Samsung’s Galaxy S23 family is all refinement

Not quite a revolution.

This story was originally published on WhistleOut Australia.

Alex Choros
Feb 02, 2023
Icon Time To Read4 min read

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Samsung is kicking off the year in smartphones with three new devices: the Galaxy S23, the Galaxy S23 Plus, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Galaxy S23 family naturally succeed last year's Galaxy S22 range, and for the most part, they're fairly minor upgrades. The Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus are a bit slicker and have a larger battery in addition to the usual processor upgrade, but not much else has changed. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S23 Ultra's biggest upgrade is a new 200MP camera. All three phones also benefit from a new selfie camera that should perform better in low light. 

Samsung Galaxy S23 family

Much like everything else, the trio of handsets are more expensive this time around, with each starting at $100 more than last year's equivalent model. Despite this, some work out to be better value.

The standard Galaxy S23 is the simplest; it's $100 more expensive than the Galaxy S23, no matter what model you're looking at. 

The Galaxy S23 Plus now starts at $1,649, but comes with 256GB of storage instead of 128GB. This puts it in line with what you'd pay for a 256GB Galaxy S22 Plus last year - you just miss out on the option of a cheaper model with less storage. 

Lastly, Galaxy S23 Ultra is far more complicated. It starts at $1,949 for a 256GB model which is $50 less than a 256GB Galaxy S22 Ultra cost at launch last year. At the same time, the 512GB and 1TB models are respectively $100 and $200 more expensive than they were last year. This makes the Galaxy S23 Ultra a better buy if you want 256GB storage, but worse if you're looking at a larger configuration. 

Here's the complete outright pricing the for Galaxy S23 range:

  • Samsung Galaxy S23 (128GB): $1,349
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 (256GB): $1,449
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus (256GB): $1,649
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus (512GB): $1,849
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (256GB): $1,949
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (512GB): $2,249
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (1TB): $2,649

Before we get stuck into the nitty-gritty, here are the important details You'll be able to pre-order all three Galaxy S23 devices from today ahead of a February 17 release date. You can pre-order on a plan from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, and Woolworths Mobile, or outright from major retailers including Samsung, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, and Amazon.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra creme

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is a subtle upgrade on last year's model. The most significant change is a move to a 200MP camera. This should improve low light photography, and allow the capture of super high resolution photos with more detail and cropping possibilities.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra camera is capable of astrophotography for the first time. These will require an exposure time of between four and 10 minutes, so you'll definitely want a tripod. The camera app can overlay constellations, to help you frame your shot.

The 200MP lens is joined by the same 12MP ultra-wide lens, 10MP 3x zoom lens, and 10MP 10x zoom lens that we've seen on the last few generations of Ultra.

The selfie camera has been upgraded, however. You'll get a new 12MP lens with a faster aperture and autofocus, so you should get sharper images from the front-facing camera.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is still the largest phone in the family, featuring a 6.8-inch display. While the screen is still technically curved, there's only a hint of taper on either side of the phone. It may as well be flat. Both the front and back make use of Gorilla Glass Victus 2, the most durable glass Samsung has used on a smartphone so far. And naturally, the Galaxy S23 Ultra still comes with an S Pen stylus.

In terms of battery, there's a 5,000mAh cell inside. This is the same as what was used in the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but Samsung says processor efficiencies should lead to extra longevity.

As with last year's models, the Galaxy S23 Ultra will get four years of major operating system upgrades and five years of security updates.

Outright pricing for the Galaxy S23 Ultra is as follows:

  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (256GB): $1,949
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (512GB): $2,249
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (1TB): $2,649

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is available in a choice of cream, green, lavender, or phantom black. If you order directly through the Samsung website, you'll also be able to pick from lime, graphite, red, and sky blue.

Pre-orders start today ahead of a February 17 release date.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus

Galaxy S23

The Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus are pretty similar to last year's models in terms of appearance, but trade in the camera bump for protruding lenses (as with the Galaxy S23 Ultra) and have a slightly thicker design to accommodate a larger battery. 

You'll find a 3,900mAh battery in the Galaxy S23 and a 4,700mAh battery in the Galaxy S23 Plus. In both cases, that's a 200mAh increase over last year. Samsung says you should get up to 20% more life per charge. 

While the Galaxy S23 Ultra gets a flashy new primary camera, the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus are stuck with the same camera setup as last year. No matter which size you pick, you get a 50MP primary lens, 12MP ultra-wide lens, and 10MP 3x telephoto lens. The new processor and software enhancements should still lead to photo quality improvements, however. And as with the Galaxy S23 Ultra, there's a new astrophotography mode a new selfie camera.  

The Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus will get four years of major Android operating system updates and five years of security updates. 

Outright pricing for the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus is as follows:

  • Samsung Galaxy S23 (128GB): $1,349
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 (256GB): $1,449
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus (256GB): $1,649
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus (512GB): $1,849

You can grab both phones in a choice of cream, green, lavender, or phantom black. If you order directly through the Samsung website, you'll also be able to pick from lime and graphite.

Pre-orders start today ahead of a February 17 release date. 

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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