A new year means new smartphones, but with such solid offers last year, are there any devices you’re actually planning to upgrade to this year?
January has passed, and with its end has ushered in the first big Android launches of 2023. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S23 series, headlined by the Galaxy S23 Ultra which we’ve been very much impressed by so far.
Related: The Galaxy S23 Ultra is already a strong contender for 2023’s best Android phone
And tomorrow, OnePlus will host the global launch of the OnePlus 11 which first made its debut in China earlier this year.
These two launches really represent the start of 2023’s smartphone cycle, with much more to follow. Oppo, Honor, and many other brands will be headed to MWC later this month to debut new flagships and expand devices to the global market. Plus, there’s a lot coming later this year. Samsung will have more foldables in store, and Google will have the Pixel 8, and its first foldable. Nothing is also debuting a “more premium” device that will come to the US.
But an underlying tone throughout all of this year’s upcoming Android phones is that of uncertainty. Smartphones have matured greatly, with less and less to show for each new generation, and with longer lifespans becoming the norm, folks are holding on to what they already have for longer. Qualcomm, one of the biggest chip providers for Android smartphones, said during its earnings call last week that it expects further “broadening demand weakness” for smartphones in 2023. That lines up with an IDC report that saw the “largest-ever” decline in smartphone shipments at the end of 2022.
That said, the other thing that seems to be happening with smartphones lately is a push to make meaningful improvements instead of major upgrades. The Pixel 7 series which debuted late last year didn’t appear to change much on the surface, but improvements in Google’s software as well as with the Tensor G2 chip made it feel like a huge overall upgrade.
Related: Pixel 7 Pro review: Google is finally figuring out flagship phones
And now, with the Galaxy S23 series, Samsung has something similar going on. The Galaxy S23 and S22 series are virtually identical on paper, but with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy and the global impact of that switch, this has the potential to be a big deal for customers. Especially as, in our first few days, we quickly observed extremely strong battery life on the device.
Will that narrative follow through on the rest of 2023’s Android smartphones? It’s hard to say for now, but we’ll certainly be interested to see where things go.
With all of that in mind, what Android smartphone are you most excited for in 2023? Vote in the poll below, and let’s discuss in the comments!
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- Android 14 may allow some phones to be used as webcams
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