5 biggest Samsung Galaxy S23 rumors so far — here are the top upgrades

A render of the Galaxy S23
(Image credit: OnLeaks/Digit)

The Samsung Galaxy S23 is just around the corner, with a January or February release date looking likely. Either way, the rumors have been coming fast, and while most of the upgrades are expected for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, the basic models look set to get some solid improvements, too.

We’ve rounded up the five biggest changes you can expect to see if you opt for a Samsung Galaxy S23 or Galaxy S23 Plus next year. While we don’t report on leaks that come from dubious sources, it’s worth highlighting that these remain rumors until proven otherwise.

With that disclaimer out of the way, these are the five biggest Samsung Galaxy S23 rumors so far.

Samsung Galaxy S23 rumors: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip

It wouldn’t be a new Samsung flagship without a processor upgrade, and this time around Samsung is tipped to be going with Qualcomm worldwide — no more Exynos outside of the United States.

Well, that’s one theory. Some are persisting with the idea that the Exynos 2300 may arrive in some markets

But the US seems set to upgrade to Qualcomm’s latest chip: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. And a reference device supplied by Qualcomm suggests it’s taking the fight to Apple this year, with Geekbench scores that are extremely close:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
PhoneProcessorGeekbench 5 single-core scoreGeekbench 5 multicore score
Reference phoneSnapdragon 8 Gen 21,5005,249
Samsung Galaxy S22 UltraSnapdragon 8 Gen 11,2403,392
Apple iPhone 14 Pro MaxA16 Bionic1,8825,333
Apple iPhone 14A15 Bionic1,7274,553

Remember, this is a reference device, and it could be better still. Rumor has it that Samsung may be using a souped-up version of the chip. According to the leaker Ice Universe, it will be mildly overclocked, rated at 3.36GHz (rather than 3.2GHz) with a GPU speed of 719Mhz (up from 680Mhz). 

All of this means that Galaxy buyers can look forward to a device that’s considerably faster than its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy S23 rumors: Improved selfies

While the rear cameras on the basic Galaxy S23 models are expected to remain the same (in contrast to the Ultra version), the front-facing sensors are tipped for a decent upgrade

Both the Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus will apparently get an upgrade to a 12MP selfie camera. True, that’s only 2MP more than the 10MP module on its predecessor, but it would be the first upgrade the front-facing camera has had since the Galaxy S10 arrived in 2019.

Samsung Galaxy S23 rumors: A new fingerprint reader

One possible upgrade mooted is the introduction of the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max fingerprint reader. The reader is 17 times bigger than the current under-screen readers that Samsung uses and even allows you to scan two fingerprints at once to up security.

While this sounds like the kind of upgrade Samsung would reserve for the Ultra model as an upsell, the rumor is that it will hit the entire range. That said, if you treat one rumor with a pinch of salt in this list, make it this one. This has, after all, been tipped for past Galaxy phones without arriving. 

Samsung Galaxy S23 rumors: Satellite communications

Earlier this year, the iPhone 14 introduced Emergency SOS via Satellite communications, and it appears that Samsung could be following suit with the Galaxy S23 lineup

Like Apple’s implementation, this is set to be distinctly limited, because for voice and high-speed data, you’d need a far larger antenna than would fit comfortably in a sleek mobile phone. For Samsung, this reportedly means SMS and low-resolution images — the latter, presumably, to help find your exact location by highlighting identifiable landmarks for a rescue.

Samsung Galaxy S23 rumors: A choice of four colors

Samsung has traditionally offered between three and five color options for its basic Galaxy S smartphones, and this time around there will apparently be four:

  • Beige
  • Black
  • Green
  • Light pink

No doubt these won’t be the actual names, given Samsung has historically gone for something a bit more descriptive (“cosmic gray” and “bora purple” sound a bit more exciting than “gray” or “purple”), but it does sound like there’s a decent selection for traditionalists and those that want something a bit more playful.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.