It’s been a little over a month now since the Samsung Galaxy S23 lineup was finally here unpackaged, and a few weeks since the first customers got their hands on early Galaxy S23 orders. Samsung’s eye-catching event was filmed on the Galaxy S23’s hardware and saw Alien creator Ridley Scott endorsing the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s new 200MP camera. It sure was entertaining to watch, but what struck me the most, and a feeling I haven’t been able to shake in the weeks since, is the feeling that we’ve seen it all before (apart from that 200MP camera). , Despite it). The S23 range represents a purely iterative upgrade over its predecessors, with minor design changes and the usual hardware improvements being the only real highlights for some of 2023’s best phones.
If you think about it, Google didn’t do anything differently with the Google Pixel 7 series either. The Google Pixel 7 Pro was also a mostly iterative device. It essentially shares the same hardware, size, and design. Aside from the processor, which has also been upgraded on the S23 Ultra, not much has changed.
Why are the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro still perceived as major updates? There are a couple of reasons.
The Google Pixel 6 needed a lot of polish
The Google Pixel 6 represented a major shift in Google’s approach to hardware. For the first time, the company took matters into their own hands and created a custom SoC called the Google Tensor. It allows for some advanced features and gives Google more control over the hardware in its phones. As a first-gen product, however, it wasn’t without its hiccups. Many owners have complained (and still complain) about thermal issues and, probably worse, poor connectivity.
After launch and the first checks, more problems surfaced. People complained about Wi-Fi signal issues, random display freezes related to touch input issues, a poor fingerprint scanner, auto-rotate not working, and more. Many of these issues could be resolved with software updates rolled out as part of monthly security patches, but even those didn’t arrive in time for the majority of the Pixel 6 series. It seemed like Google was struggling with its Tensor processor, and all of these issues combined gave the Pixel 6 a bad name.
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 are similar but noticeably different.
The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro were a much-needed update that was highly anticipated and anticipated. And Google provided exactly what was needed. Rather than trying to reinvent the Pixel formula, it stayed with what it created with the Pixel 6 and refined it. The new Tensor chip inside doesn’t get as hot as the first-gen SoC, the connectivity issues are largely fixed, and the fingerprint scanner is more reliable. Essentially, the Pixel 7 is what the Pixel 6 should have been from the start, and Google desperately needed to experience it before introducing too many new, fancy features.
The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro almost won us over because they were iterative updates. That’s not to say the Pixel 6 series was all bad. Google has done a lot of things right, finally giving the Pixel series a unique design and unveiling its long-rumoured homegrown chipsets. Those are impressive feats, and many Pixel 6 owners are still happy with their devices. But it’s clear that there was room for improvement.
All the Samsung Galaxy S23 needed to add was refinement
We have to contrast all of this with the place the Samsung Galaxy S23 hails from. First up was the Samsung Galaxy S22 range. That’s especially true for the Snapdragon variant sold in the US and some select markets. These devices were among the most desirable on the market, even if they were just a small design and feature upgrade over the S21 series. It could also be argued that Samsung hasn’t changed much between the S20 and S21, although the redesigned camera hump makes them easier to tell apart.
With the Samsung Galaxy S23, the company played it pretty safe. The biggest change is the new look for the cameras on the S23 and S23 Plus, which now match recent Ultra models. Rather than sitting in a camera hump that curves around the edge of the device, the lenses protrude individually. But if you look at the front of the S23, you’d have a hard time noticing a difference.
Spot the Difference – Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs S23 Ultra
The lack of major annual upgrades might be disappointing for tech enthusiasts, but Samsung doesn’t have to bring exciting phones every year to wow its fans. Instead, the company can focus on iterating on its solid foundation, solidifying its design language, and wowing customers with its reliability rather than focusing on being first to every new technology. It’s fitting that Samsung has decided not to add satellite connectivity to its S23 range, a capability that Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the Samsung phone could easily offer.
The equation is different for the Samsung Galaxy S23
With phones becoming more of a commodity, it’s clear that the Galaxy S23 isn’t geared that much towards people who already own the S22 or even the S21. Instead, Samsung is sticking with its design because it knows enough people are using older Samsung phones that now need an update. The difference between the S21 and the S23 might not be that noticeable, but if you’re upgrading from a Galaxy S10 or even a Galaxy S9, the difference is night and day.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra offers everything you’d expect from a 2022 flagship, plus an S Pen. While taking design cues from 2020’s Note 20 Ultra, it focuses on improvements in camera quality, battery life, and overall performance.