The Samsung Galaxy S23 Needs These 3 Giant Upgrades to Succeed
The Galaxy S22 has an upgraded camera that can see better in the dark, with a fresh design that improves on its predecessor. These are welcome changes, but there is plenty of room for them Samsung to further upgrade its flagship smartphone range. In particular, I’d like to see longer-lasting batteries, more photography features that take advantage of the Galaxy S family’s impressive cameras, and faster charging that doesn’t require an expensive adapter.
Samsung usually releases new Galaxy S devices in the first few months of the year, and early rumors suggest it will maintain that schedule in 2023. A report from the Korean newspaper JoongAng Daily says the Galaxy S23 may arrive early February.
Samsung leads the smartphone industry, with 21% of the global market in the second quarter of 2022, according to Counterpoint Research. Upgrading core features like the camera and battery could help it maintain that top spot, especially as it faces more competition appeal and Google.
Longer battery life for the regular Galaxy S23
Battery life can never be long enough, but the standard edition Galaxy S handset in particular needs a boost. The 6.1-in Galaxy S22 generally lived up to Samsung’s claims of all-day battery life, but sometimes just barely. After using it for a month straight, I noticed that the battery level dropped to about 30% or 40% by 9pm, even with the always-on display turned off and the display’s refresh rate set to default. That’s enough to get you through a work day, but you’ll probably want to pack a charger if you have after-work plans or a long commute home.
The Galaxy S22 has the smallest battery (3,700 mAh capacity) of the three phones in the Galaxy S22 series, and it shows. For example, I was pleasantly surprised when the 6.6-in Galaxy S22 Plus, which has a larger capacity of 4,500 mAh, lasted about a day and a half when I reviewed it in February. I also set the recharge rate to high, which usually drains the battery faster. The Galaxy S22 Ultra, which has a 6.8-inch display and a 5,000 mAh battery, had similar battery life.
It makes sense that the Galaxy S22 line’s smallest phone will also have the smallest battery. But I hope Samsung finds a way to improve battery life on next year’s 6.1-inch Galaxy phone, whether it’s through better power efficiency or a bigger physical battery. After all, Apple has upgrades to the iPhone 13 Mini which gave it an extra two to three hours of battery life compared to the iPhone 12 Mini. Battery life is the main complaint I had about the Galaxy S22, and addressing it would make the Galaxy S23 an even more compelling choice for Android fans who prefer smaller phones.
Korean news article The Elec indicates that this may indeed be the case, as it reports that Samsung intends to increase the Galaxy S23’s battery capacity by around 5%.
More smart camera features
The Galaxy S22’s 50-megapixel camera and the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 108-megapixel camera capture impressively colorful and detailed photos. I just wish there was more you could do with those cameras when it comes to editing and software features.
The Galaxy S22 series has recording options such as panorama, night mode, portrait mode, slow motion, super slow motion and Director’s View, which allows you to record video with two different lenses simultaneously. Then there’s Single Take, which creates multiple stylized photos with a single press of the shutter button. You can also download the Expert Raw app to get more granular control over photo settings.
But not much has changed between the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S22 when it comes to camera features and shooting modes. I’d like to see Samsung take a page from Google, which regularly adds nifty camera tricks that feel practical rather than gimmicky. For example, Google has a new feature on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro called Photo Unblur, which sharpens low-quality photos, even those taken with an older camera. Photo Unblur builds on Face Unblur, a previous Pixel 6 and 6 Pro camera feature that I also appreciate. As the name suggests, Face Unblur freezes moving subjects that might otherwise appear blurry.
Features like these show that Google isn’t just thinking about camera quality, but also ways to eliminate everyday annoyances with mobile photography. Many of Samsung’s updates, on the other hand, feel aimed at giving content creators more tools to capture different types of shots and video clips.
Although the Galaxy S23 probably won’t launch for another two to three months, Samsung is already making improvements to the cameras on its current Galaxy phones. It just added a new feature to the Expert Raw app that helps stargazers take better pictures of constellations, similar to Google’s Astrophotography feature for Pixel phones. There’s also a new Camera Assistant app that lets you enable or disable certain features, such as a faster shutter or automatic lens switching.
Faster charging that doesn’t cost as much
The Galaxy S22 series supports fast charging of up to 25 watts for the Galaxy S22 and 45 watts for the Galaxy S22 Plus and Ultra. But you have to buy a separate charger to do that. Samsung charges $50 for the 45-watt charger and $35 for the 25-watt charger, though you can often find them for less through retailers like Amazon and Walmart. In some scenarios, I also didn’t notice much of a difference between the more expensive 45-watt charger and Samsung’s cheaper 25-watt charger when I powered up the Galaxy S22 Plus, which you can read more about here.
With the Galaxy S23, I’d like to see a more noticeable improvement in charging speed, as well as more affordable charging options. The OnePlus 10 Pro, for example, offers either 65- or 80-watt fast charging depending on your region, both of which are faster than what Samsung can offer on paper. OnePlus also includes a compatible power adapter in the box.
Samsung and Apple have stopped including power adapters in their product packaging to reduce waste, which is an admirable cause. But I at least wish Samsung would let you choose to include a fast-charge-compatible adapter as an option for a discounted price when you order a new phone, similar to the way it lets you choose a storage option or Add Samsung Care Plus.
If rumors turn out to be accurate, the base Galaxy S23 model could have the same 25-watt charging speed as the Galaxy S22. It is according to Ice UniverseA Twitter account with a history of publishing details about unreleased Samsung products.
Samsung is already doing a lot right with the Galaxy S22, especially in terms of software support and display quality. But as smartphone upgrades have become more incremental than revolutionary year-over-year, focusing on core elements like the camera and battery is as important as ever.