February 3, 2023


It’s no secret that smartphones have dramatically destroyed the traditional digital camera space over the past several years. According to Statista, worldwide revenue for digital cameras in 2022 was US$21.26 billion, down from a high of US$29.03 billion in 2014.

At the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event in San Francisco on Wednesday, Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy S23 series. Given the specifications and new features in this new smartphone lineup, it’s hard to fathom how the traditional digital camera space will ever recover.

Besides that, Samsung had a few things to announce in the laptop space. Let’s highlight some of the items that caught my attention.

S22 Ultra on steroids

While it could be said that the new S23 Ultra is just an iterative update of the existing S22 Ultra, the revised features are nothing to sneeze at: an updated Snapdragon processor, a new 200-megapixel primary camera sensor, and a relatively modest body of the change device.

The S23 Ultra retains its S Pen, an integrated stylus. Thankfully, Samsung decided not to hike the prices compared to the existing flagship S22 Ultra. Samsung devotees will be pleased to see that the S23 Ultra has a starting MSRP of $1,199, but now comes with 256GB of storage, double that of last year’s model. Unfortunately, don’t expect the egg industry to emulate Samsung’s pricing strategy.

samsung galaxy s23 ultra specifications

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Specifications (Image Credit: Samsung)

As has been the case for the past several years, the big news is the premium high-res camera on the S23 Ultra. The device has grown from 108 megapixels on last year’s model to 200 megapixels this year. However, before anyone gets too excited about capturing 200-megapixel images with it (just imagine the file size), the S23 Ultra’s computational photography capabilities stitch together 16 pixels to enhance light and 12 -Megapixels makes the image more practical.

Of course, you can change the phone’s settings to take a 200-megapixel image, but these sizes are usually only needed by professional content creators who need high-resolution wall-sized images. Much more helpful is Samsung’s claim that the main camera’s optical image stabilization is significantly inferior, automatically correcting for 22 degrees of vibration compared to the current 1.5 in the S3 Ultra.

dslr replacement

A few other subtle “under the hood” tweaks for the S23 Ultra caught my attention. The S23 Ultra includes a “Vision Booster” tone mapping algorithm that not only boosts the screen for viewing in very bright light environments but can also adapt to a wider range of lighting, allowing the device to improve battery performance. gets permission.

What stood out to me during the event was Samsung’s continued positioning of its premium smartphone as the fundamental replacement for professional video and film production.

To that end, renowned film director Ridley Scott, in a recorded interview broadcast during the program, impressively explained how he used the high-end Samsung to shoot nearly all the footage in his latest film, professional-grade video quality and capability. use smartphone. To shoot in small spaces that is not possible with large legacy DSLR cameras.

Ridley Scott in Samsung Galaxy Unpacked, February 1, 2023

Director Ridley Scott discusses how he uses a Samsung smartphone to shoot movie footage. (Image credit: Samsung)

Of course, it’s got something of a “me too” aspect, considering that Stephen Spielberg used an iPhone to shoot a music video last year.

Nevertheless, Samsung (along with Apple) will continue to embrace computational photography in its premium smartphones. Like the youthful alter egos in Stephen Spielberg’s “The Fablemans” — which is nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars — it’s breathtaking to consider the effect modern smartphones are having on young filmmakers.

new galaxy laptop

Galaxy Book 3 presentation at Galaxy Unpacked 2023

image credit: author

While there were no new tablet, earbuds, or smartwatch announcements at Galaxy Unpacked 2023, Samsung’s new laptops received significant attention. Samsung has a modest laptop market share in the United States compared to competitors such as Dell, HP and Lenovo, but these new models may raise some eyebrows.

Galaxy Book 3 Ultra

Slim and sleekly designed, Samsung’s new Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is a credible challenger to the acclaimed Apple MacBook Pro. With a 16″ AMOLED display with 3K resolution of 2880×1800 and 120Hz refresh rate, this laptop has one of the brightest and most vivid screens I have seen.

Sporting a top-shelf Intel 13th Gen Core i7 or Core i9 processor with the latest Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics, it’s perfect for gaming and professional content producers.

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra

Galaxy Book 3 Ultra (Image Credit: Samsung)

I like Samsung’s option for discrete graphics because it supports Nvidia Broadcast Capability with eye contact correction, which is essential for podcast production and videoconferencing. With such horsepower in a compact and impressively slim form factor, I’ll be interested to see how loud the unit gets, which was impossible to assess given the ambient noise in the event’s demo area.

With a starting price of $2,199, it’s an interesting alternative to a comparable MacBook Pro at a more affordable price.

Galaxy Book3 Pro 360

More modestly priced laptops were also announced. Samsung’s new Galaxy Book3 Pro 360, which comes with a 16″ AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh, has a touchscreen and integrated stylus. This model uses Intel’s 13th-generation i5 or Core i7 processors and includes optional 5G radio support and standard Wi-Fi.

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360

Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 2-in-1 Laptop with S Pen (Image Credit: Samsung)

Available in multiple memory and storage configurations, the Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 starts at $1,399.

Galaxy Book 3 Pro

Finally, Samsung announced the entry-level Galaxy Book 3 Pro with a starting price point of $1,149. This model is available with a 14″ or 16″ AMOLED display, Intel 13th Gen processor, and more modest memory (8GB, 16GB, and 32GB) and storage configurations (256GB, 512GB, and 1TB).

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro Graphite

Galaxy Book3 Pro in Graphite (Image Credit: Samsung)

analyst views

It’s hard to assess the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event in proper context until Apple starts showing its cards, starting with WWDC in the June time frame, followed by the expected iPhone 15 announcement, usually in September. it occurs.

At the moment, Samsung is stepping up the accelerator on the computational photography aspect of smartphones. Interestingly, no new foldable smartphone designs were announced at Galaxy Unpacked 2023, indicating limited market appeal for these devices due to high pricing and unconvincing use models.

Samsung may not like to admit it, but the company — and the industry — needs Apple to jump into the category and validate the space. However, if industry rumors are accurate, Apple may not introduce a foldable smartphone (or tablet) model until 2024 or even 2025.

ecosystem benefits

Beyond the hardware aspects of the laptops launched yesterday, it is worth noting that Samsung stresses the importance of a unified ecosystem among consumers. Apple has built a multi-billion-dollar business convincing consumers that owning Apple-branded devices has integration properties that allow content to be shared seamlessly and from device to device with a common user experience. But you can start working again.

Samsung’s Galaxy Book experience puts a user’s entire library of Galaxy apps and features in one place, making it easy to manage a user’s Samsung account.

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Series Multi-Device Experience

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro multi-device experience presentation. (Image credit: Samsung)

Other PC vendors have attempted to do this with similar results, mainly due to the OEM differentiation dynamic and the open nature of Windows, which does not easily facilitate a shared experience. It remains to be seen whether Samsung can pull it off or not.

It also doesn’t help that iPhone users — roughly half of the entire smartphone market — aren’t part of the legacy Windows ecosystem from a text messaging standpoint. The inability to access iMessage on a Windows device is one of the main reasons I remain tied to the Apple ecosystem, even though Windows-based devices are often more attractively priced and featured than comparable Apple products. I suspect I’m not the only one stuck in this quagmire.

Regardless, due to its presence in the legacy smartphone market, Samsung is one of the few companies that could offer an interesting alternative to Apple’s ecosystem. While the company is playing catchup with Apple to an extent, credit to Samsung for offering a reliable option for consumers, as it is always a win for consumers when they can make the wise choice that best suits their usage model. best suited for the needs.