Rumored Samsung Tech We Can’t Wait to See in 2023

With The Galaxy S23 family expected to arrive next month, there’s a lot that Samsung fans get excited about. But the company regularly launches new foldable phones and wearables in August, and sometimes surprises us with other new gadgets before then.

Although Samsung regularly releases new products in many categories, including TVs, appliances and displays, I’m most interested in where mobile devices are headed. Samsung is one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers by market share, which means it has more influence than most other technology companies on the devices we carry in our pockets every day. Wearables have also become a big part of how Samsung intends to differentiate its phones from those of other Android device makers, as it tries to create a web of products that keep users hooked, much like Apple.

Here are the rumored Samsung products I’m most excited to see this year based on rumors, leaks, and the company’s regular product launch schedule.

Galaxy S23 series

Samsung S22 and S22 Plus and S22 Ultra compared

Samsung Galaxy S22 series

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Samsung makes a lot of phones, but the Galaxy S23 series usually showcases the best of what it has to offer. The Galaxy S23 family is expected to debut with the company Packaged event on 1 February and will probably be launched shortly afterwards. The standard S23 and S23 Plus are expected to receive a general refresh that will most likely include a new processor, a slightly updated design and perhaps some camera improvements.

But the top-of-the-line Ultra is where Samsung uses most of its camera prowess. The new model is expected to get a 200-megapixel camera, likely powered by the new image sensor Samsung announced on January 16. This chip promises to deliver higher resolution along with better performance in challenging circumstances, like my colleague Stephen Shankland wrote. Achieving both is usually difficult because the higher the resolution, the smaller the pixels. And smaller pixels usually can’t collect as much light, which can have a direct impact on image quality.

We will know more when Samsung introduces the Galaxy S23 series. But I can’t wait to see if the expected jump in camera resolution actually makes a big difference in day-to-day use.

Galaxy Z Fold 5

A Galaxy Z Fold 4 on a yellow sofa

Galaxy Z Fold 4

Patrick Holland/CNET

Samsung’s next phone-tablet hybrid could be the first to feature a built-in S Pen, according to a report from The Elec. That means not only will the stylus be included for free, but the phone will also include a slot for storage just like the S22 Ultra. If you want to use an S Pen with Galaxy Z Fold 4you have to buy it separately, and there’s no mechanism to attach it to or store it in your phone without buying a case.

It’s a seemingly small 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 can target the same audience of customers who are usually interested in the Galaxy Ultra or its previous Galaxy Note devices.

Samsung usually releases new foldable phones in August, so we expect to hear more around that time frame. In addition to the rumors surrounding an included S Pen, the Z Fold 5 will likely have the usual upgrades to the processor and camera. What I’m really hoping for, however, is new software that makes better use of the phone’s giant screen and a foldable screen with a less noticeable fold.

Galaxy Z Flip 5

Galaxy Z Flip 4 closed in someone's hand

The cover screen is identical to the one on the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Samsung’s pocket-friendly foldable is also likely to get an upgrade around August, just like the expected Z Fold 5. Galaxy Z Flip 4 already gets a lot of things right, and it’s one of the most practical and affordable foldable phones out there. Still, there are many ways Samsung can and should improve the Z Flip. Samsung’s flip phone could benefit from a larger bezel display, longer battery life and an upgraded camera that brings it closer to those found on, say, 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 qualified trade-in, making the price similar to that of a standard non-folding premium phone. Samsung also kept the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in its range and price fell by $100 after the launch of the Z Flip 4. It further suggests that the Z Flip is becoming Samsung’s more affordable foldable phone option.

A Galaxy Z Flip 5 with a newer processor, better camera, and larger bezel display for the same price as the Z Flip 4 (or maybe a bit cheaper) could be one of the most compelling foldable devices yet.

Galaxy VR headset

Samsung Gear VR 2017

A photo of Samsung’s Gear VR headset, which required a smartphone to operate, from 2017.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It’s already shaping up to be a big year for virtual and augmented reality headsets. Apple is expected to introduce a VR headset, and the PlayStation VR 2 and HTC Vive XR will arrive next month. Samsung has been surprisingly absent from the VR space in recent years, and this development makes me wonder if that will change soon.

A report by ETNews suggests that may indeed be the case. The Korean news site reported in December that Samsung would release an augmented reality headset for developers in 2023, according to an English translation of the story. Extended is abbreviated to “XR” in the story, suggesting that this headset may blend aspects of virtual and augmented reality.

A new type of Galaxy foldable

Samsung showed off its display concepts at CES 2023.

David Katzmaier/CNET

Samsung hasn’t mentioned plans for future foldable devices beyond the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip series, but it certainly has plenty of ideas to choose from. At CES 2023, Samsung showed off its line of “Flex” display concepts, including the aptly named Flex Hybrid. This device has a foldable tablet-sized screen that extends by sliding out when opened to provide even more screen space.

The Flex Hybrid caught my attention though, because I can understand the potential behind foldable tablets. Tablets are inherently larger than phones, so the ability to make them more portable by folding them in half seems more necessary. Tablets are also commonly used as secondary devices for tasks such as watching movies, reading or getting work done. It seems interesting to have a screen that can be changed to suit different circumstances.

It is unclear whether any of these will upgrade to real products. But it’s important to remember that the Galaxy Z Fold also started as a concept.

Galaxy Watch 6

Galaxy Watch 5 on someone's wrist with a yellow background

Galaxy Watch 5

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Samsung hasn’t mentioned anything about its future smartwatch plans, and there haven’t been any leaks or rumors about the Galaxy Watch 6 yet. However, 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, which include those for measuring body composition, blood oxygen and taking an EKG. There is also a skin temperature sensor that is still not active yet in the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro.

Samsung’s Exynos W920 chip that powers the Galaxy Watch 5 enabled better performance for 3D graphics such as emoji avatars and faster app launches. It’s unclear if Samsung will develop a new chip for the Galaxy Watch 6, but I hope to see longer battery life anyway. Since apple and Qualcomm have both tried to extend the functionality of smartwatches in low-power mode, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Samsung take this path as well.

Samsung is already experimenting with various possibilities for its wearables and phones to work together in new ways. For example, it recently announced a software update for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro that will enable the buds 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 to include 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 anything like last year’s, we can expect to see some of these products and possibly more.

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