Samsung can look back on 2022 with some degree of satisfaction. Devices like the Galaxy S22 Ultra rank among the best phones to come out in the past year, and they've helped Samsung continue to enjoy the largest slice of the global smartphone market. The phone maker utterly dominates the market for best foldable phones, and its midrange A Series models continue to earn raves as budget-minded alternatives.
And yet, there's a sense that Samsung had best not rest on its laurels. In the U.S., Samsung trails Apple in market share as of the third quarter of 2022, market research firm IDC says. And while we happen to rank Samsung's phones highly when it comes to the critical task of taking photos, it's devices from Apple and Google that duke it out for the title of best camera phone overall.
That leaves work to be done for Samsung, at least if it's going to keep its firm grip on the smartphone business. And now that 2023 is here, the company is already prepping new models across all of its key mobile segments, with an eye toward swatting away the competition and reminding us why the best Samsung phones should be the first you turn to when looking for a new device.
Here's what we're expecting to see from Samsung for the rest of 2023.
Samsung 2023: Galaxy S23 launch
Editors' Note: Since this article was originally published, Samsung has introduced the Galaxy S23 lineup — read our Galaxy S23 Ultra review and our Galaxy S23 hands-on to find out what we think of these phones.
We know the most about Samsung's plans for its Galaxy S lineup because we're very close to the launch of new models. Samsung already has a Galaxy Unpacked event scheduled for February 1, and it's pretty clear we're going to see new Galaxy flagship phones at that event. Samsung's TM Roh is even promising to unveil two Ultra devices, though one is likely a new Galaxy Book laptop. Regardless, get ready for the first big smartphone launch of the year, as Samsung beats out the February 7 launch of the OnePlus 11 by a week.
With the Galaxy S23 likely headlining Unpacked, we'll soon see if these new phones can live up to the hype that comes with being first out of the gate. Going by Galaxy 23 Ultra rumors, it sounds like Samsung is up for the challenge.
Samsung is reportedly lavishing the most attention on the high-end Ultra model, giving it a 200MP sensor as its main camera. Users would be able to choose between 200MP, 50MP and 12.5MP resolutions for shots, depending on their preferences for brightness, color and detail. You may also be able to shoot 8K video at 30 frames per second, according to another S23 Ultra rumor.
Samsung isn't stopping with camera improvements for its high end model. One report contends that Samsung plans to offer the brightest display of any phone, with a peak brightness of 2,100 nits, though a newly introduced Ultra Dynamic Range display that can do precisely that may not have arrived in time for the Galaxy S23 update.
At least one change is likely headed to all three rumored Galaxy S23 models, with the standard, Plus and Ultra models likely receiving a new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset as their main engine. Our Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 benchmarks suggest phones using this silicon should be able to challenge the A15 Bionic-powered iPhone 14, even if Apple's Pro models remain out of range. Even better, the S23 series has been tipped to get an overclocked version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which could make the new phone an Android powerhouse.
The Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus are rumored to be picking up the Galaxy S22 Ultra look with individual lenses instead of a camera housing that blends into the side of the device as part of Samsung's Contour Cut design. There's also talk of an upgraded fingerprint sensor beneath the display that would cover a larger area and even let you scan multiple fingerprints at once.
If all that sounds exciting, Samsung has already opened up Galaxy S23 preorders — more specifically, it's letting you reserve a preorder spot. Do so before the February 1 event, and you can qualify for up to $100 in credits.
Galaxy S23 preorder: up to $100 credit @ Samsung
Up to $100 credit! Samsung is one of the best sites for Galaxy S23 preorders. Reserve your Galaxy S23 preorder via Samsung and you'll get up to a $100 Samsung credit. You'll get a $50 credit when you reserve one device or a $100 credit if you reserve two devices. (It's likely Samsung will also announce a new Galaxy Book). This is a no commitment pre-order. All you need to do is provide your name and e-mail address to reserve. Once you pre-order, you'll receive your credit.
There's one Galaxy S phone you shouldn't count on seeing in 2023. While Samsung has released an FE version of the previous year's Galaxy S model for two years running, it's been apparent for a while that the Galaxy S22 FE isn't going to happen.
Samsung 2023: Galaxy A phones
One of the reasons Samsung probably feels like it can scrap the Galaxy S22 FE is because its midrange Galaxy A phones have gotten powerful enough to be viable alternatives for people who don't want to pay for a flagship device. The Samsung Galaxy A53, for example, was one of the best cheap phones to come out this year, giving the Pixel 6a a run for its money. (Or relative lack of money, as the case may be.)
We've already gotten a good look at the first addition to Samsung's Galaxy A series, with the Galaxy A14 introduced at CES. Despite a dirt cheap $199 price tag, you still get a phone with a display that can ramp up to a 90Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling. The phone, which also includes an increasingly rare microSD slot for boosting storage, is available now.
There are more Galaxy A releases to come. We'd expect a successor to the Galaxy A53 and the Galaxy A33. (The latter device only shipped in Europe.) Reports have emerged that Samsung is scrapping its A7x devices, with no successor planned for the Galaxy A73, another phone that never made it to the U.S. If Samsung sticks to last year's release schedule, the new Galaxy A models would arrive some time in the spring.
A few Galaxy A54 rumors have started to emerge, with 91Mobiles posting alleged renders of the upcoming phone. They show a phone with individual camera lenses on the back, similar to the look of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It seems Samsung is going for a more unified look for both its flagship and midrange phones, with the A54 also tipped to get a wider screen compared to the A53.
Additional Galaxy A54 rumors suggest a bigger battery in this year's model and a 50MP main camera, a step down in megapixels from the A53's 64MP sensor. Samsung watchers are expecting an Exynos chipset to power the new model.
Samsung 2023: Foldable plans
If the first half of a new year is all about the Galaxy S flagships, then Samsung will spend the latter part of the year focused on foldable phones. For the past two years, Samsung has capped off summer by rolling out new Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip models — a patten we expect to continue in 2023.
Given how far out we are from the likely late summer/early fall release of this year's foldables, there are few rumors about the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 at this stage. The next Galaxy Flip has been tipped to have a larger cover display — 3 inches instead of the current 1.9-inch panel — and a new hinge designed to make the crease across the folding screen less prominent. We know even less about the the Galaxy Z Fold 5, though we assume Samsung would look to improve battery life, continue to enhance the cameras after the Z Fold 4's upgrade and perhaps even find a way to house the S Pen the way it has on the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
As always, people will be eager to see if Samsung can reduce the cost of its foldable phones. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 start at $1,799 and $999, respectively — the same price as their predecessors. Samsung has made no secret of its desire to make foldable phones more palatable to mainstream shoppers and price is a big obstacle to that goal.
Another thing to keep an eye on is if Samsung expands its foldable lineup beyond the flip phone-style design of the Galaxy Z Flip and the Galaxy Z Fold, which opens up like a book. Earlier in 2022, a leak claimed Samsung was working on a phone with a scrollable screen, though that device never materialized. We wonder if 2023 might be the year for the long-rumored Galaxy Z Roll.
Already this year, we've seen one new Samsung prototype for a folding display. Samsung's Flex Hybrid panel, shown off at CES 2023, not only folds but slides as well. Given its dimensions, though — the Flex Hybrid can expand from a 10.5-inch display with a 4:3 aspect ratio to a 12.4-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio — we'd guess this prototype was built with tablets in mind.
Samsung 2023: Outlook
Even if there's no new phones beyond successors to Samsung's existing models, the new year is already shaping up to be a very busy one for Samsung. We'll find out just how busy in less than two week when the Galaxy S23 launch should get things rolling for the smartphone giant.