plate around the lenses, the S23 and S23+ share the same triple camera array comprising o2MP Ultra-Wide, 50MP Wide and 10MP Telephoto lenses. There’s a modest upgrade to both models for the front-facing camera up to 12MP from last year’s 10MP offering.

The most prominent upgrade, though, is the addition of the new Snapdragon® 8 Gen 2 processor. A chip which will likely be the benchmark of most Android-powered flagship smartphones over the next year or two and whose owner, Qualcomm, has just signed a multi-year deal with Samsung.

Qualcomm says the Gen 2 chip “is intelligently engineered with groundbreaking AI across the board to enable truly extraordinary experiences”.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23+ comparison.  {Tech} for Travel.  https://techfortravel.co.uk
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Overview //Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Ultra represents the pinnacle of the Samsung flagship series. It carries the added expectations of the Galaxy Note faithful, who witnessed Samsung discontinue the ‘phablet’ smartphone with the hope users would move to the Ultra.

In 2020 the last and largest Note 20 Ultra was released with a 6.9″ display, and today, the S23 Ultra comes close with a 6.8″ QHD+ Edge Dynamic AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and S-Pen support. And, like the Note models, the S-Pen is built into the S23 Ultra.

The big news for the S23 Ultra, and what Samsung used most of the launch event on, is the new 200MP primary camera, a significant increase from the S22 Ultras 108MP offering just last year. Along with the 200MP camera are 12MP Ultra-wide and 10MP Telephoto lenses. All of which Samsung says bring the best Nightograhy experience to the S23 Ultra.

Improved Nightography capabilities transform how the Galaxy S Series optimises photos and videos in a wide range of ambient conditions. Filming a favourite song at a concert or grabbing a group shot of friends at dinner — users can get sharper images and videos.

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With a bigger display comes more space; Samsung has used this to include a 5,000mAh battery in the S23 Ultra. Combined with the new Snapdragon® 8 Gen 2 processors’ power efficiency, the S23 Ultra should last a full day.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Specifications.  {Tech} for Travel.  https://techfortravel.co.uk
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Specifications //Samsung Galaxy S23 Series

S23S23+S23 Ultra
Dimensions146.3 x 70.9 x 7.6mm157.8 x 76.2 x 7.6mm78.1 x 163.4 x 8.9mm
Weight168g196g234g
Colour OptionsCream
Green
Lavender
Phantom Black
Graphite online only
Lime online only
Cream
Green
Lavender
Phantom Black
Graphite online only
Lime online only
Cream
Green
Lavender
Phantom Black
Graphite online only
Lime online only
Red online only
Sky Blue online only
Display6.1″ Flat FHD+
Dynamic AMOLED
120Hz refresh rate
Vision booster
Enhanced comfort
6.6″ Flat FHD+
Dynamic AMOLED
120Hz refresh rate
Vision booster
Enhanced comfort
6.8″ QHD+ Edge
Dynamic AMOLED
120Hz refresh rate
Vision Booster
Enhanced comfort
ProcessorSnapdragon® 8 Gen 2
Octa-Core
Snapdragon® 8 Gen 2
Octa-Core
Snapdragon® 8 Gen 2
Octa-Core
Battery3,900mAh4,700mAh5,000mAh
ChargingUSB-C
Wireless
USB-C
Wireless
USB-C
Wireless
Connectivity5G
LTE
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
5G
LTE
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
5G
LTE
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
Operating SystemAndroid 13Android 13Android 13
Storage128GB
256GB
512GB
256GB
512GB
256GB
512GB
1TB
S-PenNoNoYes
Rear Camera12MP Ultra-Wide
50MP Wide
10MP Telephoto
3x Optical Zoom
12MP Ultra-Wide
50MP Wide
10MP Telephoto
3x Optical Zoom
12MP Ultra-Wide
200MP Wide
10MP Telephoto
3x & 10x Optical Zoom
100x Digital Zoom
Front Cam12MP12MP12MP
Waterproof RatingIP68IP68IP68

Price //Samsung Galaxy S23

All three models are available for pre-order, with prices varying depending on the model and storage capacity. The base model S23 starts at $859/£849 and rises to $1,619/£1,599 for the 1TB S23 Ultra.

When this article was published, Samsung was running some attractive launch offers across the series that varied from country to country. In North America, there are pricing discounts and, in the UK, free trials to selected streaming services.

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VIATom Payne
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Tom, Editor. An online publication providing news & reviews on apps, gadgets and luggage for the connected traveller.

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