Samsung debuts Galaxy S23 phones at Unpacked event
SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. introduced the next line of its Galaxy S flagship smartphones in San Francisco on Wednesday (local time), as the tech giant is facing economic headwinds that compel consumers to postpone discretionary purchases like personal electronic devices.
Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker, unveiled three models of the Galaxy S23 series -- Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus and a luxury model Galaxy S23 Ultra -- and Galaxy Book3 laptops during the Unpacked event at Masonic Auditorium.
It was the tech giant's first in-person biannual Unpacked event in three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Samsung presented camera capabilities at the forefront of the new premium Galaxy innovations.
In the run up to the event, Roh Tae-moon, president of Samsung Electronics' Mobile eXperience business, said Samsung's new smartphones will come with a camera system that is "getting smarter, offering the best photos and videos in any light among our Galaxy smartphones."
The Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a massive 200-megapixel image sensor, which Samsung said greatly improves pixel technology and image quality when shooting at night.
The sensor enables easier focus in low-light settings and a shorter shutter lag and captures more vivid color, the company said.
The latest S23 smartphones are on the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform for Galaxy, customized by Qualcomm for Samsung's Galaxy phones, which enhances power efficiency and runs better artificial intelligence and graphics functions, according to Samsung.
It is the first time Qualcomm has exclusively customized its SoC for an Android phone manufacturer.
Samsung said its close collaboration with the San Diego chipmaker has resulted in an optimal and powerful chip for the Galaxy S23 series, with a 41 percent faster graphic processing speed and a 40 percent better neural processing capability than the Galaxy S22 series.
The new product launch came a day after the tech giant announced disappointing fourth quarter earnings results.
Samsung's operating profit for the October-December period shrank 69 percent from a year earlier to an eight-year-low of 4.3 trillion won (US$3.49 billion), as the global economic slowdown hurt the sales of electronic devices and the semiconductors that power them.
Its mobile and network business reported 26.9 trillion won in sales and 1.7 trillion won in operating profit for the three months.
"The MX Business reported a decline in both sales and profit quarter-on-quarter, due to fading new-product effects of flagship models and a drop in smartphone sales on weak demand from the economic slowdown," Samsung said.
Samsung's high-end mobile phones, however, fared better than low-budget phones, it added.
The Galaxy S23 series will be launched in the market on Feb. 17.
In South Korea, preorders can be placed from Feb. 7-13, with prices starting from 1.59 million won for the Ultra model, 1.35 million won for the Plus model and 1.15 million won for the S23.
In time for the launch, Samsung will open dozens of Galaxy Experience Spaces around the world, so that customers can interact with the new Galaxy gadgets.
Interactive Galaxy Experience Spaces and pop-ups will open in San Francisco, London, Paris, Dubai and other locations.
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