Performance (and price) inflation at Samsung

Thirteen years. The age of Reason ? Launched in 2010, Samsung’s first Galaxy S has continued to evolve. Bigger and bigger, more and stronger, better and better haircut for photo and video, but more and more durable, they seem to have reached the peak of the smartphone with their latest generation presented this February 1 under the stamped Galaxy S23 and available in three models already 20 minutes coped.

“Leaks” said it all

This often happens. “Promotional photos falsely posted”, “industry leaks”, “outside secrets”, “ leakage “… allowed to know almost everything about the new Galaxy S23 from Samsung before their official presentation on February 1st. A few weeks before the Mobile World Congress telephony show (from February 27 to March 2, in Barcelona), the South Korean manufacturer formalized the S23, S23 Plus and S23 Ultra, the new ” flagships (the flagships) of its fleet of mobile terminals. And his announcements create, in fact, almost no surprise.

More angular smartphones

Offered respectively in 6.1 inches, 6.6 inches and 6.8 inches, the Galaxy S23 sees its design largely unchanged compared to the Galaxy S22 that was launched just a year ago. With their photo optics integrated directly into their aluminum frame, they are also slightly more angular. An irony, for the manufacturer that tried to impose curved screens on its smartphones…

The Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus come in different colors. – Christophe Séfrin/20 Minutes

All three are offered in different colors (black, cream, green, lavender), as well as exclusive colors on the Samsung site (graphite and lime for the S23 and S23 Plus, graphite, lime, sky blue and red for the S23 Ultra ), they have a lot of trappings to flatter the retina. In the hand, they show a real sense of quality, as we found.

Twelve recycled parts on board

Samsung also announced them to be more responsible in their design. Thus, the three terminals include up to twelve components made from recycled materials: glass, aluminum, plastic, not to mention packaging and even the protective film on the packaging. Packaging that definitely doesn’t have a charging block (or earphones). And Samsung touts the longevity of its latest toys: at least 4 years of Android updates and 5 years of security updates. Instead it’s reassuring at a time when consumers are keeping their smartphone longer and longer before replacing it: 3 years on average, compared to 18 months a few years ago.

The durability argument, which is increasingly hitting home with environmentally conscious consumers, is confirmed with the addition of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and back of the terminals. For the first time, the new protective glass from the firm Corning will protect smartphones from a one-meter drop on concrete. Volunteers to try the experiment? For its part, the classic IP68 protection (against dust and prolonged immersion up to 1.5 meters) is also part of the Galaxy S23’s DNA.

The Force is with them!

Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor (the most powerful on the market), the Galaxy S23 should not lack resources to accompany us in all our entertainment.

A quick familiarization with each model allowed us to see that their fluidity is commendable and particularly promising for video games. The Amoled screens of the smartphones (Full HD + for the S23 and S23 Plus, and Quad HD + for the S23 Ultra), with an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, should constitute the highest quality offer that exists on the market, with a close record. brightness (up to 1750 nits). In other words, Samsung promises us that we will be amazed. Our first interaction with smartphones undoubtedly goes in this direction…

200 megapixels in the viewfinder

Obviously, it is in the quality of the photo and video that the promises of the manufacturer are the most supported. Sharing the same features*, the S23 and S23 Plus promise to be great photophones. But it’s the Galaxy S23 Ultra ** that we’ll be looking to review, which arguably has commendable versatility. Particularity: its main sensor of 200 megapixels will allow, according to Samsung, to ” crop person in the picture to find details invisible to the eye. We can’t wait to see that, for sure… Note, however, that more than a year ago, Xiaomi already included a 200 megapixel sensor in its Xiaomi 12T Pro…

The Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a 200 megapixel sensor.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a 200 megapixel sensor. – Christophe Séfrin/20 Minutes

This sensor can, depending on the circumstances, switch to 12 or 50 megapixels, the 200 megapixels are obviously reserved for the photo of monuments, landscapes… that you want to retouch. Video up to 8K at 30 frames / second is also available in Ultra. The S22 Ultra only captures at 24fps. Evolution…

Samsung is finally promoting better night photo management, especially for portraits. The manufacturer is no longer talking about “Nightography”, the rather fancy term that it thought to accompany the night picture in its S22 and create a buzz. And here, there is no more “Dynamic Island”, or satellite link for the recent iPhone 14 that allows feeding the chronicle.

On paper and pending real tests, autonomy remains. Regarding the 3,900 mAh (25 W), 4,700 mAh (45 W) and 5,000 mAh (45 W), for the S23, S23 Plus and S23 Ultra, there is no hope of seeing these terminals cross the line in a day and a half use. . Even Samsung claims that the on-board processor manages autonomy better. The promised fast recharge, at 45 W on the S23 Plus and S23 Ultra is assumed to be equipped with an optional charger, an additional investment of 25 euros.

A drop of water compared to the necessary investment for these smartphones, where only one model remains sold below 1,000 euros, the S23 in 128 GB. At 959 euros, it is also 100 euros more expensive than the S22. Inflation, again and again? With the same capacity, it is 60 euros less than Apple’s iPhone 14, the eternal rival.

* Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus: 50-megapixel wide-angle sensor (23mm equivalent; f/1.8) + 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor (13mm; f/2.2) + 10-megapixel telephoto lens (3x optical zoom , 69 mm; f/2.4) + 12-megapixel front sensor (25 mm; f/2.2).

** Galaxy S23 Ultra: 200mm wide-angle sensor (23mm equivalent; f/1.7) + 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor (13mm; f/2.2) + 10-megapixel telephoto lens (230mm; f/4.0) ) + 10-megapixel telephoto lens (3x optical zoom, 69mm; f/2.4) + 12-megapixel front sensor (25mm; f/2.2).

*** Galaxy S23 (959 euros for 128 GB; 1,019 euros for 259 GB); Galaxy S23 Plus (1,219 euros for 256 GB; 1,359 euros for 512 GB); Galaxy S23 Ultra (1,419 euros for 256 GB; 1,599 euros for 512 GB and 1,839 euros for 1 TB).

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