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The Samsung Galaxy S23 is what we wanted, for better or for worse

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Robert Triggs/Android Authority

Ten years ago, the release of a new smartphone was incredibly exciting. Technology moved so fast at the time that every new smartphone seemed to come with a feature we hadn’t seen before. Today, though, phone launches are becoming increasingly boring with each passing year. Samsung Galaxy S23 is no exception.

Boring may sound like a strong word, but I’ve seen it come across a bit on this launch. It’s easy to see why. If you take a quick look at these phones, you’ll say there are a few cosmetic changes, some minor upgrades under the hood, and a few new software features. Hardly exciting. When Samsung spends a lot of its launch event talking about the environmental impact of its products and how it makes a couple of short films with famous directors, you know it doesn’t have much to say about the phones either.

It would be really easy to write a scathing critique of Samsung in this regard. I could go on and on about how these phones are a whole lot of “meh,” and how there’s no reason to upgrade if you own a flagship from the past two years. Still, that would be a misstep, because while these phones aren’t interesting, they’re pretty much exactly what we asked for in 2022.

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Only a few changes, but they are big changes

Samsung galaxy s23 series lined up in pink

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

You don’t have to work hands-on with the Galaxy S23 to discover the major change to the vanilla and Plus models. Last year, those two looked very different from the higher-end Ultra; It was not clear that they all belonged to the same family. However, in 2023, the three phones look cohesive, each with an identical triple-lens floating camera design on the back. The Galaxy S23 Ultra still looks a bit out of place with its boxy design, extra lenses, and curved screen, but at least there’s no mistaking the family anymore. This is a great change.

On the inside, the Samsung Galaxy S23 series has some small but significant upgrades. The batteries in the Vanilla and Plus models are larger than one. While a 200mAh increase doesn’t sound like much, it’s better than nothing — and certainly better than the drop we’ve seen in 2022.

Bigger batteries and more storage address two of our biggest complaints.

Likewise, upgrading to the more efficient Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 brings plenty of speed and power across all three phones. This chipset is now appearing on every Galaxy S23 phone globally, and it’s a huge deal. Customers in the UK, Europe and many other countries no longer need to fear feature variation from the Exynos chip. All of this is Snapdragon all along, which is what we’ve wanted for years.

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The cameras have found some love, too. The selfie camera on all three models is a newer 12MP system, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra has a massive 200MP primary shooter on the back. Samsung has also launched several software-based features for the cameras, which have managed to impress the likes of them Ridley Scott.

There are no Exynos-based Galaxy S phones this year, which is a big change we’ve wanted for years.

Finally, there are no more paltry 128GB storage versions of the Galaxy S23 Plus and S23 Ultra. 256GB is the new ground and won’t cost you anything extra. This is another change we’ve wanted for years, and now we finally get it.

We didn’t see all the changes we wanted, of course, but the tweaks we did see were much needed, especially since they aren’t always easy to spot on paper.

Improvements that will not appear in the spec sheet

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samsung galaxy s23 apps drawer 1

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

The two biggest issues we encountered with the Galaxy S22 series were heat and battery life. While we haven’t put these Galaxy S23 phones through our rigorous testing yet, we’re confident things will be significantly better this year.

Our reviews for 2022: Galaxy S22 | Galaxy S22 Plus | Galaxy S22 Ultra

First, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is superior to the 8th Gen in terms of thermal performance and power efficiency. At least from what we saw in our initial test of the eighth generation. The uniquely overclocked version of the 8th generation inside the Galaxy S23 series — officially known as Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy — might be a little different from what we’ve already seen, but we’re sure we’ll see better sustained performance than we did with the 8th generation of the first.

The Galaxy S23 series may not look all that different, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Not only is the 8th generation 2G shaping up to be better for temperatures and battery life, but all the phones also have improved heatsinks. In the case of the Galaxy S23, it sports a graphite-based cooler for the first time, which will likely make a huge difference. In other words, it would be incredibly surprising if the Samsung Galaxy S23 series did not have better temperatures, and therefore performance, than the Galaxy S22 series. Samsung has clearly attacked these issues head-on.

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The design of the phones is also better this year. For example, the Galaxy S23 Ultra has a less curved screen. It’s not flat (which most of our readers want and want), but it’s closer to flat than ever before. Thanks to Gorilla Glass Victus 2 for durability, the aluminum rails are stronger this year and incorporate more recycled materials, making their environmental impact a bit lower. In fact, Samsung doubled the number of components that include recycled materials in 2023, inside and out.

The takeaway is that the Galaxy S23 series may not look all that different, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

All this and no price increase (in the US, anyway)

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 in hand

Robert Triggs/Android Authority

In the US, the Galaxy S23 series costs the same as the Galaxy S22 series. The Galaxy S23 starts at $799, while the Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra remain at $999 and $1,199, respectively.

The series seems like a great buy considering the improvements we’ve already made. The Galaxy S23, in particular, could become the perfect phone for those who are more budget conscious. In the US, 55% of smartphone users own an iPhone, yet the Galaxy S23 now beats the iPhone 14, which starts at $799.

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Galaxy S23 offers superior hardware compared to iPhone 14 at the same price.

The iPhone 14 does not have a 120Hz refresh rate, nor does it have a telephoto lens. It has weaker glass, less RAM, a chipset from 2021, is marginally larger in every dimension, and can’t capture 8K video. The only thing the iPhone 14 has over the Galaxy S23 is a slightly higher resolution display, MagSafe support, and deep integration with the Apple ecosystem. If you don’t care about MagSafe and the Apple universe, it’s hard to argue in favor of the iPhone 14 over the Galaxy S23.

Unfortunately, this price structure is not the same all over the world. In the UK, for example, the Galaxy S23 starts at £849 (~$1,041), which is quite a jump from the £769 ($943) price of the Galaxy S22 last year. Other models are no different, with the Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra up by £100 (~£123) each. We’ve seen similar increases in other parts of the world, including Europe and India. These changes make the decision to buy the Galaxy S23 more difficult.

Here in the US, though, the Galaxy S23 series should be at or near the top of smartphone shoppers’ lists.

$999.99 at Samsung
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Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Big AMOLED screen
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 power
Bigger battery

$1,199.99 at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

New main camera with a resolution of 200 megapixels
nice offer
S Pen functionality

The Samsung Galaxy S23 isn’t what we want, but that’s fine

Samsung Galaxy S23 series cameras

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

I won’t deny it: this is a year of evolution, not a year of revolution, for the Galaxy S23 series. I have no illusions about that. However, the things Samsung changed are small but significant. These aren’t just cosmetic embellishments as we saw with the iPhone 14, which is essentially the iPhone 13.5. These are tangible tweaks that will positively affect your experience of using the phones.

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Sure, it would have been nice to see faster charging speeds, more RAM, and maybe even some additional new camera hardware. The speakers could probably use an update, and it’s disappointing that satellite communication hasn’t started this year. While not essential, it’s always exciting to see wild revamps in the overall design as well, and we didn’t get that either.

Here in the US, with the Galaxy S23 series, we basically have the Galaxy S22 series with most of the issues fixed and for the same price. It’s not very exciting, but it’s also not my thing. Samsung has made important changes. They may not be exciting, but calling these phones “boring” might unfairly underestimate them.

Has Samsung changed enough with the Samsung Galaxy S23?

94 votes

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Smartphone scams are dead – Android Authority

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Robert Triggs/Android Authority

Ten years ago, the 2013 Samsung Galaxy S4 was a technological marvel. Android phones had only been around for a few years at that point, and it seemed like the Galaxy S4 could do a lot despite its small size. As consumers, we were delighted. So much so, that to this day the Galaxy S4 remains the best-selling Android phone of all time, with over 80 million units sold.

However, that was ten years ago – an eternity in the tech world. Things have changed dramatically since then. The smartphone tricks we saw in the Galaxy S4 — like the Smart Scroll, which let you scroll the contents of your screen by moving your head up or down — would be completely ridiculous to see in a 2023 phone.

Today, smartphones are ubiquitous gadgets, not technical marvels. Consumers are using their phones more than ever before, yes, but that has faded the shine. Modern smartphone buyers don’t want gimmicks. They want a phone that fixes the basics and hides in the background.

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In 2023, if a smartphone manufacturer thinks that some cool new trick will be the backbone that sells its phones, it will be in a world of disappointment. Not only will consumers care, but investing in research and development for this trick could do more harm than good.

What are the tricks of the smartphone?

Google Pixel 4 XL Long Range 2 review

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The term “gimmick” can be used broadly. In general, when it comes to smartphones, we think of gimmicks as features that are only applicable to very specific situations, appeal to a limited subset of users, or offer no real value (or some combination thereof).

One of history’s most egregious examples of smartphone scams was the Soli radar system in the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Soli was a set of front-facing radar sensors that could track your hand movements. They let you do things like pause the music simply by waving your hand near the screen. While Soli performed as advertised, consumers simply didn’t care, and the Pixel 4 series was the biggest failure in Pixel history.

If your star phone feature only appeals to a few people, it’s probably a gimmick.

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A more recent example came with the OnePlus 10 Pro last year. This phone was equipped with an ultra-high resolution camera with a field of view of 150 degrees. This was essentially a fish-eye lens, creating highly distorted images that looked unreal. Although software trickery helped fix images in post-processing, critics and consumers alike saw no need for such a bizarre lens. OnePlus eliminated the lens on this year’s OnePlus 10T and OnePlus 11.

Here are some other smartphone tricks we’ve seen:

  • foreign matter: OnePlus recently announced the Jupiter Rock Edition of the OnePlus 11. It has a back that is basically made of rock. Who asked for this?
  • Macro lenses: While a great telephoto lens can be an interesting addition to a solid lens collection, most of the time that’s not the case. Often, OEMs will throw in cheap 2MP macro lenses to make a phone look more premium than it is. In other words, the thought process is that more lenses = better cameras, which consumers are no longer fooled by.
  • Super fast charging: While it’s crazy to see 240W charging speeds on a smartphone (that’s fast enough to charge from empty to full in about ten minutes), who really needs that? These speeds are also said to be detrimental to the health of the battery, thus shortening the life of your phone.
  • Cooling systems: Lenovo Legion Duel 2 – a gaming phone – had a cooling fan built into it. While this is practical for a phone designed for gamers, it also made the phone unwieldy, prevented an IP rating, and made wireless charging impossible. It solved one problem at the expense of basic smartphone features. Likewise, OnePlus’ latest concept phone has a liquid cooling system that didn’t even work.

These gimmicks don’t help sell phones because they don’t give us what we really want: a great overall experience.

But what about phones in specific niches, like rugged phones? Is the rugged phone a gimmick? I’d argue it isn’t, but they also don’t sell in the numbers we’d see with something like the Galaxy S series. These phones exist for specific purposes for a specific consumer, so they get a special pass.

The current smartphone successes are all the evidence you need

Google Pixel 7 Pro camera housing

Robert Triggs/Android Authority

We know why smartphone manufacturers invest in these kinds of tricks. They obviously think they’ll help sell the phones or, at the very least, help their products stand out from the crowd. This is an odd strategy because the most successful phones tend to be relatively gimmick-free.

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Here in the US, the iPhone is by far the most popular smartphone. For the first time ever, Apple has more than 50% of the market in the US, leaving the other half to Android OEMs (mostly Samsung). The iPhone doesn’t have a lot of tricks. One could argue that Dynamic Island is a gimmick, but it’s one that consumers seem to enjoy, so it doesn’t really count.

Unsurprisingly, the most successful phones are also some of the most gimmick-free.

In second place, Samsung’s Galaxy S series also stands out as being gimmick-free. The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s S Pen may be a bit gimmicky for some. However, it’s also incredibly popular and a calling card for a premium Galaxy experience, so we’ll be happy to let this feature slip. Despite this, the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus are pretty boring with how functional and no-nonsense they are. And guess what? The Galaxy S23 line is selling better than the Galaxy S22 line.

Of course, we can’t forget about Google’s pixel font. The Google Pixel 7 Pro doesn’t have any weird tricks up its sleeve, and was voted the best Android phone of 2022 by both Android Authority And our readers. It’s interesting that when Google gave up the tricks, it ended up selling more phones than ever before.

Obviously, phones can reach consumers without gimmicks. However, Dynamic Island and the S Pen show that there is still room for fun and doing things differently.

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However, phones can still be fun

None Phone Number 1 graphic on the back

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

We’ve already discussed plenty of examples of stupid smartphone tricks that get in the way of a good experience. However, some tricks work.

Take Nothing Phone 1, for example. The lights on the back of the device — officially known as The Glyph — appear to be a ridiculous gimmick. Once you use the phone, you will realize that it is actually an Android smartphone with a strange light show added. In other words, The Glyph can be ignored, and you’ll still get a great Android experience with a very fair cost-to-value ratio.

I’m not against the trick. There is plenty of room for fun features.

This is a great example of how doing tricks properly can be beneficial. Nothing crammed into The Glyph comes at the expense of wireless charging, a premium feel, or a decent camera system. Use the trick as a light garnish on top of a satisfying meal. It’s a beautiful detail that highlights an already well-done dish.

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Google’s Magic Eraser is another example of a gimmick that works. With the Pixel’s camera experience already being one of the best (if not the best) phone camera experiences available, the Magic Eraser feature exists as a useful tool for people looking to fix otherwise great photos. It was not Need Magic Eraser, but it’s practical and fun when you want it to be.

That’s all to say that smartphones don’t need to be boring. There’s plenty of room for fun gimmicks, cool aesthetics, and thought-provoking twists. But gimmicks can’t be the phone’s selling point. They must be side players.

OEMs will need to shift focus — or dump

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 1

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Remember Lenovo Legion Duel 2, the phone with an integrated cooling system? Unfortunately, this trick didn’t work out very well for Lenovo. Recently, the company confirmed this Android Authority He shut down the Legion’s smartphone arm.

We’ve also mentioned OnePlus several times in this article. This company is not doing well either. There is a rumor that it could pull out along with sister brand OPPO from the European market either this year or in 2024. OnePlus has lost all carrier partnerships in the US, and its latest flagship — the OnePlus 11 — hasn’t gotten strong reviews. Again, tricks don’t seem to have helped here.

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What do you think of smartphone scams?

146 votes

This all supports my central argument: scams don’t sell phones. We’ve settled on wanting phones that excel at the essentials: battery life, camera, screen, usability, performance, and so on. I could also argue that design is just as important here, though it’s more subjective than something like battery life. What doesn’t matter are the extra lenses, radar systems, cooling fans, rock-solid backboards, and all the other tricks we’ve seen.

Companies that are stuck in 2013 and think cool gimmicks will sell a lot of phones will need to wake up from that dream sooner rather than later. Apple and Samsung eat your lunch and do so without relying on gimmicks. Make your phones awesome at a competitive price and we’ll buy it. Simply.

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All of my favorite games this year are old

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I also installed the original version Final Fantasy, the game that debuted when I was three years old, on Sony’s most advanced console yet, I came to a realization: everything I played this year was outdated. Between remakes, new releases, and vintage collections, there’s been a flood of nostalgia. I personally welcomed it.

These kinds of releases aren’t new, of course. What was different during the early months was the huge amount of classic releases. Two of the biggest movies so far this year – dead space And Resident Evil 4 – is a remake of titles from more than a decade ago. Both are slick, slick updates that don’t look out of place among recent big-budget releases, but part of what makes them so attractive is how straightforward they are. There are no open worlds filled with endless quests or live service items to keep you coming back. And most of these design decisions date back to their ages, as these games were made at a completely different time with very different expectations. In my review of Resident Evil 4 A remake, I called it “a video game like this,” and I meant that as a compliment.

Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot Camp.
Image: Nintendo

But they can also be a lot of work, frequently setting in to be all-consuming experiences that keep you hooked and never let go. Oh I love Fortnite Like everyone else, but that’s not all I want from my video games. Whether it is as complicated as RE4 Or simply put a scene from the opera Final Fantasy VI On my PS5, these games have returned a simplicity and focus I often find missing from their modern contemporaries. vampire And Final Fantasy They are very different experiences, but they give me the same feeling of a whole solo journey that I’m supposed to play through from start to finish. Same goes for the other old games I’ve been playing.

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Playing—and in many cases, replaying—these games was an exercise in reminding myself of what could be so great about a medium. The largest modern versions tend to imitate each other to the point where they are almost indistinguishable from one another. That’s what makes a lot of indie releases so exciting, and likewise, what keeps me coming back for all these new releases of old games — so it’s good to me that this trend shows no sign of stopping.

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NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell leaves Comcast due to ‘improper conduct’

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NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell will leave Comcast, effective immediately. The telecom giant made the surprising announcement in a brief press release Released on Sunday. After an investigation prompted by a complaint of improper conduct, Comcast says it has reached a “joint” decision with Shell that he should resign from his position.

“Today is my last day as CEO of NBCUniversal. I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret,” Shell said in a joint statement. “I am really sorry that I left my colleagues at Comcast and NBCUniversal, they are the most talented people in this field and the opportunity to work with them over the past 19 years has been a privilege.”

Comcast has not named a successor to Shell. in a note obtained diverseComcast CEO Brian Roberts and President Mike Kavanagh told employees they were “disappointed” to share the news. “We built this company on a culture of integrity. Nothing is more important than how we treat each other. You must count on your leaders to create a safe and respectful workplace,” they wrote. “When our principles and policies are violated, we will always move quickly to take appropriate action, as we have done here.”

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Shell joined Comcast in 2004. He became CEO of NBCUniversal in 2020. That same year, he oversaw the launch of Peacock. Shell leaves NBCUniversal without making the streaming service profitable. At the beginning of the year, Comcast told investors that it had done so Added five million paid subscribers During the last three months of 2022. However, over the same period, the company lost nearly $1 billion while operating the service.

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