Samsung Galaxy S23 just tipped for big battery life upgrade — and early release date

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra back showing cameras
(Image credit: Future)

The latest Samsung Galaxy S23 and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra rumors have shed more light on how the new smartphones could perform, plus hinted again that the release date may arrive quicker than expected.

Turning first to a new tweet from Ice Universe (opens in new tab), the Galaxy S23 series could be receiving a new "Light" performance profile. Turning this on will supposedly reduce the speed of the phone's processor in order to extend battery life and keep the phone cool.

IU adds that this won't affect the phone's refresh rate, which means you'd be able to still enjoy the smoothness of the 120Hz displays all three predicted Galaxy S23 models are thought to come with while still maximizing battery longevity.

All three Galaxy S22 models do decently when it comes to battery life, our testing revealed, but they could be better compared to the iPhone 14 series. So if we're able to get even more usage out of the batteries (rumored to be a touch larger on the base S23 and also the S23 Plus, but the same size for the Ultra), then Samsung could get its new phones onto our best phone battery life list.

The screenshot provided by IU mentions at the bottom that this setting is separate from the Game Booster option that Samsung provides to tweak gaming performance on its devices. That's another bonus since it'll likely mean you can get the most out of the phone when playing games but can immediately switch back to a more efficient profile when you're done.

Samsung Galaxy S23 early launch date report

Our next rumor comes in the form of a report from Korean newspaper Chosun (opens in new tab) (via Dohyun Kim (opens in new tab)). It claims that Samsung will reveal the Galaxy S23 series in the first week of February, citing "a business official familiar with the matter."

The unnamed official explains: "Samsung Electronics is planning to hold an Unpacked event in San Francisco, USA in the first week of February next year to unveil its next product." 

As Chosun notes, this would be a month or so earlier than Samsung tends to launch its Galaxy S flagship phones each year. The reason for this is due to intensifying competition and slow demand for smartphones, meaning Samsung wants to get its latest product out there to compete with devices like the iPhone 14 and the Google Pixel 7 series.

No more Exynos?

The final tidbit, also via Ice Universe (opens in new tab), comes in the form of a quote from Qualcomm CFO Akash Palkhiwala. The screenshot IU provides claims that Samsung's new phone would provide a big boost for the company, which manufactures the Snapdragon family of chips used by Samsung and other smartphone makers. 

Palkhiwala initially talks about how Qualcomm can expect the benefit of Samsung's launch to hit in "the second half of the March quarter", which fits with the rumored release date above. More notable is that he also says that Qualcomm's "share" is going to change "from 75% in G S22 goes up to global share in G S23." That appears to state that Snapdragon chips will be found in all Galaxy S23 models, rather than just some of them.

Some sources have claimed that Samsung would use its typical mix of in-house Exynos 2300 chips and the incoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chips for the Galaxy S23 series, as it has for the past several years due to outstanding deals with Qualcomm to use its chips in certain markets. However, it's also been rumored before that there would only be Snapdragon chips for the S23 family to give the phone consistent performance around the world, which lines up with what Palkhiwala said. 

Samsung's struggled for some time to make its Exynos chips as powerful as equivalent Snapdragon models, therefore leaving Samsung customers with potentially inferior phones depending on where they buy their devices. Therefore, getting the better Snapdragon chip wherever you live would be a bonus for users who live outside the U.S., which already gets Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S phones.

Galaxy S23 Outlook

Beyond chips, new performance modes and an earlier-than-normal launch date, there are more interesting rumors for the Galaxy S23 series. The regular and Plus models are thought to be getting a redesign, as well as an upgraded 12MP selfie camera. The Galaxy S23 Ultra may also get a camera upgrade, in the form of a new 200MP main camera on the back.

That's not a long list of upgrades, but we're still looking forward to testing these new phones out whenever they appear early next year.

Next: See our Pixel 7 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro camera shootout (opens in new tab) to see which phone rules in low light. 

Richard Priday
Senior Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide senior writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.