Unfortunately, 2022 was not the year for Samsung that we had hoped for. The Galaxy S22 Ultra kicked off the year, and by mid-year, we'd seen updates to the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip. Despite a mixed year for the smartphone market, both Apple and Google overshadowed Samsung with their flagships.
But, ahem, we remain optimistic about Samsung and its upcoming lineup for this year, and we will keep an eye out for breakthrough moments that may appear on my newsfeed and shape the smartphone market in the years to come. Without further ado, here is what we can anticipate from Samsung in 2023.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra will take centre stage.
The new Galaxy S23 series will be available in 2023. Isn't that no surprise? Aside from the usual variants, we may see an updated Galaxy S23 Ultra. The big news, however, will not be the design but the phone's camera capabilities. The Galaxy S22 Ultra had an excellent camera last year, but its immediate successor may be even better in low-light photography. The device will reportedly include a "night vision" camera in addition to a 200 MP primary camera with an upgraded version of the ISOCELL HP1 sensor.
Samsung already produces the best Android flagships on the market, but the question now is where the company will go from here. Smartphone innovation has reached a halt, and not only Samsung, but every company, including Apple, is facing the same challenge. Samsung needs to include one or two features that consumers haven't considered for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. A more experimental Galaxy S23 Ultra could pique consumers' interest in Samsung's flagship phones, which have become "too predictable" in recent years.
Adding flavour to foldable smartphones
Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip haven't changed much in the last two generations. With a few minor changes here and there, the devices not only look identical but also perform slightly better than the previous generation. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 are currently Samsung's best foldables, but there is always room for improvement. The next foldable phones, the Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5, should focus on design improvements in addition to offering reduced creases, improved durability, and high-end cameras when they launch in the second half of the year.
When closed, the Z Fold is still awkward to use as a daily driver—a it's bulky phone to use with one hand. Samsung should take a page from Oppo's Find N2 design, which is less bulky and more functional than the Z Fold 4. The upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 5 should be designed to be lightweight and compact. We also don't mind if the S-Pen makes an appearance in the next version of the Galaxy Z Fold.
Concerning the Galaxy Z Flip 5, Samsung must come up with new ideas to ensure that the flip-style phone does not feel like a standard smartphone. Right now, the Z Flip offers a smartphone experience that isn't dissimilar to the phones we use every day.
Renewed emphasis on the sub-10K market
When Samsung exited the sub-10K segment a few years ago, it opened the door for many Chinese smartphone makers to capture market share in India. And it worked wonders for a lot of brands. However, with the upcoming release of the Galaxy F04, Samsung is ready to refocus on the budget smartphone segment. Although it is no longer the most lucrative segment, millions of Indians have yet to upgrade from a feature phone to a smartphone. As Chinese vendors continue to stray from the sub-$10,000 segment, Samsung has a golden opportunity to target first-time smartphone users.
Restore the 'affordable' flagship FE series.
More than ever, Samsung requires the affordable flagship FE series. Sure, Samsung has the popular Galaxy A-series of smartphones, but that approach hasn't worked to expand on a strategy of lowering entry-level prices for flagship phones in order to grow its user base. This is why Samsung needs to launch a Galaxy S23 FE variant in India to compete with Apple and OnePlus.
With the Galaxy S20 FE, the company has demonstrated in the past that there are takers for an affordable flagship smartphone. A strip-down version of the Galaxy S23 could be a mass-market premium smartphone that might change the fortunes of Samsung in the premium segment in India. Samsung’s goal should be to provide consumers with an “aspirational” smartphone without the sticker price of a flagship device. The company needs to price the Galaxy S23 FE such that it sends a message that the device is for everyone, an approach that’s different from what Samsung usually follows with its flagship Galaxy S and Z series.