The grand unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S23 could be just a month and a bit away now, and the leaks around this flagship smartphone continue to drip in. The latest rumor brings with it some encouraging news about the potential performance boost that the new phone is going to bring with it.
According to tipster Ahmed Qwaider, the Galaxy S23 series – the standard model, the Plus model, and the Ultra model – will boast a 36% increase in processor speed, a 48% increase in graphics performance, and a 60% increase in neural processing (AI-related tasks like voice recognition and smart photo editing).
These improvements are courtesy of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor from Qualcomm, which we're hearing might be fitted inside the Galaxy S23 phones in every region. Normally, Samsung uses a Snapdragon processor in some parts of the world and one of its own Exynos processors in others when it comes to the Galaxy S series.
While we already know plenty about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, we haven't heard specific percentage improvements for the Galaxy S23 phones. The performance boosts the chipset is going to bring to phones in 2023 will vary depending on how manufacturers optimize it to work with their own hardware and software.
It looks as though the OnePlus 11 is going to be the first handset to go on sale with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 on board. It's scheduled to get its grand unveiling in China on Wednesday, January 4, with a global launch event on the calendar the month after that, on Tuesday, February 7.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 family looks likely to make an appearance early in February, based on what we've heard from those in the know, so we don't have much longer to wait until everything is official – and no doubt Samsung will have some performance figures of its own to share as well.
Analysis: the need for speed
We're expecting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor to feature in quite a few flagship Android smartphones throughout the course of 2023. Perhaps the only significant exception will be the Google Pixel 8, which is likely to use a custom Tensor G3 CPU.
You can make a fair case for arguing that smartphones are already plenty fast enough – indeed the iPhone 14 has stuck with the same Apple A15 Bionic chipset that was inside the iPhone 13 the year before – but bear in mind that the demands that we put on our phones are always increasing too.
Apps and games continue to get more complex, photos and videos continue to get larger and more detailed, and then of course there are the wealth of AI tricks that our handsets can do now (like recognizing the sound of your voice). All this portable computing needs a chipset that can keep up.
And bear in mind too that chipset upgrades like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 aren't just about improvements in performance: they also bring with them increased efficiency, which should equate to less of a demand on battery power.