Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Galaxy S22: Biggest rumored upgrades

A split image with unofficial renders of the Galaxy S23 and the Galaxy S22
(Image credit: Tom's Guide/OnLeaks/Digit.In)

There are still months to go until we see how the Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Galaxy S22 match-up plays out. But thanks to those ever-busy smartphone leakers, we already have a good idea of what hardware the next Galaxy S could use, and how that compares to the phone that Samsung released earlier this year.

So far, it seems like the Galaxy S23 is going to lift the majority of its features from the existing Galaxy S22, with updates to a few key components. If the alleged changes to the cameras, battery and chipset do end up happening, the Galaxy S23 will be a better phone for sure. But whether it'll be noticeably better than the S22 is less certain.

Below we've got a breakdown of the key features of the Galaxy S22, alongside the rumored equivalents for the Galaxy S23. By going through this bit-by-bit, you'll hopefully have a good idea of how the two phones may compare for real once the Galaxy S23 becomes official.

Also, if you're interested in more Samsung vs. Samsung comparisons, take a look at our Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra face-off for a forecast of changes rumored to be taking place at the top of the Galaxy S23 range. 

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Galaxy S22: Release date and price

New Galaxy S models arrive each spring, so we're near enough guaranteed to see the S23 arrive by March of 2023. However, some rumors claim Samsung will launch the phones as soon as January 2023, in order to prevent users from getting distracted by newer phones from its rivals.

The Galaxy S22 series is already available, and starts at $799 for the basic Galaxy S22. We're hoping for no price increase for the S23 series, which would mean a $799 Galaxy S23 and $999 Galaxy S23 Plus. Fingers crossed that no rumors turn up to tell us that Samsung's planning to charge more.

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Galaxy S22: Design and display 

There's a rumored new look for the Galaxy S23, apparently inspired by the Galaxy S22 Ultra, that would make the new phone look quite different from the Galaxy S22. Instead of a unified "Contour Cut" camera block on the back, the lenses would be embedded separately in the back of the phone. The front and sides of the Galaxy S23 appear to be entirely the same, at least based on renders created from the phone's alleged specs.

A render of the Galaxy S23 Plus

(Image credit: OnLeaks/SmartPrix)

For colors, we're apparently getting beige, black, green and light pink across the Galaxy S23 family. That seems like a good variety that would please all sorts of users.

The overall size and shape of the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S23 look to be the same, though, excluding a few fractions of an inch difference in hight and width according to one source. The S23 may get thicker bezels though, which would be an unfortunate change as it'll rob some of the display space.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus hands-on review

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Don't expect any major display differences either. The Galaxy S23 should inherit the same 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch FHD OLED panels with 120Hz adaptive refresh rates. These are good displays, but obviously we'd have preferred some sort of upgrade to make the new model a more worthwhile update.

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Galaxy S22: Cameras 

From the rumors we've heard so far, expect no differences between the back cameras on the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S22. The S22's 50MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide camera and 10MP 3x telephoto camera should all be sticking around. We've heard more specific claims about the ultrawide and telephoto cameras but nothing for the main sensor, so perhaps we'll still see some change there.

Meanwhile on the front side of the phone, the selfie camera may be changing from the current 10MP sensor to a 12MP sensor. Whether this change heralds other upgrades to the selfie camera overall is unclear, but it should at least mean more detailed selfies for the S23 compared to the S22.

Samsung Galaxy S22 review

The Samsung Galaxy S22. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Samsung may introduce some extra photo enhancements in the Galaxy S23's software, to help refine the already impressive photos taken by the Galaxy S22. But anyone wanting a much-improved photo set-up needs to look elsewhere — namely to the Galaxy S23 Ultra's rumored 200MP main camera

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Galaxy S22: Performance and battery

Samsung is expected to upgrade the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset found in the Galaxy S22 for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which is expected to be revealed by Qualcomm later this month. The 8 Gen 1 chip was powerful but somewhat inefficient, so we hope that the Gen 2 takes after the more powerful and less power-hungry Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset that Samsung used to great effect in the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4.

The new Snapdragon chip appears to be a lock for the U.S. version of the Galaxy S23. The global version is in doubt though, as models released in Europe usually turn to Samsung's latest Exynos chip. That's the Exynos 2300 this year. 

Some rumors claim Samsung's still working on this, while others contend the company's planning to use Snapdragon chips worldwide. This is something Qualcomm, designer of the Snapdragon silicon, seems to have hinted at as well, which would be very exciting news for U.K. and other European Samsung buyers who are fed up with being stuck with the less powerful Exynos version of the latest Galaxy S each year.

A render of the Galaxy S23, based on currently available leaks

A render of the Galaxy S23, based on currently available leaks. (Image credit: 4RMD)

The memory and storage inside the Galaxy S23 aren't said to be changing from what we got on the Galaxy S22. That would mean 8GB RAM on all models, with 128GB base storage and the option of 256GB or 512GB models too.

Battery life was not ideal on the Galaxy S22, but we may see an improvement on the Galaxy S23 thanks to larger cells being rumored for both the regular model and the Plus model. It takes more to increase battery life than just a larger cell, but fortunately the Galaxy S23 series is also rumored to get a "Light" performance mode that could help out with that. 

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Galaxy S22: Outlook 

As the Galaxy S23 rumors stand right now, it's looking like there will be a small set of upgrades to the Galaxy S22's front camera, battery and chipset. In theory, it'll be easy to tell the S23 apart from the S22 too, if rumors of a new design are accurate.

Any real judgments on what impact these differences make will have to wait until the Galaxy S23 arrives. But it sounds like there will be little incentive to replace your existing Galaxy S22 with a newer Galaxy S23. (Older Galaxy models will likely be a different story.) Until we hear more substantial rumors, it doesn't sound like a major overhaul for Samsung's base model flagship.

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.