Themay be just around the corner, but Samsung likely has a lot more in store for the rest of 2023. If the tech giant sticks to its annual routine, we can expect new foldable phones and wearables in August. The company has also previewed new designs for at CES 2023, hinting that the company may be planning to move beyond the Z Fold and Z Flip in the near future.
While Samsung regularly releases new products across many categories, including TVs, home appliances, and monitors, I’m particularly interested in where the mobile devices are headed. Samsung is one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers by market share, meaning it has more influence than most other tech companies on the devices we carry in our pockets every day. Wearables have also become a big part of how Samsung aims to differentiate its phones from those of other Android device manufacturers, as it tries to create a web of products that will keep users hooked, much in the same way Apple does.
These are the rumored Samsung products I’m most looking forward to this year based on rumors, leaks, and the company’s usual product launch schedule.
Galaxy S23 lineup
Samsung makes a lot of phones, but the Galaxy S23 range usually showcases the best of what it has to offer. The Galaxy S23 family is expected to debut with the companyand will probably be launched soon after. The standard S23 and S23 Plus are expected to receive a general refresh that will most likely include a new processor, slightly updated design and perhaps some camera improvements.
But the top-notch Ultra is where Samsung spends most of its camera capabilities. The new model is expected to get a 200-megapixel camera, likely powered by the new image sensor Samsung announced on January 16. That chip promises to deliver higher resolution along with better performance in challenging conditions, like my colleague. Achieving both is usually difficult because the higher the resolution, the smaller the pixels. And smaller pixels typically can’t capture as much light, which can have a direct impact on image quality.
We’ll know more when Samsung introduces the Galaxy S23 series. But I’m looking forward to seeing if that expected jump in camera resolution really makes a big difference in day-to-day use.
Galaxy Z Fold 5
Samsung’s next phone-tablet hybrid could be the first with a built-in S Pen, according to a report from The Elec. Not only does that mean the stylus is included for free, but the phone also has a slot to store it, just like on the phone.. If you want to use an S Pen with the you have to buy it separately, and there’s no mechanism to attach it to the phone or store it without buying a case.
It’s a seemingly minor addition, but one that could make the Galaxy Z Fold 5 much more useful as a productivity device. It would also give the Galaxy Z Fold 5 a clearer purpose and could increase its appeal among early adopters, artists and note takers. Samsung could be targeting the same audience of shoppers usually interested in the Galaxy Ultra or its earlier Galaxy Note devices.
Samsung usually releases new foldable phones in August, so we expect to hear more around that time. Besides the rumored S Pen included, the Z Fold 5 will likely have the routine processor and camera upgrades. What I’m really hoping for, though, is new software that makes better use of the phone’s giant screen and a foldable screen with a less noticeable crease.
Galaxy Z Flip 5
The pocket-friendly foldable Samsung is also likely to get an upgrade around August, as will the expected Z Fold 5. Thealready does a lot of things right, and it’s one of the most practical and affordable foldable phones around. Still, there are plenty of ways Samsung can and should improve the Z Flip. Samsung’s flip phone could benefit from a larger cover screen, longer battery life and an improved camera that brings it closer to that of the likes of the Galaxy S series.
But the biggest reason I’m interested in seeing what’s next for the Z Flip is because of the price. The phone starts at $1,000 and is often available for less with a qualifying trade-in, making the price similar to a standard, non-foldable premium phone. Samsung also kept the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in its lineup as wellwith $100 after the launch of the Z Flip 4. That further suggests that the Z Flip will be Samsung’s more affordable foldable phone option.
A Galaxy Z Flip 5 with a newer processor, better camera and larger display for the same price as the Z Flip 4 (or maybe a little cheaper) could be one of the most attractive foldable devices yet.
Galaxy Buds 3
If Samsung’s history is any indication, the Galaxy Buds 3 could arrive in August. Samsung has thein August 2022 while the default launched in August 2021. That timeline suggests that Samsung’s regular, non-Pro earbuds may be due for an upgrade.
We haven’t seen many leaks about upcoming Galaxy Buds yet. However, given that the regular Galaxy Buds are meant to be a more affordable alternative to the Pro model, we can probably expect them to cost significantly less than the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Those earbuds usually cost $229 compared to the $150 Galaxy Buds 2. While we don’t know what to expect, the Buds 3 could benefit from better water resistance and noise cancellation.
Galaxy VR headset
It’s already shaping up to be an important year for virtual and augmented reality headsets. Apple is expected to introduce a VR headset and the PlayStation VR 2 and HTC Vive XR coming next month. Samsung has beenof the VR space in recent years, and these developments have me wondering if that will change any time soon.
A report from the ETNews suggests that this may indeed be the case. The Korean news site reported in December that Samsung would release an extended reality headset for developers in 2023, according to an English translation of the story. Extended is abbreviated as “XR” in the story, indicating that this headset can combine aspects of virtual and augmented reality.
A new type of Galaxy foldable
Samsung hasn’t mentioned any plans for future foldable devices outside of the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip series, but it certainly has plenty of ideas to choose from. At CES 2023, Samsung showcased its line of “Flex” display concepts, including the aptly named Flex Hybrid. That device has a tablet-sized folding screen that extends by sliding outward when opened to provide even more screen real estate.
However, the Flex Hybrid caught my eye as I can understand the potential behind foldable tablets. Tablets are naturally larger than phones, so the ability to make them more portable by folding them in half seems more necessary. Tablets are also usually used as secondary devices for tasks such as watching movies, reading, or getting work done. It seems interesting to have a display that can be adapted to different conditions.
It’s unclear whether any of these will carry over into actual products. But it’s important to remember that the Galaxy Z Fold also started as a concept.
Galaxy Watch 6
Samsung hasn’t said anything about its future smartwatch plans, and there are no leaks or rumors about the Galaxy Watch 6 yet. But if the company follows its usual schedule, we should see new Galaxy Watches in August. They will likely have the same health sensors found in the Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro, including those for measuring body composition, blood oxygen and taking an EKG. There is also a skin temperature sensor that is not yet active in the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro.
Samsung’s Exynos W920 chip that powers the Galaxy Watch 5 provided better performance for 3D graphics like emoji avatars and faster app launches. It’s unclear if Samsung will develop a new chip for the Galaxy Watch 6, but I’m hoping for longer battery life anyway. Ever sinceand Qualcomm have both made efforts to extend the functionality of smartwatches in power-saving mode, it wouldn’t be surprising if Samsung went down this path as well.
Samsung is already experimenting with different ways to make its wearables and phones work together in new ways. For example, it recently announced a software update for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro that allows the earbuds to capture 360-degree audio when recording video with a Galaxy phone. It also expanded the Camera Controller app for the Galaxy Watch 4 and 5 with zoom support. Hopefully we’ll see more of this with the Galaxy Watch 6.
We’ll know more about Samsung’s future plans for its mobile device after the next Unpacked event on February 1. But if Samsung’s 2023 launch cycle is similar to last year’s, we can expect to see some of these products and possibly more.