Samsung announced its Galaxy S23 smartphone lineup on Wednesday.
Samsung On Wednesday, it launched its latest lineup of flagship Galaxy smartphones, touting a better camera and improved gaming features as the South Korean tech giant tries to entice people to upgrade amid weak macroeconomic conditions and slumping consumer demand.
The Galaxy S23 smartphone lineup includes three new models: the standard S23, the slightly more expensive S23+, and the top-of-the-line S23 Ultra. The S23 and S23+ start at $799 and $1,000, respectively. The most advanced model will retail for $1,200.
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All three are available for pre-order today and will hit shelves on February 17th.
The S23 series will compete head-to-head with Apple’s iPhone 14, which was launched last September. Samsung usually releases flagship Galaxy S models in the first half of the year and the Galaxy Z line of foldable phones in the second half.
Samsung has mostly made minor improvements to its new premium phone, including improving its camera capabilities.
Samsung said the most expensive Galaxy S23 Ultra model features an “adaptive pixel” 200MP sensor that combines 16 pixels into one larger pixel for brighter, more detailed shots in low-light conditions.
Samsung added that users’ low-light photography with the device will be aided by much faster processing speeds from the in-house chipset, which was developed in partnership with Qualcomm, as well as artificial intelligence.
There’s also a video feature on the device called “astro hyperlapse” that allows users to take moving, time-lapse snapshots — for example, of star movements — without any special equipment.
Samsung also promoted the gaming capabilities of its new device, saying that users will be able to play for longer thanks to a more powerful battery. The S23 Ultra has a massive 5,000mAh, or mAh, battery.
The S23 Plus and S23 come with 4,700mAh and 3,900mAh batteries, respectively.
The company also revealed its new Galaxy Book3 laptop lineup on Wednesday, which includes a third Ultra model with a 16-inch AMOLED screen. Samsung’s Galaxy Book2 came in only two variants. Samsung hopes the new laptops will make a splash in the premium PC market.
The company showed off software that allows users to drag and drop files between laptops and smartphones. Samsung said users can also pair the Book3 with Samsung tablets to use the latter as a second screen.
Hard times for the smartphone market
The company is launching its new products at a particularly difficult time for the consumer tech space. Demand for premium smartphones in particular has fallen as people choose to spend less on big-ticket gadgets due to rising price pressures and tightening budgets.
Global smartphone shipments fell 18.3% to 300.3 million units in the fourth quarter of 2022 — typically a big holiday shopping period — marking the largest single-quarter decline ever, according to market research firm IDC.
A total of 1.21 billion smartphones were shipped in 2022, which is the lowest annual shipment total since 2013, according to IDC.
“Everything is going in the wrong direction for providers of electronic services to consumers,” Paolo Pescatore of BB Foresight told CNBC by email.
On Tuesday, Samsung reported its worst quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2014. The company reported operating profit of 4.31 trillion won ($3.4 billion), down 69% from the same period last year. Samsung said its performance was hampered by weak demand for smartphones and mid-to-low-end memory chips.
In the meantime, many people also suffer from smartphone fatigue, as they are not completely satisfied with the improvements promised by the new models, they keep their existing phones for a longer period.
“As has been the case with most major launches in recent years, the customers who will feel the most benefit from Samsung’s latest devices will be those upgrading from older models or a mid-range device,” said Liu Jibei, principal analyst of the connectivity division. . Hardware at CCS Insight.
“Customers who purchased a premium mobile phone in the last year or two, will not notice much difference between the device they already have and the new Galaxy S23 family.”
In this context, Samsung has strengthened its range of smartphones to simplify its offer to customers. company Insert his S Pen Last year’s Galaxy S22, marking the symbolic end of the high-end Note series of phones.
It has also tried to increase consumer appetite for new premium phones with its foldable devices. Samsung launched last year Two new foldable modelsand Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4.