Samsung Galaxy S23 series of smartphones unveiled at Unpacked event

S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra feature improved cameras, bigger batteries and enhanced privacy features to attract new users and boost profits

Samsung has unveiled three new Galaxy phones, the S23 Ultra, S23+ and S23. Alkesh Sharma / The National
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Samsung Electronics unveiled its latest S23 series smartphones during a Galaxy Unpacked event at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco on Wednesday as the company aims to attract new customers and add to its dwindling profits.

The new phones — the S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra — feature improved cameras, bigger batteries, faster processors and enhanced privacy features, while integrating some key features from the Galaxy Note range that was discontinued by the world's largest smartphone maker in 2020.

Samsung unveils new Galaxy S23 series

Samsung Electronics Co.  Galaxy S23 smartphones during a media preview event in Seoul, South Korea, on Monday, Jan.  30, 2023.  Samsung unveiled its latest iPhone-rivaling Android smartphones, improving the cameras, battery life and design with its new Galaxy S23 line. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho / Bloomberg

S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra will start from $799, $999 and $1,199, respectively. However, prices will vary in different markets.

The company said its latest camera set-up is one of the most advanced technologies in the history of smartphones. It offers tools to capture better images in poor light conditions and shoot videos in dark environments using transformative artificial intelligence technology.

The Samsung S23 — in pictures

“The most impactful technology is measured not just by what it enables for people today, but also how it contributes to a better future,” TM Roh, president and head of mobile experience business at Samsung, said.

“The entire Galaxy S23 series is the new standard-bearer of trustworthy premium smartphone experiences. We’re on a mission to redefine peak performance by bringing together powerful, lasting innovations and sustainability.”

Samsung aims to attract new customers and add to its first quarter revenue through the sale of S23 phones.

The company reported a 69 per cent drop in fourth-quarter operating profit last year due to weak demand amid a global economic slowdown.

Profit in the three-month period to the end of December fell to 4.31 trillion Korean won ($3.5 billion) from a year earlier. Revenue dropped 8 per cent annually to 70.46 trillion won.

“The business environment deteriorated significantly in the fourth quarter … earnings at the memory [chip] business decreased sharply as prices fell and customers continued to adjust inventory,” the Seoul-based company said on Tuesday.

The entire Galaxy S23 series is the new standard-bearer of trustworthy premium smartphone experiences
TM Roh, president and head of mobile experience business at Samsung

The top-end phone in the new series is the S23 Ultra. It has five cameras — four on the rear and one on the front. The wide camera has a resolution of 200 megapixels, a huge jump from 108MP found on the rear of its predecessor, the S22 Ultra.

The S23 Ultra’s battery size is enhanced to 5,000 milliampere-hours, which will last more than a day.

Its graphics and AI computing performance are boosted by more than 40 per cent. The smartphone will balance performance and power for better-quality photography, videography and low-latency gaming, Samsung said.

It has a 6.8-inch edge display with a reduced curvature on the sides to give it a larger and flatter surface area for an improved visual experience.

The S23 Ultra also features a slot to hold the S Pen, the signature accessory of the Note series phones.

The S23+ has a 6.6-inch screen, while the S23 has a 6.1-inch display.

All three phones have a refresh rate of 120 hertz. Refresh rate is the number of times a screen can update its image in one second. The higher the refresh rate, the faster the screen responds and refreshes. For example, if you are a mobile gamer, a higher refresh rate means your games will have less lag and stuttering.

The S23+ and the S23 have three cameras on the back — a telephoto camera with a 10MP lens, an ultra-wide camera of 12MP and a wide-angle camera with 50MP lens — and a front camera with a 12MP lens. On both phones, the cameras have an upgraded look, with the removal of contour housing.

The S23+ and S23 phones come with 4,700mAh and 3,900mAh batteries, respectively.

Samsung is in a battle for dominance in the global smartphone market with Apple and the Chinese brand Xiaomi.

It led the industry with a market share of about 21.6 per cent last year and produced 260.9 million handsets during the period, according to Massachusetts research company International Data Corporation.

It was followed by Apple, which produced 226.4 million handsets and had a market share of 18.8 per cent, and Xiaomi, with 153.1 million handsets and a market share of 12.7 per cent.

However, in the fourth quarter of last year, the South Korean brand was relegated to the number two spot by the iPhone maker. Apple sold 72.3 million iPhones and accounted for 24.1 per cent market share in the last quarter, while Samsung sold 58.2 million phones and had a 19.4 per cent market share.

Samsung expects to boost its 2023 fiscal first-quarter sales through an early distribution of the latest S23 series phones.

All three models will be “widely available in carriers and retailers” and on the company’s website from February 17, Samsung said. Customers can place pre-orders for new phones from Wednesday.

The company is expected to unveil the S23 series in the UAE in mid-February.

To boost the security of its devices, Samsung said the new phones would come with the company's Knox protection technology, which has received more government and industry certifications than any other mobile device, platform or solution on the market.

Knox will protect confidential information on the S23 devices by isolating it from the rest of the device, including the operating system, for added protection against vulnerabilities.

Updated: February 02, 2023, 7:46 AM