Leaked Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra images show bigger cameras and a less curvy screen
Confusing pricing rumors and new 200MP camera sensor information dropped, too
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Same, but different
📱 The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra design keeps the familiar rectangle shape
📸 Changes include bigger lenses and a shallower edge curve for the screen
📦 128GB base model likely for Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus, not for Ultra
🤔 Price rumor could mean pricier base models, cheaper upgraded storage
🌒 New camera sensor details showcase lowlight potential of 200MP shooter
New alleged product shot leaks of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra show a phone that, at first, looks unchanged from last year’s model as we approach the home stretch to their presumed February 1 announcement. That comes courtesy of The Netherlands site Niewemobil, which showed the four expected Samsung Galaxy S23 colors, and was caught out by tipsters Ice universe and Roland Quandt, who’ve broken many of the most seemingly-accurate rumors we’ve seen over the last couple of months.
The differences, this time around, include larger camera lenses (as with those of the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus) and a small but meaningful change to the screen, which now appears to be technically narrower, as it no longer curves down the sides of the phone’s body quite as far, bringing it closer to a flat screen framed within the side edges, like most other smartphones, as was hashed out in previous Samsung Galaxy S23 design change rumors.
We’ll have more news on Samsung’s latest phones soon as the February 1 date nears
S23 pricing goes up, storage gets a higher ceiling
It’s been rumored since about mid-December that Samsung was considering raising the prices on its new S23 phones, and we may now know by how much. A tweet from leaker RGcloudS pegged the phones as starting at $899 for the base Galaxy S23, and ranging up to $1,499 for the top-of-the-line Ultra model.
An interesting tidbit from that tweet is the inclusion of prices for a 128GB Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus, as well as no 512GB tier for either phone, where some rumors had the phones dropping 128GB base storage for all models – it looks like only the Galaxy S23 Ultra is skipping the lower storage tier.
If true, this makes for a somewhat unbalanced price structure change, as the S23 and S23 Plus models would see significant $100 price hikes for the 128GB storage tier but no increase for the 256GB versions, while the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra actually gets a price decrease of $50 compared to the 256GB and 512GB versions, with a $150 jump to get to the new 1TB storage level.
S23 Ultra 200MP camera sensor, detailed
Finally, this morning, Samsung released details about the 200-megapixel Isocell HP2 sensor almost certainly found in the Galaxy S23 Ultra. We pretty much already knew a 200MP camera was coming to the Ultra phone because it’s a core feature of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset that’s all but confirmed for the S23 Ultra.
Today, Samsung said its new 200MP camera sensor will greatly reduce wash-out in bright environments, but also offers low-light benefits that are presumably responsible for the rumored new Samsung Galaxy S23 astro hyperlapse feature hinted at by early promotional teasers.
The way the sensor accomplishes this is via pixel binning – it takes the 200MP information and simulates either a 1.2μm 50MP or 2.4μm 12.5MP image by combining smaller pixels into larger ones, with up to 16 pixels merging into a single one.
The company says this will enable 33MP low-light 8K recording at 30 frames per second. It also touts much faster auto-focus in low light conditions and HDR video up to 4K video at 60fps. The release concludes by saying the sensor is now in mass production, which sounds an awful lot like something you’d say if you’re including that sensor in your fancy soon-to-be-announced flagship smartphone.