Samsung Galaxy S23 launch date will likely be February 1

Galaxy S23 render in blue
(Image credit: 4RMD/YouTube)

The Samsung Galaxy S23 range has long been rumored to launch at the start of 2023, with February 1 cited as the most likely launch date. Well, mark your calendars, because that date has been all but confirmed by Samsung itself.

First spotted by the leaker Ice Universe on Twitter (opens in new tab), Samsung’s Columbian site briefly published the date of the upcoming Galaxy Unpacked as February 1, 2023. This date was accompanied by the tagline “Se acercan momentos épicos en”, which is Spanish for “Epic moments are coming”. 

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While the listing doesn’t mention the phone itself, that’s not exactly unusual for teasers, with manufacturers preferring a not-hugely-cryptic hint about an event’s contents instead. In this instance, we see three individually-ringed cameras in a traffic-light formation, which look an awful lot like the leaked renders of the Galaxy S23.

Digging deeper, the corners of the image show leaves and lilacs, which could well be a hint at the color options you can expect to be available, given both green and light pink shades have been mentioned

So what does the date of Galaxy Unpacked reveal about when you can actually buy the phone? If history is any guide, it won’t be as quick an iPhone-like one-week pre-order window. Here’s when the past five Galaxy S phones were announced and then released in the United States:

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PhoneAnnouncedReleasedDays between announcement and release
Samsung Galaxy S222/9/20222/25/202216
Samsung Galaxy S211/14/20211/29/202215
Samsung Galaxy S202/11/20203/6/202024
Samsung Galaxy S102/20/20193/6/201914
Samsung Galaxy S92/25/20183/16/201819

If you discount the S20 — which feels reasonable given February 2020 was just when the global threat of coronavirus was becoming clear — then it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S23 will be released around two weeks after it’s announced. So potentially it could be something other than flowers to pick up on Valentine's Day, then.

What to expect from the Samsung Galaxy S23

As with recent years, we’re expecting three models of Samsung Galaxy S23: two basic ones (regular and a ‘Plus’ version with a larger screen and battery) and the top-end Galaxy S23 Ultra.

All three are set to be powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which looks like a big step up from its predecessor in early benchmarks, especially as Samsung’s implementation is expected to be overclocked. The regular models could also bring improved selfies, satellite communications and an upgraded fingerprint reader.

But as per usual, it’s the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra that gets most of the attention, with a 200MP camera upgrade, alongside other photography changes that will provide “the biggest improvement of Samsung’s flagship mobile phone in five years” according to the leaker Ice Universe. As with the S22 Ultra, the new version will be the only model in the range to come with S Pen support and Samsung’s 100x space zoom.

The S23 Ultra could get a lower megapixel front camera (12MP) compared to the 40MP selfie shooter we got last year with the S22 Ultra. But this may not be bad news because this front camera is rumored to be superior with many camera and software smarts.

The Galaxy S23 series also just got tipped to get a significant price hike this year which amounts to a 10-20% increase compared to the S22 models. We won't have to wait too long now to know if there is any truth to this rumor.

While Samsung will likely let you pre-order from the event on the 1st, you may want to hold on for our reviews, where we’ll put the new handsets through their paces and tell you whether it’s worth the upgrade, or if you’re better off sourcing last year’s model on the cheap. 

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.