Performance (and price) inflation at Samsung

Thirteen years. Reason age? Introduced in 2010, Samsung’s first Galaxy S model has continued to evolve. Bigger and bigger, more and more powerful, better and better cut for photo and video, but also more and more durable, they reach the pinnacle of the smartphone with their latest generation presented on February 1 under the seal Galaxy S23. three models 20 minutes has already managed to cope.

The ‘leaks’ that tell it all

This is often the case. “Misplaced promotional images,” “industry leaks,” “secrets,” ” leaks “… let us know almost everything about the new Galaxy S23 from Samsung ahead of its official launch on February 1st. A few weeks before the Mobile World Congress phone show (February 27 – March 2 Barcelona), the South Korean manufacturer has made official the new “S23, S23 Plus and S23 Ultra. flagships of the fleet of mobile terminals (flagships). And his revelations did not really come as a surprise.

More angular smartphones

Offered in 6.1-inch, 6.6-inch, and 6.8-inch sizes respectively, the Galaxy S23 hardly sees any design improvements compared to the Galaxy S22 launched a year ago. They’re also slightly more angular, with photo optics integrated directly into their aluminum frames. A paradox for a manufacturer trying to introduce curved screens to its smartphones…

The Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus come in different colors. – Christophe Séfrin/20 Minutes

All three are offered in a variety of colors (black, cream, green, lavender), as well as exclusive colors on the Samsung website (graphite and lime for the S23 and S23 Plus, graphite, lime, sky blue and red for the S23 Ultra), with plenty of retina-flattering options. has decorations. In the hands, as we discovered, they exude a real sense of quality.

Twelve recycled components

Samsung also claims to be more responsible in their designs. Thus, three terminals connect up to twelve components made of recycled materials: glass, aluminum, plastic, packaging and even the protective film on the packaging. Definitely the packaging without the charging pad (or headphones) anymore. And Samsung emphasizes the lifespan of its latest toys: at least 4 years of Android updates and 5 years of security updates. It’s more reassuring at a time when consumers are keeping a smartphone longer and longer before replacing it: an average of 3 years compared to 18 months a few years ago.

The argument of sustainability, which is becoming more and more important to environmentally conscious buyers, is confirmed by the addition of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and back of the terminals. Corning’s new protective glass, which was used for the first time, could protect smartphones from concrete falls from a meter. Volunteers to try the experiment? In turn, the classic IP68 protection (against dust and long-term submersion up to 1.5 meters) is also part of the Galaxy S23 DNA.

Power is with them!

Equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor (the most powerful on the market), the Galaxy S23 should not lack the resources to accompany us in all our entertainment.

A quick introduction to each model made it possible to see that their fluidity is exemplary and especially promising for video games. With an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, the smartphone’s Amoled screens (Full HD + for the S23 and S23 Plus and Quad HD + for the S23 Ultra) should constitute the best quality offer available on the market with an almost record indicator. brightness (up to 1750 nits). In short, Samsung promises to impress us. Our first contact with smartphones certainly goes in this direction…

200 megapixels in the viewfinder

It is clear that the manufacturer promises the most supported photo and video quality. Sharing the same specs*, the S23 and S23 Plus promise to be great photophones. But the Galaxy S23 Ultra **, which we will test, may be a more versatile example. Specs: Its 200-megapixel primary sensor, according to Samsung, “ farmer in the image to find details that are invisible to the naked eye. We can’t wait to see it, exactly… However, let’s note that over a year ago, Xiaomi already integrated a 200-megapixel sensor in the Xiaomi 12T Pro…

The Galaxy S23 Ultra has a 200-megapixel sensor.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra has a 200-megapixel sensor. – Christophe Séfrin/20 Minutes

This sensor can switch to 12 or 50 megapixels depending on the conditions, with 200 megapixels obviously reserved for photos of monuments, landscapes… that you want to retouch. Up to 8K video at 30fps is also available on the Ultra. The S22 Ultra was shot at just 24 frames per second. Evolution…

Samsung finally manages better night photos, especially for portraits. The manufacturer is no longer talking about “Nightography”, a rather fancy term that it dreamed up to accompany night photography on the S22, and which created a buzz. And here there is no more “Dynamic Island” or a satellite connection, as in the last iPhone 14, which allows you to feed the chronicle.

Autonomy remains on paper and in the expected real tests. With 3,900 mAh (25 W), 4,700 mAh (45 W) and 5,000 mAh (45 W) for the S23, S23 Plus and S23 Ultra respectively, there is no hope that these terminals will cross the line of a day and a half of use. . Even if Samsung claims that the onboard processor handles autonomy better. The promised 45W fast charging on the S23 Plus and S23 Ultra means that an additional charger will be available with an additional investment of 25 euros.

A drop of water compared to the investment required for these smartphones, with only one model sold under 1000 euros, the S23 in 128 GB. It’s also €100 more expensive than the S22 at €959. Inflation, over and over again? At equal capacity, it is still €60 less than Apple’s arch-rival, the iPhone 14.

* Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus: 50-megapixel wide-angle sensor (23mm equivalent; f/1.8) + 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor (13mm; f/2.2) + 10-megapixel telephoto lens (3x optical zoom), 69mm ; f/2.4) + 12-megapixel front sensor (25 mm; f/2.2).

** Galaxy S23 Ultra: 200mm wide-angle sensor (23mm equivalent; f/1.7) + 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor (13mm; f/2.2) + 10-megapixel telephoto lens (230mm; f/4.0) ) + 10-megapixel telephoto lens (3x optical zoom, 69mm; f/2.4) + 12-megapixel front sensor (25mm; f/2.2).

*** Galaxy S23 (€959 for 128GB; €1,019 for 259GB); Galaxy S23 Plus (€1,219 for 256GB; €1,359 for 512GB); Galaxy S23 Ultra (€1,419 for 256GB; €1,599 for 512GB and €1,839 for 1TB).

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