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7 Exciting New Phones Coming Soon: iPhone 15, Pixel Fold and More. Samsung Galaxy a 15

Exciting New Phones Coming Soon: iPhone 15, Pixel Fold and

Several impressive-sounding phones from Apple, Google, Samsung and OnePlus are expected to arrive in the second half of 2023.

Lisa Eadicicco is a senior editor for CNET covering mobile devices. She has been writing about technology for almost a decade. Prior to joining CNET, Lisa served as a senior tech correspondent at Insider covering Apple and the broader consumer tech industry. She was also previously a tech columnist for Time Magazine and got her start as a staff writer for Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide.

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2023 is an exciting year for smartphones. In the first few months of the year, we’ve already seen new devices from Samsung and OnePlus. And as we approach the second half of 2023, there’s even more to look forward to from Apple, Google and others, especially if you’re interested in foldable phones.

Though it’s hard to predict exactly what’s in store for the phone industry, it’s possible to make some educated guesses since many companies stick to the same launch routine. The iPhone 15 lineup, for example, is expected to arrive in September, possibly with USB-C charging for the first time. Google’s rumored Pixel 8 could launch in the fall, likely with a new Tensor processor.

Such launches would follow the subtle but important progress that phones made in 2022. The iPhone 14, for example, gained satellite connectivity for emergencies and car-crash detection, while Google found more ways to make use of its custom Tensor chip in the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. Samsung, meanwhile, gave its flagship Galaxy S lineup a fresh look and an upgraded camera last year, while this year’s S23 is a modest step forward.

Here are the new phones we’re likely to see in 2023, based on previous launch cycles, rumors and reports.

Apple iPhone 15 lineup

What we’re expecting: Apple’s new iPhone family usually launches in September, and we have no reason to believe 2023 will be any different. The adoption of USB-C charging is one of the biggest changes we’re expecting to see on Apple’s next-generation iPhones.

The European Union recently mandated that all new phones sold in the region must support USB-C charging by 2024. Apple said it would comply with these rules but did not specify whether that means we’ll see a shift to USB-C starting in 2023. It’s also not confirmed if a USB-C iPhone would get a global release, or if it would remain solely a European model.

Otherwise, we’re likely to see routine changes such as some camera upgrades and a new processor. TF International Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is known for making pretty accurate predictions about upcoming Apple products, tweeted that Apple may do more to distinguish the iPhone 15 Pro from the regular iPhone 15.

It already made a step in that direction with the iPhone 14 generation by keeping features like the Dynamic Island and new A16 Bionic processor exclusive to the Pro line. What’s more interesting, however, is the idea that Apple could further differentiate the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max from the smaller iPhone 15 Pro, according to Kuo.

The main difference between the regular Pro and Pro Max comes down to screen size. Giving the Pro Max some extra perks could further convince shoppers to splurge on Apple’s biggest (and most expensive) iPhone. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also believes Apple could change the name of the iPhone Pro Max to the iPhone Ultra in the future to better align with other products like the Apple Watch Ultra.

Why I’m excited about it: The iPhone’s long-anticipated transition to USB-C is arguably the biggest reason to get excited about Apple’s next smartphone. The switch means iPhone users will finally be able to charge their iPhone, iPad and Mac with the same type of charging cable, reducing friction and making the iPhone that much more convenient. I’m also looking forward to seeing whether Apple further distinguishes the iPhone 15 Pro Max from the iPhone 15 Pro. I’ve argued that Apple needs to give its supersized iPhones more functionality that takes advantage of their larger screens, similar to the iPad.

OnePlus Foldable Phone

What we’re expecting: OnePlus plans to launch its first foldable phone in the second half of 2023, the company said before its event at Mobile World Congress in February. Unfortunately, we don’t know much else. The company has yet to announce any details about the device itself, precisely when it plans to launch the phone, or how much it could cost.

Why we’re excited about it: Like Google, OnePlus has a reputation for beating Samsung and Apple on price. That makes me hopeful that OnePlus’ foldable phone will be significantly less expensive than the 1,800 Galaxy Z Fold 4. The Oppo Find N2 from OnePlus’ sister brand has also been well received, with CNET’s Sareena Dayaram calling it the lightest foldable she’s ever carried. so there’s a chance OnePlus could follow in its sibling’s footsteps. Plus, it’ll be nice to see Samsung face more competition in this space.

Google Pixel 7A

What we’re expecting: If Google maintains its tradition, we could see a cheaper version of the Pixel 7 known as the Pixel 7A launch in the spring or summer time frame. Rumors about the Pixel 7A are scarce right now. But developer Kuba Wojciechowski says he found details possibly pertaining to the Pixel 7A in the Android codebase, suggesting that some fairly significant upgrades are in store.

Wojciechowski’s findings indicate the Pixel 7A could have a screen with a higher refresh rate of 90Hz and wireless charging.- two characteristics that are noticeably absent from the Pixel 6A. Leaked renders from Hemmerstoffer that were once again published on Smartprix also suggest the Pixel 7A will have a very similar design as its predecessor.

The Pixel 7A could also include the same Tensor G2 processor that powers the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro as well as a camera setup that includes wide and ultrawide sensors. That’s if the Pixel 7A follows in the same footsteps as the Pixel 6A, of course.

The Pixel 7A is also believed to have surfaced on the Vietnamese website Zing News, which suggests it will have a 6.1-inch screen and a design that’s very similar to the Pixel 7’s.- even down to the camera bar.

Why I’m excited about it: Google’s A-series Pixel phones are seriously impressive from a value standpoint. That’s why the Pixel 6A has received a CNET Editors’ Choice award and is our favorite Android phone under 500. If Google manages to address the Pixel 6A’s very few shortcomings while maintaining the same price of 449, it’ll be an even more formidable challenger to Samsung in the affordable phone market.

Google Pixel 8 lineup

What we’re expecting: Google’s Pixel 7 and 7 Pro have only been out since mid-October 2022, but rumors have already started to surface about the Pixel 8 family. German tech blog WinFuture reports that it found references to two unreleased Pixel smartphones in publicly available code. The findings indicate that these two devices are codenamed “Shiba” and “Husky” and that they’re powered by a new processor codenamed “Zuma.” The code also suggests these devices will run on Android 14 and include 12GB of RAM, according to WinFuture.

Prolific leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer also partnered with the tech blogs MySmartPrice and SmartPrix to publish what are said to be renderings of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. Based on these images, both phones will have a similar design with softer edges compared to the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro.

Why I’m excited about it: There haven’t been many rumors about the expected Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, which means there isn’t too much to get excited about yet. But what I’m most interested in is what new features Google’s next-generation chip will bring to its future phones. Google’s current Tensor chips have enabled features that seem practical and useful in everyday life, such as Magic Eraser and Face Unblur for improving photo quality and the ability to add speaker labels to transcripts in the Recorder app. That makes me excited about where Google could take things next.

Google Pixel Fold

What we’re expecting: Google hasn’t entered the foldable phone race yet, but that could change very soon. The search giant may release a foldable Pixel phone as early as June, according to 9to5Google and WinFuture.

Google’s take on the foldable phone could look like the Oppo Find N. according to 9to5Google. YouTube personality Dave2D says he received a blank model showing what the rumored Pixel Fold’s design could look like, and it kind of resembles Microsoft’s Surface Duo.

Developer Kuba Wojciechowski also reportedly discovered clues in the Android 13 beta hinting at a possible foldable Pixel device. The code suggested the phone would have a main, telephoto and ultrawide camera just like most premium phones, along with the same inner selfie camera as the Pixel 6.

Why we’re excited about it: We won’t know anything for certain unless Google announces a foldable phone. But there are a couple of reasons why I’m excited about the idea of a Pixel Fold.

Google typically undercuts Samsung and other phone makers on price, meaning the Pixel Fold could end up being fairly affordable compared to competitors. Foldables are also still largely a novelty. They appeal to early adopters, but most people still don’t really see the value in foldable phones just yet. Foldables phones are only expected to have accounted for 1.1% of the global smartphone market in 2022, according to The International Data Corporation’s estimate.

Since Google operates Android and has a history of coming up with unique features for its regular Pixel phones, I’m hoping it’ll do the same for a Pixel Fold. With its current Pixel devices, Google has added helpful features like the ability to sharpen photos that are out of FOCUS and have Google Assistant wait on hold for you. If it does release a foldable, I’d like to see it follow the same approach and develop creative, useful features that take advantage of a foldable screen.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

What we’re expecting: Even though foldable phones are still new to most people, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold will be on its fifth generation in 2023. The next version of Samsung’s phone-tablet hybrid could have a slot for storing Samsung’s S Pen stylus, a lighter design and a less noticeable crease, according to Korean news outlet The Elec. The report didn’t definitively say the Z Fold 5 will have these improvements, but did say Samsung has cited them as barriers that must be overcome to make foldable phones more popular.

Other more recent reports from The Elec, ET News and well-known leaker Ice Universe suggest Samsung could implement a water drop-shaped hinge on the Galaxy Z Fold 5. That new hinge would likely help with minimizing the device’s crease and thickness.

Otherwise, we can probably expect to see routine improvements to the camera and processor in the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Samsung also added some new multitasking features to the Z Fold 4 this year, such as the ability to use the bottom portion of the screen as a mini trackpad when the display is folded halfway. So there’s a chance we’ll see other software enhancements in the future, too.

Samsung typically releases its new foldable phones in August, meaning we’re likely to see the next Z Fold around that time.

Why I’m excited about it: The Galaxy Z Fold 5 needs a lot more than an included S Pen to bring foldables into the mainstream. But making the S Pen a bigger part of the experience could go a long way in further defining who the Z Fold is for and why it exists in the first place. Samsung is promoting the Z Fold 5 as a productivity-oriented device, so having an embedded S Pen seems like a natural move. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Fold 3 are both compatible with the S Pen, but they must be purchased separately.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

What we’re expecting: Samsung’s next flip phone may have a larger cover screen and a less noticeable crease, according to Ross Young, cofounder and CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants. Ross recently tweeted that the Z Flip 5 will have a cover display measuring around 3 inches and a new hinge design that could make the crease more subtle. That would represent a sizable increase from the current Z Flip 4’s 1.9-inch cover screen. Like with the Z Fold 5, there’s a chance we’ll see general improvements to camera quality and software as well as a new processor.

Why I’m excited about it: Making the cover screen slightly larger would address one of the Z Flip’s biggest shortcomings. As my colleague Patrick Holland wrote in his review of the Z Flip 4. the cover screen is the biggest area where Samsung could be doing more. I’m also hoping to see longer battery life from the Z Flip 5 considering that’s another area where Samsung’s current flip phone could use some improvement.

Overall

It seems like some of the biggest improvements we’re expecting to see across the board on new smartphones in 2023 will have to do with battery and charging improvements, as well as camera and design upgrades. We’ll know more throughout the year as more reports and rumors arrive, and as Samsung, Apple and Google actually debut their devices.

iPhone 15 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S23: expected differences

If you are looking for a powerful, no-compromise phone that is not too big, Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy S23 are clearly the first two names that come to mind.

Apple is expected to officially unveil the iPhone 15 Pro in September, but thanks to numerous leaks and insightful analyst reports, we know almost everything about the upcoming phone in advance.

There are a few big new features in the iPhone 15 Pro: first, is the new A17 Bionic chip, the world’s first mobile chip built on the cutting edge 3nm process, which gives it advantages in speed and efficiency, and then the switch to a USB-C port, the same as on all other gadgets, and also numerous smaller improvements to the camera system, a new Action Button, and a fancy new titanium frame.

The Galaxy S23, on the other hand, is still meticulously built and it also features a powerful triple camera system and an excellent Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip. Both phones are roughly of the same dimensions, but the Galaxy is expected to be the one that weighs less and it is way more affordable too. So. which one should you go for?

  • iPhone to have the faster chip
  • Both have 6.1″ screens
  • Galaxy to weigh less
  • iOS on iPhone vs Android on Galaxy
  • Similar camera capabilities
  • iPhone expected to have longer lasting battery
  • Galaxy expected to charge a bit faster

Design and Size

Both are similarly compact

The build quality is expected to be every bit as premium as modern phones get with a matte glass back on both of them. However, while the Galaxy uses an aluminum frame, the iPhone goes for titanium, a material that we have not yet seen used on smartphones. Titanium has the advantage of being better at resisting all kinds of damage, and with an expected brushed finish, it will not catch fingerprint smudges easily too.

One sore point of previous iPhones was they were quite heavy for their size, and titanium also helps in that as it weighs less than the stainless steel used before.

Both phones come with an IP68 water and dust protection rating, just as you’d expect on a 2023 flagship.

Apple is said to make one change to the buttons, though. It is still using physical keys for power and volume (rumors claimed it could switch to haptic buttons), but the mute switch that has been on iPhones since the very beginning is now replaced with a new Action Button. This new button will be programmable so you can set it to launched whatever function you prefer, and of course, you can also set it to work as a mute key as before too. The Galaxy does not have such a button and we do wish it had, it’s such a nice little convenience.

In terms of ports, both are said to now use the same USB-C port, at the same fast USB 3.2 speeds. So nice to have that on an iPhone and not have to deal with the Lightning cables! Oh, and no charger in the box for either one of these.

Finally, in terms of colors, both have a slightly muted palette of “pro” colors: you have your standard black/dark gray, gold and silver, but the Galaxy also has a neat green version, while the iPhone 15 Pro is said to have this impressive new Deep Red color.

Display Differences

Both phones come with a 6.1-inch screen size and both use Samsung-made OLED panels, so they are pretty darn similar. And yes, both screens are flat.

The iPhone is just slightly sharper with its 1179p resolution compared to the 1080p on the Galaxy, but you probably won’t even notice. And both have the same, slightly wider than many other phones 19.5 to 9 aspect ratio.

Both screens also have dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, so scrolling and swiping looks buttery smooth, but the iPhone is a bit more advanced as it can go all the way down to just 1Hz for static content, while the Galaxy S23 can only go as low as 48Hz, which is not as power efficient. Subtle difference again, but worth noting.

We do expect the iPhone being the newer phone to have a newer generation OLED panel, and this should come with a slightly higher max brightness and possibly improved color balance, but again, these would be very subtle differences if at all there.

One thing the iPhone improves is the bezel size around the screen as leaks say it will have a 1.5mm bezel, a record low in the industry, and this should help for a more immersive all-screen look.

In terms of biometrics, the iPhone goes with the Face ID system, while the Galaxy relies mostly on the ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint reader. You do have a face recognition system on the Galaxy, but it is not as secure as the 3D based on on the iPhone.

Performance and Software

A17 Bionic on iPhone 15 Pro expected to beat the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the Galaxy

One of the most impressive new features on the iPhone 15 Pro is the Apple A17 Bionic chip, the world’s first mobile chip built using TSMC’s 3nm technology.

This cutting edge process allows packing a lot more transistors and performance in the same die size, but the main benefit might actually be the big gains in power efficiency.

Samsung’s Galaxy S23, on the other hand, is powered by one of the best Qualcomm chip in years, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. It’s manufactured using TSMC’s 4nm process, and it is also an excellent chip, but it is expected to be a beat slower than the new A17.

Both phones come with 8GB of RAM, but the Galaxy actually has the newer and faster LPDRR5X kind, while the iPhone uses the slightly slower LPDDR5 standard.

And then you have the software where the iPhone and the Galaxy could not differ more. The iPhone is expected to launch with the latest iOS 17, while the Galaxy runs on Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 5.1.

Apple has added a lot of new features to iOS in the past few years and it is expected to add even more with this release, and in certain areas like the lockscreen widgets, the brilliant weather app, the ecosystem connectivity with other Apple devices, iOS has been unmatched. But then, it still lacks proper split-screen multitasking, which you do have on the Galaxy.

Samsung has also increased the software support on its devices and you now get 4 years of major updates guaranteed, but Apple goes a step further with at least 5 years of major updates, and don’t forget that iOS updates arrive much faster than Android updates on Samsung phones, which can take up to half a year after the release.

When it comes to connectivity, you have all necessary 4G LTE and 5G bands, but the iPhone also adds satellite connectivity, which can be life-saving in an emergency when you don’t have access to a cellular network so that’s neat.

Camera

A very close battle, but Apple might have the upper hand

You have a 48MP main camera on the iPhone and a 50MP main shooter on the Galaxy, then you have 12MP ultra-wide camera on both, and finally, you have a 3X zoom shooter again on both. Both phones can also use the ultra-wide camera to take macro shots.

The iPhone, however, is expected to get a new and larger image sensor for the main camera, which gives it the theoretical advantage.

And of course, image quality between the two will still be different. Samsung is known for its vibrant, larger than life color science, which some like and others find excessive, while the iPhone has less extreme colors, but has its own issue with extreme over-sharpening to fix.

Zoom quality has traditionally been one area where Samsung has done a better job than Apple, so it’s interesting to see if that will change.

For video quality, the Galaxy has really stepped it up in one area: video stabilization, which is now so good on the Galaxy S23.

The iPhone, however, is still the better camera for video overall, with cleaner footage with better detail.

One rumor claims that the iPhone can also add support for 8K video recording, something that has been on Galaxy flagship phones in the past couple of years. Let’s see if that happens.

Both phones also support Cinematic Mode / Portrait Video which allows you to blur the background, an effect you typically get with a proper stand-alone camera, but again the iPhone is better at actually doing that effect.

Audio Quality and Haptics

Both phones come with a dual speaker system consisting of a main, bottom-firing speaker and a secondary one in the earpiece.

The Galaxy S23 was a big upgrade over its predecessors, and we expect the audio quality to be roughly similar on these two phones, but you’d have to wait until the iPhone launches for an in-depth test.

In terms of haptics, the Galaxy does a good job, but we still prefer the incredibly Taptic Enging which provides a bit tighter vibration alerts and feels more refined.

Battery Life and Charging

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Finally, battery life! The iPhone 15 Pro is expected to feature a roughly 3,200mAh battery, while the Galaxy S23 has a 3,900mAh battery. That’s a massive difference! The battery on the Galaxy S23 has a nearly 20% larger capacity!

Well, not really. Apple’s iOS platform is better at power efficiency and practice has shown that the iPhone typically has longer battery life than the Galaxy, so that’s what we expect to happen once the new 15 Pro launches in September. Don’t expect two-day battery out of either one of these, though. After all, such compact phones usually can’t last as much as their larger counterparts.

As for charging, we are so glad to have the same USB-C port on both these phones, that is just so convenient. No charger in the box, as we’ve already mentioned, but you probably have one laying around already.

As for speeds, though, we don’t anticipated any huge increase with that transition, so the iPhone 15 Pro might very well still charge at the same 23W max rate, while the Galaxy S23 supports 25W charging.

Both phones support wireless charging as well, with the iPhone here being fastest with MagSafe at 15W compared to the traditional Qi charging on the Galaxy S23 at 10W.

Specs Comparison

iPhone 15 ProSamsung Galaxy S23

Don’t forget that we have an in-depth iPhone 15 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S23 specs comparison here where you can learn a lot more about individual characteristics like Band support, camera details and more.

Summary and Final Verdict

At the end of the day, these are two of your best (if not the best) options if you are looking for a compact flagship phone.

The iPhone 15 Pro has a number of improvements, but it remains the iOS ecosystem that lures people in with its familiarity, iMessage, support for Apple Watch, Airpods, AirDrop and so on. In terms of pure hardware improvements, the iPhone 15 Pro certainly clears the bar with anticipated industry-leading chip, improved cameras and finally, a USB-C port.

The Galaxy S23 would be a better fit for someone looking to save some money, but also someone who appreciated Android’s openness and capabilities like split-screen multitasking and so on.

iPhone 15 vs Samsung Galaxy S23: the rumored key differences

Apple and Samsung have been the two largest mobile manufacturers for some time now, so it’s no surprise that, every year, consumers are quick to draw comparisons between their respective flagship devices.

Right now, Apple’s iPhone 14 family is up against Samsung’s Galaxy S23 line (we’ve compared the Samsung Galaxy S23 vs iPhone 14 elsewhere on TechRadar), but Apple and Samsung launch new phones at different times of the year. Samsung launches Galaxy S phones early, while Apple waits until the latter half for its iPhone. Therefore, we’re expecting Apple to mount a new challenge with the iPhone 15 series come September.

Here we compare the rumored features of the base iPhone 15 with the confirmed specs of the Samsung Galaxy S23 (read our Samsung Galaxy S23 review for our full verdict on Samsung’s latest vanilla device).

iPhone 15 vs Samsung Galaxy S23: Specs comparison

It’s worth clarifying that none of the below iPhone 15 specs have been confirmed by Apple, but we think we’ve heard enough rumors in each category to speculate (with confidence) about the phone’s camera, display and processor credentials.

Additionally, the similarities between the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus (and the expected similarities between the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus) mean the below comparisons should hopefully be applicable to each brand’s respective Plus variants (save for their obvious size differences).

iPhone 15 vs Samsung Galaxy S23: Specs

Display:Resolution:Refresh rate:OS:Chipset:Rear cameras:Front camera:RAM:Storage:Battery:
6.1-inch OLED 6.1-inch AMOLED
2532 x 1170 pixels 2340 x 1080 pixels
60Hz 48Hz-120Hz
iOS 17 Android 13
A16 Bionic Qualcomm Snapdragon Gen 8 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy
48MP main (24mm, ƒ/1.78), 12MP ultrawide (13mm, ƒ/2.2) 50MP main (24mm, ƒ/1.8), 12MP ultrawide (13mm, ƒ/2.2), 10MP telephoto (70mm, ƒ/2.4)
12MP 12MP
8GB 8GB
256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB
≈3,279mAh 3,900mAh

iPhone 15 vs Samsung Galaxy S23: Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy S23 hit shelves on February 17, 2023, in two storage variants – 128GB and 256GB – costing 799.99 / £849 / AU1,349 and 859.99 / £899 / AU1,449, respectively.

Naturally, we don’t yet know the price or release date of the iPhone 15, but we can make an educated guess at both given Apple’s consistency when it comes to product launches.

Apple generally picks the first or second week of September for its annual iPhone releases, typically opting for a Tuesday or Wednesday. We therefore expect the iPhone 15 to be revealed on September 5, 6, 12 or 13 this year, before going on sale around a week later.

In terms of price, we expect the iPhone 15 to match the iPhone 14, so a starting price of 799 / £849 / AU1,339 seems likely. Other manufacturers – Oppo and Xiaomi, for instance – have opted to forgo 128GB storage options with their respective base 2023 flagships, so it’s possible, though unlikely, that the iPhone 15 could start at around 899 / £959 / AU1,579 for the 256GB model, instead.

If that’s the case, then the Samsung Galaxy S23 will undercut the price of the iPhone 15 by 39 / £60 / AU130 – a small-but-not-insignificant figure.

iPhone 15 vs Samsung Galaxy S23: Design and display

When it comes to the phone’s displays, the Samsung Galaxy S23 uses a 6.1-inch, 1080 x 2340-pixel AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, while the iPhone 15 is expected to sport the same 6.1-inch, 1170 x 2532-pixel OLED display as its sibling (which has a lesser 60Hz refresh rate).

On paper, then, the Galaxy S23 will offer a higher refresh rate than the iPhone 15, but it’s not a complete victory, since the latter looks set to use a marginally higher-resolution display.

We’re also expecting the iPhone 15 to inherit the Dynamic Island – Apple’s fancy screen cutout – from the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, which should give the device a more premium appearance compared to older iPhone models. The Dynamic Island offers more functionality than the S23’s punch-hole camera, so that’s worth considering.

On the design front, the Samsung Galaxy S23 measures 146.3 x 70.9 x 7.6mm and weighs 168g (its larger sibling, the Galaxy S23 Plus, measures 157.8 x 76.2 x 7.6mm and weighs 196g). The phone has a flat screen with a punch-hole camera at the top, and its three rear cameras protrude individually rather than being housed in a single camera block, as on the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus.

The S23’s bezels are as narrow as you’d hope to see on a high-end phone, its back is made from Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and its frame is metal. You get IP68 dust and water resistance, too, which is the standard for premium handsets these days.

It’s hard to speculate on the iPhone 15’s weight and dimensions, but the iPhone 14 measures a slightly larger 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8mm and weighs a slightly heavier 172g (the iPhone 14 Plus measures 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.8mm and weighs 203g).

On the whole, we expect the iPhone 15 to mimic the iPhone 14 from a size standpoint, though rumors do suggest that all four iPhone 15 models are going to get slightly curved edges, meaning the iPhone 15 could look more like the iPhone 11 (where the iPhone 14 rocks a straight-sided aesthetic akin to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13).

The iPhone 15 is expected to get a USB-C charging port, too, instead of the iPhone 14’s Lightning port (which has remained a fixture of every iPhone since the iPhone 5). The EU has told Apple that it has to add USB-C charging ports to iPhones from 2024, but all the signs point towards the company adopting the new charging standard in 2023. For clarity, the Samsung Galaxy S23 already uses USB-C.

Annoyingly, it looks like the biggest iPhone design upgrades this year – titanium sides, thinner bezels and so on – will be reserved for Apple’s Pro models.

iPhone 15 New Buttons Cancelled? Pixel 8 Series Details & more!

iPhone 15 vs Samsung Galaxy S23: Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S23 boasts the following triple-sensor setup:

The iPhone 15 is expected to get a dual-sensor camera setup akin to the iPhone 14, though rumors indicate that the phone will inherit a 48MP main sensor similar to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, rather than the 12MP main sensor used by its vanilla predecessor.

That said, even with this rumored upgrade, the iPhone 15 isn’t expected to offer a third, S23-style telephoto sensor, so the Galaxy S23 looks set to win out.

Of course, megapixels aren’t everything, and Apple’s phones take great photos with low-megapixel sensors – but for versatility, at least, the Galaxy S23 will likely beat out the newer iPhone 15 on the photography front.

When it comes to selfie-snapping, we’re not expecting the iPhone 15 to upgrade its predecessor’s 12MP front-facing sensor. The Galaxy S23 likewise uses a 12MP front-facing camera, so it’s even-stevens there.

iPhone 15 vs Samsung Galaxy S23: Performance

Talking performance, the Samsung Galaxy S23 uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy, with 8GB RAM offered on every variant as standard.

The iPhone 15 will likely use the A16 Bionic – aka the chip currently sported by its Pro-level predecessors – alongside 6GB RAM, which means we can look to the ‘performance’ section of our Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max comparison for a speculative take on the performance differences between the standard S23 and Apple’s next vanilla iPhone.

In that piece, we wrote: “The A16 Bionic CPU of the iPhone 14 Pro Max certainly can’t be accused of being sluggish or lacking in power, while the same can be said of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 used in the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Both are fast with plenty of performance value.

“Samsung has also tinkered with the S23 Ultra’s CPU to overclocked it to 3.36GHz rather than the standard 3.2GHz, and its speed and efficiency certainly impressed us. There is very little to separate the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra from a performance point of view, but the S23 Ultra earns the win by a hair based on the gains it has made in efficiency that help its battery last longer.”

In reality, though, the speed differences between the Samsung Galaxy S23 and the iPhone 15 are likely to be negligible. Apple’s next iPhone is again expected to offer 6GB RAM – the S23 boasts 8GB RAM – but comparing RAM amounts in iPhones with Android phones is almost meaningless, since Apple utilizes RAM differently and always makes a little Memory go a long, long way.

The biggest real difference between iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy phones is the software they run. The Galaxy S23 runs Android 13 overlaid with Samsung’s One UI 5.1 interface, while the iPhone 15 will run iOS 17. Again, there’s no clear winner here – assuming that iOS 17 isn’t too far removed from iOS 16, that is – so it’ll be a matter of personal preference.

This is the iPhone 15!

iPhone 15 vs Samsung Galaxy S23: Battery

Judging by Apple’s history when it comes to updating (or not updating) battery sizes with each iPhone iteration, we’re expecting the vanilla iPhone 15 to use a similarly-sized power pack to the iPhone 14. The latter sports a reported 3,279mAh battery that delivers a full day of use if the phone is used normally for everyday tasks.

The Samsung Galaxy S23, on the other hand, has a larger 3,900mAh battery, but it doesn’t offer significantly longer battery life than the iPhone 14, so we’d expect the iPhone 15 to match Samsung’s latest in that department.

In terms of charging, the Samsung Galaxy S23 offers 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging, while the iPhone 15 will likely stick with its predecessor’s 20W wired charging and 15W wireless charging capabilities (though the latter figure may, for the first time, also apply to third-party chargers as well as Apple’s MagSafe chargers).

On paper, then, the Galaxy S23 could offer slightly more powerful wired charging than the iPhone 15 (25W vs 20W), but the real-world differences should be negligible.

Oh, and while the Galaxy S23 offers reverse wireless charging up to 4.5W, the iPhone 15 line is rumored to get reverse wireless charging functionality, at last.

iPhone 15 vs Samsung Galaxy S23: Verdict

None of the aforementioned iPhone 15 specs have been confirmed, but we can draw some conclusions about the differences (and similarities) between Apple’s next vanilla iPhone and the standard Galaxy S23.

For starters, they’re likely to cost around the same price, so that needn’t be a consideration when it comes to deciding which of these phones to buy.

The Galaxy S23 screen looks set to offer a superior refresh rate to the iPhone 15, but the iPhone is rumored to get Apple’s Dynamic Island, so that’s one premium feature apiece in terms of the phones’ respective displays.

Both devices will use USB-C, and their body designs will remain – or do remain, in the case of the S23 – consistent with what Samsung and Apple have been doing for years with their flagship phones, save for some superficial changes.

On cameras, the Galaxy S23 will likely out-spec the iPhone 15, despite the latter’s arriving later in the year. We expect the iPhone 15 to lack the former’s telephoto lens, so if you’re into long-distance photography, the Samsung will almost certainly be the better choice. In terms of photo quality, we’ll have to see the images to render a verdict.

If we assume that the iPhone 15 will match or better its predecessor’s battery life, both phones will offer just over a day of use. On the performance front, the S23’s use of LPDDR5X memory and UFS 4.0 shouldn’t amount to significant real-world speed gains over Apple’s next vanilla model.

The Galaxy S23 is an extremely solid choice for existing Samsung fans who aren’t fussed about the S23 Ultra’s superior camera capabilities, while the base iPhone 15 will be – by and large – a cheaper version of Apple’s excellent iPhone 14 Pro. In truth, we haven’t yet seen a reason to persuade existing Samsung or Apple fans to defect over to the other side.

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Samsung Galaxy Book Flex (15-Inch) Preview

I’m the deputy managing editor of the hardware team at PCMag.com. Reading this during the day? Then you’ve caught me testing gear and editing reviews of laptops, desktop PCs, and tons of other personal tech. (Reading this at night? Then I’m probably dreaming about all those cool products.) I’ve covered the consumer tech world as an editor, reporter, and analyst since 2015.

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The Bottom Line

With a bright, vivid QLED display and a stylish, lightweight chassis, the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex is an excellent large-screen 2-in-1 convertible laptop.

PCMag editors select and review products independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn commissions, which help support our testing.

Pros

  • Exceptionally bright QLED display
  • Thin, light, and stylish
  • Large touchpad
  • Built-in S Pen doubles as a remote control
  • Long battery life
  • Good computing performance
  • Built-in Qi wireless charging pad

Samsung Galaxy Book Flex (15-Inch) Specs

For the same 1,399 price as Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S20 Ultra phone, you can pick up the company’s newest flagship laptop, the Galaxy Book Flex. It’s a sign of just how ridiculous phone have become, but it’s also evidence that Samsung can make a well-designed laptop at a reasonable price, albeit a still-lofty one in absolute terms. The Galaxy Book Flex, available with either a 13-inch or 15-inch screen, has most of the features we look for in a 2-in-1 convertible laptop, including a gorgeous touch-enabled display and a surprisingly light weight. Despite a few software bugs and an awkward keyboard, it’s an excellent option for people who need a flexible notebook with a large, high-quality display.

Our 15-inch Galaxy Book Flex preview unit is configured differently from the U.S. retail version. The differences in memory, storage, and graphics could affect computing performance, so we’re not giving it a rating until we can test the final retail configuration. However, all of the other features discussed below are the same as the ones on the version consumers can buy.

Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. See how we test. (Opens in a new window)

The First QLED Laptop

With the Galaxy Book Flex, Samsung brings its QLED display technology to portable PCs for the first time. Both screen sizes have a Full HD resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels. Similar to OLED screens, which stormed the premium laptop market last year, QLED displays use familiar LCD panels and LED backlight arrays. The difference, “Q,” is short for quantum dots, Samsung’s marketing term for nanoparticles that emit or alter light at different frequencies when exposed to electricity. This light-tweaking can produce more precise color in a wider range than the LCDs illuminated by white LEDs can.

Indeed, colors do appear brilliant on the Galaxy Book Flex, though I’m not sure how much of the excellent experience is attributable to the QLED technology and how much is thanks to high dynamic range (HDR), which many other laptops in this price range also support. Overall, my experience of testing the Galaxy Book Flex was more akin to using a laptop with a 4K screen. Only when editing text did I notice the ever-so-slightly fuzzy lines of text that are a staple of 1080p and lower resolutions.

HP Spectre x360 15 (2019, AMOLED)

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

The QLED display also has an extraordinarily high rated maximum brightness of 600 nits. The highest brightness level we typically see on consumer laptops is 500 nits, and even that is easily viewable out of doors (though not in direct sunlight). The extra 100 nits has Samsung confident enough to market the Galaxy Book Flex as designed for outdoor viewing.

But constantly operating a display at 600 nits will have a significant negative effect on battery life, and you certainly don’t need that level of brightness in your living room. So you must unlock the maximum brightness level by activating Outdoor Mode in the Samsung Settings app. Letting the display turn off when the laptop goes to sleep will deactivate Outdoor Mode, just in case you forget to turn it off when you come back inside.

Like all 2-in-1 convertible notebooks, the Galaxy Book Flex’s display has a 360-degree hinge. You can transform the laptop into a tent for watching movies or an easel for displaying a presentation. You can even fold it completely flat, with the screen parallel to the keyboard base, for use as a tablet.

It Fits in Your Hands

Normally, a large-screen laptop with a 360-degree hinge is unwieldy to hold as a tablet for very long because it’s too heavy. That’s less of a problem with the Galaxy Book Flex, however. The 15-inch version weighs just 3.4 pounds. That’s a bit above the 3-pound maximum for our definition of an ultraportable laptop, but it still weighs far less than competitors like the HP Spectre x360 15, the Lenovo Yoga C940, or the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1, all of which are at least a pound heavier.

Meanwhile, the 13-inch version of the Galaxy Book Flex weighs just 2.5 pounds, not far above the 1-kilogram (2.2-pound) holy grail for premium ultraportables. Both versions are also quite svelte, with the 15-incher measuring 0.5 by 11.9 by 8 inches (HWD). That compares favorably to the 15-inch Yoga C940, which measures 0.77 by 14 by 9.4 inches.

One reason the Galaxy Book Flex is so thin and light is thanks to super-efficient but powerful components. The Core i7-1065G7 processor, from Intel’s latest 10th-generation “Ice Lake” family, is a quad-core chip with Hyper-Threading support and a 1.3GHz clock speed. It’s less powerful than the 8th-generation H-series Core i7 that powers the Yoga C940, but it also requires less electricity and cooling, which helps keep the Galaxy Book Flex’s weight down.

Royal Blue

The Galaxy Book Flex comes in a single color option—Royal Blue—which Samsung promises will “turn heads.” That’s probably right, not because the deep blue scheme is particularly flashy, but because most other premium laptops are a boring silver color. One notable exception is the Spectre x360 15, which is also available in dark blue.

Nearly every part of the Galaxy Book Flex is blue—even the touchpad. The only portions that aren’t are the shiny silver metallic edges and the black glass-covered display bezel. It’s reasonably pleasing to the eye and unequivocally pleasing to hold in your hand, thanks to solid, reassuring build quality. There’s no noticeable flex anywhere on the laptop’s base, and while the display lid does bend a bit, it’s hardly noticeable.

The keyboard and touchpad are especially sturdy. That’s great for the touchpad, an oversized slab that does double duty as a Qi wireless charging pad. Plug your laptop in before you go to bed, set your Qi-compatible phone or Smart watch on the touchpad, and everything will be charged in the morning. It’s a nifty, novel feature, though one that you can’t take advantage of when you’re actually using the touchpad.

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The keyboard’s sturdiness is a bit more problematic, not because it shouldn’t be sturdy, but because it highlights just how shallow and uncomfortable the keys are. They’re very similar to the butterfly-style keyboard that Apple is currently phasing out on its laptops following mostly negative feedback. Typing on the Galaxy Book Flex is really just tapping, which is fine if you only need to do it occasionally, but woefully uncomfortable if you’re writing emails or reports or a romance novel all day long. As a consolation prize for spreadsheet jockeys, the Galaxy Book Flex is large enough to include a dedicated number pad, which should make Microsoft Excel sessions quicker, if still uncomfortable.

S Pen Included

One of the main reasons to buy a 2-in-1 convertible laptop instead of a conventional clamshell is the ability to write or draw on it with a digital pen while it’s set up as a tablet or an easel. Like the Yoga C940, the Galaxy Book Flex comes with a digital stylus and an integrated holder built into the laptop’s right edge. The stylus, called the S Pen, is far smaller and skinnier than the Apple Pencil, which makes writing and drawing slightly cumbersome. But because it fits completely into the holder and recharges while it’s stored, you’ll never have to worry about losing it or replacing its batteries.

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The coolest part about the S Pen is that it doubles as a remote control for many common software functions simply by waving it in the air. In Microsoft Edge, you can play and pause videos as well as raise and lower the audio volume with these gestures, which you can customize in the Samsung Settings app. In Microsoft PowerPoint, you can use the pen to advance to the next slide by flicking it to the right while holding down the button.

While these actions are cool, they’re also quite gimmicky, cumbersome to learn, and occasionally glitchy. It took several minutes of practice before I was able to get my gestures to register, and several minutes before that for the Galaxy Book Flex to find the S Pen and pair with it. For a week thereafter, a notification popped up asking me to pair with the S Pen every time I powered up the laptop, even though the pen was already paired.

Worse, the Samsung Settings app notes that “media control actions may not work, depending on the application.” Indeed, skipping forward and backward within a YouTube video in Microsoft Edge did not work, even though the gestures are listed as supported. While you can edit the default gestures to perform different actions on an app-by-app basis, there’s no way to add additional apps to the list.

Samsung has a history of innovative hardware features that lack robust software to back them up, including an incident earlier this year with the Galaxy S20’s camera software. It appears that the S Pen’s remote features also fall into this category. Even if the software improves in future updates, I can’t see myself using the S Pen as a remote very often. The situation is reminiscent of the extinct Windows Media Center, and of Apple’s efforts to turn the original MacBook into a home theater PC by throwing in an IR remote and Front Row software. These features were flashy in their time but were eventually abandoned.

Professionally Tuned Audio

In addition to the S Pen holder, you’ll find two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the Galaxy Book Flex’s right edge, along with a power button. (The latter doesn’t have an integrated fingerprint reader—the reader is located in the keyboard above the directional arrow keys.) On the left edge, there’s an additional USB Type-C port that doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3, as well as a headphone jack and an SD card reader. While a USB Type-A port would have been a nice addition, many other thin and light laptops also lack USB-A ports, so the Galaxy Book Flex is not uniquely stingy here. Wireless connectivity includes Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.0.

AKG, a German professional audio equipment firm owned by Samsung, tunes the Galaxy Book Flex’s stereo speakers. Often professionally tuned laptop speakers are a gimmick. In this case, though, audio quality is remarkably good for such a small laptop. Rich, dimensional sound emanates from the edge-mounted speaker grilles. Perhaps the only thing missing is bass—music never sounds tinny, even at higher volumes, but the bottom is virtually nonexistent.

Webcam quality is merely average, with the Galaxy Book Flex’s 720p webcam producing slightly grainy video quality even in well-lit rooms. The webcam lacks a built-in privacy shutter and IR sensors that let you log in to your Windows 10 account using face recognition. Password-free logins are still possible thanks to the fingerprint reader, however.

Samsung supports the Galaxy Book Flex with a one-year warranty.

Computing Performance: Feels Snappy

In addition to the Core i7 processor, our Galaxy Book Flex review unit also includes 16GB of memory, a 1TB solid-state drive, and an Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics processor. It’s a potent combination, and in casual use over several days, I found the laptop to be snappy and responsive, and also to last all day away from the power outlet even when streaming online videos.

Unfortunately, the retail configuration that will be sold in the U.S. lacks these lofty components. The 15-inch version sold in the States has 12GB of memory and a 512GB SSD, and it relies on the Core i7 chip’s Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics. Samsung doesn’t offer multiple configurations for the Galaxy Book Flex, so you’re stuck with those specs. Still, they’re fairly generous for the 1,399 asking price.

In fact, the Galaxy Book Flex seems to be a good value in absolute terms, whether you compare it to a flagship smartphone or similar flagship 2-in-1 convertibles. That’s barring any glaring performance deficiencies, of course, which we won’t know about until we get the chance to test a retail configuration.

Taking Shape: A Solid Convertible

Besides our not knowing how the retail version will perform, the Galaxy Book Flex does have some flakiness around the S Pen air-gesture feature, and an uncomfortable keyboard. But there are also plenty of positives. Innovative features like the S Pen stylus itself and wireless charging are unobtrusive enough that you can ignore them if you don’t need them, and they don’t hurt the laptop’s impressive track record in the crucial areas of build quality, weight, and price. Overall, the Galaxy Book Flex is shaping up to be an excellent 2-in-1 convertible laptop.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Selfie test

We put the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra through our rigorous DXOMARK Selfie test suite to measure its performance in photo and video from an end-user perspective. This article breaks down how the device fared in a variety of tests and several common use cases and is intended to highlight the most important results of our testing with an extract of the captured data.

Overview

Key front camera specifications:

  • 12MP sensor
  • f/1.9 aperture lens
  • Up to 4K / 60fps video
  • 3D depth sensing camera

Sub-scores and attributes included in the calculations of the global score.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (Snapdragon)

Pros

  • Good exposure and rather wide dynamic range in photo and video
  • Accurate white balance and nice skin tones in bright light and indoors
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • Noise levels well under control in most conditions
  • Nice bokeh effect with accurate depth estimation
  • Effective video stabilization

Cons

  • Occasional slight underexposure in difficult low light conditions
  • Lack of detail in low light
  • Lack of contrast in photo mode
  • Ghosting, ringing and hue shift artifacts

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra performed very well in the DXOMARK Selfie tests, coming close to the very best devices in the Ultra-Premium segment. Its front camera has also been slightly improvement over the predecessor S22 Ultra, with differences most noticeable in terms of color in photo as well as noise reduction in both photo and video. This said, our testers found the level of captured detail to be generally lower than on the previous model.

When shooting still images, the camera delivered nice colors and skin tones in most conditions. Dynamic range was pretty wide, capturing good detail in both the highlight and shadow regions of the frame. The autofocus was accurate and quick to lock on, working reliably even in difficult conditions. While not as high as on some direct competitors, the level of captured detail was good, and image noise was kept well under control across all light conditions. On the downside, our testers observed underexposure in some scenes and images often lacked contrast. Unwanted artifacts such as ringing or hue shift near clipped areas could also be found in some sample shots.

Video quality was overall quite similar to the Galaxy S22 Ultra, with a wide dynamic range and generally good exposure, despite the occasional underexposed sequence. Video autofocus was quick and stable and the stabilization system did a good job at keeping camera shake to a minimum. Noise levels were noticeably lower than on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but on the flip side, video clips showed lower levels of detail, especially when recording in low light.

This graph compares overall photo and video DXOMARK Selfie scores between tested devices and references. Average and maximum scores of the price segment are also indicated. Average and maximum scores for each price segment are computed based on the DXOMARK database of devices.

Test summary

About DXOMARK Selfie tests: For scoring and analysis, DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate more than 1,500 test images both in controlled lab environments and in outdoor, indoor and low-light natural scenes, using the front camera’s default settings. The photo protocol is designed to take into account the user’s needs and is based on typical shooting scenarios, such as close-up and group selfies. The evaluation is performed by visually inspecting images against a reference of natural scenes, and by running objective measurements on images of charts captured in the lab under different lighting conditions from 1 to 1,000 lux and color temperatures from 2,300K to 6,500K. For more information about the DXOMARK Selfie test protocol, click here. details on how we score smartphone cameras are available here. The following section gathers key elements of DXOMARK’s exhaustive tests and analyses.Full performance evaluations are available upon request. Please contact us on how to receive a full report.

Photo

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (Snapdragon)

Author

Kerariel

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