Samsung remained the global smartphone leader in 2023 and its flagship devices performed better than their predecessors. Not a bad year then, but what else happened?
Samsung was methodical and prudent in its phone releases in 2023. It made meaningful product improvements and was instrumental with pre-order bundles and bonuses that ensured positive results.
However, there’s a growing sentiment that Samsung is holding back on innovation and is playing it too safe with its devices.
Now let’s take a look at Samsung’s winners and losers of 2023.
Winner: Galaxy A54
Samsung’s second most popular phone of the year is a clear winner. Just look at the interest tab in the A54’s specs page. Not really surprising either, the Galaxy A54 was a great upgrade and a global best seller, bringing the series back on track.
Winner: Galaxy S23 FE
People love the FE models and 2023 saw the return of the series. The Galaxy S23 FE arrived just in time for the Holiday season and will be many frugal people’s first choice. Add the global availability and the S23 FE is a clear win.
Losers: Galaxy S23 and S23+
The Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23+ are an easy choice for anyone looking for a well-made, feature-rich, and easy-to-love smartphone. They adopted the superb Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which brought a worthwhile improvement to battery life.
But the two vanilla S23 phones are way too similar to their predecessors and that doesn’t spark fans’ hearts in any way.
Loser: Galaxy Z Fold5
The Galaxy Z Fold5 brought the coveted flat-folding hinge and a faster processor. Outside of those two upgrades, the 5 is the same phone as the Z Fold4. That sort of complacency doesn’t serve Samsung well in a year that saw arguably better book-style foldables enter the global market – the OnePlus Open/Oppo Find N3 chief among them.
Winner: Galaxy Z Flip5
On the other side of the Z series, the Galaxy Z Flip5 was a winner for Samsung. The flip-foldable added a functional cover screen that made all the difference. And the Z Flip5 coped better with its rivals than the Fold – the only true competitor to Samsung’s Flip is Oppo’s Find N3 Flip and even that has very limited availability.
Losers: Galaxy Watch6 series
The Galaxy Watch6 Classic brought back the rotating bezel and made the display slightly bigger by reducing the bezels. But otherwise, the Watch6 Classic looks and feels like the Watch4 Classic from two years ago. And we didn’t get any follow-up to the Galaxy Watch5 Pro of 2022, which was disappointing.
Winner: Galaxy Tablets
Samsung released five amazing tablets this year – the Galaxy Tab S9, Tab S9+, the Tab S9 Ultra, and the Tab S9 FE and S9 FE+. All five support the S Pen and have fast processors and high-refresh rate, high-resolution displays.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Samsung’s biggest winner of the year is also its usual one – the Galaxy S23 Ultra. It remains Samsung’s best phone of the year, it has the S Pen, it zooms far beyond the optical reach of any of its rivals, and it’s as cool-looking as it is feature-packed. Samsung patched the few holes the S22 Ultra had, making the S23 Ultra a near-perfect phone.